Article By Mike Leaner
503, Block C, Qi Yuan Ying Yue International, No.36, Jin Ye Road.
(029) 8112 7339
10:00am – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 300
PROS: Good food, great dining experience
CONS: A bit on the expensive side, this is not a casual dining experience but definitely worth it
For some reason, I feel like starting this review at the end and then working my way back: my dinner at Luutii was the most unique and enjoyable I’ve had in months. But first, I had to contend with finding the place.
Luutii is at the top floor of a shopping center at the intersection of Zhangba 3 Road and Jinye Road (the 3rd Ring Road crowd will recognize this as being in the LvDi Century City area). The signage was visible enough, saying it was on the 5th floor, but the double-doored elevator confused the hell out of me. To avoid my struggle, make sure you push the 5F button on the opposite panel of where you enter. If the doors open up directly to a dining room that looks like an iPod’s bachelor pad, you’ve found the place.
Cheap jokes aside, there is something very modern and even Jobs-ian about the décor. The dominant feature of the Luutii dining room is a giant white table surrounded by matching white molded-plastic chairs, capable of sitting a couple dozen people like we’re having a Galactic Trade Federation meeting. This is where all diners will enjoy their meal, as the smaller, more intimate tables seem to be more of a waiting area (more about that later).
As for the food on offer, this is definitely haute, western-style cuisine, with the foams, rosemary infusions and careful, Instagram-ready presentations that come with the territory. I was served a set meal that showed off the spectrum of tasty dishes they make, and it all began with a single giant prawn (the single most giant prawn I’d seen in Xi’an up to now) and a vortex of avocado slices. When I finished that, there was a good smattering of sauces and garnishes on the plate. “You’re not finished,” the manager told me. “Everything is edible, even the flowers.” And so they were. After that came a thick, subtle mushroom soup that didn’t photograph so well but was far more delicious than its appearance would suggest. The parade of food kept coming: a prime, boneless filet of fish; ink noodles in a red sauce; even the bread was top notch. The highlight of my meal, however, was the Australian steak. That I cooked myself.
You didn’t read that wrong. I cooked myself a great, wonderfully medium-rare steak, seasoned with just a little sea salt, a little pepper and a dash of black pepper sauce. The big difference-maker at Luutii is that you’re able to become an active participant of the meal you’re about to enjoy. Their chefs will bring you into the kitchen and walk you through how to cook your food exactly to your liking. No matter how novice you are, their patient instruction will make sure it turns out perfect.
After that, you can either go home and nurse your food baby, or you can head up to the roof and check out their whiskey bar for a wonderful cocktail and a prime view of the bright-light-big-suburb that has become of southern Gaoxin. Though I was unsure what to expect, Luutii impressed in every way imaginable. For a unique meal, a fun date, or anything, really, this restaurant is a touch of class and an honest-to-goodness foodie experience, the kind this town would do well to have more of.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org