Food and drink
The menu is based on classic and contemporary dishes from Shanghai and the surrounding areas of Shaoxing and Yangchow. You’ll also be able to eat Chinese favourites from Sichuan, Beijing and Canton too. The house wines – semillon chardonnay and shiraz cabernet - provide a good complement to the richness of the food. These are not wines that fall over and surrender at the first whiff of MSG (although Mt Lee insists Shanghai 30’s does not use such enhancements). The dim sum set menu, at £10.50, is good value if you find yourself in St Aldate’s at lunchtime.
The surprising anomaly of a Chinese restaurant from the Indiana Jones era inside a 15th-century clerical building is reflected in the decor: English oak beams, mock-Tudor wooden panelling and red leather chairs create a curious mix with Chinese screens, bamboo sofas and a 1930s phonogram. The blend is idiosyncratic but effective. There’s no other restaurant this could be other than Shanghai 30’s.
Polite, friendly and very prompt.
Opposite Christ Church, Oxford’s gargantuan cathedral college created by Cardinal Wolsey - the man who fell from favour after failing to secure Henry VIII his divorce. This part of the city, known as St Aldate’s, is also home to the Old Sheep Shop as featured in Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll lived and taught at Christ Church). Oxford’s large town hall and forbidding general post office make this southern end of the medieval city less amiable than the other quarters but the Old Sheep Shop (now known as the Alice Shop), Geroge & Danver’s Ice Cream Parlour, Shanghai 30's and the memorial gardens next to Christ Church are softening the area.
Not cheap but good value. Expect to pay about £25 a head unless you get carried away with the drinks menu.
- Special occasions