Article By Jorge Cartaya
B1-10,Liu Yuan, South Gate,Huan Cheng South Road, Beilin District
(029) 8541 7613
10:00am – 11:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 120-180 RMB
for a meal, dessert and drink
PROS: Great location, quality food, relaxing environment
CONS: Pricey drinks, sometimes the same price as a meal
Non Moi is pretty unique new place that just recently opened up outside the South Gate (along the moat, near Mototo on the east side of the gate). Whether you’re looking for a full meal, or just a place to sit and sip something refreshing on a hot afternoon, Non Moi has got something for everybody. With a modern, minimalistic, northern European look, the locale seems like it can’t decide if it’s a coffee shop, a restaurant, a bakery or a flower shop (it’s full of flower pots with some really nice arrangements).
The menu includes a very large selection of cold and hot drinks. The fruit smoothies, though pricey, are absolutely to die for, particularly the blueberry smoothie. Several tables were also ordering some really crazy-looking drinks, like a really interesting coffee called the “Clouds Coffee”. It consists of black coffee, over which lies suspended a cloud of cotton-candy-like sugar that slowly melts from the coffee’s heat and “rains” down into the mug. Weird, I know, but hey, it’s a brave new world. And anyway, they have a whole lot of other, more traditional beverages, for you beverage purists out there.
Onto the food then: their menu is quite varied in terms of snacks and meals. They have pizzas, pastas, steaks, fajitas, omelets, salads and even a Valencian seafood paella. I had the pleasure of trying a few dishes, and I have to say, they’re doing something right. The beef fajitas were surprisingly good and cheap. They come pre-rolled and cut into neat triangular pieces (like quesadillas), full of juicy beef, chili peppers, cheese, pineapple and onion. They would work really well as an appetizer for 2-3 people. Next I had the spinach cream spaghetti with bacon and mushrooms. This one was alright, though in my opinion the mushrooms were undercooked. The sauce itself was very rich and creamy, but I hope they’ll figure out how to get the mushrooms to taste like the sauce and not like, well, raw mushrooms. Finally I had the black pepper steak. It was choice Australian beef, at more or less the same price as most places (108 RMB for 250 grams). The black pepper sauce was really good, and the steak was very tender and juicy, though they cut it thin like everywhere else in this city, which always means it will be a bit drier than what westerners are used to. All in all, it was a really good steak nonetheless.
For dessert I enjoyed the heck out of a piece of red velvet cake. It was amazing; really moist and fresh, with layer upon layer of delicious redness separated by creamy frosting and topped with pieces of kiwi and peach. I was already really full by that point, but it was so good that I forced myself to finish it all. I had a black coffee to finish my meal, and left surprisingly pleased with my overall experience at Non Moi. I will definitely be heading back there for some more fajitas, fruit smoothies and cake sometime soon.
Jorge is a long-time Xi’an expat with an eye for the finer things in life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org