A few weeks ago, friends suggested we meet for dinner at this new barbecue joint called Xibo. We gamely showed up expecting pulled-pork sandwiches and hamburgers. But what we found was so much better. With a stunning rooftop location, Xibo specializes in modern Xinjiang cuisine. This hearty, comforting food comes from the northwestern reaches of China and features lots of lamb, potatoes and spices. Xinjiang is home to a large population of ethnic Uyghur people, and I think the restaurant does a good job of incorporating their costumes and traditions in the decor.
The dishes we ordered were all outstanding. The cold cucumber dish – a staple of Chinese meals – came doused in a soy-vinegar sauce with hits of chili. The cold noodle dish that came next was probably my favorite of the night. Loaded with shredded chicken and cilantro, it was refreshing and satisfying. I was also a big fan of the baked Xinjiang dumpling stuffed with minced lamb and onion. An order is a single bun so we ordered one for every person at the table – a very wise decision.
A crowd favorite was the fried lamb and bread “salad,” well-seasoned with cumin and onions. Chopstick jabs were being thrown to snatch the last pieces. The steamed pumpkin dumplings lightened things up a bit and the yummy green beans gave us something to snack on while taking a rest from the heavier stuff. We also tried a traditional lamb and potato stew that was well received by some at our table, and I loved the presentation, but I was so full by that point that I barely took more than one bite. Maybe on the next visit I’ll be able to appreciate its charms.
Xibo Address: 83 Changshu Lu, 3rd Floor, Jing'an, Shanghai Pricing: 100-200 RMB for four family-style dishes