Massive, beautiful Western China fusion restaurant from the folks behind popular Yunnan chain Lost Heaven, in the old watch factory on Julu Lu that once housed Mesa & Manifesto. Painters from Thailand and West China spent months painting the 400+ capacity space to look just like the caves in Dunhuang. As expected, the menu winds through that classic trading route – from Xi'an to Gansu to Yunnan and into Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan – with a kind of "Greatest Hits" of China's Westside. With that, you've got everything from skewers to naan bread and liang pi, to da pan ji, oat noodles, homemade yogurt, and of course, lamb in all varieties – from poached to skewered to the whole damn lamb, which is 3500rmb and needs to be ordered a day in advance. The 2nd floor patio is gigantic and can hold over 100 people, which will make for some fine times sipping cocktails and wine in the warmer months. The rest of the 6500sqm building will host a French restaurant, a hybrid yakitori restaurant / grocery store / wine bar / bakery / ice cream shop, and a private, prix fixe Yunnan restaurant. In true postmodern form, the music is lounge and electronica. This is an ambitious project, to say the least.
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