Why mess with success? This certainly seems to have been the thought process behind Green
Shade
. Established by a former manager of Dali Courtyard, and just around the corner from said restaurant,
the newcomer replicates the veteran restaurant’s successful changing set menu formula. Here the menu will cost you
RMB 120 per person regardless of group size, so we suggest going with a group of at least four or five to allow you to experience as many dishes as possible and get the best value out of the meal.

Frequent visitors to Dali Courtyard will recognize many of the dishes on offer, although there are innovations here as
well. On the night I visited, we started on a high note with some toothsome beef jerky, hiding beneath a formidable
pile of crisp dried chili peppers. The meal stumbled briefly over some bland home-style stir-fried tofu, but regained
its stride with a dish of papaya chicken, the tender (and boneless) meat coated in a piquant sauce that had us
asking for extra helpings of rice. Most importantly of all, for yours truly at least, the pan-fried Yunnan goat’s cheese was
perfectly executed, served crisp from the pan and seasoned with salt and a hint of Sichuan pepper.

The space owes much to the design of the hutong-based Yunnan restaurants that have come before it: think a
wall set with giant rice wine containers, hand-woven wicker lampshades, and lots of bare brick and stone. Whether or not this will be enough to attract punters to yet another Gulou-based Yunnan restaurant, only time will tell.

More stories by this author here.

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Photos: Ken


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