One of the Shanghaiist staff’s favorite hang outs, Yunnan restaurant Southern Barbarian, is opening its second location in Lujiazui this week and we went there to check out the menu. In short: same great food, same insane beer menu, fancier digs.
Those of you who’ve followed us for a while now know that our former editor became a fan of the restaurant when it first opened up in Qiujiang Lu. It later moved to its current location on Maoming Nan Lu, next to Di Shui Dong. The newest store is in the DBS building off the Line 2 Lujiazui stop. Take the exit to the Pearl Tower and head in the direction of the god awful Ping An Insurance skyscraper/ionic column disaster (you’ll know what I mean when you see it). Southern Barbarian is in a recessed plaza across from a Sichuan joint.
In terms of food, our favorites from the Maoming Lu location are there without a noticeable change in price. The crispy potato-shred pancakes (25RMB), eggplant and tomato (20RMB) and fried goat cheese (32RMB) were as addictive as ever. The spicy mint salad (20RMB) was small, but that was probably a godsend considering it was almost unbearably spicy. Much easier on the tongue was the basil salad (22RMB), which was tossed in a ginger dressing.
Some dishes were surprisingly huge: the steamed cod (108RMB) was enough to feed an entire table of people and each of the fresh oysters (6 for 98RMB) was the size of a fist. In fact, I don’t think I’ve really ever seen raw oysters that big before.
New dishes include a plate filled with deep-fried water bugs, bamboo worms and dragonflies (108RMB) – I suppose they were trying to top the addition of honey bees to the last menu – and a pumpkin and pork number (108RMB). That was absolutely amazing: minced pork studded with truffles rested in a broth poured into a pumpkin that was then steamed. To eat the dish, you scoop out the pumpkin from the inside and pick up some truffled pork along the way. It was by far my favorite dish of the night.
The drinks menu is also similar, but updated. The owner told us that he now had over 90 beers available. I’m not enough of a connoisseur to know all they had on the menu – but there were Leffes Blonde to Radieuse, about ten types of fruit beers, my favorite ale (Delirium Tremens) and some things that were so expensive I didn’t dare touch them. A Duchesse De Bourgogne was 198RMB – I hope if you try it, it changes your ideas of beer forever.
The biggest change though is definitely the decor. The new place is certifiably fancy. Touches like black and white photos and the open kitchen are still there, but the walls are no longer cracked and there’s an attractive white tiling that encircles a much more well lit bar. The space is also bigger in general, with higher seating, and there’s potential for outdoor dining – though that supposedly won’t come into play until September, we hear.
All in all though, it’s the same Southern Barbarian in nicer dressing. If you liked the food of the old one, you won’t find fault with it there.
Southern Barbarian is located at B1/F, DBS Building, 1318 Lujiazui Huan Lu, near Yinzhou Lu, 陆家嘴环路1318号B1楼，近钦州路. Telephone number: 50151520