Chinese restaurant Kuala Lumpur

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Monica Tindall

Ask a local for a recommendation of a good Chinese restaurant in a hotel in KL and Shanghai at JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur is a frequent response. Sure there are lots of great value Chinese kitchens around the city but if you’re looking for something a little more elegant, hotels are generally the go-to. What makes Shanghai restaurant stand out from the rest, besides a menu of superb quality, is the fact that they serve pork – a not so common ingredient in Malaysian hotels.

Shanghai restaurant at the newly made-over JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur has benefitted from a complete refurbishment too. The light bright space features high ceilings, a palette of cream and gold with accents of black framing in paneling and chairs. Hand painted nature scenes of birds and spring blossoms adorn the walls, and crockery in shiny gold and ornate silver cutlery dress the white-clothed tables. It’s a stylish space; fresh and upbeat, yet classic and refined.

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

We’re in excellent hands with Executive Chinese Chef Wong Wing Yeuk, who is a native of Shanghai. Promising authentic dishes from his home city he clocks up almost a decade with the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and has fast gained a reputation for his sumptuous dim sum and use of first-rate produce.

Menu at Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

The menu at Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur is extensive and fortunately for us, the staff are well-versed in the favourites and ready to make recommendations based on our individual preferences and dietary desires.

Steamed Shanghainese Meat Dumplings (RM25, 3 pieces) are one of chef’s specialities and a must-order for diners. Stuffed with pork and soup, it’s recommended that you dip a little of the accompanying shredded ginger in the soy sauce, place it on top of the dumpling and then bite in… carefully… they’re hot! What a delicious start!

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Steamed Shanghainese Meat Dumplings

The Double-boiled Shanghainese Wonton Soup with Chicken and Ham (RM48 per person) is flavour-packed! Boiled for many hours, the broth, although clear, takes on the savour of the ingredients with delicious intensity. It’s comforting and very welcome in the chilly environs (the air-conditioning works very well here, remember to dress warmly).

Chinese restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Double-boiled Shanghainese Wonton Soup with Chicken and Ham

As Shanghai restaurant is famed for its pork dishes we continue with the piggy theme. Chinese rice wine is used in the Braised Spanish Pork (RM48 per person) giving the recipe a distinctive Chinese seasoning. The sauce is mildly sweet and the unique flavour of the fermented rice lingers in the mouth just as a fine wine might.

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
Braised Spanish Pork

Steamed Cod (RM68) is highly endorsed for those wanting something from the sea. It’s stuffed with Chinese ham and served with honey and supreme stock paste. I don’t know how chef does it but the flesh is incredibly moist yet still cooked all the way through. Cod is not an easy dish to prepare but chef has done so masterfully.

Chinese restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Steamed Cod

Balancing out the proteins, the Stir-fried Egg White with Dried Scallops and Vegetables (RM48) is another best-seller. A vibrant ring of broccoli encircles an assortment of vegetables stir-fried with egg white, given oomph with the dried seafood and crowned with the yolk of the egg. Break the yolk and whirl it through before serving and for extra zip splash on a spoon of the house blend of sauce made with soy and ginger.

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
Stir-fried Egg White with Dried Scallops and Vegetables

Deciding between rice or noodles becomes easy with the suggestion of the Stir-fried Flat Glass Noodles (RM78). Made with green beans they’re transparent, indeed vitreous in appearance, and resemble the shape and texture of the flat noodles used in the beloved Malaysian dish, char kway teow. Dried Scallops, crab meat and golden mushrooms add a meaty character and relish to this tummy filler.

Chinese restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Stir-fried Flat Glass Noodles
Desserts at Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

A reliable sweet choice for me in a Chinese restaurant has always been Sago with Mango (RM18). I’m not particularly a fan of herby or bitter endings and find some of the authentic Chinese desserts a little too exotic for my palate. A light chilled cream of sago with ripe mangoes and aloe vera, however, is something familiar enough for me to find comfort with a slight shift from the routine.

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
Sago with Mango

The final highly-commended recipe comes in the form of a Shanghai Layer Cake (RM20, 4 pieces). Arriving in a bamboo steamer basket, the soft sheets of cake are partnered with custard and salted egg yolk. They’re warm, comforting and extremely enjoyable.

Chinese restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Shanghai Layer Cake

Dinner at Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur is a delicious and polished experience. Come for the pork dishes and stay for the aesthetically pleasing setting and gracious service.

Reasons to visit: elegant setting; excellent service; pork dishes.

Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur 55100 Malaysia
+6 03 2719 8288

* Remember to dress warmly; the air-conditioning works very well.


  1. Braised Spanish pork sound interesting.

  2. This is so delicious.

  3. that braised pork is really calling my name, I can hear it.

  4. Almost all soups here in France seem to have sago in them which surprised me when we first arrived. Here I see you have it with fruit, interesting. Great post. Cheers Diane

  5. There are some interesting looking dishes there. I will pass on the sago though as I am not a fan of it. I would opt for the layer cake instead.

  6. Oh boy, who can resist that piece of juicy pork!?

  7. Good dim sum is one of life’s great treats. Fortunately many Hong Kong chefs moved to Canada and we are able to enjoy great quality here.

  8. Just curious……….unless I have missed something, all your reviews are favourable, downright laudatory in fact. You must visit places from time to time that don’t measure up. Do you not publish reviews of this nature?

    • That’s a great question David! And, you’re right! We don’t call ourselves food critiques. We call ourselves food finders. Our concept is to grow the good by talking about the good. Just as in other aspects of life if you focus on the negative that’s what will pervade your life. We think that by looking for the positive in places we visit then those things will develop. Of course, not every restaurant is suited to The Yum List content. I receive 100s of requests every week from restaurants around the world wanting a place on The Yum List. As such, we’re in a fortunate position in that we can be selective in choosing where we go. I do a lot of research before agreeing to visit and the place it has to have had some positive reviews or a personal recommendation from one of my foodie friends to get an appointment with us. (I’m quite particular about the research so there have only been a handful of places that we attended at guests that didn’t get a write-up). Once there, we look for what is good – the reasons to visit. When writing, we focus on those things and leave out anything we didn’t like. We do give direct, constructive feedback to management on those things that we think can be improved. If you skip straight to the “Reasons to visit” section at the bottom of each post you can find a summary of what we found. Sometimes it’s not the food, but the drinks that are the highlight, or sometimes it’s neither but rather good service and a pretty setting. We try to be concise in that at the end of each article.

  9. A great approach to life in general and one which I applaud wholeheartedly.

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