Shanghai River is the new kid on the Richmond Block, serving up authentic Chinese cuisine.
this restaurant has the potential to be superb but its just good and its because every time i eat here, i get a different experience.
their trademark dish is their shanghai pork dumplings which are great. always order this when i am here and it always impresses. on the other hand, i have ordered other dishes which were sub-par like the deep fried prawns in the past where it came with this special "sauce" which ended up just being mayo. it tasted alright but the fact that they basically dumped a whole jar of mayo ruined this dish.
service here is also inconsistent... when its empty, you get super service; however, when the place is packed, good luck getting service from your waiter or waitress. it should not be that way because they should hire more staff to compensate for the lack in service.
the dishes do not come cheap. you are paying for the "high" quality food that people expect from them but like i have said, the entire dining experience changes each time.
the ambiance is lovely. beautifully decorated with window into the kitchen to see how the chefs work in there. creative and different compared to most of the other chinese restaurants in the neighborhood.
even though my previous experience may have been poor, i always end up returning here because i know that how good this place can be so i always give them the benefit of the doubt.
Overall the food is good - the Tam tam noodles are yummy. The service is on the border of good and bad, depends on who is at the front, but the past 2 visits haven't been too shabby. However, beware of booking a reservation on busy chinese holidays - they are extremely rude and unaccomodating. All I wanted to do was add 2 more people to my party of 6 and they had massive freak out session. To think that more people=more food=more money for them? Jeez! Oh well, a good Shanghainese restaurant, but not overly wow-ing.
Mrs. C and I were craving the cuisine of Shanghai and we decided to give this place a try. We arrived on a Sunday evening and the place was packed. After a brief wait, we were escorted to our table. The ambiance was quite nice but alas the w/c was rather nasty.
The menu had lots of choices, and we decided on the crab puffs, mu shu pork, cod with vegetable, and of course Shanghai noodles. All the food was okay, but not the greatest ever. I have to say that with the exception of the noodles, I have had better (for less money) at other Chinese restaurants in town. Service was not the best, but I suspect that was mostly due to the fact that there weren't enough servers. They had a 'help wanted' sign in the window, but I don't speak Shanghainese, so no career change was in my future :).
As for value, it was ho gwai, but in a capitalist system you charge what the market will bear. They were full, so I can only conclude they were charging what most people wanted to pay.
It was an okay meal, but I think I will try one of the many cheaper alternatives out there next time around.
Went there on a weeknight for dinner and it was full which is not surprising given the price point. A good location with ample parking and nice ambiance, the best ambiance of all of the shanghainese food restaurants in Richmond. Set dinner for 10 ordered at $250. Great food especially the crab and the smoked duck. Had to order the soup dumplings as that's what they are known for. Love the open kitchen. The only down side was service was bit lacking in terms of clearing plates and refilling the tea. A bit understaffed. Good value for the dollar.
Whether it be for lunch/brunch/dinner, the food here is consistently well-prepared. Nothing really tastes bad, though I also can't think of any item that is exceptionally memorable. Great choice for Shanghai cuisine. Always busy, so be sure to book a table well in advance. There is almost always a crowd standing by the entrance waiting for a table. Plenty of parking inside as well as across the street at the mall. Great decor. Clean. Comfortable. You can watch through the glass window as the kitchen prepares the dumplings and noodles. Always a good choice to default to for a reliable all around tasty meal. Prices are reasonable, but not "cheap".
The food is given an "outstanding" mark because they manage to keep everything consistently satisfying, though not "exceptional." Consistency is difficult to come by especially when applied to the entire menu no matter how many times you revisit the place--that alone is deserving of a better than "solid" average grade.
The ambiance is "outstanding" only because a lot of the other establishments that offer Shanghai cuisine are not as or near being "classy" or quite all that "clean" and lean towards being more tired and clumsily kept. I've only ever experienced the positive, and none that is negative coming out of this restaurant since they first opened.
This place probably serves up, I mean steams up, the Best Shiu Loong Bau in town. Shiu Loong Bau is a traditional Shanghainese steamed dumpling with pork meat. Very unique dishes and I would probably say one of the Best Chinese food in town. Make reservations or be prepared to wait ! Big Thumbs Up !
I concord with the other reviews for the four star rating. The food along would warrant a four and half star but I’m saving the five stars for my ultimate experiences.
The smoke fish appetizer was adequate but not the best I’ve had. The Shanghai steam buns are tasty and juicy. Our Swiss chard and chicken soup with the additional bean thread noodles was a plenty (could serve eight persons), hot (great for winter) and satisfying (no MSG). The smoke tea duck is a duplicate from the ones in Shanghai; needless to say it was fragrantly smoked with the right moist and texture. The large crystal prawns sauté with fragrant sauce was excellent and numerous. And we had steam gold thread buns instead of rice. All the food I’ve had at this restaurant has been excellent and I’ve been here more than ten times.
The staff has always been attentive (remembered that I like making my Swiss chard soup into a Cantonese dish by adding bean thread noodles) and our dishes have always arrived on timely bases. But be sure to make a reservation, they are very full, arriving without a reservation will ensue a long wait.
