Shanghai Dumpling in Chapel Hill sits between Insomnia Cookies and the CVS pharmacy at 143 Franklin St. Staff writer Mattias Miller spent an evening sampling a few items from the menu.
The entryway is very rustic with stenciled-on Chinese characters and two Chinese lanterns that mark the door. The interior, however, is decorated very simply with a solid colored wall and painting that reminded me a lot of the type of neutral art one would find in a hotel lobby. As soon as you enter the restaurant, there is a sense of narrowness as you funnel in toward the server. However, the dining area is laid out nicely so that the space doesn’t feel cramped. The server seated us extremely quickly and was very helpful throughout the entire dining experience.
None of the decorations inside are particularly eye-popping, but Shanghai Dumpling doesn’t really need to be — the focus is on the food.
The only downside of the space was that there was very little sound throughout the entire restaurant. When I visited, there were only a few other guests, and everyone was quiet. In fact, the only sound to mask the noise of us chewing was the audio of a local news station coming from the TV situated behind us.