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  • Sushi Sake used to be a verb in the Shanghai expat vernacular. All you can eat sushi and all you can drink sake at an affordable price. There was almost no better way to start or end an evening.

    Over the years, almost everything in Shanghai has gotten better - whether it’s the traffic or the lessening pollution to the overall quality of restaurants. Seafood Wharf tries, and fails, to improve the all you can eat and drink concept.

    The idea is to take the all you can eat proposition and extend it to higher quality food at a much higher price. They check all the boxes with the higher end offering by including things like raw lobster, sea urchin and all different kinds of shrimp along with requisite sashimi. There is even a foie gras covered steak that they dare you to order as much as you want.

    There is nothing terrible about the food at Seafood Wharf, but it just doesn’t taste as good as you would think for this price. For example, the marbling on the beef looked really good, but after cooking tasted pretty chewy without a lot of the meat flavor that you’d expect. The sea urchin was also missing the fresh taste of the ocean. The foie gras just tasted like mush covered in sauce.

    The reality is that if these things were all the premium quality that you expect from these high priced items, even the current high price would probably not be enough to keep this place in business.

    Given that there are already multiple outlets across Shanghai, I’d say there is a market for people wanting to post about the expensive things they ate, without said expensive things tasting all that great or people who think they are getting a deal at the restaurant’s expense (this never happens, restaurants would just close). The last straw for me was that they don’t even include any sake on the free flow menu, so you are stuck with highballs and beer.

    Or maybe I’m just the kind of guy who can’t appreciate nice things…

    RMB 599 per person

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.