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Liquid Laundry
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    • ADDRESS:
      KWah Centre,
      2/F, 1028 Huaihai Zhong Lu,
      near Donghu Lu
      淮海中路1028号, 嘉华坊2楼, 近东湖路

    • PHONE:
      6445 9589
    • WECHAT:
      -
    • AREA:
      Xuhui
    • METRO:
      5 mins walk from South Shaanxi Rd
    • HOURS:
      Lunch,
      Daily, 11am-2:30pm
      Dinner,
      Wed-Sat, 5pm-2am
      Sun-Tue, 5pm-12am
    • CARDS:
      Local and international cards accepted
    • PRICE:
      $$$$$
    • WEB:
    • SmartShanghai.com Editor's Description
      Popular gastro-pub / lounge by serial restauranteur Kelly Lee, the woman behind Sproutworks, iiiiit, Boxing Cat, and Cantina Agave. This one has a fully-functional brewery and they usually have a dozen of their brews on tap, which change constantly and can get quite creative (the Miami Weiss is great). The cuisine is basically nicer bar food, with items like wood-fire oven pizzas, rotisserie chickens, duck nuggets, mac & cheese, and hand-crafted charcuterie. The place gets busy at night, even on the weekdays, and they bring in DJs in the evenings to play accessible hip hop and house, though it's not a dance party kind of place. Crowd is often North American and local heavy. Casual, and probably better for groups or friends rather than solo excursions. If you're coming in the evening with a group, you should probably RSVP, as tables really fill up here.
    • Every Wednesday Bro's Night Out

      Bro. Broheim. Bruh. Wednesdays at Liquid Laundry it's 100rmb for a classic pizza and a glass of house craft beer. Offer available from 9pm to 11pm. Brah.
    • All Night Happy Hour

      Liquid Laundry is offering happy hour deals from 3pm till close every Thursdays. That's a significant number of hours in which to be happy. That's draft beer for 30rmb, signature cocktails for 50rmb and GLS house wine for 50rmb.
    • Playboy Mansion Halloween Party

      "Forget spooky demons, ghostbusters, pumpkins, and witches, this year we’re throwing y'all something special at Liquid Laundry! That’s right, party people, it’s Playboy Mansion time." LL tributes the passing of Hef with bunny ears and...
    • HipHop Fridays - DJ Big One

      Every Friday, DJ Big One's on the decks from 9pm-1am at Liquid Laundry, playing hip hop.

    ARCHIVED EVENTS

    • Oktoberfest at LL

      German-style beer and gastro classics on the menu at Liquid Laundry (and Lil' Laundry) from September 16 until October 3. A couple thousand miles from Munich, but you can still observe this hallowed beer drinking occasion in Shanghai....
      • Dining | Liquid Laundry | Daily until Oct 3 2017
      • 2017-09-16 Finished
    • Liquid Tuesdays

      Through August, Liquid Laundry is offering a fratty deal. If you and your drinking buddies each spend 100rmb (on average) you'll get free flow beer from the featured keg of the night, from 8.30pm to midnight. That could be a lot of...
      • Nightlife | Liquid Laundry | Tuesdays until Sep 1 2017
      • 2017-08-03 Finished
    • Get Lei'D

      Hmm LL... not so subtle about this one huh? Liquid Laundry has a ladies night that's also a singles night. If you're single, you get a lei (a wreath) put around your neck. You can also sign up to be a host and invite a bunch of friends...
    • #TBT Night

      Every Thursday, DJ Verse@ille and Press Play drop throwback tunes in this Donghu Lu gastropub. Usually a busy place. More chilling, sippin' craft beer, and talking vibe than dancing. They have a contest, where you can post your...
    • Hip Hop Fridays

      Resident DJ, DJ Big One, keeps it locked on quality hip hop rhymes and rhythms from the 90s that'll make you wanna dance. Every Friday from 9am to 1am, old school beats and classic tracks. No entry fee.
  • Beer Festival: Bourbon Barrel IPA
    For Liquid Laundry on May 31, 2016
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    handoogies
    Joined Feb 12, 2007
    Posted 11 Reviews
    On my recent excursion to the Hongqiao beer festival, one of the objectives was to sample all the food that looked tasty to me, and the other was to get drunk as fast as possible. That latter objective lead me to asking all of the beer vendors whether they had anything over 10% alc, and a surprisingly few did.

    Goose Island had something that was 14% that they refused to serve until 3pm, and at 90RMB for a measly 200ml pour. Had a few other 8-9% alc brews from other stands, but they weren't balanced and some tasted curiously flat.

    Ended up taking tequila shots at the Tepito stand until my inner Uber alarm went off.

