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el Willy

5/F, 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu
5404-5757
Spanish
Address:
5/F, 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu
Address in Chinese:
中山东二路22号5楼
Nearest Metro Station:
Yuyuan Garden
Cross Street in English:
near Xinyong'an Lu
Cross Street in Chinese:
近新永安路
Opening Hours:
11am-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Phone:
5404-5757
Price range:
¥400-600
Category:
Neighborhood:
Posted by:

Description

One of Shanghai's most popular restaurants, this Bund-side Spanish/Mediterranean eatery reflects the fun-loving personality of its namesake and chef. Head in for decadently fatty foie gras, delicious angel hair pasta paellas and melt-in-your-mouth morsels of lamb. The modern Iberian menu is fairly divided between tapas and appetizers, rice, pasta and desserts, with several wines by the glass.

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Cross Street in English:

5/F, 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, near Xinyong'an Lu


Cross Street in Chinese:

中山东二路22号5楼, 近新永安路


Phone:
5404-5757

Comments

Comments

snoopfrog

Service lets this place down as it does in many shanghai restaurants. No manager during lunch service or rather a manager paying no attention. So courses are a bit slow. Which is not good because portions are small. Now i am a fan of huge plates but i also don't like waiting.... also, bread baskets should be free.....
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2
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3
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guillermo09

During the holiday,I book the table in el willy to have dinner with my GF,we are very excited to come here,the decoration is so colorful,our table is by the window,the view is wonderful,we order the 5j ham,oysters,seafood salad,pork cheeks,and the mixed seafood angel hair,totally is quite full.after the meal,we try the spanish Brandy with dessert,and the people here also nice and kindly.we sure that we will come back next time to try some dish different .
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5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
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5
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angela2015198799

They have a very nice atmosphere,they have interesting and sexy menu for lunch and dinner,and one page is the chef special which is alway changed,so we can try the some dish different every time,when i was come,the reception is nice and enthusiasm,give us a nice table by the window,and the servers is kindly and active,i was also very satisfied with the food,how a wonderful spanish restaurant in shanghai.we had beautiful time here.
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thewarmus

Amazing that I have never been here before. Did it last night for Restaurant Week--easily one of the best restaurants in Shanghai. Delicious, creative, filling. Utterly satisfying in every way. Only complaint is that the restaurant is rather dark. Feel like I was going to stumble any moment. Regardless, I'll be back.
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millera9

Had a work dinner here and I thought the food was delicious. The beef cheeks with banana were tender and sweet without an overpowering banana flavour. The service wasn't amazing - we had to wait quite a while for drinks and it was hard to get a server's attention. The atmosphere was slightly too dark. Quite a few diners were using mobile phone flashlights to read the menu, which was distracting. It's definitely expensive - save it for a special occasion. The view and the food make it a nice restaurant for a special occasion.
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5673

I'm living in Shanghai since february and for me is one of the best places to have dinner on the Bund, for his nice views and ambiance, it's also so cool when you have dinner with friends. If you go to El Willy you must try the explosive balik salmon!! And of course take it with a spanish wine, they have an extensive wine menu. Fast service, knowledgeable and so helpful.
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frostyb

DING DING DING warrendrexler come on down! You have perfectly articulated all the lemmings that extoll the "virtues" of el Willy.
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moookiez

Didn't like the atmosphere it's too dark. The food was very small for the price and taste is average. I rather go to other restaurants around the bund which cost the same price.
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foodlover32

I went to El Willy to have diner with some friends. The ambiance was really cool, the tapas were very tasty. We had the crispy pig, the ceviche...all delicious. The bad thing was to have to share the tapas, cos I wanted them all for myself!! Will definitely go back.
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warrendrexler's picture

warrendrexler

Give. Me. A. Break. Food - Average…and I am using "average" like calling a 5'3" guy… "average" height Service - Appalling Value - Uh.. No To anyone who disagrees. Take your platinum card, pour some cheap olive oil on it, and you got a new el Willy small plate. Flat, tasteless, and bland. Hey, but it looks cool.
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thebutler's picture

thebutler

I want to like El Willie restaurant. I really do. I went there and liked the atmosphere but not the food. Just not impressed. Especially disappointed in the Spanish risotto. But other food items too. Don't get me wrong, not every food item was bad. Service was so so.
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mghsanders

