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XI’AN FOOD BAR

[Photographs: David Straight]

Such a prosaic name: such wondrous food. Xi’an is down the bottom of Anzac Avenue. It is small and plain, and about the only defining feature is the hilariously 80s ordering system, which involves pushing numbers into something that looks like an early eftpos terminal.

It’s food from Xi’an, the province (better known for terracotta warriors, etcetera) and so, a bit like Shaolin Kung Fu Noodles, it’s influenced by the Muslim population of China’s north. There are “Chinese burgers” – we ate the lamb ($4.50) with cumin: juicy meat, slathered with spices and chilli, between two pieces of bread that are almost like naan. Then we ate poached celery with dried tofu ($6.50), also with chilli sauce: crunchy and fresh. You should try the “pita bread soup soaked in lamb soup”($9) – the bread is more like dough, and it is almost gelatinous. In a good way.

But you really must try the biangbiang noodles – so-called belt noodles because of their thickness and their length – they’re incredibly long, made by hand in the open kitchen. We like them with Xi’an-style braised pork ($9). Unctuous, rich, slowly cooked with a touch of tomato. Truly wondrous, from the first bite to the last. SFG

HOURS Lunch and dinner, seven days.

ADDRESS 11 Anzac Avenue, City, ph 368-7600.

IMPORTANT DETAILS There are several other branches of Xi’an – Northcote Town Centre, Mt Albert and Panmure. Northcote is just as good as downtown; we haven’t tried the others.

6 Comments

  1. Aaron wrote:

    Great noodles, unusual ordering system!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  2. paudie wrote:

    Went there tonight based on this review, got the biangbiang noodles with braised pork. Absolutely delicious. Didn’t particularly like the texture of the bread for the burgers but the lamb filling was incredible. Will be back for sure.

    Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Sarah wrote:

    My flatmate brought this home for us last night – biangbiang with braised pork. Blew my mind how good it was. Like an Asian lasagne! In a nut shell I am heading back for more tonight with friends

    Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  4. Danielle wrote:

    This place looks dirty. But, the biangbiang noodles are off the chain. Ladies, don’t try and eat one all to yourself like what I tried to do – it’s too big. A great, cheap eat.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink
  5. SFG wrote:

    It is off the chain. And, having just come back from Xi’an in China, we can confirm it’s authentic too.

    Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:59 am | Permalink
  6. Jeremy Freeman wrote:

    Agree with all the comments above; hit the Dominion Road joint which was spotless and empty of patrons, which is a shame because the ordering system is quaint and hilarious, and the food exceeded expectations. Especially the braised pork which may have been the best thing I ate in 2013. Go there.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

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