Article By Mike Leaner
5F, Han Shen Shopping Mall, Southwest Corner of Wen Jing Lu and Feng Cheng 8 Rd Intersection.
(029) 6360 2808
11:30am – 2:30pm (Lunch)
5:30pm – 9:00pm (Dinner)
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 100RMB
PROS: Good food and service; nice atmosphere
CONS: Can be a bit of a trip to get there if you live in the south
If my myriad conversations with curious taxi drivers are any indication, Chinese people think foreigners (Americans specifically) only eat hamburgers and steak. The reality is that steak is more of a “sometimes” food for most of us, and, historically, it’s even more of a “sometimes” food in China, because it can be hard to find a decent steak around town. If you’re in that kind of situation, I’ve got good news for you: Poivre might be the answer to your prayers.
Located in the north of the city, just a short walk from the Xingzheng Zhongxin stop on Metro Line 2, Poivre has been open for a little bit but has somehow gone overlooked by Xi’an’s carnivorous residents. It’s a nice, comfortable place located on the 5th floor of the Han Shen Mall, decked out with both intimate tables and roomy booths, suitable both for dates and for slightly bigger groups. It’s a classy atmosphere that isn’t so fancy as to make you feel you’ll get the bums’ rush.
The menu is focused – Poivre is a steakhouse, after all, so that’s about the long and short of their menu. You can order a la carte, or engineer a set meal for yourself of soup, salad, steak, coffee and dessert. I chose to start with the cream of mushroom soup, a creamy, subtle offering that was a great appetizer for what was to come. I then ordered an Australian rib eye with a side of fries (because steak frites is a great dish, okay?), and was immensely satisfied with my decision. The cut of meat was tender and cooked to a perfect rareness for my taste. It came with some very peppery black pepper sauce, but if that’s not to your liking you can just leave it to the side. Though the portion of fries was on the smaller side, they were tasty and not too salty and complimented the steak well. After cleaning my plate, I settled in for two hours of coffee, fruit from the salad bar and great conversation with my dining companion that absolutely flew by.
Foreign-style restaurants with an eye for quality can be hard to find in Xi’an, but Poivre makes it look easy. If you’re in the market for a great steak with all the fixings, seek this place out.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at