Prices in Shanghai will start, at 1,000 yuan (US$123) per person, with three different banquets available, according to a restaurant spokesperson.
About 900 yuan over our budget. Well, there’s always Yang’s Fried Dumplings, where we might not feel like a king after the meal, but neither wil the size of our bill.
Over the past weekend, Shanghaiist spotted Lijiacai again, in yet another publication, SH, formerly 8 Days, this time as the subject of a full length advertorial. Wikipedia.com defines “advertorial” this way:
An advertorial is an advertisement written in the form of an objective opinion editorial, and presented in a printed publication — usually designed to look like a legitimately and independent news story. … A major difference between regular editorial and advertorial is that clients usually have content approval of advertorials, a luxury usually not provided with regular editorial.
While the SH story is marked “Advertorial,” this practice feels more like a publication taking its loyal readers’ trust out for a ride. Here is a taste of what the unobjective story tells would-be patrons they can look forward to:
Family Li Imperial Cuisine will feature three tasting menus, where talented Beijing chefs painstakingly recreate the food served to the Imperial Court during the Qing Dynasty using the Li’s secret recipes. The restaurant will surround the rarefied cuisine cooked by the Li family with unparalleled service and tranquil settings.
1,000 RMB a person almost sounds like a bargain!
To be fair, we did our own research using, what else, Shanghaiist’s favorite Chinese restaurant guide, Dianping.com, and this is what turned up. Lijiacai Beijing received a 16 for food, a 16 for décor and a 17 for service, and the average amount spent is 582 kuai per person, and one reviewer called the food, “oily, unrefined, hardly worthy of an emperor.” To put things in perspective, 谭华轩/Tan Hua Xuan , another Beijing eatery serving imperial styled cuisine garnered a 28 for food, a 31 for décor, and a 24 for service, and diners on average spent 505 kuai a head — unfortunately, 谭华轩 isn’t coming to Shanghai anytime soon. And purely as an FYI, we’ve heard from several people that a Beijing 16 for food is at best a Shanghai 13, but that’s another story for another day.
In the end, we aren’t here to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t go dine at Lijiacai when it opens its doors in a few weeks in the Bund’s Huangpu Park. For all we know, the service and the décor will be significantly better than those of the Beijing branch (though the food isn’t likely to change). But at 1,000 kuai a pop, it’s not an experiment we would likely undertake.
Read the whole advertorial here.
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