Le’ban: A New Brunch Spot? 乐班(万象天地店)

Article By Stephen Robinson

L126, Wan Xiang Tian Di, No.1111,
Yan Zhan Rd.
(029) 8955 2640
9:00am – 11:30pm

Average Price per Person /人均消费:99RMB

While brunch has become a mainstay of many of the coastal cities in China, Xi’an has long lacked anything approaching the leisurely gourmet experience that is a nice brunch. While there are many great breakfast foods, and plenty of 5-star hotel buffets for you to stuff your face at, the brunch experience, a.k.a. sweet or savory breakfast style foods and some sort of boozy accompaniment that will help ease out the aches of a night of overindulgence or as a way to kick start a fine weekend.

In an effort to fill this gap in the market, Leban, well-known for its cafes around the city, has set out with a new venture to attempt to capitalize on this trend. The recently opened Leban at the 万象 shopping mall, about 100 meters east of Exit C of the Huizhanzhongxin Subway stop near the TV tower, has a completely new menu, one that is exclusive to this location.

New additions to the menu include an expanded breakfast menu that runs until 17:00 every day. In addition to their usually collection of breakfast sandwiches, eggs benedict, and pancakes, the menu also includes some new items, such as shakshuka and sausage and mash, which are each served in a cast iron skillet. There is also a range of crepes, dubbed galettes on their menu, which have a variety of fillsings, such as mushroom, egg, ham, and cheese, and sausage egg and cheese. There is also a sweet crepe option which comes with a side of maple, chocolate and orange sauces.

There is also an extended list of new dinner options, such as slow-roasted beef ribs, steaks, and various other additions to the menu so that most patrons will be able to find something that they would like to eat. To top off all this choice, this new Leban shop will be the first to offer an extensive wine list, including red, white, and sparkling options.

With so many things to choose from, one of the hardest things to do was to choose what to order. On this particular visit, we decided to try out some of the new dishes on the menu, to see how they stacked up versus expectation. First up was the mushroom, ham, cheese, and eggs crepe. The dish came out on a very large plate, with the edges of the crepe bent inwards around the fillings, leaving the sunny-side-up egg exposed in the center. Bits of mushroom and ham lay atop a bed of cheese. The outside of the crepe was very crisp and the texture was a bit chewy, but still pleasant. The egg was cooked to a light medium, with a bit of runny yolk still able to spread across the dish.

The shakshuka came to the table in an individual cast-iron skillet. There were ample peppers in the mix, and the eggs were slightly overdone for my preference, but overall, this would be a good dish if you’re looking for an extra kick in your meal. We were also served a shrimp salad that contained plenty of delicious shrimp, pine nuts, avocado, and had a salsa-like dressing.

We also sampled one of the new dinner dishes, ordering the slow-roasted beef rib, which came on a bed of mashed potatoes with a red-win jus and a side of bacon-infused vegetables. The rib was pul apart tender, and did not even require a knife for the most part. The mashed potatoes left a little to be desired, as it was quite lumpy, though we were told that was a specific texture that the chef was looking for. Overall, the beef rib itself was stand-out, absolutely packed with flavor. The meal was followed up with a piece of pineapple cake. With both dried and candied pineapple, along with a bit of shaved coconut, this cake was a nice cap to the meal.

So, if you’re looking for a place to brunch or just looking for somewhere to get some decent western food, this new Leban might be the place for you. They also run their usual deal of half off breakfast items before 11AM, so if you get in early, the deal gets even sweeter. If you have a chance to check this place out, let us know by sending us a message at out official WeChat account or by sending us an email at info@xianease.com

If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at reviews@xianease.com.