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“the best lunch, i ate ever.....”

Yi Cafe at Pudong Shangri-La
Ranked #1 of 420 Coffee & Tea in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $58
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Buffet, Reservations
Neighborhood: Lujiazui
Description: Yi Café features 11 show kitchens set in a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The walk-through market-style design, with gourmet showcases and live cooking stations, presents cuisines from China, Japan, the Middle East, India, South East Asia, Europe and the West. It is the ultimate food experience offering a vast array of flavours uniquely combined in one concept.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

i was with my friends, really really nice, totally i recommend to invite to go.............

Thank palojen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 - 141 of 263 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2012

Firstly it was lovely to walk into the Pudong Shangri-La Shanghai Hotel, another stifling hot day in Shanghai and it was very relaxing in the lobby and the true Shangri-La feel. We are not usually interested in buffet type luncheons but I'd read about this well reviewed cafe (although much more than a cafe) and we made a booking and decided to give it a go. Well, the choice was absolutely amazing and really first rate fare. The Japanese offerings of fresh sushi, sashimi, prawns etc was outstanding and the Malaysian kitchen with the most fabulous Laksa made to order with anything added that you wish whilst watching the noodles being made fresh. The dumpling kitchen was great and the fabulous french patisserie for deserts. A very relaxing lunch .. no-one hassles you or rushes you and I think we had 2 beers each which was close on the cost of the food! Recommend highly.

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Thank About_and_about
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

The Yi Cafe Sunday buffet is excellent!! They have different stations with various international cuisines. And the food is all really good. My ONLY problem with it is the crowds that it attracts. Although you can't blame the restaurant for that. It attracts crowds because it's good!

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Thank Henry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

First night was outstanding But they were fairly quiet Attentive service Good atmosphere Food was first class. We were so impressed we boolked immediately for the following night . Second night it almost all fell apart . They lost our booking and gave our table away. Very busy night but at third attempt found a table that was ok. Food was again excellent. BUT problems continued as bill had items not eaten. Every member of staff was ver apologetic including manager. However, what would otherwise have been an outstanding event was spoiled. Advice: book in advance. But be aware you may be forgotten! At least they will make amend and be gracious. Food wa excellent. Staff were excellent. Systems were weak. Still a good choice

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1  Thank dmb100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

I was originally going to give it just 3 stars. To some that would be blasphemy, Shanghai is a Hotel Buffet paradise and Yi Cafe consistently ranks among the most loved. People are passionate about it, and there's overall good reason for it.

I'll start with why I don't think Yi Cafe lives up to all the hype (which initially earned it 3 stars), and then mention the areas it is outstanding.

Not so good: If you want a glass of wine, or just ONE bottle of beer- you are unfortunately out of luck. On top of the 400rmb/pp charge for the meal, there are only all-you-can drink packages. 55 for soda/juice but 150 (per person!) for unlimited wine and beer. I just want one glass of red wine you say? Sorry, out of luck. To me, that's just unacceptable when you are talking about a restaurant (even if it is a buffet) inside a supposed 5-star hotel. I will also mention that not all the food stations are at the same level. By that I mean that the dessert station is one of the best I've ever seen (see below), but the Japanese/seafood food is boring and mediocre. The sushi/ sashimi is the same tuna/ whitefish/ salmon that you'll see at any hotel buffet in the city. Some undersized crab legs and cooked mussels and shrimp. How about some raw oysters, maybe some more imaginative hand rolls, or even some unagi eel for those who don't fancy raw fish? Ditto for the Chinese station- the dim sum had some soggy shrimp dumplings, and the warm dishes included General Tso chicken- yes, the very same dish from any American fast food Chinese take-out. The Char Siu was the only highlight in an otherwise bland offering. You'd think in China there could be a bit better selection. The salad bar and Italian station were also unremarkable, and the meat carving stations varied tremendously- sometimes fantastically pink and tender rib-eye, other times, well north of medium well, sometimes cold and bloody. Don't get me wrong, the quality of the food was fine, but when this place is so fantastic, so imaginative, so thinking-outside the box in some areas (see below) it just makes everything that is not up to that level so very noticeable. Like painting a fresh coat of paint in your house suddenly makes all the older furniture ugly looking.

But when it is good, it is VERY good: Everyone raves about the SE Asian offerings- and this is where they shine. It is rare, unheard of really, in this city to have a buffet that offers Indian or Malaysian dishes. And the execution is good, freshly basked Nan bread, various curries. The African/ Middle Eastern offerings also unique. The coffee (which IS included) is one of the best I've had- buffet or not, in the city. But the real standout is the dessert- a cotton candy machine! Shaved ice! A coldstone creamery type ice cream mix-in stand. Warm and creamy Creme Brulee. Home made lollipops. Whoever is in charge of this area should be made head of the whole establishment. The service is also amazing, plates are cleared fast, napkins folded while you are away, servers that actually know what they are serving and the sauces that are laid out with them.

Tips:
-Lunch and dinner are 100% same offering, but lunch is MUCH cheaper. Go at lunch, save your money and have a nice dinner at a nice a la carte place.
-There is wonderfully authentic prosciutto ham behind the pasta station but you have to ask for it. Get some and some sweet honeydew, wonderful!
-The coffee is wonderfully made and freshly ground and included in the price of buffet.
-The cheese station is also great but hidden and changes places sometimes. Take time to find it- it's worth it.
-I personally thought the Mexican food, Western warm food and Japanese food was really mediocre. Yes it's rare to find Mexican here in Shanghai, but other places do it better (Cantina Agave). Save room for the "exotic stuff"- Indian, Middle Eastern and most of all DESSERT!

In conclusion: What Yi Cafe does, it does better than anyone- the service, the dessert, the SE Asian dishes. But where they go wrong, it is really mediocre- that drink thing really gets my goat. Try the lunch, if you absolutely swoon despite what I said, then by all means, make reservations for dinner. Like I said, all of it is good-quality, well presented food and is overall good. But for 400rmb/person for dinner (not including drinks), I want more.

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3  Thank bearfamily777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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