Ready or not, summer has arrived in Shanghai. The public pools are already flooded with sun worshippers, ice cream pop-ups are in full swing and barbeque is the new dish du jour—with The Blind Pig leading the pack of awesome new smokehouses.
Located in the F&B labyrinth that is the Hongmei “Laowai Street,” the latest venture from the team behind Pistolera and Big Bamboo is right at home. With a mascot of a pig donning sunglasses, the restaurant is just what you’d expect: a loft reminiscent of a trendy BBQ chain in America’s Deep South.
The restaurant’s full name is The Blind Pig Bourbon & Smokehouse, so ordering bourbon is almost an obligation—especially when more than 40 varieties are on offer. Boxing Cat beers are also on tap, and the drink menu is expansive, although expensive. Our suggestion is to come during happy hour and get your tipples for half the price.
On to the food. Appetizers are pretty standard for a smokehouse with Chicken Lollipops (RMB55) or Smoked Chicken Wings (RMB68). The bird gets a tasty dry rub its served witha choice of blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce.
Fans of Carolina-style BBQ will be thrilled with The Blind Pig’s take on the Pulled Pork Sandwich (RMB88). Succulent, tender shreds of pork are tossed with vinegar style barbeque sauce and piled high with crisp red cabbage slaw and served on a toasted brioche bun.
The ribs are the main event. The Smoked Beef Ribs come to RMB188 for three rib bones and two sides. That's pretty damn expensive, considering the portion size, but boy are they worth it. And make sure to slather the fall-off-the-bone meat with the restaurant’s homemade blueberry chipotle sauce.
Like any proper Southern restaurant, they offer plenty of side dishes. All of them range from RMB18-RMB28 and are typical: potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and mac & cheese. If you want to get in your vegetable count for the day, The Kale Greens with Crispy Pork (RMB22) is a good option, and probably the only thing on the menu remotely resembling "health food." They do Maple Bacon Walnut Cornbread (RMB18) as well, which sounds delicious, but disappoints.
For desserts, The Blind Pig's Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Pie (RMB28) is pretty respectable if you’re looking for an American looking for a taste of home. It's a simple pleasure smothered in bouron caramel sauce. For something lighter, we recommend the Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Mascarpone (RMB28).
With the recent closing of Hongqiao’s beloved Bubba’s, The Blind Pig comes to the rescue—offering delicious barbecued meat and homey classics from the Southern US. Add to that a slammin’ happy hour deal and breezy patio, and we’re very likely to make the trek back to Laowai Street—a place way cooler than the name makes it out to be.
Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
What: The Blind Pig
Address: No. 8, 3338 Hongmei Lu (near Yan'an Xi Lu) 虹梅路3338弄8号 (近延安西路)
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