One of the nicest places if been in a long time. Very good food with a great presentation and a relaxed atmosphere. Highly recommended!
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eric_sh

Ok, it was Restaurant Week, so the 128 rmb for the lunch set was a steal, but I was surprised how this restaurant really tried to make something from it and showed their RW customers, that it's s great place. Friendly attentive waiters, nice balanced food. Just always wonder why a glass of housewine, Spanish Rueda here, needs to cost more than 8 Euro's...oh...it was displayed before on CW site, so wanted to try and ordered 2: that truffled salmon blini is a real squirt in the mouth, worth ordering again and again...;)
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leticia10

Wanted the foie gras yesterday, so had a search on internet about which restaurant to go, then found this one had a lot of high wonderful comments, there was one even gave their foie gras the title as the best he/she has ever had. We ordered "egg w/ foie gras"(would never say it to be the best foie gras ever, just average), and "wild lobster"(which should be 300gr, actually came pretty small proportion, yet they charged 240rmb for that), along with "lobster bisque"(nothing special, quite bitter taste), then another few other tapas. At the end, 2 persons spent 842rmb, didn't get satisfied at all. I really wonder how this spanish restaurant got so many prizes as one of the best restaurants in SH. We also discovered that El willy was related to the other spanish restaurant on Dong Hu Lu, El Elefante, which we had a terrible experience as well. These 2 restaurants are now in the "NO" list, there are many other spanish restaurants much better than them.
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cjanssen's picture

cjanssen

Haven't tried the new Bund location but if its anything like the previous spot on Dong Hu Lu be prepared for a great treat. The dish that stood out to me the most was the black ink squid rice, very nice. We enjoyed a great meal there, looking forward to trying this Bund location soon
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rocio_santamaria

I went to El Willy last week for dinner. It was a Thursday night and it was packed!!!! And I understand why... The place is really cool, fantastic views, nice staff and the food... soooo good. We were a table of eleven, so we ordered tapas to make things easier for everybody. Bravas, scallops ceviche, Balik salmon, "broken" eggs and my favourite by far, crispy pig. I am not a dessert person but the platter with five or six bite-size different sweets was really nice to look at, and nothing was left... so they were good... Everything was very tasty and well presented. Definitely I will come back and I will recommend the place to everyone that wants to have a delicious dinner in a great location.
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barbablu's picture

barbablu

I was expecting more Nice place and funny decor Food soso and oily Maybe too busy?
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chongcheryl's picture

chongcheryl

The new venue is quite beautifully designed, suitable for a posh date with a bund view. The octopus (rmb 90) was well-presented, the seafood paella (rmb 388 enough for 2-3 to share) didn't have much seafood variety but had a rich seafood taste. As a fan of the original restaurant in its early days, I have to regretfully admit that el Willy has morphed into something that I will no longer follow - too sleek and possibly too pricey for what you get. I have very fond memories of the restaurant when it first opened on Donghu Lu. It was warm and delightful; the food was inventive, tasty and fairly priced; the happy chef was personally cooking every day - I know because I was there almost every day. But I also know that restaurants are organic and sometimes change over time. And as with some friendships, there may come a time to go our separate ways. Congratulations WIlly on your beautiful new restaurant! I sincerely hope you are happy..
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absolutezero's picture

absolutezero

Don't quite get it. I kept hearing such great buzz from friends and also great reviews. When I finally went last week, it was very busy and that got me excited. The decor and layout is very pleasant. When we sat however, all I can say is that I was satisfied with the meal. Nothing great and nothing bad either. Just a flat meal that left it feeling very forgettable, until that is I got the check. That's when I normally gauge the value, ambiance, taste, and service. It was good, just average, but the price is above average for what you get. It just seemed like there wasn't value. I feel like I could have gotten the same thing elsewhere at a 30% discount. Guess that Bund rent is what I'm really paying for. Will go again if I am invited by friends or what not, but it's not on my list of places to go back to.
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ramsey80's picture

