Shanghai Me - Top Tip Restaurant for September
With almost 3 million people in Qatar (2023), over 85% of which are non-Qatari residents, and with the highest concentration of people living in Doha and the surrounding suburban sprawl, it is no wonder that the buzzing capital city is a melting pot for international cuisines. With restaurants and cafes across the metropolis serving foods from Arabia to Australia, the Americas to Asia, and Europe to Africa, you can find culinary delights to suit almost every taste within the city limits. Plus, the multitudinous eateries come in every shape and size, from street food kiosks, back street cafes and diners, and independent and chain restaurants to fine-dining, luxury and boutique concerns; you can also find cuisine of every possible style.
With so much choice for dining in the city, where do you start your culinary journey? Fear not; we are here to help with a monthly spotlight on our city’s favourite eateries. We’ll give you (and your stomach) a heads-up on some of the best places to chow down. So, what’s the recommendation this September?
September’s Gastronomic Treat
Name: Shanghai Me Doha
Location: Al Dafna Street, West Bay
Speciality: Pan Asian Cuisine
Shanghai Me Doha opened its doors in late 2022 and has since garnered a superlative reputation as one of Doha’s most exclusive places to eat. Located in the city’s prestigious West Bay area, amidst the towering skyscrapers, the beautiful shoreline that meets the Arabian Gulf Sea, and sandwiched between the B12 Beach Club and West Bay North Beach, the locale matches the restaurant’s reputation for exceptional Asian cuisine and stunning interior design.
Housed in a remodelled deco-style beachfront property, alongside the celebrated Italian eatery Cipriani Doha, the refined Mediterranean restaurant Gaia Doha, and two lounge bars, the Socialist Doha and the Bund Lounge, Shanghai Me is a delightful venue that embodies the boom time Golden Age of 1930’s Shanghai. The restaurant interior is furnished in an east-meets-west Art Deco style, with luxury retro wood and rattan furniture embellished with velvet cushions, glossy wooden wall panels and columns, vintage stripped wallpaper, shiny black and gold tiled floors, and an array of potted palms, paired with hand-painted Japanese folding screens and Kumiko (lattice) panels and doors and Chinese vases, lanterns and lacquered furniture. The old-world charm and glamour are refined yet relaxed, with dusky lighting and sofa-style seating, and brought into the 21st Century with an array of modern art hanging around the walls – particular favourites are the Andy Warhol-esq pop art and black and white photos of Chinese and Japanese iconic objects, artefacts and people. Shanghai Me is a fusion of cultures, the epitome of Art Deco elegance and 1930s allure, and perfect for working lunches, tiffin and elegant nights out.
Over the weekends, a DJ throws down some discreet sounds that help to give the venue its busy, bustling, upbeat ambience. Plus, the luxurious Bund Lounge, accessible from the restaurant, keeps the good vibes going after hours. So, diners can make the most of their nights out with dinner, drinks (put together by in-house mixologists) and camaraderie surrounded by grandeur and opulence.
Shanghai Me serves Pan Asian cuisine inspired by traditional Chinese and Japanese recipes and cooking techniques. However, despite offering a menu steeped in tradition, the food at Shanghai Me has all the twists and turns of a killer novel; the edibles on offer are contemporary, playful and incorporate plenty of surprises.
Upscaled classic dishes, retro recipes with fresh twists and numerous signature plates can be ordered from the restaurant's azure blue leather-bound menu, decorated with 1930s figures in black and gold. Choose from the A La Carte or Business Lunch menus, offering appetisers, salads, soups, dim sum, noodle and rice dishes, Sushi and Sashimi, Oshizushi (pressed Sushi), a myriad of mains and signature dishes. Or try the Dim Sum Library, which offers exquisitely made bite-sized works of art and flavour explosions.
