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.
Promoting lamb chops in light of the ongoing rat meat scandal may seem like a sick joke akin to promoting surfing in a Tsunami-ravaged village. But it’s during this period of paranoia that we need to remember that most of the lamb in Shanghai is actually rat-free! However, if you do decide to eat lamb, rather than eating the nebulous strips at low-rent hotpot dives, get it at Ye Li Xia Li, a vibrant Uyghur chain serving lamb so fresh and distinctly lamb-y it couldn’t be anything else.
Ye Li Xia Li’s lamb options range from minced lamb wraps to the whole animal, which you order a day in advance. The lamb leg for two is quite tasty, but if you’re looking to save yuan, head up the roast lamb chops, six tender, fat-marbled chops for 69RMB, around half of what you’d pay at most Western spots for just one or two chops. Rich, tender, and most of all, ripe with that pungent lamb essence, these chops ease both your appetite and any fears that you could be consuming rodentia. Unless they’re using the giant rats from the Princess Bride, there’s no way chops this size are anything but 100% pure lamb.
Dip them in your choice of cumin and chili, or chili oil and soy, wrench meat from bone, and wash it all down with towering flagons of cold Xinjiang draft beer or home-made tropical fruit smoothies.
Ye Li Xia Li – 106 Nandan Dong Lu, near Tianyaoqiao Lu (南丹东路106号, 近天钥桥路). Tel: (0)21-5020-1057. Hours: 11am-10pm.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Strawberry kebabs @ any street vendor
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]!