    The next day I happened back at the festival and got the Bourbon Barrel aged IPA from liquid laundry, 40RMB for a full pour of 11% alc(?), and that was the ticket. Almost black in color, it packed the appropriate alcoholic punch while tasting well composed. Had some a few months back and forgot about this stiff one. Drank four of them, had some chicken kebabs, and crushed a 10km run. Nice weekend, good event.
    Eat Here *****It Is Awesome!
    For Liquid Laundry on January 22, 2016
    Value for Money
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    DaXingXing25
    Joined Jan 22, 2016
    Is American
    Posted 1 Reviews
    This restaurant is amazing! I have eaten here a few times and every time I go the food is even better than the before.
    This most recent time I decide to take my father, and this man carries a beautiful hefty pot belly like most older beer drinking blue collars in America. He wasn't exactly keen on the idea but since he was in SH on business he wanted to try it. And he brought some of the executives from his company, all whom were Chinese. We stopped by on a Sunday for the brunch, and these guys loved it! they are still talking to my pops about there experience. The food was excellent, we are not foodies, or a snobs when it comes to eating out but we expect to eat a lot and drink a lot of beer. So here is what went down and here is why you should definitely go eat at Liquid Laundry;
    Started with bacon cornbread-really tasty, not dry and biscuitty just good ole cornbread and with bacon! cmon brah forgetaboutit! but the best part was the F-ing maple butter you get for a spread, that stuff was awesome, I was actually eating out of the ramekin with my finger.
    We also ordered a flight of bacon and unless your religious beliefs permit you from eating bacon, don't be a duff, order a flight each taste is unique and is excellent, especially the maple. The McBretzle sliders were also on point, nice twist on the classic american breakfast sandwich.
    And for the actual breakfast plate both pops and I had the eggs Benedict beef brisket! this creation is so good I wasn't even talking anymore at the table, i just wanted to swallow the bite I was working on and get to the next bite. The eggs were poached perfect so the yolk ran down onto the tender juicy brisket and created a sensational mouth marriage. It was awesome! and every time I go back I will order this. Strongly recommended.
    Oh shoot we also ate some waffles and these too were great, but we all were stuffed and could barely move, and we are fat so if you follow our eating line-up be ready to be rolled out of restaurant.
    As for the atmosphere, its really cool because its big and wide open and even though it was packed, you didn't have to shout, which sometimes is the case when in big beer halls or gastro pubs. Also be sure to try some of there beer, its all good but the IPA is really good. If you live in SH and you are familiar with Boxing Cat Brewery then you can enjoy the same beer because LL also serves BC beer. As a matter of fact It is all owned and created by famous chef Kelly Lee. Who during her super busy brunch was not only back in the kitchen cooking up this fire, she was nice enough to come out on the floor and greet patrons eating including our table, and to old school dudes like my pops he was thrilled!
    Overall Liquid Laundry is great restaurant with a great vibe, really cool sinks in the bathroom and delicious food! If your in Shanghai don't miss out on this amazing experience, I recommend brunch but anytime is good, and i hear that for drinks in the evenings its loaded with hot chicks. just saying. Thanks LL.
    Bad management & heavy food
    For Liquid Laundry on September 8, 2015
    Value for Money
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    Pietrus
    Joined Sep 6, 2012
    Is Italian
    Posted 1 Reviews
    Went to an early dinner at 5 pm to meet 4 other friends. So there was no problem in finding a table. We order several dishes including a pizza. the service staff was smiling at entrance but as soon as we ordered the waiter treat us like some "walking money bags" because she pushed us to order more drinks and food without explaining why, in an unpleasant way .
    Regarding the food some of my friends, the Australians, liked a lot but the Italians dislike it a lot. Especially the simple "margherita" pizza was awful, weird mozzarella ! the other dishes were just so- so, nothing special and too heavy to eat all.
    Much ado about....
    For Liquid Laundry on August 18, 2015
    Value for Money
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    ambarina
    Joined Mar 20, 2015
    Is Mexican
    Posted 2 Reviews
    Visited on Saturday afternoon with some friends from out of town (one of them is a restaurant owner down in Guangzhou).

    As previous reviews, the place is a nice restaurant, tons of space, nicely decorated and so on. We sat at the bar/entrance area and even when drinks were being pushed onto us a bit (like RUSH TO DRINK YOU BEER AND ORDER ANOTHER ONE) the service was sort of lacking; we tried to order food a few times but even when the restaurant was half empty and there was a lot of people available, they somehow avoided our table.

    At the end we got some appetizers (but the fries were not really memorable); the charcuterie was super nice (except the fish option which we didn't dare to touch).

    Overall-- I can't still fall for the place due to small details, but I would go back... so I guess that's ok for them? :)
    Coming clean on Liquid Laundry
    For Liquid Laundry on July 22, 2015
    Value for Money
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    businessinchina
    Joined Sep 7, 2009
    Is American
    Posted 18 Reviews
    On Friday evening I met a group of friends at Liquid Laundry. I have generally avoided the place because of the vitriol I’ve read online from what seem to be deeply unhappy restaurant goers. While the experience wasn’t perfect and the drink selection was generally unnecessary, overall I enjoyed the atmosphere, service and food.
    When entering Liquid Laundry you’re immediately greeted with a big “string art” logo that spells out the name of the restaurant and stretches up to the ceiling. It’s pretty neat. The general vibe is dark and industrial, which apparently speaks to people as it was packed to the gills on a Friday night.

