A tried and tested way of creating a Chinese motif is using bamboo, cane and red. Splatter some Oriental artwork about, preferably on porcelain, and the job is done. Shanghai Dice doesn't try too hard with even these - it just mutes the lighting.
So no, Shanghai Dice is no theme place - it's an abbreviated version of neighbouring Zafraan
that mostly showcases itself flatteringly. Indeed, if you walked in from Zafraan (they're connected sister restaurants, with Zafraan being a North-Indian specialty), you wouldn't even know this was a different place. And it's the same staff manning both places - so no, no "Asian" nativity or habit.
Shanghai Dice is just as upmarket, however, so you'd be mostly in executive company. The area has plenty of corporates and software companies around (Jiva
on the other side of the road was built for them, and has become an advertisement for the business potential of the area), and if it's not a young programmar with a 25k salary on the next table, it is his boss.
If you like Chinese cuisine in general, you can't have much difference of opinion with Shanghai Dice. The food is in general less spicy than at, say, a Chinese Pavilion
, but the basic culinary experience is there. The menu is not altogether as elaborate as those at some specialist Chinese restaurants - for example, there is just about 1 mushroom starter in vegetarian as opposed to about 4 at Mainland China
- but it covers the primary ingredients of Chinese cuisine: garlic, broccoli, mushroom, corn, tofu and chilli.
There's a healthy variety of soups and starters (we all know that true Hyderabadi Chinese lovers would ideally like to finish off their meals with just these), and you could sample the dimsums, Crispy Corn Chilli Pepper, Crunchy Shanghai Vegetables or Phuket Fish. Soups average about Rs. 70, and starters Rs. 130 (though seafood as expected can be twice that).
The main course has all the usual suspects - rice, noodles and chopsuey, and a range of dishes to mix in them. Kung Pao Chicken, Red Cooked Chicken, Standing Pomfret Shanghai Style and Chef's Special Egg Wrapped Chicken Rice are favorites. There's a little bit of Thai, too. And if you don't like anything, you can order from the Zafraan menu, too.
Shanghai Dice is primarily for those in the Somajiguda neighbourhood. It is priced in the same league as Mainland China, Chinese Pavilion and Ming's Court
, and if you are willing to spend that much anyway, there's no reason you shouldn't seek that variety and experience.
If you are around here anyway, try the low-duty Tung Kein