Ya Ke Xi on Nanjing Xi Lu
Opposite the Shanghai TV station and up a usually puddle-filled alley (even on sunny days, somehow), you can’t miss a very respectable Xinjiang restaurant, Ya Ke Xi (Map — from Smart Shanghai).
There are several Xinjiang places around town, all of which we love dearly, but the offer of a dancing man or a woman (it seems to be pot luck which one you’ll get on any particular night) really clinches the deal. Especially as they seem to wear the same outfit for the performance (the dancing is downstairs).
As well as the usual 40 or 50 yang rou quan (羊肉串 — lamb on sticks — ask for non-spicy — bu la de— or they are spicy here), we recommend the ding ding chao mian (丁丁炒面 — sliced noodles), tu dou si (土豆丝 — sliced potatoes with a delicious hint of chilli/vinegar), and the lao hu cai (老虎菜 — onion and tomato salad, not served spicily here) and of course as many hei pi (黑啤(酒) — Xinjiang black beer) as you can handle. The prices for all of these things are low. Four people could be button-burstingly full for about 80 to 100RMB each, including beers.
It doesn’t have the superb fried potatoes that the Xinjiang place on Fu Min Lu (Map) offers, but it also doesn’t have the two kittens playing with a bug on the floor which semi-regulary inhabit the very same establishment. Also unlike the Fu Min Lu eatery, you won’t have the offer of a massajee-massajee-come-in-come-in (大飞机 — a, um, “haircut”) at the, um, “hairdressers”.
The dancing usually starts about about 7-ish, and at 20 minute intervals our cheerful and twirling friend will return, dressed in progressively less and less attire.
We guarantee you excellent cuisine, music and dancing. Just … make sure all of your toilet needs will be well catered for the next day.
688 Nanjing Xi Lu / 南京西路688号, Hours: 11:30- 10:30, Tel. (21) 6217 4774
Eat Me is a semi-regular feature on Shanghaiist that highlights new or noteworthy restaurants in Shanghai. Know of a restaurant you think deserves consideration? Email us at tips(@)shanghaiist.com.