NO-DO Butaippin 浓豚一品

13

Article By Jorge Cartaya

No.130, Dong Mu Tou Shi
东木头市130号
(029) 8725 6205
11:00am – Midnight

Average Price per Person /人均消费: 50RMB

PROS: Great location in the center of Xi’an, lots of varieties of Japanese cuisine, draft beer!

CONS: Some dishes can take a while to cook, so you can’t be in a big hurry

This nifty new Japanese restaurant, found conveniently on Dong MuTouShi, between the South Gate and Bell Tower, is a great find for all lovers of hot Japanese dishes. You will find no sushi or sashimi here, but rather lots of delicious ramen varieties, set meals, amazing pork, seafood and beef dishes, curries, traditional sukiyaki, tasty sides and desserts, refreshing teas and beer on tap. And trust me, if you haven’t tried any other varieties of Japanese food besides sushi and teppanyaki, you need to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the many wonders of that country’s unique cuisine, right here in Xi’an! Come with friends, so that you can all share in the many delicious appetizers offered.

The first and easiest thing to get into is tonkatsu, or deep fried pork cutlets. These are very common across Japan, and for a reason! They are tender, savory pieces of pork that can be ordered plain or with a sweet sauce and accompanied with rice or with shredded cabbage. Another great dish for the more adventurous is the dry seaweed, tempura shrimp and lettuce salad. It is a bit heavy on wasabi, so be careful if you’re not used to it! Even still, the idea is to get a bit of everything in your mouth at once, so that the flavors mix and explode into your palate with all the spicy goodness that wasabi is famous for.

Next you could enjoy the mouthwatering braised pork dish called Zhu RuanGu on the menu. It is so tender and soft that it starts to come apart at the mere touch of your chopsticks, and it melts in your mouth like so much butter. Another delicious and simple meal is Japanese curry rice. Though not on par with Indian curries, they are still delicious and filling; great for a quick meal! The other obvious choice for a quick, one person meal is a bowl of delicious ramen noodles. The restaurant offers many varieties of traditional ramen, mostly with pork, egg, or both, and also a prawn ramen which is the chef’s own creation. They come packed full of goodness, and they warm you right up in the cold Xi’an winter.

The most special dish in the restaurant, however, is the beef sukiyaki for two. This consists of a large beef steak and a variety of vegetables, home-made tofu, and mushrooms, which are cooked at your table. The pan is heated and the butter melts, then you cook the steak pieces, which are then dipped in a sweet soy sauce broth, and then dipped in a raw beaten egg before finally arriving fashionably late at the party in your mouth. Then the broth and soup are added to the pan and you start cooking the vegetables and tofu in the now beefy, savory mix of sauces, and continue to dip everything in your raw beaten egg before chowing down. I know it sounds complicated, but there’s a reason it’s so popular in Japan!

For dessert, try the almond tofu. It looks like a custard, served cold, and it’s absolutely delicious; sweet enough but not packed with sugar, and it seems to fit into your stomach no matter how full you may be. Trust me, you won’t leave this place without being full and satisfied with the quality, presentation, and flavors of every dish!

Jorge is a long-time Xi’an expat with an
eye for the finer things in life. He can be reached at reviews@xianease.com