Aspiring Women For Excellence

On November 3rd, AWE held their fifth meeting at L One restaurant. The aim of this session was to investigate whether it was possible to be both feminine and successful. The meeting was well attended with members from a variety of backgrounds present. The ladies present included women working in state media, government offices, business and medicine from seven different countries.


Coming just on the tail of the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games are set to be held in February of 2022 in Beijing and the surrounding areas, welcoming athletes from around the globe to come and participate in a series of winter sports? So what can we expect from the country that hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics to such great success? While many of the exact details have not yet been released, we can expect Olympic fervor to once again grip the country as the Games approach.


There is a surprisingly large live music scene here in Xi’an, though if you don’t go looking for it, you might not know that it exists. One of the foreign bands on this local scene is Shitsunami, who recently released a vinyl here in Xi’an. To celebrate this release, we sat down with the guys from the band to find out a little more about them.

Si at the Renaissance 丝·特色餐厅

There are many delicious cuisines across China, but one of the most unique and flavorful amongst them is also the one most people are least familiar with – Xinjiang Cuisine. The flavors of this province’s robust cuisine is closely related to its historical position along the Silk Road, and the style is unlike anything you will find elsewhere. However, it can be difficult to find a reasonable approximation of Xinjiang cuisine in Xi’an. Much like the scant number of edible Western dining options, the number of good Xinjiang restaurant in Xi’an are few, despite the popularity of the cuisine. So if you are looking for a reliable source of delicious Xinjiang food, you can try Si at the Renaissance Hotel.
Located near the TV Tower, the Renaissance hotel is a recognized five-star hotel brand by Marriott. Tapping into the history of Xi’an as the terminus of the Silk Road, the restaurant pulls its name from the Chinese word for Silk, Si. True to its name, the hotel provides a wide range of beef, lamb, and chicken dishes, including (if you book ahead of time) a whole roasted lamb. But even if you don’t want to go for the extravagance of eating an entire animal, there are still plenty of options for you.
On the day we arrived at the restaurant, just right of the main lobby of the Renaissance, the cold weather had just begun to set in outside. The dining room is relatively small compared to some hotel restaurants, but there is a large open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing some of the dishes, including a large pit for the turning of the whole roasted lamb.
The first dish that we tried was a classic cold dish of 椒麻鸡, a spicy mixture of cooked chicken, peppers, onions, and scallions in a picante sauce. The heat was just enough to open up the taste buds for the meal to come. Alongside this was a vegetable dish called 戈壁滩炝拌沙葱, which was a green, string-like vegetable in a vinegary sauce. It too was very refreshing, and left us hungry for more.
Following this was one of my all-time favorite Xinjiang dishes, 烤包子 or oven-roasted baozi. Typically these are little pockets of cumin-scented lamb and onion that are packed into flaky dough that is then roasted in a traditional style oven. Si takes it a step further by also including a variation that used de-shelled crayfish as a filler instead of lamb. Both versions were delicious and disappeared quickly from the table.
This was followed by a unique dish that I had never heard of before, 喀什肚包肉 or Kashgar Meat stuffed-stomach. Not just a description of how you’ll feel after eating, this is almost like a meat dumpling, but instead of dough on the outside, you have a layer of beef tripe. This is served in a thin broth with cilantro and chili sauce on the side. We were also served some of their homemade yogurt, which came with a little fruit and a sprig of mint on top. It was smooth, creamy and thick, just the way yogurt should be.
After this, a series of classic dishes arrived at the table, including Xinjiang’s most famous dish – 大盘鸡. This dish, translated as “Big Plate of Chicken” is a staple of Xinjiang Cuisine and absolutely packed with flavor. It consists of large pieces of chopped chicken, potatoes, onions, and peppers in a thick, spicy sauce. This hearty dish is served with some plain hand-pulled noodles which were mixed into the sauce once room was made. (It was a BIG plate of chicken.) We were also served a dish of stewed beef, onions, and pepper with a cone of the Xinjiang flat bread, nang. Similar in many ways to the 大盘鸡 this dish, called 馕包肉, is tender and flavorful, and the crisp nang bread soaks up the sauce very well. We were also treated to some traditional Xinjiang-style barbeque, which was heavily-spiced chunks of meat skewered on a special type of wood that added an excellent cinnamon-lie fragrance to the meat.
The final dish to arrive was a special dish created by the chef that was meant to utilize the current season. This dish, a Western-inspired dish, was a whole crab that had been carefully baked in tinfoil on a bed of well-cooked vegetables. The dish was laced with butter and herbs, and was extremely fragrant when unwrapped. The meat of the crab was sweet and light, a perfect end after such a heavy meal.
If you have a craving for Xinjiang food or if you are looking to try it for the first time, you can’t go wrong with Si at the Renaissance. They are also one of the few restaurants to maintain a five-star rating on 大众点评 and would love for you to come by and find out why. And if you feel they deserve it, drop them a review on the app.

Laurier Bistro by Little Somms 月桂叶 (南门店)

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.


