Article by Jin and Francis
No.5, West of Stadium East Road.
(029) 8523 2178
5:00pm – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费:77RMB
It was a wet, brutally cold evening when we arrived – snowing lightly, the streets and sidewalks covered with puddles, mud, and leaves. Located a short walk from Nanshaomen Station, the neighborhood is familiar but has undergone some recent changes. The addition of Takiyoshiya is decidedly a most welcome one.
As soon as we stepped inside, we have instantly transported to Japan: a wave of hot air washed over us, a slightly claustrophobic dining area had colorful posters advertising Suntory highballs, the glow of hidden light strips illuminated the walls, and peeking over the bar counter we could see steaming pots in the kitchen. The icing on the cake, though, was a Japanese cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” playing over the sound system.
As we sat down, we received menus (only in Chinese and Japanese – no English yet) and immediately noticed that most of the items on the menu are different from other Japanese restaurants in Xi’an. While most Japanese restaurants in Xi’an feature some combination of sushi/sashimi/tableside bbq/ramen, this restaurant distinguishes itself with Osaka-style cuisine that makes heavy use of boiling, deep-frying and generous applications of miso paste.
We started off with some snacks – chicken wrapped in a perilla leaf and deep fried. It was quite tasty with a Sapporo (served cold and from the tap – you won’t find any Asahi or Kirin here). Other drinks we enjoyed (and highly recommend) were a highball (Suntory whiskey with ginger ale or beer) and Calpis, the Japanese fermented milk drink.
We then received a combination of boiled goodies slathered in miso paste. These included Konjac noodles (moyu 魔芋, a kind of jelly made from plant), zhulun (竹轮 that thing that looks like a stick of bamboo with a hole running down the middle, but is actually made out of fish), fried tofu, a skewer of beef tendon, and a large chunk of soy-sauce braised pork belly. While each item on its own was enjoyable, the savory miso paste made it truly unique from other Japanese fare in Xi’an.
Additionally, some of the deep-fried items we ordered included skewers of pork belly and onion, as well as a shrimp spring roll. The pork belly and onion were beautifully caramelized, both with miso sauces. The spring roll was truly a standout – crispy and bursting with shrimp flavor with extra spicy mustard.
The gyoza are a bit bigger than your average Japanese dumpling, and come with a spicy-sour dipping sauce. While the dumplings reminded us of our travels through Japan, the vinegary sauce brought us back to Xi’an. We also had a tamagoyaki, the rectangular Japanese omelet, made fresh and arrived steaming and with a dash of black pepper. Another unique dish recommended by the staff was cold soft tofu topped with a tangy house-made sauce made from pomelo, the citrus fruit.
Finally, we finished off the meal with their beef hot pot – a hearty serving of meat, vegetables, and tofu in a broth featuring home-made soy sauce. As is tradition, the hot pot was served with a raw egg in a bowl for dipping the cooked beef. We suggest adventurous eaters to try it – it was delectable, and we cleaned our bowls.
Overall, our food arrived at a pace we would describe as “leisurely.” This was probably because the restaurant was incredibly busy – we saw customers waiting to be seated from the time we arrived through to the time we left. The restaurant only has 18 seats in total, so we strongly suggest making a reservation. We will definitely be back! For those who also want to try it out: enjoy your excursion to Japan!
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.
If you get a chance to try it, let us know by sending us an email at email@example.com.