Article By Brian Cotter
The number of Western restaurants in Xi’an has proliferated in the last couple of years. For those of us who love Chinese food but could do with a bit of a break from all things Ma La, Rou Jia Mo, Pao Mo and (shudder) Hotpot, this can only be good news. However, we had yet to find a restaurant catering to those of us trying desperately to cling to the false belief that we can live healthy lifestyles. Sure there were those new-fangled salad places…but c’mon; salad has its limits.
Then we came upon a spacious and elegant place called Light Cal. Opened in Gaoxin in August this year, Light Cal saw a gap in the market for a restaurant focused on serving healthy and light food that wasn’t just about salad (though they do have some awesome salads) and wasn’t just about the usual “Western” fare here of burgers, pizzas, and wings either.
Now, we’re aware that the term “healthy food” can generate alarm bells in the minds for some. But Light Cal have managed to not only create healthy low fat, high energy food but also make it damn delicious too. The menu is extensive and getting longer (with calorie counts per dish for the more obsessed), but the particular highlights for us were Tuna steak served with mini vegetables, Chicken served with seasonal vegetables, Beef Tacos, and their new “Autumn Salad”.
We’re also aware that food that is both delicious and healthy maybe generating other alarm bells; you may be thinking that this all has to come at a price, quite literally. But perhaps the strongest selling point of Light Cal is its affordability. The vast majority of the menu comes in at less than 40 RMB. The manager, a Xi’an native named Sky (he speaks very good English) told us that the owners were insistent that the food be relatively affordable so that it was accessible to not just the local white-collar contingent but also to the wider Xi’an populace, to students and to people looking for “post-workout food”.
Light Cal’s food is also available on delivery apps E Le Me (饿了么) and Meituan (美团) so if you’re fortunate enough to live in the Gaoxin area you’ll be able to order convenient, healthy meals as often as you like without leaving your apartment. We have their stuff delivered to us around five times a week already!
We’d strongly recommend Light Cal to anyone who likes their tasty food to not sacrifice on health, and their healthy food to not sacrifice on taste.
Add：A Block, Jin Qiao International Square, Keji Road, Gaoxin District. 高新区科技路金桥国际广场A座楼下
Tel：(029) 8860 5327
Open Hours：10:00am – 9:00pm