the best Xian food in Sydney
Today I’m taking you around to my go-to places for the best Xian food in Sydney. Xian is a central city in China that use to be the capital back in ancient times where China created the Silk Road.
A lot of the food from Xian has Middle Eastern influences because of this history. From the flat breads and use of cumin and spices. Xi’an is seen as the food capital of China to many.
Here are all the details:
183D Burwood Rd, Burwood
Xi’an Eatery is located on the busy main road of Burwood Rd. in Burwood. They’ve made a name for themselves for serving up delicious and authentic Xi’an food.
But their Biang Biang noodles is arguably the best in the city.
Made fresh everyday and to-order to ensure every thick flat noodles has the right texture. Xi’an Eatery’s Biang Biang noodles are made exactly how they are made back in China; small dough balls pulled, stretched and smacked to order, to make deliciously thick chewy noodles that are ready to get coated with sauce and condiments.
Fun fact: the Chinese character for Biang is the hardest character to write in the Chinese language. And is actually an onomatopoeia to describe the sound of the dough being smacked against a hard surface to create the thick broad noodles.
The noodles traditionally is served with garlic, chilli peppers, hot oil with fresh vegetables. But at Xi’an Eatery, they also serve it with pork and a tomato with egg mixture.
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After mixing the whole bowl together, you get every noodle completely coated in the fragrant mix of garlic, oil and chilli.
It makes for an absolutely delightful, stomach warming and appetising experience.
If you think you know all there is to know about noodles, I implore you to go try Biang Biang noodles at Xi’an Eatery. It’ll be an eye opener.
I also tried two more items off their menu, the Rou Jia Mo or (Xi’an pulled pork burger) and the pan fried dumplings. The pulled pork burger is fondly known as the world’s oldest sandwich dating back 221BC.
The Rou jia Mo at Xi’an Eatery is a bit different to the original, where the bun is more dense and the meat is a lot lighter with more herbs than what you would typically find in China.
However, the pork is still packed with flavour and tender from the hours of braising.
The pan fried dumpling came with the crispy fried flour mixture, and the filling was extremely fresh and juicy from the meat. But the highlight was the dipping sauce it came with.
A tart, spicy and herby sauce that pretty much represents Shaanxi cuisine very well.
Eastwood Village Square
We start this visit off with Biang Pi, a famous Shaanxi dish (the province Xi’an is in), that you can find virtually everywhere in China.
Want a small meal? Liang Pi
Want a bite to eat? Liang Pi.
But even though its a convenient snack, nothing about it is convenient to make. Liang Pi is made from saturating wheat flour with water overnight, then draining the excess water out, where you are left with a starchy paste you then steam in thin layers. After steaming your starch paste, it gets quickly cooled down in ice water.
The final product is peeling an almost jelly-ish texture noodle similar to skin. Hence the name Liang Pi (cold skin).
The steamed sheets of Liang Pi is then cut into strips to make noodles, which is tossed in a mix of bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, chilli powder, garlic, soy sauce, black vinegar and steamed gluten.
Fun fact, the steam gluten is from the process of saturated the wheat flour with water and kneading the dough to get rid of the gluten.
Yup. Nothing is wasted. (Nothing should be wasted)
The final product is a very refreshing dish that, although a bit spicy is perfect for summer.
Next thing I tried was a cucumber salad, which is again found everywhere in China and is the very few salads within Chinese cuisine. This isn’t exactly Xi’an food, nor Shaanxi food, but originates from Sichuan. However, I was at Seabay Kitchen and couldn’t pass up the chance to order it.
The cucumber is smashed instead of chopped or sliced to get maximum crunch AND for the cucumbers to hold onto the dressing better. The dressing is a mix of garlic, sesame oil and white rice vinegar.
Appetising, delicious starter that goes with almost anything.
4/90 Hay St, Haymarket
Xi’an Cuisine has been serving an extensive Xi’an menu for over 10 years at Haymarket. They feature some dishes that are hard to find anywhere else in the city, which makes this place a must visit.
It’s a hidden gem that looks unremarkable when you step foot into the place, but will leave you feeling like its a place of magic once you leave.
The first dish I got is a hearty, sliced pork dry noodle dish mixed with root vegetable cubes, fungi and tofu and then tossed in a generous sauce.
The flavour profiles of this dish is slightly spicy, slightly tart. I just love this noodle dish because it’s so easy to eat. You slurp the noodles and barely need to chew.
The next dish I got is Pita bread in lamb soup with thin rice noodles. This is another classic style Shaanxi dish that has very obvious Middle Eastern history. Just like many Middle Eastern dishes (especially in Iran), bread is ripped and then placed in a soup.
This dish has a very strong lamb flavour, rich meaty broth without the gamey taste. The chunks of meat is tender and the rice noodles takes on the flavours of the meaty, peppery spiced soup. It’s a great bowl of noodles to have in winter.