ramsey80

After such hype I was expecting a lot from El Willy. Sadly it did not even come close to expectations. Maybe I was expecting too much? The risotto was mediocre. The Spanish Omelet was dry and was nothing special. Many of the dishes sounded good and fancy but the taste was just not there. Why is El Willy seen to be so great? Because it sounds fancy? Because of the high prices? I don't understand. I can't remember the name of the dessert we had... it sounded exciting. But then the dessert arrived and it was so plain. I should add that I like the El Coctel cocktail bar from the same owner. Highly recommended.
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aloha99

New venue is not easy to find as it's actually further South of the Bund area, just passed the Waldorf Astoria and Yan'an lu. Warm tones, dim-light, great views (but no terrace) makes it the place to be. Prices were high, portions small (think 80 rmb for tapas and 240 rmb for paella). But the food was amazing as usual. Not one dish was average. Waiters all seem to speak good English. Service is good but can still do better. Highly recommend if you have the means.
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Geoff Ng's picture

Geoff Ng

They just closed the original spot last Saturday, re-opening on the Bund Friday!
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tranquilitybay

I had our anniversary dinner here at El Willys. The service was quite good with a staff that speaks fluent English which is accommodating. The food, was great, not excellent but uniquely creative. The walnut salad was perfect along with the scallop ceviche with guacamole, YUM. The Paella, however was not so good. We had the lobster Paella, and being from Boston, we knew that the lobster was low quality and frozen, the paella had a distinct fishiness to it that disturbed me and my girlfriend. Overall the environment outdoors, the service, the food was good, would definitely come back to try a different paella.
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shanghailove

Have only been for lunch but it is a great value. Good food -- though we probably miss some of the innovation -- for a price that won't bankrupt you. In the summer the patio is great.
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narsfweasels

@hans and sir_loin It being the case that people are smoking in the restaurant, call the police. Or urinate on the people befouling the air with their disgusting detritus.
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hansyeh

Been to El Willy twice so far: First time: we wanted to order ice water. To give some background, I am a Dutch person from Chinese descent, meaning, I look Chinese, but grew up in the west. So after asking for ice water, the waiter told us that on weekends they do not provide ice water, only water from the menu (for instance San Pellegrino). \Half an our later, a group of foreigners ordered ice waiter. So after asking why they could order ice water, the answer was some mumbling about a misunderstanding.. So I switched over to English and asked for ice water, and all of a sudden it was not a problem and they got me ice water... is this coming close to discrimination?? Today was the second time: - After coming in for brunch, the waiter clearly told us that we were sitting in the "non smoking area". After asking why the big group next to us was smoking, the answer was "they are the brother of the owner" It's clear that in El Willy, some people are more equal than others. Disgusting! Hans
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american's picture

american

All the GOOD things said about this place are correct. Add to those things a fantastic new menu featuring a "salmon puff pastry bomb w/truffle oil". This is quite literally the best tasting thing I've ever put in my mouth. It will be the same for you. Two solid reasons you should go. Very simple. Very good.
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sir_loin

Called for a reservation only to learn that, with a laugh from the person who answered, " the entire dining room is smoking for dinner." WTF?! Didn't y'all get the memo from Beijing? Maybe I can get them to send you another one.
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lard_arse_ninja's picture

