I am, you've heard it before, fatter than ever. I thought that it was bad enough eating pasta and pizza in Italy for nearly 4 years, but coming to Shanghai means being tempted to try out the endless number of different cuisines on offer and I have not even started to eat Shanghainese yet.
The dining area
Having been away from Asia for 15 years, I was quite delighted to find myself surrounded by Chinese food again. I wouldn't pretend that I have been eating local since my stomach is still very foreign and I have no intention of testing out the limits of its resistance. But I have been to a few nice restaurants serving savvy locals and careful expats and Lost Heaven specialising in Yunnan and Burmese Folk cuisines was a good address.
Dry beef curry
The restaurant is situated in a small street in Puxi in what is known as the Former French Concession and is housed in a lovely early 20th century villa. On the ground floor is the bar and lounge and on the 1st floor you find the restaurant.
The decoration is quite hip, with high ceilings, wooden floors, warm colours and a big Buddha statue in the middle of the hall. The menu features cuisines of the Dai, Bai and Miao ethnic minority groups which are pretty similar to Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, with Sichuan spices thrown in.
Hub had travelled in IndoChina more than 2 decades ago and hadn't been impressed with Burmese food, for example. So he was doubtful about how good cuisines from poor regions could be. Either he hadn't tried the right dishes then, or economic improvement helped - since everything we tried in this restaurant had been very good.
Crunchy beans with a spicy shrimp sauce - yummy
Most of the dishes were indeed spicy, and they use ingredients like shrimp paste plus herbs and vegetables I have never seen. I cannot claim to be an authority on Yunnan cuisine, but I certainly will want to taste more of it in the near future.
38 Gao You Rd (near Fuxing Xi Lu)
Tel : +86 (21) 6433 5126