Article By Jin and Francis
Le Méridien Xi’an Chanba, No,6, West of Ou Ya Da Dao.
(029) 6879 8888
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费:200RMB
If you like amazing river views, fancy stuffing yourself silly with Xi’an bbq skewers, or just want to be pampered and enjoy outstanding service at a world-class hotel, then you should check out Le Méridien’s buffet.
It is literally in the river in Chanba – it is perched at the northern tip of an island in the river, with an incredible view and outdoor seating (in the summer). The restaurant itself is tastefully decorated with cuts of granite and marble that notably match the dishware and glassware. The dinner buffet runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and is a steal at 238/person (198/pax on dianping!).
Yes, this is a hotel buffet. But let us tell you how it sets itself apart from other hotel buffets. First, the food. Most hotel buffets feature tired, stale displays that are downright questionable due to the length of time they have been sitting out. But not this one! Much of the food at this buffet is made to order. While this means you do need to wait a bit for some dishes, it is bottomless and made fresh!
This includes (but is not limited to):
- hand-made noodles (you can specify which noodle type, sauce, and toppings)
- steamed Cantonese foods
- BBQ meats and Xi’an-style skewers
- personal hot pot
- coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and fruit beverages
We tried as many different foods as we could. First, and most important – the BBQ skewers. These were legitimately among the best, if not the tastiest Xi’an-style skewers we have ever had. They were certainly the most generous portions of meat we have ever had on a skewer. The beef and lamb cubes and chicken wings, along with other skewer meats were HEFTY. Think about that for a second – bottomless monster skewers of quality lamb for 198/person. That by itself is exceptional value if you are a person who likes to gorge on meat.
The other BBQ meats were tasty too, including steaks, lamb chops, and three different kinds of fish, all made to order. There is a seafood station too with mussels, clams, oysters, and scallops, all cooked to order. We had several rounds of those, which were well-received.
Additionally the restaurant has a number of specials that cycle in and out. We tried sea cucumber with fragrant truffle rice. Other seasonal specials may be other delicacies, such as lobster.
One other (very) notable point is the highly hygienic individual hot pots. There is a large bar of leaf and root vegetables for the hot pot, but of course the highlight is unlimited beef rolls cut fresh to order, chicken, seafood, and various other hot pot classics like tripe. There are four hot pot soup bases including mala, suancai, dongyingong and huajiaoji (spicy, pickled veggies, tom yum, and pepper chicken). Who doesn’t love an individual hot pot?
We must also note that the restaurant staff went above and beyond in multiple ways to help accommodate us. Notably, the beer taps were not working, so shortly after we were seated, two maintenance workers wheeled in a fresh CO2 canister. We enjoyed many glasses of very chilled Hoegaarden, fresh from the tap (we couldn’t let such effort go to waste, of course).
If for some reason you manage to save some space for dessert, there is a wide range of options. There is a large case of various flavors of New Zealand ice cream. There is a chocolate fondue tower, placed high and out of reach of the fingers of curious children, as well as a wide assortment of pastries and baked goods. These included mini crème brulées and tiramisus, velvet cake, almond cookies, and bread pudding.
Jin and Francis are both teachers in Xi’an and love exploring food. A special shoutout to Mark Karge for his contributions to this article. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.