'Cuisine du Monde' with no boundaries

STYX is a hidden gem and a great spot to get away from all of the hustle and bustle. 
courtesy of STYX

The electric interior is created by French designer Baptiste Bohu.

STYX is a hidden gem and a great spot to get away from all of the hustle and bustle. 

There is an almost vacational feel about the establishment located inside the Yongping Lane complex, on Hengshan Road. It has lush tropical wallpaper, quirky accessories and bold prints. The summer-like inspired interior is a surprise in itself when compared to other restaurants in the same compound who don’t have the same strong design concepts.

STYX is a concept developed by Pascal Ballot, who previously worked for Three on the Bund between 2009 to 2016. 

Through his position as director of operations, to director of marcom and business development, he changed pretty much everything and the novelty developed in Three, allowed him to spend a lot of time with the outlet managers and guests and understanding the needs and wants of both sides.

“It was a fabulous seven years. I got to spend a lot of time with experienced people both in the kitchens and on the floor. I learned a lot from my colleagues, developed my taste buds and service knowledge,” he said. 

Ballot also organized the TOTB side of logistics for Omnivore World Tour Shanghai for a few years, which was a wonderful way of interacting with creative and innovative chefs from Shanghai and around the world.

“Opening a restaurant was one of my childhood dreams. I guess the excitement of working with knives and fires in a bustling environment, with the goal of giving immediate pleasure to the customer was fulfilling,” Ballot said. “Also Shanghai is an incredible city where both Chinese and foreigners like to go out for food and drinks. This is why there is no other city I could have considered to start this project.

“STYX is a gastronomic tale concept, where skewers are featured through a series of intimate journeys over several countries and continents. I invite people to bite, share and taste a ‘Cuisine du Monde’ with no boundaries.”

Wherever Ballot travels, he finds the essence of a city in its street food. The stalls and small shops are where every day people go to enjoy flavors and represent their national taste. 

“Those stores will often have a diversified clientele, ranging from modest blue collar workers to successful or rich white collar workers, all enjoying a tasty bite in a simple vibe,” said Ballot. 

“I’m European but I spent half of my life in Southeast Asia (Singapore and Indonesia) and Shanghai. I wanted to create a place where we could enjoy food from different origins, without it becoming an awkward mix and match. 

“By having the heart of our food on skewers, I first want to pay tribute to the wide variety of Satay (skewers) I enjoyed growing up in Southeast Asia. But it also a way of having something common in format on the table, whether you are eating something rather French, like duck with mustard cream sauce, Indonesian, like chicken satay with peanut sauce, or South American, like beef with chimichurri. The dish will have visual similarities, yet the flavors will allow the guests to travel in the same meal to varied destinations.”

Here at STYX, a casual pleasure of BBQ and skewers is brought with an elevated street food experience, where, like on the street, one can come for a reasonably priced set plate or take your time with friends and enjoy several different skewers with some sides, appetizers and good drinks.

As it’s newly opened, Ballot says he is still adjusting and playing with the menu. He recommended I tried the sets, including: two skewers, side dish and sauce. I chose chicken satay, pickles, rice (58 yuan), duck tender, mustard cream sauce, duck fat potatoes (58 yuan), pork belly, slow roasted and BBQ, sambal, garlic beans (68 yuan). 

Chicken satay is a bit more mild compared to the Indonesian street style, but it is definitely one of the favorites here. Pork belly skewer is very inventive, inspired by the spice stuffed baby porks roasted whole in Ubud, Bali. The pickles and sides were good accompaniment to go with the meaty skewers.

courtesy of STYX

Chicken satay and beef chimichurri

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