    After being ushered to our table we had a look at the drink menu. I’m constantly mystified by the need for every restaurant in Shanghai to reinvent the cocktail menu. Why not just chose five drinks people know (and like), make them really really well, and develop a reputation as a place to enjoy those drinks? Maybe I’m just getting more crumugendly in my advanced age. After puzzling over the drink menu for several minutes (cucumber surprise, something with gunpowder), I chose the only drink I recognized—the Maitai. It came out quickly enough but was fairly weak and disappointing. After finishing it, I tried again to choose something from the menu but finally decided on a Manhattan and asked the waitress for one. She noted that “special drinks” had to be ordered directly from the bar. Right. Fifteen minutes later I returned to the table with an excellent Manhattan.

    The food was hit or miss. We ordered a round of appetizers which included fried duck bites, cornbread, and yellowtail. The yellowtail was clearly the star. Reminded me of something you would get at Nobu, delicate slices of fish topped with sprouts and various sauces—highly recommended. The duck bites might as well have been deep-fried sloppy Joes and the cornbread was meh. The mains were solid. The other folks at the table ordered pizzas which were crisp and tasty. I ordered half a roast chicken which was delicious and perfectly done.

    One of the biggest things I was dreading about the meal was the service; however, it was both attentive and fast. Wait staff was literally lined up against the walls to engage with customers. It was clear that bad service at the outset has been recognized by management and corrected.

    Overall the experience was a mixed bag, but the atmosphere and food were enough to bring me back for another try.
    WTF happened to the roast chicken?
    For Liquid Laundry on June 28, 2015
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    calatrava
    Joined Jun 15, 2014
    Is Cuban
    Posted 20 Reviews
    Remember when this place first opened and a few reviewers were amazed by the size of the roast birds? Well, tried the chicken again last weekend, and it was puny! And drowning in some orange-colored sauce that I don't recall from my previous encounter with this dish. For the price they need to add a few sides.

    Also had the salad with burrata with green peas. Liked it, but the mashed peas were overly salted.

    The mushrooms over polenta was the best dish of the meal.

    Service was pretty good, can't fault the staff at all.
    Great addition to my list!!
    For Liquid Laundry on April 8, 2015
    Value for Money
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    jhy0719
    Joined Mar 31, 2015
    Is American
    Posted 6 Reviews
    Another superb place to add to my list and it's conveniently located in my neighborhood, DOUBLE SCORE!! I loved the vibe of the place and it was pumping! Thankfully my friend booked a table, otherwise we would have had to wait at the bar for a table to open up. There were some unhappy people waiting at that bar, cutting their eyes at us as we walked to our reserved table. Don't be mad playa! If you dont make a reservation, you can't get mad at anyone but yourself...no need to throw shade hahaha! We were seated immediately and went straight to the menu. So many things we wanted to try, but we were only 4 persons. We ended up getting the seared yellowtail, grilled romaine salad, bone marrow puff pastry, 1/2 roast chicken, Porchetta and for the sides, mac & cheese & broccolini. Kudos for the seared yellowtail...it was plated beautifully and the taste/texture combo was mind blowing!! A little crunch here, alittle spice there, it was the BOMB, a flavor BOMB, all up in my mouth! The salad had a nice mix of flavors from the lardon, macarel & perfectly sous vide egg. The bone marrow puff pastry literally melted in my mouth! We wanted more and almost ordered another, but decided to wait and see how we were feeling after the rest of the meal was served. Glad we didn't get another because after the moistest (is that a word?) roast chicken i've ever had, and the crispy & tender porchetta (plus awesomly delicious sides...dont get me started on the mac & cheese) we were stuffed!!! Top that all off with 2 beers during their special late night happy hour deal and the bill was about 200rmb/person. Excellent value for money and everyone was beyond satisfied! We didnt event get to the pizza section, but we will, don't you worry! I'm already looking forward to the next visit as I sit here at work reminiscing & salivating as I write this!
    How the mighty have fallen
    For Liquid Laundry on March 21, 2015
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    JohnDavid84
    Joined Feb 18, 2014
    Is American
    Posted 3 Reviews
    I'll admit I've been a staunch LL follower ever since it opened. But it seems they've gone into cruise control with the service. Brunch today consisted of a simple request of no onions in my eggs. My plate arrives with extra onions. They take away the entire plate, return with a plate of nothing but eggs. I request to have the rest of my breakfast returned as well (ie biscuit, bacon, etc) and it is returned cold. I'm pretty sure it was scraped out of somewhere. I try not to be a high maintenance diner, but this was getting ridiculous. I complained the rest of my dish was now cold. It was then taken and returned luke warm. I'm assuming they just popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds as the bacon was now a soggy mess.

