The newly-opened Jojo Kebab and Café on Yuyuan Lu offers grittily delicious doner kebabs in a scenic café setting. You get the gushing meat juice, tongue-tingling spiciness, and hot, fresh flatbread you’d expect of a streetside kebab stall without the blaring horns, hacking coughs, and snaggle-toothed vendor with sooty hands that generally go with it. The flavor’s so on point you might be surprised the owner’s Japanese.
Low key to the max with droopy lights, a long wood bar, blackboard scratched with dish names, and a projector playing some moderately amusing rom com from the early 2000s. The chicken spit spins in plain sight behind glass, indicating that despite the new look, nothing distracts from the meat.
And nothing does. Forget the unremarkable mashed potatoes, salads, and the menu’s other bells and whistles, it’s all about the chicken kebabs (25RMB medium, 35RMB large) and larger chicken bom (28RMB medium, 40RMB large). Both come interlocked with tomatoes, onions, and veg, topped with your choice of mild, spicy, or garlic yogurt spreads (go with the spicy) and the chef’s special spicy hummus-like sauce, and nestled in fluffy pita. And while we’re not the biggest fans of boneless chicken strips, Jojo’s chicken is lush, and lubed with enough zingy dip to keep it enticing.
We’re not entirely sure Jojo’s coffees (from 20RMB-30RMB), which include hazelnut and vanilla lattes (32RMB), go all that well with the kebabs (about as well as Mr. Pibb and foie gras), but there are plenty of wines (30RMB per glass), plum wines, sodas, beer on tap (25-35RMB per glass), juices, and cocktails (30RMB) that do.
To nitpick, Jojo is kind’ve a one-hit wonder, and we sort’ve wish they offered beef and pork kebabs along with chicken. However, for taking the edge off a hangover or suppressing the 3pm stomach growl, their fluffy, moist, and savory chicken kebab sandwich is hard to top. The meandering indoor ambience is also a welcome break from the feeding frenzy attached to most Shanghai street kebabs.
Jojo Kebab Café and Bar – 1321 Yuyuan Lu, by Dingxi Lu (愚园路1321号, 近定西路). Tel: (0)21-6215-2770. Hours: 11am-2am.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].