We were leafing through the latest City Weekend* over breakfast this morning when we realized we forgot to tell you something very important: We love Southern Barbarian (南蛮子). It’s a Yunnan restaurant that opened in the fall (we have mentioned it briefly twice before). It is easily one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Chinese or non-Chinese. The food is fantastic — tasty and plentiful — and it is cheap (especially when compared to another Yunnan restaurant that opened recently). An added bonus is that Feng Jianwen, the owner (yes, he’s from Yunnan), is a lover of beer — the result is the best selection of bottled beers we have ever seen at a Chinese restaurant. There’s Hoegaarden, Chimay, Coopers (Sparkling Ale and Best Extra Stout), Leffe and a bunch of others. They are priced reasonably, too. Hoegaardens are 28 kuai; Coopers are less than that. Or you can always just get a tall bottle of Suntory for 6 kuai — they have that, too.
As for the food, honestly we’ve loved everything we have tried at Southern Barbarian (and with their prices, you can afford to try a lot). We are currently craving the Yunnan mashed potatoes, and just about anything from the second floor “barbecue bar,” especially the fish and the chicken wings. The wild mushroom hotpot is also a winner, and Feng says it’s even better when it’s not winter and the mushrooms are at their freshest. And then there’s a cold eggplant dish that is a terrific way to start your meal.
Southern Barbarian has a Flickr page with photos (and prices) of some of their menu items. We had a group of eight people there and our bill was around 500 kuai — but that included around six Hoegaardens. Without beer or wine, two people could have a very satisfying meal for around 60 kuai (you could even have a Suntory or two), but why not splurge and spend 100.
A note about Southern Barbarian’s location: Yes, it is north of Beijing Lu. No, that does not mean it is in Jiangsu Province. From Shanghaiist headquarters (Fuxing and Huaihai) it was a 19 kuai cab ride, but it’s a very quick ride because most of it is on the north-south elevated road. It’s around a 13 kuai ride from where the gao jia meets Huaihai Lu. It’s also possible to work Metro Line 1 into the equation — we think Shanghai Railway Station is the closest stop. Anyway, make the trip — it’s well worth it. And tell Feng Shanghaiist sent you.
* City Weekend gave Southern Barbarian a 4-star review on page E30 of the Jan. 4-17 edition. We can’t, however, find the review where we think it should be on their website.
Southern Barbarian, 1440 Qiujiang Lu, near Gonghe Xinlu. 南蛮子，虬江路1440 好，共贺新路附近. Tel: 13621797634.
Image from southernbarbarian.