    Please get it together LL, otherwise I'm not going to be paying for those pricey brunches much longer.
    What's the hype about?
    For Liquid Laundry on March 18, 2015
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    vlowe
    Joined Mar 18, 2015
    Is Swiss
    Posted 3 Reviews
    I came with high expectations given the hype about this place - disappointed. First of all, severely overpriced, especially the drinks. The cocktails are an absolute no-go: weak and mediocre going for exorbitant prices. The food is so-so, ordered the whole chicken with all the sauces. Frankly, the sauces tasted like chemicals, awful aftertaste, and the 178RMB chicken didn't taste better than at any whole-in-the-wall establishment. Ordered brussels sprouts as a side dish - it was essentially greasy "shavings" of it (perhaps included one or two pieces in total) While the decor is nice, the place is too noisy and there is no privacy. I'm really not getting the why this place is popular?
    WAY too expensive
    For Liquid Laundry on February 20, 2015
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    Martyt
    Joined Feb 15, 2015
    Posted 5 Reviews
    If the food was really good then I wouldn't mind paying such high prices. But quality and taste should be there when prices are expensive. At liquid laundry none of us was impressed withour food. Service was also grossly inadequate especially when they are charging such prices. It is not in xintiandi or waitan!
    I don't like to be way over charge for mediocre food and service.
    Do better with the seating
    For Liquid Laundry on January 21, 2015
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    bumba_claat
    Joined Oct 27, 2011
    Is British
    Posted 5 Reviews
    I like Liquid laundry for brunch if I can get my arse out of bed to make the ludicrously early international brunch deadline of 3pm.

    The first time we went we sat in the loungey section with low tables just before you get to the proper sit-down tables. I liked that bit and the first experience turned me out as an LL evangelist. We sat there a few more times over the next couple of months.

    However, we went recently and asked to sit in the lounge bit for our brunch and .... No Dice. Nope. Drinks only. Really, c'mon it's empty. Drinks only.

    So we left. LL lost an easy 300rmb for whatever lame reason (yes - drinks only cockwit), and my protest cash went to an undeserving Element Fresh upstairs. Why didn't I go to Dixie round the corner? I was too hungover to think about going back out in the cold.

    Yes, my loss, who cares... But I saw last weekend that you can enjoy your post-3pm pizza in that very same lounge section. Damn it. The sense of injustice was excruciating for at least 3 seconds, I even flirted with expressing my outrage to the manager. But the moment was lost and I can't bear to publicly complain about something that Elton John probably wouldn't have minded too much about.

    But now, protected by the anonymity of the internet and with my dignity relatively intact ... WTF Liquid Laundry. I hated you. You ruined my plans and I hated you.

    Yes of course i'll go back.
    Great Food, Terrible Service
    For Liquid Laundry on January 18, 2015
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    T-L-Z
    Joined Apr 25, 2014
    Is American
    Posted 2 Reviews
    Seems everybody has a different opinion on this place. I'm not a hater and think the food and the concept is good. They have their own take on some classics and invent their own flavours. I think the brunch is awesome and I love all of the dishes I've had there from the savoury to the sweet. This place has been a regular for me and anyone who wines about the food is either missing the point or just having a cranky day.

    Here's the catch, the service is just plain terrible. I seriously don't understand why after being open for a while now they cannot get this right. If you get annoyed by abhorrent service then stay away. I would be willing to right off the poor service to having the restaurant completely fill up within 30 minutes of opening (not an easy task for any service or kitchen staff) but that doesn't explain why people ignore you when you walk in the door or why when you ask to be seated the person walks away without acknowledging you or the 20 other guests waiting in the entrance. It also doesn't explain why when you finally flag down a server and ask to order drinks first they will take your drink order and then walk away fast with their head down even though there are 5 other people at the table looking confused why they don't get to order. It doesn't explain why a random kitchen worker puts one dish down in front of the wrong person (10 minutes before all the other dishes come) and walks away without saying anything. The list goes on and on. It's not one egregious service error, it's a constant barrage of inept servers and apparent lack of any kind of effective standard process or training. I've been there quite a few times over the past few months, and it's almost comical how bad the service can get.

    Honestly, I get the concept, loud open space with trendy food and drinks, too cool for school warehouse looking gastro-pub. It's all good. But for real, the service is better in most local restaurants with one old lady running around serving 20 tables charging 20 RMB for a meal. It's not that hard, just fix it.

    Copy of Dr Beer
    For Liquid Laundry on December 28, 2014
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    mayor
    Joined Dec 19, 2014
    Is Swiss
    Posted 4 Reviews
    It is uncanny how similar Dr Beer and Liquid Laundry are:

    Dr Beer displays its brewing behind glass walls... Liquid Laundry copies it. Dr Beer is a big factory-looking bar with wood and cement... Liquid Laundry copies it. Dr Beer offers a fancy sounding food menu including pizzas... Liquid Laundry copies it. Dr Beer has some sofa seating towards the front... Liquid Laundry copies it. Dr Beer has loud music and DJs... Liquid Laundry copies it. Dr Beer started off with poor service (although it is much better now)... Liquid Laundry copies it with horrific bad service. Even the range of beers offered by Dr Beer is now being copied by Liquid Laundry. Dr Beer opened on Fumin lu, which as you continue down the street becomes Dongdu lu, where Liquid Laundry copied it and opened 2 years later.

    Boxing Copy Cat copying Dr Beer = Liquid Laundry.

