Article By Jin and Francis
2F, Yang Guang Tian Di, Bo Shi Road.
(029) 8112 0015
11:30am – 9:30pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 100RMB
Jin and Francis are both teachers in Xi’an and we love exploring food. They can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
When we arrived late at the YGTD Shopping Mall on a Monday evening, almost every table was full at Ban’s Bistro. Waiters and waitresses were rushing everywhere to deliver food. Each table features fiery tableside grills, which staff were furiously flipping meat, sending flames and crackles of sizzling fat flying through the air.
Only one problem: we were HANGRY. We thought it would take forever to get food. However, instead of waiting forever, we only waited for about two minutes before we were seated. One thing to note: when you visit this location, you will definitely want to order meat – after all, this restaurant calls itself the rouku, literally translated as something like “meat depot.”
After placing our orders, it only took another two minutes until our meat sampler arrived: beef and pork cuts with mushrooms, bean sprouts, and onions. The beef was flavorful, and the pork belly strips, a fatty cut, crisp-ified and caramelized on the grill in a way that can only be described as divine. The chef even added flair AND flare to the cooking – squeezing the pork fat from the meat to shoot a ball of fire into the exhaust pipe above the grill. Because it is Korean-style BBQ, you also get fresh lettuce leaves, garlic, pepper slices, fermented bean paste, and a spicy seasoning to eat with your meat. Even if it didn’t end up being a substantial part of our meal, it at least made us feel healthier.
Meanwhile, we had a “Milkis” a kind of sweet milk/yoghurt drink, as well as a Corona, both of which were served cold (we only do beer cold, thank you). Our next food options were the trash can pizza (lajitong pisa 垃圾桶披萨), a cheese quesadilla (the staff refused to acknowledge this creation was of Mexican origin, but that is neither here nor there) with honey on the side (which was quite a tasty combination), and beef tacos. We want to take a moment to acknowledge that these tacos are everything you would expect from a taco – a hard shell with some salsa, cheese, and beef stuffed into them and topped with cilantro sprinkled on top. Except the beef is marinated in a sweet Korean style. This appears to be a theme at the restaurant – combinations of flavors in foods that are traditionally sweet, spicy, or salty.
The staff also recommended we try their “small” fried chicken salad, which was BIG. The fried chicken was the highlight – crispy on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside. We suppose this kind of a dish is for those who can’t make up their mind about whether they want to be healthy or not. Well, for those indecisive people, it’s perfect.
To cap it all off, we had a slice of strawberry cake and a bowl of shaved ice topped with bean powder and stuffed rice cake. The strawberries were fresh, sweet, and without a doubt the highlight of dessert. The shaved ice is a massive portion of the type known as “snow” ice which is made with milk and has its own flavor (and also doesn’t melt as quickly!). In fact, just about every food item at this restaurant is a massive portion: prepare your stomachs in advance. As an American, Francis felt right at home.
Note – if you are taking the subway, be prepared to call a cab or otherwise walk/bike/bus about 2 kilometers, since the mall is a bit far from a station. Finally, this is a great deal of a restaurant. The meat, as well as other dishes not only taste better than other aspiring “Korean BBQ” restaurants, but are also a better value. Overall, we enthusiastically recommend (and we will be back!).
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at email@example.com.