Shanghai River is the new kid on the Richmond Block, serving up authentic Chinese cuisine.
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...
My family loves this place and go here to eat whenever we can.
The food is consistently fresh, delicious and very authentic. The prices are a bit on the high end for Asian food, but the quality of the food is right up there to match the price.
Please try the "Xiao Long Bao": soupy dumpings - they are one of the finest in Vancouver in my humble opinion. They also have delicious Hand Made noodles, something that very few Asian restaurants bother with these days because fresh noodles take much more cost and effort to produce.
As an added bonus, you can watch them make their hand made noodles and dumplings in a viewing kitchen just off to the side of the dining area. May need to make reservations as they are ALWAYS packed.
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.
I took my family out for dim sum on a Sunday morning around 10:30 am. The restaurant was just starting to fill up but luckily we had made reservations. Reservations is extremely important at this restaurant due to its popularity. We ordered shanghai fried thick noodles, xiao long bao, chilli wonton, hot sweet soy milk, shrimp/crab balls and a chinese fried donut. Everything was delicious and came out speedily. The server was also very attentive and would bring extra napkins or refill our teapot quickly. Definitely a good place for shanghai style dim sum.
I have been there 2 times and I went there again last weekend, it's always busy..
Food is good.. Service is so so..
I think if food is not good, nobody go there for sure !!!!
There are a lot of good chinese food in Richmond, Shanghai River is the one of that too..
Anyway, overall is ok...
be back again
First of all, I made reservation 2 days ahead of time @ 7:30pm. However, we didn’t get the table until 8pm. After we sat down for 15 mins, no waiters/waitress was helping us at all. Finally we ordered our food, one of the items was the Peking Duck. Neither waiter nor the menu mentions anything about pre-order. The waiter came back in 10 mins with attitude and said that “If you didn’t pre-order one, you won’t get one!” And he just walked away without apologize. Then we talked to the manger, he said that they actually sold out. I was so mad that time. I don’t mind if he told us actually it been sold out, but don’t give us excuse with attitude.
When they were delivering soup, they spilled the soup on one of my friends. And when they were cleaning up the table, they spilled a cup of tea on me again. After all that happening, we saw them laughing at us every time they walked by our table.
So don’t go there anymore. You will be Regret.
I had a good early dinner for two on a quiet Thursday night while on a recent visit to Richmond. We didn't make reservations, but we were seated right away when we arrived. The waitress serving us was very nice, and she was quick to take our order when we were ready.
As for the food it was pretty good. We had crispy fried rice with shrimp, walnut prawns, and a kind of "crab ball" appetizer (I wish I could remember its proper name). The rice was delicious with a nice light flavor, and the prawns were to die for. The only thing we didn't care for was the crab, but it was more of a personal taste thing rather than the food being prepared poorly. I didn't realize that the prawns generally are made with milk which I'm allergic to, but that was my fault for not realizing it until I got sick later. However, I'm getting hungry thinking about the food as I write this, and that's always a good sign for me despite my allergy mistake.
The atmosphere was nice, tables laid out fairly well, and I loved how you could see some of the food being prepped in the open kitchen. Even though it got busy after we arrived we didn't feel cramped or forgotten about by our waitress.
All in all it was a good place to eat - pretty solid all around. It is on the pricey side so I wouldn't be able to go frequently, but I'd visit again to sample more of their menu at the very least!
The food is not bad. We have been here several weekends in a row for dim sum and dinner. The various breads were tasty, the dumplings were handmade and fresh, the Szechuan Chicken was spicy and delicious, the crab was good value, the small tapas-like dishes were yummy, the handmade noodles were great, but very greasy. The service manner was consistently poor. Few of the wait staff spoke English, which was absolutely fine because we could point to the menu. It was only when the staff started ignoring us, or pulled a face with a loud "Ha?" when we tried to order in English or Cantonese, and then walked away from our table abruptly. We were puzzled today; if the server just asked if any of us could speak Mandarin, someone at the table would have gladly ordered for us. Last week, our friends were only English speakers and wrote down everything we ordered. Out came a soup dish that we did not order. We showed our server our own list and he shook his head at us, as if we did something wrong--not impressive when this was the first time these diners ate here. Luckily we enjoyed each others' company with the good food; the servers need to be better trained, like carrying a tray properly with drinks--one server tipped her tray spilling 2 beers on our guests and their coats. What was strange was that she kept pouring beer into a glass on the same tray that was tipped and spilling out on the other side and she didn't realize it! At dim sum today, a server coughed/sneezed into her hand and she then handled several clean table settings. These may be small details, but important enough that patrons notice and decide to return or not.
I loooooove their wonton. I don't remember what it was called, but it's that weird wonton that pops in your mouth and burns your tongue and back throat. Also their banana dessert was an interesting experience. They dip the steaming glazed banana in cold water and it instantly freezes! It was very exciting, and the taste was authentic too. I would definitely recommend the wontons and some desserts, but other food is just average. Just get the pork wontons and wait until they cool or you'll burn your mouth!
Love dim sum- so we tried this very busy place. Unfortunately every dish had its issues.
1) pork dumplings - good but ive had more flavourful juice at other places
2) spring rolls - ok but nothing special
3) shrimp & green onion dumplings - best thing i had- only 1 shrimp in each huge dumpling though
4) black vinegar spareribs w/ peanuts - way too heavy on the sauce, totally overpowering, i guess they ran out of peants cause we got pine nuts
5) pork wonton soup- filling was good but wonton skin was terribly overcooked
6) shrimp & lobster deep fried balls - looke great but were overcooked
I will say that I never have had hotter food in my life at a restaurant. And it came out really fast. Everything was so hot we had to wait to eat each dish.