    I think I prefer the original Dr Beer. The food at Dr Beer is much better, and the prices at Dr Beer are not ridiculously high.
    Whatsanamerica'...
    For Liquid Laundry on December 18, 2014
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    Nino Pizza
    Joined Nov 20, 2014
    Is Italian
    Posted 2 Reviews
    After I heard a number of very good reviews, Ive been tempted to try Liquid Laundry and honestly there nothing wrong with the place.
    However it might be better if you own an Harley Davidson, you like to shoot and you never taste Italian or French food.
    Its an upscaled fast food, little noisy and crowded.
    Service is prompt, price/quality for the level of dishes is worth.
    On the other hand the menu just offers, pizza, sausages, chicken and fries. If you are looking for a proper main? Wrong place.
    Nevertheless it might not be what ones expects.
    It reminded me of those big pubs in the provincial area of Italy where people were wearing cowboys hats. Bha.
    Just a bit boring.

    NA
    Another hit or miss experience
    For Liquid Laundry on December 10, 2014
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    calatrava
    Joined Jun 15, 2014
    Is Cuban
    Posted 20 Reviews
    Sunday brunch. Corn grits surprised me. In a good way. Chockfull of sweet corn. Yum. Smoked pork neck on top was fine, but the smoke flavor was almost overkill, like it may have experienced a dousing with liquid smoke rather than a honest, natural perfuming.

    Dealbreaker was the biscuit with gravy. I think the menu might have said "biscuits". Plural. But it was a lone biscuit. Sized well for a biscuit. But it was gummy inside. And was 40rmb. F*ck no.

    This place is definitely growing on me
    For Liquid Laundry on December 9, 2014
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    thewarmus
    Joined Dec 20, 2009
    Posted 15 Reviews
    I've been going there pretty regularly for the last few weeks. For one reason it's near where I work...and the beer of course. The Smashed Pumpkin ale was awesome. That's off the menu now, but there's another one that's similar, just forget what it's called Gourd something. So when I say 4-stars for food I really mean the beer. Most beers are RMB40 which is just about right. The food food however is 3 stars. A bit too fancy somehow, not quite value for money. I've tried a bunch of things there and everything just sorted falls a bit short. It's all "good", but just not quite the sweet spot of awesome. The main reason I like it though is because of the bar area up front. Can site and chill and look out the window or people watch. Different people every night. Happy hour before 7pm, though some of the beers aren't discounted which is weird and confusing. All in all solid though.
    Pricey & Mediocre Quality
    For Liquid Laundry on November 9, 2014
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    diegoma
    Joined Nov 1, 2014
    Is Spanish
    Posted 4 Reviews
    Awful, terrible, miserable service at Liquid Laundry. Making matters even worse, the food at Liquid Laundry was also a big failure and very expensive. And there it's useless to complain. They claim that their food is excellent and if you don't like it then they tell you that you have bad taste. Isn't the customer always supposed to be right?

    The nuggets, beef brisket with mac and cheese and the grilled chicken were all bad at Liquid Laundry! How can they mess up grilled chicken? They managed to. If it was only one bad dish, then ok, but all 3 were bad. And the watermelon and cheese salad looked good in print, but was not good in reality. I would much rather eat at Element Fresh upstairs. Element Fresh is much better quality.

    The Liquid Laundry cocktails at 80rmb each are a complete scam.

    When Liquid Laundry first opened there seemed to be a lot of hype. Which turned out to be a lot of hot air. Now it looks like Liquid Laundry is a place for people to avoid. Save your wallet and your taste buds.
    Poor
    For Liquid Laundry on October 25, 2014
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    rinia
    Joined Oct 25, 2014
    Posted 7 Reviews
    The food at Liquid Laundry is quite bad. The writer of the menu is skilled. But they execution / preparation of the food is poor at best. Even basics like roast chicken did not come out tasty or tender (or warm). Salads are not good. Probably the best thing is the pizza and that's just average-tasting for a small expensive pizza.

    To go along with the poor food and high prices... terrible service! It is a new low for Shanghai. And others I have asked who have been to Liquid Laundry all say the same thing. Terrible service! Waiters forgetting things, arguing with customers, extremely slow service. It's not a pretty picture. The thing is that this happens even when the place is not busy. Shameful.

    The aforementioned reasons explain why when I went there the restaurant (with so much hype online) was not even half full and the bar area was empty.

    I will say, though, that Liquid Laundry looks quite nice. If they could only fix the food, the drinks, the prices and the service, then it could be a decent restaurant.
    Very average..
    For Liquid Laundry on September 17, 2014
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    shanghaihotelier
    Joined Apr 22, 2012
    Posted 19 Reviews
    Tuesday night in Liquid Laundry was not a success. We were seated in the back area, away from the bar. Many empty tables and the 'vibe' was not there. We ordered some fries to go with our beers but I have to say they were not properly fried and a little soggy. The beers were good and the glass of wine that followed also OK but should not have been pre-poured from the bar. The menu is confusing and limited in options. There is a good pizza selection and apart from that I think they want you to eat the roast chicken which we subsequently ordered. Half a chicken with some (very mediocre) side dishes was sufficient for the two of us and although the chicken was tender and moist (it arrived at the table within 3 minutes after ordering...) the poorly prepared side dishes did not do justice to the meal. Accompanying sauces were not explained and the highlight of the meal was dessert! Perhaps when the atmosphere is better in the restaurant with more people the actual meal matters less, but in this quiet restaurant last night I would have expected better quality food.
    Errrrrrrr....sauce?
    For Liquid Laundry on August 29, 2014
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    buckwurst
    Joined Mar 23, 2009
    Is British
    Posted 6 Reviews
    Waiter "You want today special side with chicken"
    Me "What is it?"
    Waiter "You want?"
    Me "What is it?"
    Waiter walks away to board on wall and returns
    Waiter "Vegetable, you want?"
    Me "What kind?"
    Waiter, looking increasingly annoyed and flustered walks away, returns after a minute
    Waiter "Cauliflower"
    Me, thinking, aha, maybe cauliflower and cheese, a dish I like and haven't had in too long, "with what?"
    Waiter asks more than says "sauce?"

