Written by Naomi & Javier
There’s no sign outside; wait outside the big, ancient metal doors and call this number. A woman will meet you at the door and lead you inside. It sounds like a great set-up—that we might mysteriously disappear into oblivion instead of eating at the fanciest private restaurant in Xi’an. Luckily, we experienced the latter.
After waiting for a moment, we were ushered inside the fortress-like entrance by the aforementioned woman on the phone. Before relaxing in our private dining room we were given a tour of the place. It’s a combination of a restaurant, mini-palace, museum, art gallery and teahouse. Everything is made to impress. The chopsticks are worth a small fortune, the goldfish pond is surrounded by a mysterious fog and the 2×4 meter calligraphy table is made from one solid piece of Brazilian wood. On top of all of this, they have a talking parrot!
Customers are treated like royalty and enjoy private rooms, each catered to specific activities. One room is for calligraphy and relaxing, another for sipping tea and others for dining and resting. Every inch of the premises are decorated floor to ceiling with antique Chinese treasures: paintings, pottery and hand-carved woodwork. I’m sure much of the art is by famous Chinese artists but as dumb laowai all we could do was nod along to the tour, occasionally asking “Is that artist famous?” as we looked at the Chinese equivalent of Monets, Picassos and da Vincis. Our dining room was fitted with a private bathroom, tables and chairs carved out of solid wood and a raised, cushioned area for post-dinner reclining and playing Chinese board games.
The food is ordered in set meals served in small portions so you get to eat a wide variety of foods. Each person gets eight to ten different dishes including appetizers, soup, salad, fish, dumplings and dessert. Our food had very subtle flavors, so for those who haven’t adapted to Chinese cuisine (or don’t particularly enjoy it) it’s very mild and most palates could handle it—no insane spiciness or Sichuan peppercorns to be found here. The highlights of the meal were a mutton soup and a type of silver fish. The mutton soup was a very simple meat, broth and green onions soup but the flavor was very full. The silver fish was a steak of fish which appeared to be cooked in butter and garlic, and it was unlike any fish we’d tried before. The flavor was incredible, more like shrimp or lobster in its richness.
If you want to impress a potential business partner, this is a really upscale place with private rooms for discussion. If you want to eat somewhere that looks like the China from the movies, or if you have a friend visiting from out of the country and you want to give them a stereotypical upscale Chinese dining experience, go to this restaurant. It’s a really cool and interesting place.
PRO: a very unique environment and private rooms to enjoy an upscale meal.
CON: a bit far from the city center and kind of hard to find. Also, the waitresses don’t speak any English.
Address：3F, Block A, Xiang Shu Jie Qu, Southwest of Ke Ji 6 Road and Hui Feng South Road Intersection
( 科技六路与沣惠南路十字西南角橡树街区A座3层 )
Tel：029-8886 5333 029-8886 2555
Business Hours：11:00am-3:00pm 5:00pm-9:00pm