Yershari is Uyghur for “Earth” the planet, and the name of the Xinjiang restaurant found in New World Mall in People’s Square, Shanghai. It is a chain restaurant featuring Xinjiang cuisine. Note that I did not really say they are an authentic Xinjiang restaurant, read on to see why.
Founded in 1998 in Shanghai, it introduced Xinjiang cuisine to the unknowing Shanghainese public. Until now, Xinjiang food is street food represented by lamb kebabs and other grilled meats sold by vendors along the street.
Although they were not the first proper Xinjiang restaurant in Shanghai, they were the ones that made it popular among the populace through a mix of Chinese and Xinjiang items in the menu.
Salad with lemon, sesame, olive oil dressing.
饢坑烤羊排 Pit grilled lamb ribs
The finest lamb chops marinated in Xinjiang’s traditional spices are slowly grilled in the naan pit (tandoori) over time, and caramelisation of the fats on the surface begins to form, tightly wrapping the delicate lamb inside. The teeth bite open the crispy skin, the meat juices overflow, and a fulfilling sense of satisfaction spreads between the lips and teeth.
大盤雞 Big plate chicken
The traditional “big plate chicken” given an upgrade. The biggest change in this upgrade is the frying process. The chicken is quick fried with the peppers and potatoes in advance to a round 80% cooked, the signature sauce is added and combined with the chicken for that final 20%. So unlike the traditional method of cooking the chicken in the sauce, almost like stewing, the chicken remains tender and moist. I prefer the traditional method because they reminded me more of curry chicken. This one tasted like any other Chinese restaurant.
石河子涼皮（阿依涼皮）A Yi cold broad noodles
Boiled pasts dressed in vinegar, sesame and a few other spices, this is a typical summer special. I find this version rather bland and watery. And the noodles were rubbish.
羊排湯 Mutton rib soup
Mutton ribs stewed with radish – delicious.
羊肉串 Lamb kebabs
The piece de resistance, the lamb kebabs were deliciously grilled over charcoal fire with alternating fats and lean meats. They tasted just like the street vendors version (which is a good thing), but given a restaurant treatment.
烤羊腰 Lamb kidneys
Not to be outdone, the lamb kidneys were a class act on their own. If you are not game for the strong smell of offals, then you will not like this in any way. But the spices used to grill the kidney helped in reducing the gaminess.
老豆腐煨牛腩 Braised beef brisket with bean curd
This is not exactly Xinjiang cuisine, just one of those fillers in the menu so that you have more variety.
草菇西蘭花 straw mushroom with broccoli
Some kind of palate cleanser.
長豆角燒茄子 fried string beans with eggplant
I have not seen a Xinjiang person order this 😉
韭菜雞蛋炒粉條 chives with eggs and glass noodles
Another Chinese dish masquerading in a Xinjiang restaurant.
No doubt that they need to cater for a much larger Chinese clientele in their menu that are not accustomed with Xinjiang cuisine. But they should have indicated that and be more adventurous in introducing more authentic cuisine. Overall the food served has been good, both in taste and presentation. So it made up for the lack of authenticity.
Yershari Restaurant 耶里夏麗 （人民廣場世貿店）
Tel : 021-63731779
Date Visited : Apr 2016