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Southern Barbarian
Ranked #725 of 17,142 Restaurants in Shanghai
Price range: $0 - $10
Cuisines: Barbecue, Yunnan
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Former French Concession
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Went here for my Birthday celebration, it was fantastic. food was awesome! great value for money
Best parts were the Goats cheese fried like halloumi, I don't like goats cheese but this was great. and the friend Honey bee's are a real delicacy!
I would take visitors to Shanghai here to eat.
Food came quick but the service was lacking in regard to attention.

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Thank SSSBBQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 43 of 81 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2012

Thanks to its long-time English-language publicity, any foreign Shanghai resident knows (and some even frequent) Southern Barbarian. But is the restaurant great? I think not.

Shanghai has this weird relationship with 'Yunnan food', some kind of a magic spell that turns this down-home, basic and cheap regional cuisine (when you eat it in Yunnan) into a fashionable and precious dining experience. Southern Barbarian is one example.

Yes, the menu is in English and the translations offer a lot of details. The plates arrive quickly (with so little food on them!). The flavors are rounded and safe, a sort of a Yunnanese stylization. Nothing is spectacular. Rich Yunnanese ham, basil and mint find their way into many dishes; the grilled cheese is SO overrated; pomegranate flowers sound better than they taste. Starchy chicken inside a hollowed-out pineapple stood out – but only as a marker for a 'laowai table'. Many dishes are pureed, which is always suspect.

The quantities are SMALL, very small, half of what you get in a normal Chinese restaurant. The old principle "a dish per person plus one extra" won't work here, you'll need two dishes per person plus a double rice to get full.

The small space is cramped and very sounds-bright; the noise drowns every conversation unless you begin to shout just like the rest of drunken laowai hunched over their tables. I wouldn't bring my visiting friends here. I'd bring them to Di Shui Dong (next door), or Yuxin, Guyi, Zhuwu, Jiangbian Kaoyu, Huahua – all pretty much in the same neighborhood, but way more vivid, authentic, flavorful, satisfying and good-spirited Chinese restaurants that don't break your wallet – unlike Southern Barbarian.

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Thank xamhayana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I really liked their grilled cheese and vegetarian dishes. Sadly, I did not enjoy the fried mint leaves as much. This place was quite hard to find but really worth it.

Thank jApdoLL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

This is truly an Old Shanghai restaurant. It’s difficult to find but it was worth the trouble. We were lucky because there was a group of about eight people, some of whom spoke English and they were able to help us select several dishes. We enjoyed our meal very much. The variety of the food and the huge list of local and imported beers was impressive. If you're looking for something quite different in Shanghai this is the place to go, really fun. Make sure the concierge at your hotel speaks to the cab driver before you go there because it is difficult to find.

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Thank Shiraz0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2012

I've eaten here a number of times and I always enjoy it most when we go in a large group - probably because you can order enormous quantities of lots of different dishes and it never seems to end up being that expensive. What does push the price up is the imported beers or which there is one of the best selections in the city and if you drink 3 erdingers, you're going to pay for them.

Don;t miss the potato cake or the mint salad (it is zingy and delicious) and also get over your fear and try the deep fried bees with yunnan ham - the bees are like savoury popcorn and though the first time we ordered them it was more for bravado, they've become a staple dish each time we go there.

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Thank goodgrooming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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