Article By James Morrow
201, Block C, Changan International, Chang An North Rd.
11:30am – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 58RMB
Many of you will be familiar with the restaurant Steak Universe, as it is often credited as one of the better steak restaurants in the city. But what you might not be aware of is that this chain of premium steak houses has a sister restaurant that operates with it at its South Gate location named Laurier Bistro. This casual lunch place offers a short menu of well-crafted and delicious dishes that will easily satisfy your lunchtime cravings.
The menu is a simple, two-page affair, with a selection of simple appetizers, pasta dishes, pizzas, burgers and sandwiches, and desserts, as well as a few main courses, all presented in both English and Chinese. If you have any questions, the manager Beta speaks English as well, and can help guide you through the menu. The dining room is simply and elegantly decorated with chic chairs and wooden tabletops. A large bar and nearby wine cellar alludes to the potential for cocktails and an extensive wine list, should you be looking for something a little extra with your lunch.
One of the options on the menu which looked particularly interesting was the Wagyu burger. This thick beef burger is made from the trimmings of the best Wagyu steak, also on offer from the restaurant, and comes with a generous helping of house-made French fries. Served on a special plate and cooked to a perfect medium rare, this burger topped with cheese, lettuce, and grilled onions and mushrooms is a hearty portion all on its own, and comes with the option of pan-seared foie gras, if eating a hamburger made from one of the most expensive steaks money can buy wasn’t decadent enough for you. The burger comes in at 98RMB for the regular version and 166RMB for the premium version.
To go with the burger was a cocktail made with a cinnamon stick that was dipped in alcohol and set on fire while additional cinnamon was sprinkled over the top, creating tiny sparks as the cinnamon ignited. The flavor of the cocktail was sharp and sour, a good pairing for the richness of the beef from the burger. The drinks menu, which is shared with the neighboring Steak Universe, is robust, with a wide variety of different cocktails and wines available by the glass, pitcher, or bottle, including white and sparkling varieties. They even have a section of the drinks menu devoted to premium Chinese wines, which have begun to win contests worldwide.
In addition to the alcoholic offerings, there are also a variety of espresso coffee beverages that you can have to go with your lunch, strong enough to help you get back on track after heavy lunchtime libations. Particularly of interest is their iced Americano, which is one of their more unique coffee presentations. The drink is served deconstructed, with a flask of espresso, a shot of rose-scented sugar syrup, and a glass of ice. The ice is unique in that it is made from frozen coffee instead of water, which means that your coffee will not become diluted during the course of drinking. So, if you like your coffee strong, this is a good place to go.
In addition to the drinks and food previously mentioned, they also have an afternoon tea option for those who are looking to have a leisurely time on a weekend, or perhaps those with a free weekday afternoon who would like to take it slow. Their afternoon tea set has a rotating selection of options, with both sweet and savory selections, of which you can select five. You also have your option of teas or coffee to go with your afternoon set, and all for just 58RMB per person. The set that we tried that day consisted of a basil scone that was airy and crispy served with cream and jam, a Napoleon mille feuille, lemon tart, prawn cocktail, and cream puff with ice cream. Each delicate piece was carefully-crafted and delicious in its own right.
The final piece of the meal that day was one of their more popular desserts, a truffle semifreddo. This dessert of truffle (as in the mushroom, not the chocolate treat) laced cream and bitter chocolate was pungent with the taste of black truffle and not sweet, but instead very rich in its depth of flavor. If you like the taste of truffle, or are not a fan of typical desserts, then this is something to try.
Lunch dishes start from around 58RMB and work their way up. You could easily spend 200RMB here per person, but you could also get away with spending less than 100RMB. It all depends on what you are feeling like. With its convenient location near South Gate, this is a good spot for a nice business lunch or a relaxing afternoon tea, all paired with excellent service and nice big windows to peer out of. And if you want to stick around for dinner, Steak Universe is right there.
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James is currently living in Xi’an and loving it, from the food to the people.