lard_arse_ninja

Visited El Willy over the weekend for their organic brunch and was very impressed. The restaurant is in a great setting, the interior is very tasteful and the garden is beautiful. The brunch is a set multi-course affair and each dish was interesting and tasty. To start there was a cold asparagus and corn soup which was very delicate which was served alongside a hefty portion of Greek style salad. Next was a soft cooked egg on top of a beef hashbrown which was amazing, one of the best breakfast dishes I've had anywhere in Shanghai! The menu then moves towards a more lunch focus with a plate of Spanish style Nachos and a chilli and avocado quesadilla, both of which were very good. A massive bowl of squid ink and pesto rice was then placed on our table. Now, I will admit that I wasn't overly excited by this dish when I read it on the menu but because everything else had been so good I thought I'd give it a try. I'm really glad I did, the rice had a rich, hearty savouriness that was very satisfying. By the time the desert came, a strawberry sandwich cake with creme anglais and fresh fruit, I was too stuffed to eat any more, but my dining companions assure me it was up to the standard of the rest of the meal. I will definitely be returning for more soon!
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barns's picture

barns

What's great about El Willy is the food. The dishes are much better quality than other tapas and Spanish food restaurants. This place is high quality, and the dishes are innovative. Can't really ask for more. Plus, it has a good atmosphere. True that the service was not the best or quickest... but that's normal in Shanghai. You can't expect service to be miraculously amazing service in Shanghai. We need to realize what's reality.
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xevfgvar

I'll start with the good: food was tasty and original, ambiance was lovely. The bad: the service. Now don't get me wrong - compared to a number of restaurants in Shanghai, the service was not horrible. However, considering how highly praised El Willy is, I was expecting service to be excellent. The staff was not belligerent or rude, but at times indifferent and unaware which truly took away from my experience at El Willy. We made a reservation, and it was very busy so they had to sit us at the bar, which is fine in itself, I don't mind the bar at all; however, we were largely ignored by waitstaff. We weren't really greeted by anyone after sitting. We had menus just placed in front of us without any word of welcome or acknowledgement. We had to try to flag down staff to serve us, and in the end when we did, the man who we stopped didn't even respond but rather talked over our heads to the bartender to take our order. The bartender asked what we wanted, but we didn't have his full attention. He was busy talking to other staff on his walkie-talkie thing during the order and seemed too busy to take our order. I thought maybe that the poor attentiveness was because we were at the bar, but I overheard a couple sitting in the dining room complain that they had also been waiting for quite a while to be served. Furthermore several waiters and waitresses were full-out running in the dining room which I didn't think was very professional. I understand that restaurants are busy, I worked in one for many years, but waitstaff running gives the impression that the restaurant is not very organized, it detracts from the otherwise beautiful ambiance of the restaurant, it distracts patrons from the excellent food, and it may cause safety issues. It is a shame that the service was sub-par, because the food here really shines. The service, however, has left a sour taste in my mouth and I am unsure if I will return in the future.
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roque

Sorry David for this problem....please let me clearly explained what has happened...I removed you from the database last time but I changed the newsletter system in order to do not have this kind of problems again and maybe the database version I sent to the newsletters company to be included in the mail list was an older version than the one where you are not included...please accept my apologizes ... To you and to any other customer that has got the same problem, and in order to make sure it is not repeated again, please click in the NEW UNSUBSCRIBE link in the bottom of the email and you would automatically be removed from the list... SORRY AGAIN, and I hope you can understand what has happened. Best, Roque del Rio el Willy Family Marketing Manager roque@el-willy.com
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foodiedave's picture

foodiedave

All the el Willy restaurants serve up a hefty serving of SPAM. Never, ever get your email address on their mailing list, because if you do you will never be unsubscribed. I have tried 6 times now, no luck- despite a personal apology email from their marketing manager. SPAM is not sexy, in any way.
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shombz

I went ylas night to El willy and I have t o say the food in this restaurant is amazing! The food is incredible , the desserts where orgasmic! the people who work there are nice and very polite. All of this plus the ambiance and good company makes el willy one of the best restaurants in town! congratulatioins!
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pinarrr

Loved it! Loved it! loved it!!!! After a looong hunt for a gooood restaurant in Shanghai, El Willy is the winner so far!!! The food, the service and the ambiance all deserve 5 stars! The tapas were absolutely fantastic: the kingfish tartar and scallops soo fresh, the foie gras was like a delicious bomb in the mouth, the salmon with truffle oil reall yummy... The iberico ham was a very good quality one... I loved every bite of food I had there!
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bill_greyskull

