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  • I first had Yolota back in 2008, when all I knew about beef noodle soup was dishwater Shanghai Lanzhou La Mian. Back then, Yolota was a revelation: thick beef cuts that tasted expensive, hearty soups – red wine soup! tomato soup! – and side dishes like braised tofu and braised vegetables with bits of pork. For someone who didn't grow up with this food and was eating gai jiao fan or Shaxian Xiaochi pretty much every day, it was incredible.

    In 2019, Yolota is more comforting than mind-blowing. They still charge around 30 to 40rmb for a bowl of their noodles, which you can order thick or thin. The menu is probably the same, the broths are still rich, and the ingredients remain high quality. Some noodle experts might fault their cooking skills, but it's consistently decent, the staff are nice, and they play some obscure jazz radio shows in the small dining room, which also has a bit of anime kitsch strewn about.

    In a word: reliable. And on a rainy day, it's way better than Shanghai Lanzhou La Mian. Some of their deeper cuts, like the curry noodles and cold noodles with shredded chicken and sesame are worth exploring too.


    In Short: Reliable beef noodle soup and snacks spot that's been around for over a decade. You can order your noodles thick or thin, and the rest of the menu is worth diving into as well. Clean with good ingredients plus nice jazz selections on the stereo sometimes. Less than 50rmb per person.

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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.