[Shanghai] el Willy

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el Willy | www.el-willy.comDianping
Address: 中山东二路22号5楼 – 5/F, 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu inside Bund 22 (黄浦区 Huangpu District)
Date visited: 2013.05
Total bill: RMB¥397 for two people
Will return: Definitely

el Willy is a Spanish tapas restaurant located along the Bund (Puxi side). I would tell you to look for the building with a Chinese flag but every single building on the Bund has at least one Chinese flag on the roof. Across the street is the Huangpu River and a view of the Pudong skyline. You can walk along the Bund like a tourist after dinner.

My friend and I got a total of four tapas (plus one complimentary bruschetta each). We were both content with the amount we ate but definitely could have eaten a few more tapas to be completely satisfied. The portions are very small so you should be prepared to order a lot of tapas or eat a large lunch beforehand. The food, service, and atmosphere were all excellent.

el Willy is located at Bund 22:

el Willy Shanghai

View across the street from el Willy:

el Willy Shanghai

Bruschetta (Complimentary)
Good but basic tomato-based topping on soft toast.

el Willy Shanghai

Explosive Balik salmon with sour cream and truffle honey (RMB¥88)
Recommend: yes
“Explosive” seemed to be a common theme on the menu where they basically inject some form of cream into a hard cracker pillow. I suppose the explosion is the point when you bite into the pillow and the cream gushes out. This concept didn’t really click until I bit into it and said explosion happened. It was a surprising and pleasant effect. The truffle oil had a weird aftertaste but it wasn’t a deal breaker.

el Willy Shanghai

Cross section purely for illustration. You should consume each piece in one bite!

el Willy Shanghai

Seared foie gras on explosive air pillows, spicy tomato, basil and popcorn powder (RMB¥92)
Recommend: no
I was very disappointed by this. The foie gras wasn’t prepared well and lacked the oomph that good foie gras has. The menu description said spicy tomato but I think there may have been a substitution of candied fruit or something that was way too sweet that did not taste like it belonged in the dish.

el Willy Shanghai

el Willy Shanghai

Beef cheek cooked 5 hours with banana and passion fruit (RMB¥75)
Recommend: yes
The beef cheek was cooked tender and balanced with a sweet glaze. The banana paired really well with the beef. Really delicious. We couldn’t really taste any passion fruit though.

el Willy Shanghai

Marrow bone with mushrooms and mustard on toast (RMB¥72)
Recommend: must get
This piece of bone was huge. There was so much marrow and it was so fatty and tasty. The toast was hard and I personally would have preferred softer bread. Definitely our favorite of the night! Even better than the marrow on toast I had at 22 Ships.

el Willy Shanghai

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