    I decide to take the plunge, despite our wait hero's ignorance. I get a few pieces of cauliflower with perhaps 10 tiny strips of processed cheese melted over them. No sauce. It tastes as bland and unconvincing as it sounds. This accompanies my very unspectacular roasted chicken, which, like all the dishes, are just dumped on the table with no explanation by various stony-faced staff

    Food so mediocre, that if it wasn't for the the waiter trying to upsell something he couldn't even describe, I would have already forgotten I went there.

    Impressive
    For Liquid Laundry on August 21, 2014
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    jacobflowers7
    Joined May 26, 2012
    Posted 4 Reviews
    I'm always skeptical when reading a flurry of good reviews, but that nevertheless prompts a visit (even 3). Lee and Jorgensen have accomplished something for Shanghai, in that new establishments now have a higher bar to meet. All the positive reviews are legit.

    The Food:
    This is where Liquid has it's most winsome ways. Yes, the decor is great. Yes, the service is good. Yes, you get good bang for your buck. But there aren't too many places in Shanghai that will stir cravings and keep you loyal. Liquid is one of those places.

    Nearly everyone mentions the Bacon Cornbread. Rightly so. Even if you are out for a "light meal" order some to go, and have it for breakfast the next morning, it's just as good then, as it is fresh. The hannibal lecter sandwich, again... fucking delicious. I didn't even ask what's in it. However for those who want a comparison, there are flavors of honey mustard and bourbon present, reminiscent of what Brad Turley does at Hai with the pork belly sliders (I dislike pork belly, but Brad does it in a way that you could eat it all day). That being said, it's good stuff. Another standout is the Yellowtail starter. The fish is perfectly seared on the outside, with a delicate rawness in the center, perfectly complimented by the avocado, the french fried onions, the cubed yams, sliced raw onions, and a light sauce similar to what you'd find in a peruvian ceviche.

    The duck nuggets, fun. Also delicious, but I think everyone knows it truly takes a passionate effort to mess up duck. Here, I think they took the nugget for a playful spin. The plum dipping sauce is good, but not amazing. It's the combination of the duck flavor with the plum dip that makes magic. I don't know what the pickled things were (or rather I can't remember), but those were tasty, and complimentary as well (although, I love anything pickled, so count me biased).

    There are many other notable dishes. The chicken is great, the burger is fantastic, list goes on. The pizza however... well. It's great also, but in comparison with so many highs, it comes in a close second. The execution is great, but Liquid Laundry is such an institution of elevation, that it is now in competition with bund spaces. That being said, Liquid's pizza is great... but Mercato's is brilliant. In all fairness, I only tried on pizza, THE BEAST, for which the lamb merguez sausage is such that you could pick it off the pizza all day long and love life for it. It's delish. I won't make sweeping comments on pizza here, till I try the others, but I do have to say... it is still good stuff.

    One [american] complaint. Ice in the table water please ^_^

    The Decor:
    Think Mercato with a slight tinge of burlesque. It's fun with friends. It's good enough for a date. And I will be taking my boss there eventually as well.

    The service:
    No complaints. The girl who waited on us, seemed a tad "green", but she understood all my requests, and fulfilled everyone of them in a timely manner. Well done seemingly clueless but actually competent trainee! Manager came to check on us. Good. Chef brought out a dish item and raved about one of the placements. Rightly so (it was the yellowtail).

    The Damage:
    Slight disagreements with people saying that Liquid is overpriced. I think it is appropriately priced. What is paid to the restaurant, is exceeded in quality and experience. I actually find Liquid to have the kind of Magic that Azul USED to have when Eduardo made his diners feel like they were getting way more than what they were paying for (albeit with Vargas it was portion, with Liquid it is flavor and overall experience). Here is the ultimate dish: for pricing, quality, etc... if you are in the area, or AT that building... you have two choices: Liquid and Element Fresh. You are going to chose Liquid every time, (unless you are having emergency cravings for a huge salad.).

    I'll give a run down of my last experience:
    Two people
    4 Appetizers
    1 Pizza
    5 drinks (two glasses of wine, 3 cocktails)

    Liquid could definitely do us all a favor by having a cheaper house wine (the white's were 70/glass), but other than that little trick, everything was worth it.

    Conclusion:
    This is a place that belongs along the coast in Santa Monica, California in the upscale neighborhoods. The food and decor are fitting. The major difference is that we get the benefit of Shanghai prices. The only problem I see with Liquid Laundry in the foreseeable future, is that it may end up being more and more difficult getting a reservation. I went two nights ago when it was raining, and the place was at 80% capacity. This place is solid, and is going to be around for awhile. A good thing for all of us.

