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Southern Barbarian invades Shanghai

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We reported a short while ago about the arrival of Yunnan eateries in other parts of China. Shanghai's SH magazine recently carried a review of three Yunnan restaurants, and City Weekend magazine's Shanghai edition carried a review of one in their January 4-17 edition, which was also picked up by Shanghaiist.

After much procrastination, GoKunming's Shanghai-dweller decided to check out the increasingly popular Yunnan restaurant Southern Barbarian (南蛮子 nan man zi), to see if it lived up to the hype.

We were suitably impressed - the laonai yangyu (spicy mashed potatoes) certainly scratched where it itched, and the jiaoyan rubing (salt & pepper goat cheese) was as authentic and tasty as any we've had in Kunming. The restaurant's owner, Feng Jianwen, an energetic native of Mengzi, confirmed that the rubing is flown in from Yunnan.

Feng said that the restaurant has been open two months. Southern Barbarian's cozy second floor opened a month ago and features a shaokao (barbecue) bar.

Recent media coverage seems to have sent business Feng's way - he exhaustedly explained late Saturday night that his staff hadn't been able to take a break since they opened the doors that morning. As the only English speaker there, Feng had been busy making recommendations to the uninitiated. The chicken wings he brought over were indeed formidable - and we ain't a great fan of chicken wings either.

Prices are good too (for Shanghai), with the laonai yangyu at 15 kuai, liang huanggua at 8 kuai and bottles of Bud at 12 kuai. The rubing has airfare costed-in at 28 kuai.

For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with Shanghai, Qiujiang Lu is not really 'on the map' - it's rather out of the way, so it remains to be seen if this restaurant will last. If the price, taste and service are anything to go by, the future looks good.

Southern Barbarian
1440 Qiujiang Lu, near Gonghexin Lu
虬江路1440 (近共和新路)
(021) 5698 1367

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Formidable chicken wings! i'm sold.

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