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OCC SH CHOTY - Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks)

What a 2017 it’s been for the OCC. Moving beyond the UK and Hong Kong to set up our third location in Shanghai, the OCC has taken massive strides this year in its goal of solidifying its reputation as the world’s premier curry club. After a successful year, the Shanghai branch has grown to 17 members and trialed and reviewed 12 curry houses throughout the city.

And with a year done, that can only mean it’s time for the 2017 Curry House of the Year announcement.

For those unfamiliar with the OCC’s patented scoring system, venues are scored out of 10 by members on 5 categories – quality, atmosphere, value for money, customer service and customer care. These scores are then averaged out to come up with an overall score for the venue, from which we can rate the true quality of Shanghai’s – and indeed the world’s – curry houses.

In addition to the overall CHOTY, this year any restaurant that scored above 7 out of 10 will also receive the official OCC mark of approval; a sticker to be displayed proudly on the front of the venue. We’d compare it to a Michelin star, but with only 6 in existence, they’re statistically much rarer. It is the OCC’s hope that these stickers will serve as beacons to guide Shanghai residents towards the best curry the city has to offer.

In announcing the Shanghai OCC 2017 CHOTY, we will first announce the top 3 curry houses for all of these categories, before announcing the overall CHOTY.


Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.4

Lotus Land: 7.9

Masala Desi: 7.9

Quality – measuring the overall quality of food and drink served – has been somewhat of a mixed bag this year in Shanghai, with lack of spice a particular sore point for many venues. Despite this, the food at all 3 of these venues was fantastic. Favourites of the OCC at these venues were any of the kebabs at Kebabs on the Grille, the salmon tikka at Lotus Land, and the samosa chaats at Masala Desi.


Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.0

Lotus Land: 7.5

Tandoor: 7.4

Atmosphere is not just limited to décor; members take into account all things including music and whether the restaurant is busy. All 3 of these venues offered something different; KOTG was in a lovely setting, well-decorated and busy all night. Nestled away in Tianzifang, Lotus Land offers nice views of the twisting alleyways, while also allowing for sitting on the floor if that’s your cup of chai. Lastly, Tandoor’s soft ambiance and its décor which depicts the journey of two Chinese monks on the Silk Road sometime in the 4th to 6th century makes it an ideal spot to impress.


Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.2

Masala Desi: 7.7

Kaveen’s Kitchen: 7.6

The OCC recognises that quality often comes at a premium, and so this category is not just the final number on the bill, but whether members feel they got true value for money. All three restaurants listed above were around the 250 – 350 RMB/head mark, with the meal typically including a selection of starters, curries and naans, as well as a number of libations for each member. Taking into account the quality of food on offer, that’s a bargain in anyone’s book.

Customer service:

Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.6

Kaveen’s Kitchen: 8.1

Masala Desi: 7.8

Customer service measures aspects such as the speed of food and drinks arriving, waiters knowing the dishes and accuracy of order. For the three shortlisted restaurants here, all three were very prompt in food delivery and in replenishing drinks – the latter a trait particularly appreciated by members.

Customer care:

Kaveen’s Kitchen: 9.3

Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.2

Masala Desi: 7.7

Customer care is the willingness to go the extra mile for the customers; things like recommending dishes, helping the OCC run its speeches, having the manager check in throughout the night, etc. This is often neglected in Shanghai – and not just in curry houses. Kaveen’s Kitchen however was a true standout here, with the owner Vic not only giving the OCC a free drink and desert, but also performing some breathtaking magic for members throughout the night. KOTG also deserves a mention, with the owner greeting members at the door and checking in throughout the evening.

Overall CHOTY:

Kebabs on the Grille (Cool Docks): 8.2

Masala Desi: 7.7

Kaveen’s Kitchen: 7.6

Lotus Land: 7.4

Vedas: 7.3

Masala Art (Dagu Lu): 7.2

Nepali Kitchen: 6.8

Tandoor: 6.6

Nanak: 6.1

Bombay Bistro: 5.9

Rangoli: 5.4

Indian Curry Company: 4.0

Overall we visited some very good restaurants this year (along with some not so good), but the highlight was undoubtedly Kebabs on the Grille at Cool Docks. Everything about the meal was what the OCC hopes to see in curry houses not just around Shanghai, but around the world.

We were greeted at the door by the owner, while the waiters were knowledgeable, helped with ordering and ensured everything went smoothly. The restaurant itself was busy and pleasantly decorated, and prices felt to be reasonable for the quality on offer. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, the food itself was fantastic.

With this in mind, the Shanghai branch of the Oakham Curry Club is very pleased to present the Curry House of the Year award for 2017 to Kebabs on the Grille at Cool Docks.

As we venture into 2018 and begin the hunt for a new CHOTY, we congratulate Kebabs on the Grille on their performance in 2017, and hope that other curry houses around Shanghai can learn from and build on their example to deliver enjoyable and authentic curry experiences to the people of this great city.

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