Article By Ji
2F ,Liang Li Building, No.7, Gaoxin 4 Road.
(029) 8730 5808
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 88RMB
As we all know, hitting a new western restaurant in Xi’an is the gastronomical equivalent of Russian roulette. Luckily, my trip to Camel Bell Castle proves that there are still some places out there that manage to get it right. Nearly every aspect of this place oozes authenticity and class, with only a very occasional small misstep marring what comes as close to perfect as we can ask for in Xi’an.
The first thing you see when stepping in to Camel is their in-house shisha wizard, who has a nook full of brands and flavors you won’t find anywhere else in the city. This guy is a one-man party who never stops dancing while he slings the coals around, and I can sum up the shisha experience here very easily: affordable, authentic, and delicious.
The decor is breathtaking. Walking into Camel is like being transported into another world, and everything from the lights to the murals to the mini-museum of local odds and ends in the entrance all working together to give you an authentic experience.
Of course, every review in the end comes down to the food, and Camel doesn’t disappoint in this area either. The sourcing for the food is a bit varied, with Azerbaijan, the Middle East, Russia, Xinjiang, and a few other regions all represented, but they do a good job of tying it all together. I started off with borscht and cream of mushroom soup, both delicious. They followed that up with some big lamb skewers – tender and juicy, with some really good lamb flavor. The caprese was spot-on, with a really nice and subtle balsamic vinaigrette. The pizza is a bit hard for me to review as it was a tuna pizza, which to me is just really bizarre. Fish should never go on pizza, nor should any other seafood (or durian especially). That said, they do have non-fish options, and the crust and sauce was done pretty well, so I think another topping would make for a tasty pie. The meal wrapped up with some fajitas, which I also had mixed feelings about. The chicken and peppers were tasty, with a nice spicy kick, but there was a bit of sweetness there which is definitely not authentic. However, the chicken was really tender and packed with flavor, so I find it hard to complain too much about this. The drink menu is not up and running yet, but I was assured they will have an assortment of classic cocktails to go with the food.
All in all a really excellent experience. The service was warm and friendly, food was 95% accurate, shisha was amazing, and all at a price point that beats most of the western food competition by a bit. I highly recommend Camel Bell Castle to anyone looking for a taste of the (not too far) west.
Ji is a singer, maker of Ejuice, and lover of all things drinkable. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org