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“Really awful experience”
Review of ElWilly

ElWilly
Ranked #34 of 17,197 Restaurants in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $60
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Scenic view, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, 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 July 24, 2013

First of all, why would anyone want to eat Spanish food in Shanghai? But if you get past that why would anyone run a Spanish restaurant in Shanghai where the temperature is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit without having functioning air conditioning? That's what happened last night. The manager explained that the building management (the restaurant is on the fifth floor of an office building on the Bund) controls the air conditioning and the restaurant has no control. Maybe someone should have thought about that when negotiating the lease. Any way the heat was very unpleasant and the food not great (to be charitable). Dumplings any day of the week over El Willys.

Thank BigV1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 - 210 of 416 reviews

Reviewed July 11, 2013

We were recommended to dine here by the concierge at our hotel. In the sticky heat of Shanghai we were pleased that it was a very short walk along the Bund from where we were staying. Housed on one of the upper floors of a beautifully finished building which housed an exclusive shopping arcade with several other restaurants on upper floors. We took the opportunity to examine all these on our way to El Willy. With the opulent surroundings we expected that western dining in Shanghai would come at a price and thought the surroundings warranted this.
The restaurant was very full when we arrived and thankfully we had booked. Shown to our table we were left to our own devices to work our way through the Tapas and drinks menu's. There seemed to be a distinct shortage of waitstaff and when we eventually caught the attention of one they seemed as unsure as us about both the drinks and Tapas.
Basically we had two G&T's and out Tapas dishes arrived quickly afterwards. The Jamon Iberica was of a good quality (but AU60 for 70g), Manchego also as per. The in house cooked items were croquettes which were fine and then a dish described as chorizo with some form of special potatoes with an egg served hot was it seemed a packet of potato chips with bacon bits and a runny egg served luke warm. We had some bread and a small anti-pesto looking thing. All in all not very much.
I am not new to Tapas having been to many and varied Spanish eateries (in Spain and many other countries from El Reconcilio in Seville to Donistia and far beyond) and understand that everyone has a different idea of what the concept is. Well I expect small but tasty morsels some plain interlaced with ingenious dishes that are an entertainment in themselves. Here the imported unadulterated items were fine but simple, the in house cooked things we tried were very ordinary.
For this small yet uninteresting meal and four G&T's we paid a whopping AU230.00. The owner was working the till and thanked us as we left and hoped to see us again soon. The service was poor but this was due in the main to lack of staff in a busy restaurant which in Shanghai is surprising in a place not providing value for money dining.

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Thank Magwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Having heard so many good things about El Willy, this was a highly anticipated evening out though not without a little apprehension that we might be let down after all the hype. Fear not! Wow, what an excellent evening it turned out to be with an amazing selection of tapas, oysters (these were just exquisite!) and Spanish wines. Every, I repeat, every tapas we had was just perfect and the cold cuts platter board was wiped clean in no time - personally, the best chorizo and lomo I've had! We were fortunate enough to have been given a quite room/corner as we had a fairly large group which was beautifully done up and afforded us some privacy with views across the river to Pudong. The main dining hall was bustling and the noise levels higher than some but I suppose that's what enjoying a tapas night out is all about. I wish we had room to try the paella but having done a huge assortment of the tapas, we were just about busting out of our pants and enjoying every bit of it! A big thank you to Senor David Perez who made the evening special taking care of our party. Don't miss out on this if you're ever in Shanghai!!!

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1  Thank bbrhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Great atmosphere. A variety of tapas. we went with friends who knew their way around the menu. i would have been a bit lost on my own! The views across the Bund were great and the salmon explosion was so superb I would go back again just for it!

For info The address is Bund 22, however it is not in the building number 22 on the Bund. There is a 24, 23 and 20 but 22 is missing! we were directed to the wrong end of the bund by several people including a taxi driver and could not find it. Bund 22 is not next to Bund 23 and 20 but at the opposite end!

Thank Zoola2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I have been going to El Willy for many years now and every time it is a feast! It is just perfect for an evening out with your husband/wife, to have some tapas, a nice bottle of Spanish wine. It is just that the atmosphere is super relaxed and service is always right.
Always curious as well to see if Willy has some new creations on his menu for us to try, but standard order is always the scallop ceviche, an absolute favorite!!

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

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