This is our first time trying this restaurant. We went here with a group of friends on a weekday lunch. The ambiance inside is pretty nice and the menu looks so tempting with all the pictures. I told the waitress that this was our first time so she made some recommendations. We are a regular at the Shanghai Wonderful (SW) (one of the best Shanghai rest in town) so we thought to give this place a shot. Here is what we ordered and our comment:
- Xia Long Bao (on par with SW)
- Turnip cake (not even close to SW)
- Spicy wonton (so so, the best is still in No 1 Beef Noodle by BCIT)
- Szechuan beef noodle (better than SW)
- Tan tan noodle (no good)
- Shanghai fried noodle (no good too greasy)
- Sticky rice with ham (nothing special)
- Beef with green onion (ok)
- Spare ribs with peking sauce (too dry but the spices are good)
- Spicy Chicken spice (funny after taste)
Overall the food at SW is still much better than this place and the price are little bit cheaper. Majority of the food lack that kick and sort of bland. The service need to be improved as we flagged couple of times for ice water and they forgot to bring them, until our 3rd tries. We probably won't be coming back anytime soon.
We were recommended this place and can see why.
We were pleased we made a reservation for this place as it was quite crowded. All the waiting staff were amazingly friendly, everyone said hello to us and was very polite. Our waitress was very polite and friendly too giving us great advice, everything came out very quickly.
The food was amazing too, one of the best Xiaolongbao we've had in Canada to date. My other favorite was the pork sesame pockets, we haven't seen these in so many years and this restaurant did them perfectly - the meat was lovely and moist. Other people were ordering them in the restaurant so they might have been a specialty or favorite.
Loved the design of the restaurant, very modern, colors were very relaxing. It was also very clean and loved how you could watch the cooks make the bao's and other food. The waiting staff looked calm and relaxed, unlike many other restaurants in Richmond, so this made me feel unstressed being there. This restaurant looked as though it was for professionals or business people, a great place to bring a client too.
From the looks of the restaurant I was expecting a high price for what we had but it was actually very reasonable indeed.
I would recommend people try this place out at their earliest opportunity.
Ate here last week on a weekday and when my boyfriend and i got there, had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. We ordered 2 appy, an order of juicy pork buns and a main dish.
The food wasn't too bad, but i've had better elsewhere and it was a little over priced.
The ambiance was really nice and the service was quick.
I'll probably come back just to try their other dishes, cause i was so distracted by the dishes the waitresses were bringing out heheh.
Even though the food was quite tasty, I would not go back because of the poor service. There are a lot (!) of good restaurants in Richmond so I don't think patrons should have to deal with snarky waiters, a host that doesn't "honor" the reservations that have been made (in favour of patrons who they know that just showed up), and waitresses that look like it is an onerous chore to serve you.
My friends who went with my husband and I to dine are not high-maintenance so please don't take this review in that light :) This is just one of those Chinese restaurants in Richmond that give Chinese restaurants in Richmond a bad name!
This is my favourite place to go for a birthday/ family dinner /celebration kind of thing. The food is consistently great, served quickly, and they provide all the old favourites, mixed with some new creations.
I like that you always know what you're going to get, it's not too expensive, and they always deliver delicious food. That's what I want in a Chinese banquet!
There has been a buzz for awhile surrounding this restaurant but recently some of the regulars have started to sour on the place. While the food continues to be worth the visit - although inconsistent at times - the service is, as others have noted in previous reviews, immature and, at times out of control. The notion that more is better translates into waiters running around appearing to be busy but often doing nothing more than clattering dishes and bumping into tables. There is no concerted effort to watch the guests and anticipate their needs. The only time they become focused is when it's time to pay the bill. Management needs to spend more time training the staff to slow down and focus on service. The frenetic slap-stick show of racing back and forth is exhausing to behold and detracts from the food and the true potential this restaurant has.
I have had Sim Sum here three times. I even brought relatives because I was so impressed with the quality of the food. Every dumpling is delicious, and the broth is devine.
The only down-side is the mild chaos and the lack of real ambience. In trying to avoid kitsch, they came up with a decor that is cold and awkward, but the warmth of the food makes up for it. Service is friendly and efficient, although there are so many waitstaff it can feel like they are hovering, and you wonder how they keep things straight! Ordering is difficult if you don't read the language, so we simply asked the server for advice, and were not disappointed.
This is my family's choice for dinner when we go for chinese food. They serve up tasty food that are cleaner tasting and much more healthy feeling than some of the more traditional old-school Shanghai restaurants, while retaining a certain sense of authenticity. The food won't be swimmin around in oil or laden w/ MSG. Perhaps what i like most is that their dishes aren't covered in that goop of thick cornstarchy sauce that defines most chinese restaurants. Some of our favourites are chicken with ginger and onion, beef lettuce wrap, and the steamed silver thread buns. The silver thread buns are not the best i've ever had, but its well above average, as you can see the distinct layers within the bun, they go down nice w/ the condensed milk. The steamed pork dumplings (shao long bao), are among the best i've ever had. The skin is thin and delicate, yet they never break apart and hold in all the delicious juices inside the dumpling. The handmade noodles are all delicious as well. If you get a good seat by the open kitchen, its an extra treat to go w/ your meal. A great restaurant for some quality and healthy shanghai fare.