    Highly recommended.
    Just Plain Good
    For Liquid Laundry on August 18, 2014
    Value for Money
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    T-L-Z
    Joined Apr 25, 2014
    Is American
    Posted 2 Reviews
    No need for elaborate stories on this one. Went for brunch on Sunday and the food was awesome. Unique takes on classic items along with their own creations done really well. Food was amazingly good, little pricey but not insane. Service was pretty good until the place started filling up, but you got to expect a little confusion when 20 tables come in within half an hour. Still it was handled alright in my book.

    I'm definitely going to make this a regular place, would recommend making a reservation if you're planning brunch after 12, the place was getting packed.
    Liquid Gold
    For Liquid Laundry on August 18, 2014
    Value for Money
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    thc23
    Joined Jan 2, 2012
    Is Irish
    Posted 9 Reviews
    So, first time there last night (Sunday), very impressed.

    We ordered quite a bit as it's the first time and wanted to try a little bit of everything. We ordered yellow tail, fries and a preztzel to start, half a chicken with mash and a caveman pizza. The food came out really fast (which is normally a good thing) which left the small table for 2 over running with the large portions, they had to put another table beside us for the mains. Now I'm not complaining about large portions, but either make the tables bigger, the plates smaller or warn your customers as they order. The food was excellent. We couldn't actually finish the pizza, the portions of toppings were generous, with maybe a little too much meat if I'm honest.

    The staff were attentive, very friendly and efficient (hopefully they can keep this up, we all know many places in Shanghai start strong, but slowly die a death of poor service after a few months), if they keep up the level of service and the quality of the food over the next year or so this place will be a gold mine for the Boxing Cat guys.

    The only issue was the parking in the K-Wah building is ridiculous. You park downstairs and either have to take a lift up into the office building and then walk all the way around to the lift on the food side of the building (which will suck in the winter) or you go up a flight of stairs from the basement (it's filthy) and take a service lift (which is full of garbage) to get to the restaurants, which brings you to the back entrance of liquid laundry where the toilets are, you then need to cross the rather large restaurant space to the main entrance and then they walk you back to the tables. For the prices they're charging they should also have a deal with the building management for parking like many local restaurants do.

    There's a lot of talk about the prices, and while I agree they are on the high side, it's what you'd expect from somewhere that's rented a very large space in an expensive building. The menu was extensive with lots of different options, although the English menu is not very straight forward if English is not your first language, I heard at least 3 tables ask for the Chinese menu, common sense would dictate that the menu is either dual language (like many places) or the server presents the Chinese members of the dinner party with the Chinese menu.
    Too cool for somebody like me...
    For Liquid Laundry on July 28, 2014
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    KevinTextbook
    Joined Apr 5, 2012
    Is French
    Posted 2 Reviews
    Liquid Laundry is so cool that it made me feel inadequate. This is a place for edgy people with name cards that say "chief disrupter" or "lead innovation designer", people who listen to bands like with names like "retro nuclear poney", people with beards and ironic tattoos.

    I'm not part of this crowd but Liquid Laundry allowed me to briefly feel like I did.

    Liquid Laundry manages to walk the fine line between cool and pretentious. It's hyped but not over-hyped. Dishes have ridiculous names but actually deliver in terms of flavour and quantities. Prices aren't cheap but you actually get value for your RMBs.

    I'll be back next time I want to feel edgy.
    Top Notch
    For Liquid Laundry on July 6, 2014
    Value for Money
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    Kiwib
    Joined Nov 26, 2006
    Posted 6 Reviews
    This is my kind of place, the decor is really nice, but it doesn't have that white tablecloth stuffy feeling.

    Same crew as Boxing cat, and they have done a fantastic job. We had the bone marrow poppers (definitely a first for me) which were terrific. And they must be importing some chicken from somewhere, because they were fat juicey beasts. Had a super hearty soup as well.

    Haven't tried the beers yet, will be back next week to give those a go and take my wife for dinner. 5 Stars, pity they don't do brunch yet.
    Some surprises, mostly good
    For Liquid Laundry on May 15, 2014
    Value for Money
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    alotofit
    Joined May 2, 2009
    Is American
    Posted 5 Reviews
    Went to the Liquid Laundry based on the first review, thought a few things could be updated and pointed out:

    Not all the tables are slanted on the ends, that's only a few tables in what is actually a surprisingly big space. The size of the place was unexpected. There are definitely tables to accommodate all group sizes, from 2 people (which is what we were) to dozens. The area with the sloped tables is just the area near the bar in front.

    The decor is awesome in my opinion. They've really outdone themselves. It's a place that has an inherent class, without feeling at all pretentious. It's a place I could wear a hoodie or a dinner jacket to and feel comfortable. It's the kind of bar you'd take home to mom.

    The beers were, as advertised, 40 rmb each. HOWEVER, those thinking that they are getting a jump on standard boxing cat prices be warned: they only come in 350ml glasses. The beer is good, as BC beers are always good, as is the promise to bring in a few as-so-far-unseen american microbrews on tap. One thing it does have though is a decent looking cocktail menu, which BCB had always lacked. Meaning that ladies who are not beer drinkers have enticing options as well.