If you are someone who likes their morning coffee, you may have discovered a slight problem when you first arrived in China. Most people drink coffee in the afternoon. As such, it can be difficult to find a coffee shop that is actually open before 10AM that is not an international chain slinging less than great coffee. Even though numerous coffee shops have opened up over the past several years, none of them have really caught on to the ‘be open in the morning’ thing. Enter Rhino Coffee.

Tang Dynasty Xi’an

If you’ve lived in Xian for more than a minute or two, you might have noticed the word Tang pops up quite a lot here in Xi’an. The name corresponds to what is arguably one of the greatest Chinese dynasties, and what was indisputably the height of the power and prestige of Xi’an, then Chang’an. What you might not know is that there are many remnants of the historical city that have left their mark on modern Xi’an.

Bell Ginkgo 银杏餐吧 (钟楼店)

If you asked many foreigners what food they missed most from home while living in China, the answer would often be cheese. While this food is very popular throughout much of the world, it is decidedly less popular here in China, with only a few examples of processed milk solids that barely passes for the real deal. Outside of the occasional foreign enclave in tier 1 cities, cheese can be difficult to come by except through shady Taobao dealers. Sometimes you just want to be able to walk into a shop and pick out a cheese or two, preferable with some cured meats and pickles. Luckily, Bell Ginkgo Restaurant and Bar offers exactly that, at reasonable prices as well.

Puxian 璞鲜·台州菜·经典粤菜

For many foreigners, especially those who have limited abilities in Chinese language, high-end Chinese restaurants can be a little intimidating. There are often long lists of dishes with unfamiliar names, and unusual ingredients that make it hard to know exactly what you are getting. This leads many people to stay in a narrow path of eating the exact same dishes at the exact same restaurants for nearly their entire stay. This is a shame, as Chinese cuisine has a great variety of dishes and sub-cuisines within it, and there are numerous things to try. Once place to try a different kind of cuisine is to try the restaurant Puxian.

Jackpot777 Bar

I t’s rare to find a bar in Xi’an that takes so much care to explain their menu items to you. So when you do happen upon a bar that does so, it is a treasure. The bartenders took time to carefully craft each item, introduce it when serving, and to address any questions. And it wasn’t just for us, but also for other customers, too.


This year, it seems like new brunch places have opened up faster than international travel. However, Beaver’s has certainly distinguished itself from the rest. First of all, and most obvious, it filled with Canadian goodness. Whether it is the Canadian food they serve, the Canadian decorations they display, the Canadian goods they sell, or the good ole-fashioned Canadian friendliness, Beaver’s is a whole lot of Canada right here in Xi’an.

A Special Christmas Dinner at Hualuxe Xi’an Hi-Tech Zone

While hosting a Christmas dinner at your home or apartment is a great idea, sometimes you just want to have the Christmas cheer without worrying about the need to prepare for (and clean up after) a huge meal. Many of the hotels around town offer up a special meals around Christmas, with a huge range of dishes that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. One of these venues hoping to make an impact this Christmas is the Hualuxe hotel in Gaoxin.

The History of Christmas in China

Christmas has often been compared to Spring Festival in terms of its cultural importance within Western Culture, and there is some merit to the comparison. Both are winter-based holidays that are celebrated annually. Both are times of togetherness, family, and tradition. You could even draw parallels with Red Envelopes and giving gifts. However, it’s easy to forget that, while the practice is small, some local Chinese people like to celebrate this holiday as well, though often in a different way than you might expect. So this year, we thought we’d take a look at the history of this ubiquitous Western holiday, and how it got to the Middle Kingdom

Warm Winter Escapes

It’s a fact that some people just aren’t cold weather people. Whether you find the bitter winds a little too overbearing or you just don’t like having to layer up only to have your nose and ears still freezing off, winter weather is just not for everyone. With the extended amount of time off that the winter season brings, what with the Christmas and Spring Festival holidays, people often look at this time as an opportunity to travel to new places. Even though the coronavirus continues to restrict our movements abroad, there are still plenty of interesting places within China to explore that will allow you to step out of the cold zone and embrace a sunny day or two while getting to experience more of what China has to offer.

Snowscape Escapes – Cold Winter Travel Destinations

As the end of the year arrives, ice and snow begin appearing on the weather reports and the time for travel rapidly approaches as the largest block of time most have off comes in the form of Spring Festival. But with current restrictions in place, it is difficult to travel outside of the country, at least until things settle down a bit further. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop traveling all together, as there are still plenty of place for you to explore within China. If you’re a fan of Winter wonderland escapes, then China has a plethora of destinations that are perfect to get that holiday vibe.

Role Models: Fatemeh

Can you introduce yourself? Job title, education, languages, hobbies, your family etc.
I am Fatemeh, Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Assistant Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, mother of a beautiful son, and a wife of a wonderful man with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics with whom I work (laughing).
We had an emotionally supportive home environment. My father always asked us to set big dreams and goals and then make them real. My parents let me do it on my own. Make my own decisions in my life with consistent support. This made me a confident person. This is an effective way to help a person grow and develop. My father always asked us to choose role models and follow in their footsteps to achieve our goals. A role model teaches you never to give up and make an effort to improve, succeed, and make a difference. He also always encouraged us to have higher education. He said education illuminates a person’s mind and thinking.