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.
Although I love Southern Barbarian’s Fear Factor-evoking bug platters and beer selection that’s worthy of a Czech beer garden, it’s definitely passed the torch onto Lotus Eatery as Shanghai’s go-to Yunnan Spot. This small, rustic Dai dive offers colorful, consistently Dai-licious bites from spicy frog dishes to succulent beef cheeks to crispy and lush Miao roast lake fish. Our favorite is their fried goat cheese (35RMB).
A staple of the Bai and Sani ethnic groups of Yunnan, the pan-fried goat cheese comes in tofu-like squares on a plate with salt, pepper, and chili seasoning. And while I could sit here and prattle on about how the crispy crust transitions nicely into a creamy umami finale, c’mon, it’s goat cheese that’s fried! Like with the caramelized strawberry kebab or a Swedish supermodel in a fountain of chocolate fondue, you don’t need a critic to tell you that it’s going to be good.
Bring some friends to help you polish it off though. One piece is a snack, two’s dinner.
Lotus Eatery – 85 Yangzhai Lu, near Xinhua Lu (杨宅路85号, 近新华路). Tel: (0)21-6282-7756. Hours: 11am-11pm daily.
1112 Dingxi Lu, near Wuyi Lu (定西路1112号, 近武夷路). Tel: (0)21-6048-1111/6034-8168. Hours: 11:30am-10pm daily.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Braised pork shoulder @ Rui Fu Yuan
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]!