Article by Jin and Francis
D12, Gaoxin Glorious Plaza, Ke Ji Road.
(029) 8426 6632
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 172 RMB
First of all, don’t be deceived by the name – this restaurant is a lot more than just cakes. It is actually best known for its dry-aged steaks! Tucked back and away into the dining plaza of Glorious Plaza (大都荟) in Gaoxin, this restaurant featured a glitzy and higher-end collection of gastronomic delights. Greeted by clear glass walls, wooden tables and green tropical plants, we were quickly shown to an upstairs table.
Once we sat down, our waiter informed us that they had reserved a cut of their aged T-bone. An important note here – you must call to reserve their steaks in advance.
We started with two Buffalo Mozzarella and the Avocado Asparagus salads. Both were composed of fresh ingredients, the latter of which had notably tender yet crispy shoots of asparagus with shrimp and was drizzled with a sweet and spicy dressing. This is also one of the most popular items here—we saw it on all of the tables next to us.
Next was a plate referred to as the “Chef Special,” which was truly a highlight of the meal. Three chicken-bacon rolls each sat carefully placed on their own Perilla leaves (perhaps more familiar as the green or reddish toothed leaves sometimes served with Korean BBQ) and featured a small plastic dropper, full of basalmic vinegar. You could squeeze the droppers to customize the vinegar saturation of each individual chicken-bacon roll (we won’t lie – we squeezed all of it, because we love basalmic vinegar).
We also got to try their American Fries and Parma Ham Pizza. The fries came both with standard fries as well as spiced-up wedges. The pizza was special though – it actually contained more ham and chicken underneath a hefty layer of cheese – a pleasant surprise given there were already parma rolls on top! In terms of seafood,we ultimately opted for a cod steak, which did not dissapoint. The seared cod steak practically melted when prodded with a fork, and was served atop a savory mushroom sauce.
Finally, the main event, the dry-aged T-bone steak, was incredible to many degrees. Served on a massive plate, necessitated by the hefty size of the steak itself, it was still sizzling, which we found was due to the super-heated edges of plate on which it was resting and a puddle of butter that had collected at one end. The butter and hot edges of the plate meant that even though the steak itself had already rested and had been pre-cut before bringing tableside, the serving staff was able to sear the rare/medium-rare cuts on the outside, which was entertaining and provided some additional diversity in the final texture of the steak itself.
As for the meat, the sizable dry-aged cut we had also commands a hefty price – most cuts range between 400-900RMB, while the priciest goes for more than 1000RMB (not to mention the custom cuts). This price, however, is earned. In case you aren’t familiar, the process of dry-aging requires storing meat at near-freezing temperature for an extended period of time, over which beneficial molds on the surfaces pull liquid out of the meat and natrual enzymes within break down the muscle. The result is a more tender cut with highly concentrated and varied flavors. However, because dry-aged steaks lose water and must have the outside mold cut off, they are more expensive per unit of weight.
Overall, their service staff were highly attentive, and courteously answered all of our questions. The downstairs dining area had ample seating, but if you are looking for more privacy, their upstairs level does have screens that were used to divide tables into different seating areas. Some of their staff are able to speak English. And a final reminder – call ahead to reserve that steak!
Jin and Francis are both teachers in Xi’an, and love exploring food. They can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.