Xi’An Cuisine 西安小吃 @ Richmond Public Market

Richmond Public Market is probably one of the worst managed “shopping centres” in the Lower Mainland.  It kinda reminds me of a wet market in Hong Kong where you’re sure that’s rodents and other things scurrying right under your feet.  The lower level tenants probably has it the worst.  They had to put up tarp above their stalls to stop the influx of garbage being thrown from the upper level.

In fact, the day that we went, the Buswell side of the first floor of the parkade was completely flooded with what smelled like garbage water.  It was horrible.  Nonetheless, we just turned around and went in the other entrance haha.

So it’s only natural that we decide to have lunch there!

Xi'An Cuisine

Actually they have a pretty decent food court.  There is such a variety of food here that you can’t find anywhere else.  One of my favorite places is Xi’An Cuisine first introduced to me by my Mom.  They specialize in handmade/hand-pulled noodles in an authentic lamb broth.

Xi'An Cuisine menu

They do offer a variety of other items too.  Some of them I’m afraid to try just because the name sounds weird.  One such was called 油茶 which literally translates to oil tea, but the English name/description (as most Chinese eateries make up the English names to their dishes according to what’s in it or how it’s made) was Fried Flour with garlic and sesame seeds.  Totally unexpected.

Anyway, I ordered what I usually have here, and that’s the Knife-cut Noodle with Lamb in Soup ($5.75).

However, I read on one of the newspaper clippings they had on their counter that actually a signature dish of Xi’An is actually something called Shredded Dough with Lamb in Soup 羊肉泡饃 (it’s written on the glass).  I think I’m going to try that next time.

Xi'An Cuisine

This is also one of the few places where you actually get to see the chef hand-pull the noodles.  Actually did you know that that’s where the Japanese term Ramen came from?  Ramen is the actually phonetic sound of 拉面 (lai-meen) which quite simply, means “pulled noodle”.  However I don’t believe the Japanese version is actually pulled too.  They just borrowed the name.

Xi'An Cuisine: Ramen

They’ve recently became more environmentally friendly in that if you’re eating there they use actual bowls.

Anyway there’s an abundance of veggies in this and the broth, even though it looks clear, is actually very flavorful and fragrant of lamb.  However it does get a little salty.

Xi'An Cuisine handmade noodles

As it’s knife-cut noodles, they’re all irregular sized but largish pieces.  Each piece is very chewy but thoroughly cooked through.  I really like this.

So if you’re up for a different type of Chinese cuisine or noodle soup, I do urge you to give this a try!

Xi'An Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses

  1. Ha, I eat here several times a week.

    The broths are very, very good and noodles are expertly made. This dude (Mr. Duan) is a god in regional Chinese cuisine in Vancouver and deserves to have a cult following. He doesn’t even open every day of the week nowadays!

    Dishes I can recommend:

    — Rou jiao mo, which is like a Xi’an take on a pulled pork sandwich: slow cooked pork stuffed into baked flatbread. I eat my weight in these every month.

    — Fenzheng rou: pork that’s shredded and steamed with chili oil and other good stuff and stuffed into a big puffy steamed bread. This isn’t available every day, but it’s amazing– actually, it’s good that it isn’t available everyday, since it’s 90% pork fat and chili oil. So good.

    — Yang rou pao mo, which you mentioned, is the classic dish of Xi’an. Can you read Chinese? Jia Pingwa, a native of Shaanxi, wrote a great essay on Xi’an and Shaanxi xiaochi that takes pao mo as the star of the province’s xiaochi. In Xi’an, you actually get to order it, then order the mo, bread, separately and crumble it in, then get more soup and fixings on top. Very cool.

    — Try the side dishes! The xue cai dou gan or the beef tendon or anything else.

    — Very good liang pi’er, too.

    I’d recommend you check out the youcha, but it is NEVER, EVER available, much to the dismay of the homesick Shaanxi natives of Richmond.

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