I went to El Willy with great anticipation and high standards in mind, choosing this as a location for an anniversary dinner. Upon arrival, we were pleased to see that our request for a quiet window table was accommodated. Service was prompt and attentive throughout our meal. We chose primarily from the tapas menu. My favorite among these was the low-temperature cooked octopus - a mix of earth, surf and turf (potato, octopus and Iberian ham), served on what I believe were those little skewers you see used in convenience stores for boiled kebabs. A second homage to local cuisine were the beef cheeks, tender squares of meet placed on lumps of light fruity paste. These bore an uncanny likeness to dongpo rou, which I doubt was coincidental - a nice tribute dish. The scallop was also excellent. Seldom would I call a dining experience 'exciting' as this was. Thank you Willy and team.
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teamevents's picture

teamevents

Tried again after a less than overwhelming set business lunch. Dinner for two. Lobster soup won't disappoint, good for one person. Fresh salad tasty. Highlight was dessert - beautiful creations, chocolate cake outstanding. Passion fruit had a nice kick. Service was attentive. Will be back. Seems like this is a restaurant that listens to It's customers.
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lucipher's picture

lucipher

Lots of very good small dishes. Very good drink list, creative cocktails. One of the few places you can go in Shanghai to get very good spanish cuisine, but also creative. Service is a little slow and not totally on point.
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sherrysplanet's picture

sherrysplanet

the decoration and the ambience is good. waitress are professional too. we also saw a famous singer's husband-who used to be the head of Goldman-Sachs's Asia head. we ordered Sangria for the drink, and i found out i am weak with any cocktail with rum..The dinner is great, We ordered 1: Scallop ceviche--Good. 2. Spanish Omelette with potatoes. 3. Sauteed Shrimps with garlic and chili. 4. Spring selection of organic vegetables. 5. US beef strip steak with potatos wedges and leaves. 6. lobster and cuttlefish paella, but i like the latter. 7. Foie gras--i don't like this one. other stuff like the baked buns are really great, crispy outside and soft and warm inside. About the desserts: @__@: (chocolate lover's dessert-spring style)--i love this one especially when i dip the marshmallow into the chocolate fondu. Anyway, a great dining place. http://www.elwilly.com.cn/
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greg26

I'll add to the generally positive feedback. My friend and I enjoyed the atmosphere, the wine choices were good and most of the food was good.
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jparker7270

I really enjoyed my dining experience here. el Willie was recommended by a friend as a great 'first date' sort of place. He said this: "If you feel like having great food (really dishes you can’t find anywhere else) I suggest El Willy on Donghu road. Spanish tapas for any taste and great foie-gras dishes. The setting is really nice and when you call to book, make sure to ask for the corner table in the main room, it is probably the best." The thing that made it stand out more than anything was the fact that they were able to reserve the corner table for me. When I called they said it was a four person table and it might be difficult to reserve for two, but in the end they came through and got the table and created a fantastic atmosphere for my first date.
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bevin's picture

bevin

I was there last month for my birthday so I was really hoping to be impressed, and I was. Friendly and professional staff, a great menu and good wine list. The restaurant also had a great buzz and atmosphere which can be hard to create but it was just so natural here. I know it was a Saturday night but even still the restaurant was packed which is always a good sign. Our meal was delicious and choosing a great wine was quite easy as their wine list has a great selection. The only down side was that it is expensive but I felt it was worth it.
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peterparis

El Willy is sure the more busy spanish restaurant in town..i allways try several dishes of menu and chef`s special ..is ok but nothing impressed me , cool ambiance and good wine list.
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robertpowersiii

