Xi’an: Xingshen International Hotel

by gigi on April 8, 2008

After spending our morning looking at the terracotta soldiers, we were off to lunch. We ate on the second floor of the Xingshen International Hotel, which also housed a small market where you could buy souvenirs and knick knacks.

Before our main dishes arrived, we were directed over to a small buffet table of cold appetizers. My favourite dish at this table was a cold buckwheat salad with snow peas and red peppers. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it but it was very refreshing and the noodles had a nice crunch to them.

xingshen hotel

The chicken was a bit dry and had a slight herbal flavour to it. I think I would have enjoyed this more if the herbal taste was stronger and it would have made the dish stand out as being very unique. But because the taste was so mild, it made me uncertain as to whether or not the herbal taste was done on purpose. :)

xingshen hotel

My mom told me that these crystalized honey potatoes were a specialty of this region and that it was a favourite of both my mom and dad when they were in Xi’an a few years ago. Despite the honey, I did not find the potatoes to be overly sweet and really enjoyed the contrast of the crunchy outside with the meaty potato inside. I can really see this as a yummy snack to have if you’re at the movies or something. :) You had to eat this dish immediately though because it wasn’t as tasty once it cooled down.

xingshen hotel

The handmade noodles in sesame oil were eaten cold. Although it was a bit plain, it provided a nice base to eat with some of our other dishes, epseically the ones with more gravy/sauce.

xingshen hotel

The cauliflower was actually very tasty and I enjoyed the red carrots quite a bit. Does anyone know if there are red carrots available in Vancouver? The carrots are so red in the picture below that they almost look like tomatoes. :)

xingshen hotel

The spicy lamb dish was very tasty although on the oily side. I also felt that there should be more lamb in proportion to the onions and peppers.

xingshen hotel

Next came the celery and pork. I am normally not a big celery fan because I find the taste to be too strong…but I like the mild taste of the celery in this dish.

xingshen hotel

Our last dish of the day was a sweet and sour pork. I thought this dish looked good but it was easily the worst dish of our meal. There was way too much fried batter and it wasn’t even warm!

xingshen hotel

My favourite dishes here were the potatoes and the noodles. I’m going to have to investigate just how they make those honey potatoes…

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

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