Food: We had Sliced rolls with condensed milk, Szechuan Beef with Noodles, and the
Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Dumplings. Absolutely delicious!! The sliced rolls were hot and fresh! But you can’t really mess up plain bun with condensed milk though. The portion for the noodles beef was huge. There were beef briskets and tendons. The noodles were tender and the spiciness was perfect. The dumplings were simply the BEST!! I looooove them! I went all over the place in search of good XLB and I found them here!! The skin of the dumplings were soft and thin yet “bouncy” enough that it doesn’t break. The mean and juice inside was hot and flavourful. Love, love, love!!
Service: It was excellent. I think we beat the dinner rush as we arrived at around 6:15pm. We were seated right away. We were also served the menus and tea right away as well. The young female server that took our order was pleasant and friendly. We were checked on a couple of time from this other waiter to make sure things were okay. The food came quickly, hot, and fresh!
Value: Sliced rolls was $3, noodles was $8, and eight dumplings for $6 or $7. We just wanted a small dinner as we planned to visit another dessert place. However, the meal was so filling that we didn’t end up having dessert. Eight wonderful dumplings for $7 is definitely worth it! I will return as this is now my favourite XLB place!!!
Ambiance: Bright, clean, comfortable, and classy! You can even watch the chefs as they make your dumplings!!
There are tons of Shanghainese restaurants in town, so why this one? Simple, the food is authentic and consistently good, the service is above-average, and the place operates with a level of precision that is clearly better than most Chinese restaurants.
Case in point, instead of reservations which are often not honoured at other Chinese restaurants, Shanghai River ensures that your wait is minimal if you booked in advance. When you book a reservation for $1:00pm, you can reasonably be expected to be seated at 1:00pm, not 1:45pm. When they can't accomodate your reservations, they honestly tell you on the phone that it is not do-able, rather than agreeing and making you wait when you show up.
The kitchen is a "open format" layout, with the chef working behind a glass partition. No surprises in terms of what's going on in the kitchen! What you see is an assembly line of clean and efficient kitchen staff, turning out fresh Shanghainese style pastries right before your eyes!
As for the food, it is consistently quite good. I've been there a total of about a dozen times, and I would say that on only one occasion, was the food a bit off. (i.e. pastries not made in the same day). Their Chinese donuts are always fresh, as is the Soya Bean milk, which they grind themselves (both a Shanghai speciality).
In sum, a very good choice, as long as you remember to call in advance to make reservations.
Been here a dozen or so times when the craving for xiao long bao kicks in. They are the best here. Always order a plate for myself. With that said, the other dishes are solid but not spectacular. The DimSum menu is not that diverse, especially if you like eating lots of the steamed variety of DimSum. It's usually busy so I recommend going on weekdays or make it an early lunch (11am) to get a seat quickly.
Food: It is a little above average when compared to other Shanghainese restaurants. But, their food is getting poorer. I eat there once every month for dinner and lunch. It is getting progressively worse. But, the food is definitely still acceptable and above average.
Service: Some of the past reviews were absolutely correct. Most of the servers speak only Chinese or CHOOSE to only speak Chinese. That is weird. I wonder how customers who don't speak Chinese would be able to order accurately. The owners and managers should look into this. In addition, there is absolutely NO SERVICE at 2:45PM. That is the time when everybody (and I mean all the servers and cooks) sit down at their own private table and eat their lunch. There were still 3 or 4 tables with customers left. We already paid the bill, but we had some leftovers that needed some packing (to take home). There was absolutely nobody there to help us. We were about 5 tables away from the staff table. We could not just walk over and tell them we need help. That would be rude and would intrude on their "private" lunch time. I could not simply wave at them. That would be rude also. The owners and managers should set up a system in which servers would take turns serving the "leftover" customers. I did go into the restaurant at 2:25PM which is very close to the "cut off" time for lunch. My principle is this: if I am allowed to sit down to order and eat, even though it was close to the cut off time, I should be served until the very last second I go out of the restaurant. If the servers don't want to serve customers during their "private lunch time", then the hostess should not have accepted us as customers in the first place.
Value: the price is perfect for the quality of food they servce.
Ambiance: The place is still looking "new" and there are no dirty spots or run-down looking spots in teh restaurant. The interior decorator did a good job.
Service must improve either throw better management, increase of salaries/tip percentage, or both. I have a gut feeling that the tips are not actually given to the staff members. I see poor service in most Chinese restaurants. I wonder why...
This place has the best xiu long baus in town, however, the portions are small. The service is poor, but don't expect much from a lot of the asian restaurants around town. I don't recall any other dishes 'standing out'. Everything else was just ok.