This is the best Spanish food I've ever eaten! Willy is a class act and I love taking my friends visiting Shanghai here as they cannot believe how lucky we are to have such delicious international cuisine!
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michaelrcks's picture

michaelrcks

In a nutshell -- this place is SERIOUSLY overrated. Today my mother and I ordered -- Spanish Omelette (with Homemade Chorizo), Crispy Suckling Pig, Arugula, citrus and marinated salmon salad, and the "Lobster Juicy" paella. The omelette was passable but really nothing special; the suckling pig tasted okay but was plainfully small in portion; the salad looked awful and tasted horrid (the salmon was mysteriously brown in color); fortunately, the paella was quite good but not exactly worth the hefty 198 RMB pricetag. Service is not surly but hopelessly slow and unattentive -- if you want to be brought anything you will need to ask at least twice before they get it right. Overall, I felt cheated when the 400+ RMB bill came -- I WILL NOT BE BACK!
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tthompson

@gusegonzalez: please allow me to answer you one more time, yet in a shorter way. I am the guy in black with his laptop; my name is Thomas and I am in charge of the marketing and external operations for el Willy, not the floor operations. This is the rea
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pete_jack

The Saturday brunch here is five stars. Five courses for 150 kuai is a great deal, and the food is always excellent. Willy is extremely friendly too. But it's a pity that it isn't open on Sundays, and the lunch menu is a bit disappointing.
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adrienvicard's picture

adrienvicard

Hye everyone. I have been told a lot about El Willy these past 18 months in Shanghai... SO many times. But these days i was not able to spend so much money in restaurants. Today it change! ANd of course i have been in this restaurant. The Verdict: One of the best restaurant in TOWN, guys. Thomas, the manager is nice, REALLY NICE ( despite the comment of some lonely & crasy man). I had 12 tapas, all excellent as Heaven. The Bread was perfecttly done, the dessert made my palate satisfy as ever. I just can recommend this restaurant!!! If you can not afford it, eat in the streets during 3 or 4 days and go enjoy one of the best in town. Notification: DOES gusegonzalez IS FULL OF S*** ? Bye bye Food lovers
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gusegonzalez's picture

gusegonzalez

I usually think complaining is a waste of time because I usually DO NOT return to the restaurants I had a bad experience. I feel, however compelled to tell you about my visit; The first BAD IMPRESSION is the blond guy (in black) sitting at the bar with his laptop (manager? owner?? who knows??) but a definite employee, of course, he does not raise his head to greet or acknowledge any customer. He then proceeds to dance across the room (without a care in the world, (specially about the restaurant). He finally goes into the kitchen and stands in the middle of the cooks, chatting away happily with chef Willy. (only in China). The service was terrible, maybe the waiter DID NOT like that we did not order a bottle of wine or Evian water, we had to ask for water and got hot water (in a suppodsely authentic spanish restaurant). We ordered the lobster bisque and the lobster rice, (they both tasted the same) nothing special. We ordered bread (twice) and surprise surprise!!! We were charge RMB. 25 (each) a basket (of course the waiter, NEVER informed there was a charge, or a note on the menu. By the way, we wanted to drink sangria but saw none on the menu. For dessert we ordered the lemon tart, which was quite good, except for the nasty tea ice cream. Of course, all of the above are a reflection of lack of management, because in a western restaurant, after getting the order, someone will aproach the table and ask; Is Everything Ok? but NOT at EL WILLY, they just like to have a merry time!!!!
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jeremyseow's picture

jeremyseow

The location is convenient and the villa is quite lovely. The service is relatively good though we have different staff bringing us our food. The garlic shrimps was well presented and the fresh was prefect with the right amount of crunch. The beef cheek was full of flavour and melt-in-your-mouth. The Baltic salmon was very interesting with a good twist. The pumpkin and truffles paella was truly amazing and we almost had to lick the pot clean. The suckling pig was not crispy and the skin was hard like a cardboard. The piece of meat below did not taste good and the entire combination was very disappointing. The lamb chops was average but the execution was good. The iberico ham could have been of a better grade (considering the price); the fat should be flecked between layers of muscles and cured longer. The Torres wines are of good value and I strongly recommending having 1 to go with your meal. The wine glasses on the other hand are far too cheap. The food prices are really high and the portions are incredibly small. Expect problems if your party exceeds 4 pax.
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