Article By James Morrow
Xi’an Movie Factory, No.508, Xi Ying Rd, Qujiang New District.
(029) 8966 0452
11:30pm – 2:30am
5:30pm – 10:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 300RMB
I once had a friend who used to complain about the lack of standalone restaurants. He loathed the fact that every half decent restaurant happened to be in a mall or jammed into the first floor of a building, not allowing for much in the way of outdoor seating or enjoyment. And it’s true, real estate is a premium and the fact of the matter is that it is more economical to save on expenses by going the mall route. It’s also almost guaranteed foot traffic to help your business along. So when you find a restaurant that breaks out of this mold; that is something to pay attention to.
The Xi’an Movie Park located just off of Xiying Road near Dayanta, is a relatively recent development, capitalizing on its location as a film studio. Already some trendy restaurants, bars, and coffee shops have set up shop in this location, among which you will find the latest iteration of Steak Universe.
Some of you will already know Steak Universe from their South Gate location, which we reviewed December of 2019. Known for their high-quality food offerings and extensive wine list, this restaurant delivers service at a level that is hard to come by in Xi’an. The expectations heading into this meal were very high.
When we arrived, we were immediately impressed by the large bar area placed prominently at the front of the restaurant, with a huge array of bottles, glasses, and coffee equipment. The main dining area is segmented into different areas with curtained booths reminiscent of old LA restaurants of the 1950s. Movie posters adorn the walls, fitting with the theme of the Movie Park.
After being seated, we were shown the menu, divided into categories based once again on the theme of movies, but containing many of the same favorites that you would find at the South Gate location. So many things on the menu sounded absolutely delicious that it was hard to choose exactly what to eat. After pondering the menu for a while, we made our choices, and started sipping on some sparkling water while the sommelier introduced us to the wine options. We opted for wine by the glass, as my partner and I prefer different types of wine, though there were numerous bottles to choose from.
The first course to arrive was an amuse bouche, a tiny little taste to start the meal off, compliments of the chef. What arrived was a small seaweed infused cracker topped with a crab salad, salmon roe, dill, wasabi mayo, and a cucumber flower. Just a tiny bit to whet our appetites for the meal to come. It was delicate and perfectly seasoned, with the saltiness of the cracker and salmon roe playing off the fattiness of the mayo and the tenderness of the crab meat. Off to a very good start.
Next up was a dish of crab cakes with avocado, grape fruit, and two quenelles of herby sauce. The crab cakes were slightly dense, but not overpoweringly seasoned, with the tart flavors of the grapefruit cutting through some of the heavier notes. We also ordered as an appetizer, the house Caesar salad, made and served tableside, garnished with large peeled shrimp, cooked just tender. It was a bit of tableside theater that is rarer and rarer these days, but was a welcome show.
As our main courses prepared to come out, we were given a selection of steak knives to choose from a specially branded case. After choosing our knives, the waiter laid down a selection of flaky salts for use to accentuate our main courses in different flavors; lemon, black volcanic salt, garlic, and truffle. The mains arrived at the same time, a length of roast salmon on a bed of spinach, topped with microgreens. The salmon itself was cooked through and flaky, and the herbal addition to the top, added to the depth of the dish. The other main course was one of their signature steaks, a 500g 45-day dry-aged T-Bone Steak.
For those of you who have never had a dry-aged steak, the steaks are set in a refrigerated room, typically with salt blocks, to dry and concentrate the flavors while tenderizing the steaks with the breakdown of connective tissue. The result is a buttery consistency and intense beefy flavor that is desirable for those who love steak. Cooked medium rare and then rested appropriately, the steak was ready to eat from the moment it hit the table. Paired with sides of macaroni and cheese (not exactly high class fair, but something the author has a soft spot for) and creamed spinach, the whole main course was a luxuriously heavy delight.
Finally dessert was an orange chocolate lava cake with ice cream for myself, and a bowl of fruit and ice cream for my partner, who was reaching her limit. The cake was soft on the outside with a molten core of orange accented chocolate fondant, helpfully thinned out with little globs of ice cream. Even the ice cream was of good quality. Paired with a double espresso, it rounded out the meal well.
After dessert was finished and the last plates were cleared away, they brought out a black orb that opened up to reveal two chocolate truffles that come complimentary at the end of the meal. They were, like everything else that evening, absolutely delightful and of the highest quality. The truffle simply melted on the tongue, leaving nothing but a nice chocolatey warmth behind.
While you can expect to pay heavily for such a luxurious dining experience, it is well worth it. It won’t be an everyday restaurant for most, but it is definitely a great place for special occasions, birthdays, and the like. The staff is both knowledgeable and attentive, and will take care of you for the duration. So, if you need a place to celebrate in style, this is the place for you.
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.