A La Carte Menu
The A La Carte menu (from which the Business Lunch menu is compiled) includes appetisers, such as Spicy Edamame, Aromatic Spicy Chicken Cups and, our favourite, the crispy, flavourful Spicy Chicken Popcorn with Dried Chili. Appetisers range from QAR 25 to QAR 195 for the immensely delicious Bang Bang Scampi Tempura and QAR 375 for the signature Roast Duck with Foie Gras and Caviar.
Fresh soups and salads listed on the menu include some old favourites, Miso Soup with Mushrooms and Tofu and signature dish, Crispy Duck with Pine Nuts and Cress, but also incorporate Chef's Specials such as the zesty King Crab and Apple Salad, the savoury Seared Beef Takaki Salad with Ponzu Sauce and the luxurious King Crab and Black Truffle Soup. Soups range from QAR 40 to QAR 80, and salads from QAR 50 to QAR 125.
The menu's Sushi and Sashimi plates cost from QAR 65 to QAR 395 for the California Caviar Maki, with Oshizushi (10-16 pieces) ranging from QAR 140 to QAR 380. Rice dishes can cost up to QAR 195 for the restaurant's signature Japanese Wagyu Beef and Truffle Rice Pot.
Speaking of Wagyu beef – one of the world's most expensive meats – the A La Carte mains menu also offers some of Doha's tastiest Wagyu plates, the Grilled Japanese Wagyu Beef (QAR 600), the Chef's Special Sumiyaki Beef Skewer QAR 460) and the Mapo Tofu and Wagyu Beef Clay Pot (QAR 150). However, the mains menu also offers a host of other delectable meat, fish and vegetable dishes, including the succulent Mongolian Lamb Chops (QAR 275), the sea-fresh Giant Scallops with White Asparagus (QAR 160), the glorious Whole Lobster with Singapore Sauce with its hints of curry flavouring (QAR 140 – half / 240 - whole lobster), and the Mapo Tofu Clay Pot (QAR 70).
And, if there’s room, the dessert menu includes some mouth-watering sweet treats, such as the Homemade Brown Butter ice cream served with olive sponge and a hazelnut crumble, the spicy chocolate Wasabi Truffles, and the Giant Fortune Cookie, made with crispy tuile, chocolate, matcha mouse filling, hazelnut coating and, of course, a message of fortune inside. Desserts range from QAR 18 to QAR 160.
Dim Sum Library Menu
The Dim Sum Library hosts a resplendent collection of dumplings - tasty, well-thought-out flavours and beautifully presented. The homemade dumplings are so finely made that most are translucent. Each morsel of deliciousness is so delicate and fashioned into arty little packages that can be open or closed, colourful or even painted with gold leaf, it almost seems a shame to eat them!
The menu offers a variety of Dim Sum, generally served in portions of two, but baskets of eight with four different types of dumplings are also available. Dim Sums come either steamed or fried, and the menu also offers steamed rice noodle rolls and fried spring rolls, croquettes, Nems and Siu Sou puffs. A portion of Dim Sum costs between QAR 30 and QAR 65, and baskets range from QAR 110 to QAR 140. Our favourites include the sweet, peppery Wagyu Beef and Kimchi Dumpling (QAR 65), the scallop-shaped and gold leaf painted Prawn and Truffle Har Gow (QAR 35), the comforting Chicken Xiao Long Bao (QAR 30) and the fried Wagyu Beef Wu Gok Taro Dumpling with five spices (QAR 65).
The fine dining menu at Shanghai Me Doha is expensive. Nonetheless, fresh, high-quality ingredients, professional preparations, adherence to tradition, the incorporation of new flavour profiles and cooking techniques, beautiful plates, stunning surroundings, attention to detail, and attentive, knowledgeable service make the restaurant a top pick for any month of the year and well worth the expenditure!
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 2 pm – 5:30 pm / 7 pm – 12 am
Friday and Saturday, 1 pm – 5:30 pm / 7 pm – 12 am
Business Lunch, Sunday to Thursday, 2 pm – 3 pm
(Three courses for QAR 115)
Contact: +974 4453 6250
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