    The food was good, if a little pricy. We got the cornbread, the duck nuggets, and the chicken to share, as we just wanted to try a few things. The cornbread is spot-on, though the sweetness of the bread and the maple sugar butter make it taste a bit like frosted cake. I'd like to see some saltiness added to that maple sugar butter. The duck nuggets are exactly what you would think of a world class chef making if you told him you wanted an aged-up, premium chicken nugget. Does the world need an aged up, premium chicken nugget? If you answered yes, this is the place for you. The chicken, as reported in the previous review, was cooked PERFECTLY, but just as the previous post stated, was very bland. A nicely seasoned herb tapenade rubbed under the skin before roasting would go a long way. The dipping sauces were either overwhelming or underwhelming, so no relief there. I will also note though, that these are not the scrawny chinese birds offered up at your local HK roaster. These were, by some magic of the owner's sourcing, full-breasted boiler-roaster birds, the like rarely seen in China. I'm not sure where they're getting them, but kudos for serving what most of us westerners would see as a real chicken portion. All in all though, it is just roast chicken, and pricing it at what some places price a steak dish is ambitious at best. Also, there was only the chicken and a roast pork dish for mains. Not that I have anything against a small menu, but aside from the pizzas (which looked GREAT) you're only going to offer two mains? Starting small is cool, but a little variety would be welcome, perhaps a beef and a fish dish or two.

    The last bit I have to remark on is the service, which was excellent. The servers matched the impeccable decor, very attentively taking our order and offering to fetch more drinks when ours were empty. will they be able to keep up this standard? if they can, I'll be impressed.

    Overall, it's a place I'd be excited to go to with a group of friends after I've gotten drunk enough to not care about my wallet, but not so drunk that I've given up a preference for decor, service, and quality vittles. It's a good addition to the shanghai food and bar scene, and I look forward to see what it grows into.
    Pretty good experience
    For Liquid Laundry on May 12, 2014
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    dkapla17
    Joined Sep 13, 2012
    Is American
    Posted 4 Reviews
    Liquid Laundry seemed to have a huge amount of buzz in the last two weeks or so, so I'm quite surprised to be the first one writing a review. I had a pretty good experience, with a few minor caveats, some of which are pretty easily fixable.

    First off, the food - one of the people at my table described it as gourmet soul food, and I think that's spot on. The creamed corn, corn bread, and collard greens appetizers and the roast chicken I ordered as my main all fit that bill, but each was presented in an interesting way with a dash of creativity. The corn bread came with excellent maple butter, and the chicken was perfectly cooked - moist and tender with equally excellent and crispy skin. The chicken itself was seasoned somewhat mildly, but sauces to dip into were provided as a compliment. My only complaint here was that the "spiciest" sauce was pretty tame. The pizza one of my friends got was good, and had an excellent crust, in fact one of the best I've had in Shanghai.

    The house bacon face thing was a bit much, and in general there were a number of things labeled as "Bacon blah blah blah" that didn't need it, or it was barely noticeable in. For dessert, nothing stood out as exceptional though I'm not sure we ordered right. The cake was a bit bland, and the maple ice cream/whipped cream too sweet for anything more than a taste or two. It'd probably be perfect for a table of 4 to share, but we got two, and with the cake, that was much too much for 6. I wish I'd been able to convince people to go for the Bourbon Apple Tarte Tatin, as that looked delicious to me.

    My party was split on the decor, but personally I liked it - open and spacious and with a lot of glass, it was dark, and your area felt cozy yet you never felt like you were crowded in - a rarity in Shanghai.

    Which brings me to maybe the biggest problem I had - GET BETTER TABLES. 6 people around a table is not uncommon, but with all of our plates it felt so cozy because they barely fit on the table we were given. Even worse, two of the edges of the table were sloped - downward. Think about that for a second. Two edges of the table were intentionally sloped so that when you put something down on it, it could fall off. I understand the appeal of the form of these tables - simple and modern, but a bit rustic, but please please please just cut the sloped edge off or get new ones. We lost two drinks to people putting their glass down a full 3 inches away from the edge, but not until you get about 5 inches in is it flat and safe to rest your drink.

    The drinks we had were good, especially the gin and tonic variant but the Triple Threat I had heard so much about was a bit disappointing, it needs more pepper! I had Beijing's Great Leap Brewery's Sichuan Peppercorn beer at the Kerry Beer Festival last summer, and it blew the Triple Threat out of the water.

    At only 40 rmb though, it's hard to argue too much. There are plenty of places in this city where you'll pay that much for a watery Tiger, and even if it wasn't exceptional, 40rmb for a passable craft beer is fine by me. Overall, the prices were reasonable for what it was, certainly not any more than any other equivalent western venue.

    Service was fine, and not memorable in any way, which in this city I guess is a good thing.

    Overall I had a good time, maybe more than this review seems to give them credit for, and you can see it in the numbers, even if I've been a bit harsh in my words. Fix the tables and this could definitely become a regular addition to my dining rotation.

    And finally, because I can't help making fun of the name: lets hope the Tide bodes well for Liquid Laundry.
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