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“Excellent!”
Review of ElWilly

ElWilly
Ranked #34 of 17,044 Restaurants in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $60
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic, Scenic view
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: The Bund
Description: “el Willy” cuisine focuses in Spanish traditional, contemporary tapas & rices with a fun twist. The structure of the menu follows the Chinese Yin Yang structure of a meal. All the food is designed to be shared family style & to be eaten comfortably with chopticks.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

I could not have been more impressed with the level of service and attention I received at ElWilly. I have a severe peanut allergy which is a difficult thing to communicate to restaurant staff in China. I had no problem at ElWilly. Not only did they check the ingredients, but Willy himself made sure that no nuts or peanuts were in or even placed near to our food! Staff advised us on the best drinks and dishes but weren't too pushy.

And the food itself was fantastic! Small portions (as expected from tapas) but really delicious! Make sure you have the fried anchovies and splash out on the paella. Seafood fans will not be disappointed, but there are plenty of meat and veggie options too. Everything was delicious!

We arrived at 9:30 and the food started arriving around 10. There was a nice atmosphere - busy, but relaxed and not too noisy! I also appreciated the little touches like chopsticks, patterned jugs and decent sangria. It isn't cheap, but it is absolutely worth it!

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Thank Stan912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (401)
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199 - 203 of 401 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2013

I had high expectation for El Willy, especially after coming back to Shanghai from Barcelona, eager to satisfy my newfound craving for Spanish food. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. While the scallop with avocado cerviche was quite tasty, the tuna cherviche was untouchable. The salad was very plain and the "lobster" paella was a big floop. The paella had a very Chinese taste to it that it almost verges on wet chinese rice. What's worst, the "lobster' is actually crawfish. A note to the restaurant: properly label your menu so you do not mislead your customers! Ever since visting Barcelona, I have yet to try a Spanish restaurant that is remotely comparable to those in Barcelona.

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Thank teresa_asa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

I was somewhat reluctant to go to a Spanish resturant in Shanghai (afterall I felt we should have been having Chinese food in China) but am so glad I did, on a friend's recommedation we decided to go and check it out and I can't rave enough about the food (who did these other reivews??), service, location and style. We had tapas at the bar which was comfy and casual and wanted just about everything on the menu but settled with - jamon (served with the appropriate warmed, crusty tomato bread), chorizo, mussels, anchovies, bone marrow, gambas and olives that are the best I have EVER had anywhere (and that includes Europe!). The General Manager Isa Ortega is to be congratulated on a great location and lovely ambience overlooking the river - well done!

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Thank ARCuthbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

This is supposed to be the best Spanish restaurant in Shanghai, & if that IS the case then that's not a good reflection on Shanghai. The food was very mixed in quality; suckling pig with soggy skin, croquetas overcooked, although the gambas ajo were very fresh & perfectly cooked. Desserts were a complete car crash, with the el willy selction being one of the worst confections I have ever had, with the exception of the basil sorbet, but then it;s hard to mess up when you have a pacojet machine.
Service was appaling, everyone too cool for school; four Western managers who were just too important to come anywhere near our table, except at the very beginning when we sat down. We left several dishes uneaten & no one followed up on this & asked why, & by the time we paid & left the management were nowhere to be seen. The floor staff, bar one, were clueless, curt, & clearly disinterested.
A real disappointment.

Thank SouthOfTheThames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Took some visitors to check out Willy's new location. Located in the area now called "South Bund" the exterior is gloomy but the interior is quite nice. Some of the dishes excel and some are sort of average, but overall fun food experience with lots to variety to chose from. Wine selection is primarily Spanish with a few French labels thrown in so you can try some new wines that you will not find elsewhere. Very popular and lots of fun. Be sure to make reservations.

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Thank TheKrezAbides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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