Smokin' Hog: Low-and-Slow Texas BBQ on Wuding Lu

By Sophie Steiner, April 18, 2024

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The Place 

Smokin' Hog soft opened earlier this week after taking over Post No Bills' old digs on Wuding Lu last month.

In between the hubbub of hundreds of kilos of meat smoking, cocktails pouring, and burgers sizzling, we were lucky enough to snag a seat and dig our chops into some good ol’ low-and-slow Texas-style BBQ.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

While the name Smokin' Hog may be familiar (they've made quite the showing on the popup market scene over the last three years), this is the team’s first brick-and-mortar store. 

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Backed by restaurateurs and married couple Nacho Virgen and Karina Sasmita, this ‘cue joint is merging American South classics with south-of-the-border Mexican flare. 

The Food 

While Nacho has his spice rub-coated hand in the menu curation, Mexican-native Chef Miguel Angel is upping the ante with sauces, street tacos and quesadillas, plus a slew of Mexican brunch fare on the way in the coming weeks. 

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The menu’s meat and potatoes is – well – meat and potatoes, emphasis on the meat, with DIY style ordering. All eight meat options are sold in 100-gram increments with add-on sides for an additional RMB25 a pop. 

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Traversing a carnivore’s culinary journey, the meat options range from 16-hour apple wood smoked USDA Prime Beef Brisket (RMB60) to sticky and slathered Butter Caramel Iberico Pork Ribs (RMB58), from Beef Barbacoa (RMB60) to 9-hour smoked and shredded Pulled Pork (RMB55) – the meat coming from the neck as it is leaner and better absorbs the Smokin’ Hog signature spice rub than its pork butt counterpart.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

There’s artisanal Cheddar Pork Sausage (RMB40), Spicy Beef Sausage (RMB40), and for those who dine on swine, some fat-laden Maple Pork Belly (RMB48), a creative addition to the standard BBQ lineup. Weekends also see Beef Short Ribs

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

All meats are freshly smoked and served alongside white toast, pickled onions, jalapeños, and a duo of homemade secret recipe BBQ sauces – the former being a balance of tangy (from tomatoes) and creamy (from butter) with a mild spicy kick, the latter showing up as a more typical BBQ sauce augmented by coffee.

Look forward to more sauces that are on the way, like chimichurri and a peach-based BBQ glaze.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

That same gastronomic voyage continues with the sides, a mix of both traditional and contemporary BBQ accoutrement. Think chorizo and chicharrón Baked Beans...

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

... pickled jalapeño and roasted Corn Relish – a cowboy caviar of sorts, sans beans...

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... and Shanghai’s uncontested best Cornbread muffins – moist like a cupcake yet pleasantly grainy and sweet. 

Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Mac’n’Cheese, and Fries make a showing as conventional BBQ accompaniments, yet for good reason.  

If you’re not bulking or hulking, there are brioche bun Sandwiches (RMB85-105) stuffed with your choice of smoked meats, and presented with pickled jalapeños and fries.

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Or there’s a hefty Smoked Beef Burger (RMB70) featuring – you guessed it – 150 grams of USDA Prime beef imbued with the smoker’s fiery char, plus gooey cheddar, caramelized onions, mayo and a dribble of wonderful wizardry that is Smokin' Hog’s “secret burger sauce.” 

There’s a calorie bomb Chili Burger (RMB75) – with the same beef patty doused in smoked chili con carne, smoked cheese sauce, and avocado – and a Smoked Brisket Crunch Wrap (RMB95) – modeled after Taco Bell but Texas-ified. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

Other sharing plates bridge the border, spanning Loaded Fries (RMB60) and BBQ Nachos (RMB60) to Mexico City-style street Tacos (RMB65-80) – white corn tortillas with your choice of meat, onions, cilantro, and a smoked salsa verde – and Quesadillas (RMB60-140) of folded flour tortillas, an egregious amount of mozzarella, and your choice of meat. 

Desserts will be rolling out shortly, with heartstoppers – literally – like Fried Oreos topped with homemade ice cream, and “tipsy” Banana Bourbon Pudding

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

On the drinks front, we highly recommend the refreshingly bubbly version of a Bloody Mary that is the Vampiro (RMB78) – a blend of silver tequila, sangrita (tomato juice, grenadine and L&P sauce), Taquitos grapefruit soda, and lime.

This pleasantly acidic sipper helps cut through the heavy gluttony of the food menu (despite being topped with a slice of in-house smoked bacon – this is first and foremost a BBQ haunt after all).

Aside from a few other signatures, there are Classic Cocktails (RMB58-88), Bottled and Draft Beer (35-48), Coffee Beverages (RMB18-34), and Soft Drinks (RMB20-30), including an ample spread of Taquitos sodas. 

The Vibe

The punk rock, 'damn the man' vibes of Post No Bills lives on in Smokin' Hog, as the same graffiti style wall art remains – the main difference in layout being that the bar has been cut in half, with the back end walled off as the new kitchen.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

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There’s dog-friendly seating for 30 inside, with the wall length bay window permanently open, so those near the front are basically outside. 

Bonus.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That’s

Plus, Nacho and Karina are simultaneously launching a sister delivery brand called Smokin' Bowls that will focus on – you guessed it – complete meals in a bowl, showcasing their BBQ meats as the protein source. 

Always more to look forward to.

Price: RMB60-200
Who’s Going: BBQ connoisseurs, meat lovers, #grilling followers, the Jing'an expat contingency
Good For: Spiking that cholesterol level, wearing sweatpants in public as a result of a food baby, ODing on USDA Prime meats

Smokin' Hog, 970 Wuding Lu, by Jiaozhou Lu, 武定路970号, 近胶州路. 


Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]


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