Written by Becca and Wayner Edens
To find authentic western restaurants in Xi’an is often a challenge, so to stumble across this French gem was an absolute delight. The newest La Seine has been open for 2 months and is situated on the corner of Tangyan and Keji Road in the Goaxin district. As with it’s counterpart restaurant near Bell Tower, La Seine’s romantic French atmospheric heeds a wonderful casual dining experience with all the true feel of stepping into a little piece of France.
Our first impression of the external wall, which is filled with French quotes painted on a cream background instantly set the vibe of something a little bit different to the norm of the Xi’an fine dining experience. Walking through the door we were stunned by the plethora of French, Italian, Spanish, Chilean, South African and Australian wines, racked from wall to ceiling. The ground floor also houses a popular Teppanyaki restaurant to the left and a French inspired bakery, serving coffee, delicious pastries and bread to the right. La Seine is tucked up on the second floor and although there is no lift, the experience of climbing the double sided staircase, which is like a modern art gallery in itself, certainly makes up for that and gets you in the artisan mood.
The restaurant itself is beautifully and tastefully decorated in subtle wood tones and a stunning white grand piano nestled in the corner. There are several different areas with their own unique feel including tied drapes that can be released to create a private, romantic booth. The welcome from the superbly trained staff, especially Lewis, was a true testament to what La Seine is trying to achieve with regards to a unique and authentic western dining experience. Our table was set in an area of individual booths with red, white and blue table runners and fresh red rose petals scattered on the tables and of course a delightfully chic candlestick.
After being presented with a choice of wines, the Head Chef, Chuck, introduced himself as a highly experienced Michelin 3 star trained chef having worked in high end restaurants in Singapore and Australia. All of this can be clearly seen from the sophisticated menu. Chuck explained to Wayne and I that his passion is his food and wants to bring an affordable fine dining restaurant serving excellent yet well priced dishes. He also very proudly boasts of the fact
that everything served is home made. He regularly visits his guests at their tables which was lovely to see. The menu itself caters to the Chinese and Western palates in an exquisite French fusion. Our Petit Start was a spread of home-made bread with a light duck foie gras pate topped with a hazelnut and sugar crumble and a board of cured salmon delicately topped with horseradish cream and a five spice vinaigrette. Following the second and third course of traditional French onion soup and a beautiful home-made cured bacon caesar salad, which was the ‘pièce de résistance ‘. Both our main courses were an aesthetic delight. The duck confit with roasted garlic cep mushrooms and seared foie gras along with the perfectly cooked Wagyu Australian ribeye steak with crispy sliced garlic, mayonnaise and beef jus. The whole culinary extravaganza was finished off with an mouth watering eight texture chocolate mousse and crepe au chocolate with vanilla ice cream….très bon! The prices for a main course range from 68 yuan for the golden
pork grenobloise to a whopping 1000 yaun for the Boston Lobster. The extensive menu also include French favourites like pate de champagne, escargot, beef consommé and scallops. The presentation of all the dishes are
very deliberate but not over the top and the portion sizes are more than satisfactory and as a self confessed ‘foodie’, I was in food heaven! Simply put, La Siene is a high quality restaurant with a reflective price tag. Not a once a week
place, but certainly for those special occasions and somewhere to bring the people you want to impress. But you certainly get what you pay for in regards to quality, ambience and impeccable service.
Pro: A wonderful change to the normal dining experience. Amazing menu and choice of wine in a beautiful environment. Membership with a free bottle of wine is available.
Con: The prices, although definitely reflective of the quality may out price some, so save it for a special occasion as it is well worth it. Wine measures are only 50ml.
Average Price per person/人均消费: 60-250 RMB
200m North of Northeast Corner of Keji Road and Tangyan Road.
( 高新区科技路与唐延路十字东北角向北200米 )
Tel /电话: 029-8956 6688 Hours /时间: 10:00am-10:00pm