Opened by Beijing-based artist Fang Lijun, these super-hip restaurants feature minimalist loft interiors bedecked with the owner's own artwork, down-home Yunnan specialties (including guoqiao mixian, crossing bridge noodles, Yunnan cui niupi, fried beef skins, and ru bing, fried goat's cheese) and their own brand of rice wine. The clientele at the Soho branch is mostly white collar professionals, while the Houhai branch offers outdoor seating with a nice view of the lake (and a slightly different menu). Voted “Outstanding Yunnan” in the Beijinger’s 2010 Reader Restaurant Awards.
User reviews of South Silk Road 茶马古道
I was very disappointed in my meal at South Silk, but I'm trying to keep it more objective.
The menu's English translation said fried asparagus, which I assumed to be stir-fried asparagus. The server brings out bamboo shoots instead. Apparently, the English translation was completely wrong. The bamboo shoots were cooked OK: light, non-oily, and fresh. The salt duck I ordered was also pretty good. My problem with this place is its price-to-value ratio. It's definitely not as good as Middle 8, the menu isn't as varied, but it's charging comparatively high prices. I could have been at Middle 8 or DTF for the same price, which are both noticeably better.
Decor was interesting, modern and futuristic, and service was fine.
The food was good but the interior of this place at Gongti was more posh Yunnan auntie dining room than uber chic minimalist. More suited business types than artsy creative people. We were not impressed with the prices which were meant for dining out with your boss. Not heading back.
I've been to their Xidan store and SOHO New Town store. The latter one was closed which is a pity to me. When I first walked into Xidan store with a friend, we were very happy with the decoration and environment. The waitress were patient.One of my favorite dishes is jasmine with eggs.
Their new store in west worker stadium is really cool.The wall is decorated with some cool painting pictures,and I was told those pictures was painted by the owner of this restaurant.Food is quite good too.If you like soup,their chicken soup is highly recommended.
Been here many, many times and have a 50/50 impression - sometimes the food is spot-on, other times it leaves me disappointed. The Houhai branch is still a surefire way to impress out-of-towners - the terrace seating is fantastic in the summer and the unique food always garners good reviews from my guests.
South Silk's Soho New Town location is a hidden gem. So what if the getting there is bit quirky, tucked behind a now defunct gym and smelling faintly of chlorine ? The view of traffic on Jian Guo Lu is mesmerizing, with a great backdrop of highrises and neon lending an ever-so-Blade Runner-ish feel to the experience. And then there's the food, ... from the lusty fish-root and mint leaf appetizer with chili soy sauce to subtle perch skewers with vanilla, the iron plate aubergine with a distinctly Italian flair, beef with lemon and chilis, and the fried cheese with sugar, the flavours are striking, the colours are vibrant, the presentation pleasing, and the menu's English translations are, well, inventive.
Waitstaff are attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, offering thoughtful suggestions: who would have suspected that chilled Pu'er tea with lemon could be so refreshing in the summertime? And the Noodles over the Bridge, with a cloudy broth and finely sliced condiments, served in a vast bowl which could feed the masses and produced with great flourish, beats the pants off the competition.
With lovely big wooden tables and chairs and stylish private rooms with a view to the buzz outside, this is a spot to return to with family or friends, great for out-of-town visitors who need to have their tastebuds wowed by what they could never get back home. Wherever that is.
This restaurant is right across the street from my house so I'm a frequent visitor. I have to say that every time I go back the food and service just keeps getting better. The portions are generous compared to the price, and the waitstaff is extremely attentive. Now I've never been to Yunan so I can't comment on whether it's authentic Yunan food or not, but it definitely is very delicious.
The rice wine is definitely worth trying and my favorite of the restaurant.
To find this place (at least the CBD shop) is already some sort of adventure, like actually going to Yunnan. It's in the same floor of a gym and another restaurant.
Once you find it and take your seat a strange feeling starts to rise: this is a Yunnan restaurant, but going in the opposite direction of the majority of the Yunnanese restaurants in town. The owner didn't want to re-create the atmosphere of local minority ethnic groups, but he decided to set up this restaurant more in a "lounge" minimalistic style. It's not what you would expect but is also not a bad idea.
The food? Great, a bit spicy (but hey, is Yunnan food!) and a bit pricy (maybe due to the setting?), but in the end worth a visit.