Article By David Lee
Northeast Corner of South 2 Ring Road and West 2 Ring Road Intersection, Gaoxin, Tao Yuan Road.
131 1929 2151 132 2700 5870
5:30pm – 10:30pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 500RMB
CONS: Difficult to find
This restaurant is in some dude’s apartment. I repeat—this restaurant is in some dude’s apartment.
Hidden on the 18th floor of a residential building, Wagyu Cabin provides an exquisite and intimate experience that leaves you feeling like an insider on one of Xi’an’s best-kept secrets.
First things first, I’ll need to tell you how to find this place. After arriving at the complex, go to building two and entrance number two (2号楼2单元) and go to room 17-710. It is literally just one of the residential apartments retrofitted with an industrial kitchen. There are no signs and absolutely no indications of a high-end restaurant nestled within those walls until you knock on the door.
But once you’re welcomed in, the 10-seat eatery immediately feels like a good friend’s home. The décor is kept simple and the tables are small. The bathroom has a shower. The servers are super friendly and were patient and understanding with my limited Chinese ability.
Meat is the centerpiece at Wagyu Cabin. The two steaks I had varied widely in price but they were both head and shoulders above almost anything else I’ve had in Xi’an. They were perfectly cooked and seasoned, allowing the umami of the beef to really coat your palette and leave an impression. If you want to show off, go ahead and splurge on the 45-day dry aged steak. But even the cheaper cuts—which are still 1 RMB/gram—pack a powerful punch without breaking the bank.
The side dishes are also cooked to perfection and set the stage for the meat. The mixed greens salad and potato salad are only 15 RMB each. Wagyu Cabin also serves some seafood delicacies, including a succulent lobster tail that came recommended by the server. The best bite of food I had might have been the perfectly cooked scallop that came just before the steak. Scallops are notoriously finicky and can easily overcook and become rubbery—for a Xi’an chef to put these on the menu is just showing off.
Without even talking to the other customers at the restaurant, I felt like I was part of some inner circle. We had all found this hidden gem and were part of this shared experience. It was like a mutual friend’s dinner party. The experience here is more malleable than most. You can easily spend over 1,000 RMB per person and have an otherworldly fine-dining experience. You can also spend around 200 and have a nice sit-down with a friend and some wine.
Of course you have that amount of control. It’s your friend’s house.
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