Changsha is a wild place. The first night I ate street food there, a man walked up and asked me, "Hey little brother, are you done with that beer bottle? Can I have it?". Then he walked across the street and smashed the bottle over another man's head and their crews fought for over an hour while my friends and I ate painfully spicy bowls of frog and noodles.
So how do you distill those intense flavors into a new Shanghai mall where Kohler charges 39rmb for an "exhibition" and Elle has a lifestyle shop and/or hair salon? Seems like Kairougi, an effort from the folks behind Haiku, is trying to do just that with their Hunan spot.
The place looks nice and the food isn't bad. In fact, the rice is delicious and they use really nice oil. It's just that a meal here is double the price of Di Shui Dong and the service isn't half as good.
Tried the signature fish (199rmb), signature duck (150rmb), fried stinky tofu and three bowls of rice and the bill came out to over 400rmb. For that price they need more staff, more flavor, and bigger portions. Feels aimed at locals who have some money to burn but prefer to eat something familiar, like Hunan. But without the Hunan wildness.
When the bill came, everyone felt the same: "Damn! Should have just gone to Di Shui Dong. Or that place on Wulumuqi."
Also, Shanghai is ready for the heat! They rate the signature duck 5/5 chilies but it's more like 3/5.
Summary: Decent-but-overpriced Hunan restaurant with good rice that might be worth visiting if it were half the price.
Price: 221rmb per person without alcohol
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.