Xi’an: Tangchen Restaurant

by gigi on April 6, 2008

The first official city of our China/Hong Kong trip was Xi’an. Xi’an is the ancient capital city of China and is home to the terracotta warriors and the tomb of China’s first emperor. The region here is one of the agricultural centres of China and is full of rich farmland and we definitely had our fill of fresh and yummy vegetables while we were here.

To start our meal this evening, we had some Chinese beer. I’m not a big beer drinker back in Canada so I don’t have a point of comparison, but I found Chinese beer to be quite light and mild in taste.

tangchen

To start our meal, we had a variety of cold dishes. The cold beef was thinly sliced and lightly seasoned.

tangchen

The cold chicken was pretty standard and regular tasting…although I also found it to be a bit dry.

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I enjoyed the cold lotus root quite a bit. It was lightly drizzled with sesame oil and was very crunchy.

tangchen

The cold cucumber dish was also lightly drizzled with sesame oil. It was slightly salty and very crunchy. I don’t think it was cucumber season back in Vancouver so I actually hadn’t eaten any in quite a while but the cucumbers here in Xi’an were very fresh.

tangchen

The soup was loaded with veggies and mushrooms…

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These green gourds were slightly tangy and also very crunchy. As you can probably tell by now, I have a penchant for crunchy vegetables. :)

tangchen

The chicken and chive dish was great with rice. The chives had a light onion/garlicky taste but was not too overwelming.

tangchen

The beef and pepper dish was spicy and also very good with rice. Although it had quite a few chilli peppers in the dish, it was not too spicy.

tangchen

The chicken cubes in the next dish were a bit dry but I enjoyed the cucumber and carrot chunks. Notice how red the carrots are…I suppose this is why they are called red turnips in Chinese? :)

tangchen

My mom referred to these veggies as Chinese lettuce. It was lightly stir-fried and very fresh.

tangchen

I think these noodles were one of the best dishes of the evening. The noodles were freshly made and al dente. The light soup broth perfectly complemented the noodles.

tangchen

I wasn’t too impressed with these pork dumplings…they looked a bit sad all lined up on the plate like that.

tangchen

For dessert, we had some steamed sweet rice cakes. These tasted almost exactly like the white steamed rice cakes available in Vancouver but I liked these more because they were a bit chewier and weren’t as watery.

tangchen

All in all, I enjoyed our first meal in Xi’an. I had been warned previously that the food in the other Chinese cities I would visit were much better but maybe that was why I enjoyed the food here. :) The vegetables were all very fresh and what I liked the most was that the food appeared to be completely absent of MSG! The service was also very attentive and friendly.

Summary:
Food: [rating:3]
Service: [rating:3.5]

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