What-you-see-is-what-you-get seafood on the waterfront in Qingdao.
88 Aomen Road inside the Baili Shopping Mall (level 1, waterfront) | 澳门鲁88号百丽广场
+86 (0532) 6885 7888 (Chinese only)
The restaurant is located inside the Baili Shopping Mall next door to the Intercontinental Hotel. All of this is near the Qingdao Marina.
Qingdao Seafood - you can find some local specialties as well as classic seafood dishes.
Moderate - Ridiculously Expensive: it all depends on you and what you order. The first night we went with 3 people and it was very reasonable as we ordered inexpensive fish. The next night we went with 4 people, ordered a lobster and an expensive fish and paid 5x as much! (Don't let this worry you, all prices are clearly written on the dishes at the entry and you can watch them weigh the seafood you choose.)
Pretty much all Chinese restaurants are kid-friendly but this one is actually fun for the kids because of the virtual aquarium in the lobby. When you enter, you choose your dishes so sea urchins, lobster, sea cucumber and fish can go directly from tank to kitchen to your table in minutes. Kids will love seeing all the sea creatures. Also, the restaurant itself is open and large with plenty of space for rowdy kids to run after dinner.
We discovered this restaurant by walking around the mall next to the Intercontinental Hotel (in which we were staying). We liked it so much the first night, we went back the next (to a significantly higher bill!). Our kids loved checking out all the seafood and making their food choices in the lobby. We loved being able to select all the dishes by seeing the samples.
How it works: When you walk in, you are greeted not only by a hostess but also a waitress with a portable order taker. You walk around the display pointing at what you'd like to eat. Many of the examples show the ingredients together - so it's not actually how it will look when you get it. For example, you'll see a big selection of raw vegetables. Depending on what you choose, they'll be cooked or stir-fried when served.
Ordering live seafood: The live seafood display is pretty tremendous and there are enormous fish in tanks as well as lobsters, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, all sorts of clams and mussels - and live bee larvae (not exactly seafood but there you have it) - to choose from. The price is shown for the 1/2kg so if you want to know what the total price will be - ask them to weigh and tell you the final price. 一共，多少钱？"Ee gong doh shao chee-an?" (Had we asked this about our lobster before we paid the bill we wouldn't have been so surprised.
Dishes not to miss: la gala is a Qingdao specialty of clams and spicy red chillies. It is really delicious and goes well with Tsingtao beer. What a surprise!