Xi'an Food Bar is a special little place and you might just have to believe us until you've tried their food. By no means is it fancy... 'sparce' and maybe even 'dingy' are words that came to mind when we first wandered in for lunch, but prepare to be wow-ed. This Food Bar has quite a following and not just with the steady flow of Chinese that come in for lunch and dinner.
Orders are taken through a bizzare 1980s style calculator system which ads to the unintentional charm of the place. If you’re lucky (like us) you may even get to share your table with a regular patron allowing you to check out their lunch choices and share their tea.
We ordered the Chinese hamburger with cumin lamb ($4.50) and the hand pulled noodles with braised pork, chili oil and fresh coriander ($9).
The Chinese Hamburger was quite the discovery - soft toasted bread filled with soft chunks of lamb heavily spiced with cumin and chili oil. But it was the hand pulled noodles with braised pork that were the business. There are few places you can get food this good and a portion this generous for less than a tenner. The pork is mild and beautifully braised and the hand-made noodles known as biangbiang (belt noodles due to their thickness) are true to their name - thick and authentic.
Fancy, no. Tasty as hell? Yes. The small venue's an ideal lunch-time spot for two.