At $37 bucks for 2 people i certaintly wont come here again.
Been here several times, for lunch and for dinner. Great dumplings!! The steamed pork dumplings with the consume still wrapped inside as you put it in your mouth is excellent! I also really like the steamed vegetarian dumplings. Their pan-fried dumplings - also great. Of course it's fantastic to see all the nice chinese ladies wrapping your dumplings fresh behind the glass counter.
Other main dishes - Spare ribs were very tasty. Szechuan shrimp quite good. The oyster soup/broth/congee concoction was surprisingly pleasant (though it was quite interesting to see oysters cooked in broth.)
Overall, a good chinese restaurant. Always busy, need reservations.
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.
We decided to go there because the restaurant is close to our hotel. It was very busy when we got there (around 7:20pm). A couple in front of us said they had a reservation at 8pm. The dude was very nice to them, and promised to put them somewhere once there was one available. We didn't have a reservation. The dude fisrt stared at us for a while. Then he told us that there was no seat available tonight, and expected us to leave immediately. Well, at this point, we already got a little pissed, since we saw several empty tables from outside. When we were about to leave, another 3 people came in, who didnt have a reservation either. The dude was also very nice and asked them to sit there and wait. We finally realized what happened: he just didn't want to serve us, who come from a different background and don't speak Cantonese. Surprised that bias can be so blunt in a restaurant like that. A very frustrating experience!
We came here for my husbands birthday dinner. We wanted to pick a Chinese food place we hadn't been in Richmond yet, read some of the reviews here, and decided to try it. It was definitely worth it! We made a reservation as the reviews recommended, and were glad we did. It was a sunday night, and the place was packed. We ordered quite a few dishes for 4 people, and the portions were all huge, so we had lots of leftovers. The menu has lots of pictures, which helped. We started with the pork and crab steamed dumplings (I had never tried dumplings before)- divine. They almost melt in your mouth (I would definitely come back to try dim sum here). Next we had the peking duck, which came in 2 stages, skin with a pancake wrap and sauces, and the next stage was done like lettuce wraps. We were hoping the whole duck would have come out, like the picture, but it was still delicious. As for other dishes we tried: hot and sour soup-awesome: full of veggies and seafood, and just the right amount of sour, schezwan prawns, delicious (although 1/2 of us thought too spicy), stir fried udon noodles (which were great, they had sauce on it, but it was fried right in). The only dish that was disappointing was the deep fried crab with spicy salt. None of us realised it would be deep fried in the shell, and it was almost impossible to get the meat out of the shell (it stuck to the insides of the shell due to the deep frying). The prices were up there, but considering the quality, presentation and portion sizes it's worth it if you are looking for a nice meal.
I have been going to this restaurant since it first opened. A popular destination, I would recommend reservations before hand, however, if their level of service remains problematic (i.e. dishes arrive 20-30 minutes late that leave your food cold, cold food, and ability to handle a full-house) I doubt you will need them.
Most of their Shanghai dishes and dim sum are fantastic. I would definitely recommend going for lunch and have their xiao long bao (dumplings). Unfortunately, their dinner service is highly inconsistent. The food for the most part is well-done for the seafood and Shanghai styled dishes. However, their quasi-Cantonese attempts with some of their fish and meat dishes are disappointing.
So, for the most part, the food is great, but the service leaves your food cold, leaving your experience to feel mixed.
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.
This Shanghai River Restaurant on Westminster Highway across the Bay:
I have been to this places with families and friends for many times. I finally gave up. The food and service were very good for the first year. And the overall quality declined in years. The recent year was the worst.
The foods aren't fresh. The food quality is not stable. The Dim Sum quality fluctuates sometimes they were good but at times it was so bad. The stirred-fried foods are usually good and tasty and worth trying if you go. But for the bad experience such as soymilk tasted like being deliuted and the beef with pancake especally the beef was like standing in freezer for 3days. The Beijing duck they served is oily. Last time we went with family friends for Dim Sum and it was our turn to treat them back but the food was not good. It was embrassing for my parents.
Speaking of the service, I think the customes should really pay extra attention: I myself saw their mamagers argued with customers twice over the service quality. Once they let their friends cut in despite long waiting line at the door and it was cold so the customers complained and the mamanger kind of yelled back. We were shocked.
The other time one young kid got injured or something (I was sitting far)and the managers said it's the kid's fault or something with bad attitude so the parents exploded.
The overall qulity of the place is not good for the passing year and I hope they will do better like the way they did for the first year they opened to serve our customers with good fresh food and urger-to-improved-services.
Even in China, service is not this bad. When a trolley of dishes kept banging into our table and I commented to the waiter, the response was that 'this is a Chinese restaurant'.
Great food but unless they get control of and train their staff, they are destined for trouble over time. and that's not just me; that's the word on the street!
Gourmet Chinese cuisine at affordable prizes. The 2-course Peking Duck is actually the best I've had! The Marinated Prawns with Nuts were plenty and tasty, Shanghai pork and crab meat dumplings simply divine. Have you ever tasted foie gras chinese style --- the best ever! Recommend reservations, or it will be a good 20-30 minute wait (always worth the wait though). The service is so pleasant, no banging of plates and wares on the tables, and the service staff are very polite and refined. A busy busy place, but ambiance is great, no clanging of dishes, and loud voices. Real linen covers. I've been here more than 10 times, consistently outstanding.