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.
After hours of bumbling around Shanghai’s back-alleys on a nippy November night, there’s nothing like spying a Uygur kebab stand perched on a corner, radiating hearth-like light and warmth. One of our favorites is the stand attached to Sapar Uygur Restaurant, which serves both mutton kebabs and naan.
Sapar’s naan is baked fresh in a cauldron that emanates red light like a blacksmith’s forge. No stale, plate-hard pieces here like at most spots, but rather fluffy, slightly crispy disks that are still warm like fresh laundry – think the best pizza crust you’ve ever had. And if regular naan (4RMB per piece) is too herbivorous for you, there’s naan with hunks of lamb baked into it (10RMB).
Speaking of which, the mutton kebabs (5RMB) are so tasty you’ll never touch the mystery meat on a stick from a shady street cart again (well, maybe when you’re sauced at 3am). Tender and so fatty they seep more liquid than a squeezed sponge, Sapar’s mutton complements the absorbent naan perfectly.
To combine both mutton and naan into a sandwich, use the naan like a catcher’s mitt to grasp the skewers and rip the meat off the sticks. Roll the package into a tortilla and start wolfing. It’s a simple meat and bread combo, but it’s cheap, and really takes the sting out of these increasingly brisk November days.
Sapar Uygur Restaurant – 20 Yuyan Branch Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu, Jingan district (静安区愚园支路20号, 近乌鲁木齐路). Tel: 136-2164-7776. Hours: 10am-11:30pm daily.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Shengjian mantou (fried dumplings) @ Yang’s Fry Dumplings
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]!