Xi'an Famous Foods (@xianfoods) is a favourite amongst New York foodies. It was featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservation, MSN's Appetite for Life with Andrew Zimmern, New York Chow Report and various magazines. It has been referred to as a true New York success story, with its owners coming from humble background. Xi'an Famous Foods has been on my radar for a while, because I was born in the city of Xi'an and spent the first twelve years of my life there prior to coming to Canada. I recently visited Xi'an again, the second time since I came to Canada. Check out my travel page to see what I ate while I was there!
Xi'an Famous Foods started in Chinatown and now has 7 locations. We visited their Midtown location. It's just a short walk away from our hotel in Time Square. There was a line-up in the restaurant, but the service was swift. Their food preparation area is fully visible to the customers and I watched them beat the noodle against the countertop after we ordered, making that characteristic 'bi-ang' noise. Dinner & a cooking demo, not a bad deal. The interior was relatively small and quite busy, thus we took our order to go and ate in our hotel room.
Xi'an Famous Foods exterior & interior
Check out the picture of a cow on the left hand side of the following photo, can you guess what that means? It took me a long while, longer than I care to admit, to figure this one out. At first I thought, 'cows should not poop in this restaurant'. Right? Nah, it means 'No Buillshit'. Clever indeed.
Xi'an Famous Food menu
We got a lot of food, two types of hand-ripped noodles, an order of cold skin noodle and two stewed pork burgers. These food brought back so much memory from my childhood. It was quite nostalgic tasting Xi'an food, because of how difficult it is to find Xi'an food in Canada. Xi'an food is unlike the rest of Chinese cuisine due to its heavy Middle Eastern influence, resulting in very bold flavours using spices such as cumin.
I had their Concubine's chicken hand-ripped noodles while my dining companion had their spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles because I don't eat lamb. The hand-ripped noodles were luscious and had a great bite to them. The topping was authentic in flavour. I wish my noodle was spicier as I love my Xi'an food with a kick. If you are a spicy food lover, ask them to make it extra spicy for you.
Spicy cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles - N1
Concubine's chicken hand-ripped noodles - N6
I also ordered their liang pi cold skin noodle to try, because this dish was a childhood favourite. When I was young, I would walk over to my favourite liang pi shop in Xi'an with 2.5 RMB (~ 0.4 USD/CAD) in my pocket and order a bowl of extra spicy liang pi to take home. I would always get the extra large bowl. I guess my gluttonous nature started at a young age. The liang pi from Xi'an Famous Food reminded me of growing up and taking that long walk to the liang pi shop. It was my favourite dish of the night.
Liang Pi cold skin noodles - A1
Lastly, the stewed pork burgers, another childhood favourite. It was quite good, although not quite the same as the ones I had growing up. The ones I had as a child was distinctively fattiers, with small chunks of fat throughout the burger, giving it an extra level of decadence.
Stewed pork burgers - B1
I'm glad that we got to try Xi'an Famous Foods on our New York trip. It was a good experience and brought back so much childhood memory.
Please see my travel page for more NYC restaurants! Follow me on Twitter (@SGluttonous) and Instagram (@simply.gluttonous) for more food photos and fun!
Until next time,