Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
We might seem a little whacked in the head for eating mutton hotpot in weather where you could make hotpot by placing a bowl of soup on the sidewalk but once you try the mutton stew at the Uyghur eatery Yakexi, you might be doing the same.
Yakexi’s mutton stew, titled “Peasant Mutton Comes Next” on the menu (49RMB) trumps your average stew in several ways. For one, each hunk of mutton is swaddled in fat and dissolves into pure richness after a few chews. No parched clumps of overcooked gristle here.
Second, the other stew ingredients are interesting enough so you’re not plucking out hunks of meat and leaving behind partially-raw greenery in the likeness of a debris-choked pond.
You’ve got tree ear mushrooms, peanuts, seaweed, tofu and other ingredients that make it sound like you cleaned out your fridge and threw together a last dinner before move-out day, but that go surprisingly well together. Swirl your chopsticks around in the broth and something tasty’s bound to surface.
And lastly, he stock is brawny and rife with that hearty lamb flavor. There are even peppers that prickle the back of your throat with each gulp. After we finish all the meat and vegetables, we find ourselves drinking the broth like tea.
Yakexi – 379 Xikang Lu, near Wuding Lu (西康路379号, 近武定路). Tel: (0)21-6267- 3755. Hours: 11:30am-10pm, daily.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Mapo tofu @ Yuxin Chuan Cai
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!