Of Noodles and Dumplings: Xi’an Famous Foods
Hungry for some noodles? Well, you can’t go wrong with giving Xi’an Famous Foods a try. X’ian Famous Foods is a small restaurant line in New York, with locations in Chinatown, Flushing, East Village, and Brooklyn. Described as a “fusion of Middle Eastern and Chinese foods,” its food has earned the restaurant critical acclaim from sites such as Serious Eats, USA Today, and The New York Times, and with good reason. Before going back home for spring break, I visited the location in Chinatown with some friends to check out what the buzz was about. Overall, I was quite pleased with my experience.
Considering its reputation as a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, the restaurant was surprisingly comfortable. The restaurant was actually fairly spacious, and there was ample seating available when we arrived. Service was decent too. The woman at the counter was polite and quick to take my order, and within minutes I had my food.
I started my meal with an order of the Liang Pi ($4.50). A light but delicious dish, the Liang Pi has a large variety of taste within one small plate, consisting of translucent noodles and thinly sliced strips of cucumbers, bean sprouts, and cilantro in a special sauce. The sauce is outstanding, containing a mixture of various flavors that beautifully come together. It is sweet, spicy, nutty, and tangy at once, and it is terrific. Next time, I would like to try the stir-fried version of these noodles. I was still a bit hungry after devouring these noodles though, so I ended up ordering a couple more dishes of food.
I followed my order of Liang Pi with an order of the spicy cumin lamb burger ($3.00), which I split with my friend. This was pretty great too. Though it may not be very large, the spicy cumin lamb burger is a sandwich seriously packed with flavor. I loved the lamb stew inside the burger. The soft meat practically melted in my mouth and just had the right amount of seasoning. The onions, on the other hand, were sweet and crunchy and complemented the savory and soft lamb well. My only minor complaint about the spicy cumin lamb burger was that it was a bit oily. The cumin sauce leaked out while we were eating the sandwich, and we had to grab a bunch of napkins to clean up the resulting mess.
My last dish was the spicy and tingly beef noodles and soup ($6.50). These were okay, if a bit disappointing. It’s not that the spicy and tingly beef noodles and soup dish is bad. It’s just that it wasn’t anything particularly special. I can’t really complain though. After the Liang Pi and the spicy cumin lamb burger, I was a satisfied customer, and I look forward to coming back to Xi’an Famous Foods soon.
Xi’an Famous Foods is located at 67 Bayard Street, New York, NY 10013,. You can learn more about Xi’an Famous Foods by visiting its website at http://www.xianfoods.com/index.php. You can also like its Facebook page and follow its Twitter.
Written by: matthewtsim