Article By David Lee
50m West, Wu Wei Shi Zi and Nan Guang Ji Jie Intersection
(029) 8721 3895
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 75RMB
PROS: Stick Hot Pot with some added flair
CONS: No English
Wa Chuan Chuan provides a familiar but elegant Stick Hot Pot experience, separating itself from the swarms of similar establishments littered around Xi’an.
Located just inside the southwest corner of the city wall, the restaurant immediately stands out with its clean, modern interior. Business already seems to be going very well, as I had to wait for a table on a Wednesday evening. However, there was a significant assortment of snacks, tea and ice cream to munch on while waiting. It was a shame we got seated before I could finish the ice cream—it was really good.
Immediately upon getting a table, there was a huge menu of different broths and meats to choose from. Honestly, because of the language barrier I am not sure exactly what broths I ordered. Suffice to say, one was delicious and incredibly spicy and the other was delicious and not spicy. The thinly sliced beef was also heavenly and much higher quality than what you would normally find at most other restaurants in Xi’an.
All the sticks were incredibly high-quality meat and vegetables. Whether it was crab meat, asparagus, lotus root or beef-wrapped mushrooms everything tasted fresh and clean. Even the spam tasted fresh. There were also some great finds that I rarely see at Stick Hot Pot, like smoked tofu, green spinach noodles and zongzi (glutenous rice in bamboo leaves). The best Stick Hot Pot restaurants make each trip to the refrigerators feel like a land of infinite possibilities. Wa Chuan Chuan definitely fits that bill.
They augment their sticks with trays filled with all different kinds of fish, seafood and vegetables for a small additional fee. They also have a large selection of beer, juice and milk openly available on a large open refrigerator. It is surprisingly useful to be able to run and grab a bottle of milk after eating a bunch of sticks from the spicy pot.
All-in-all, Wa Chuan Chuan knows its lane and is not trying to do anything too revolutionary. We all know what Stick Hot Pot is and this restaurant does not want to stray too far from the formula. But everything it does it does very well. All the dishes are fresh and well-stocked. The broths are deep and flavorful. The décor feels nice and the air conditioner will keep your sweat to a moderate level in the summer. If you are near the Zhonglou area and want some Hot Pot, come on by.
David Lee is a reviewer for Xianease hoping to eventually write something as good as “real g’s move in silence like lasagna.”
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org