Lots of people feel the need to leave the city, their homes, once in a while. Routine can be quite suffocating, boring, even disorienting. Living in Xi’an also brings some other variables, such as pollution and the inevitable distance from the ocean…So what if we gave different meaning to our holidays other than ‘doing nothing’ ?What if we thought about them as a whole experience? A transportation to a different environment that can – in many ways – help us with some struggle? I know the ‘sunny beach with an umbrella cocktail’ is a very attractive option but let me tell you about my experience.
The long-awaited 14th National Games of China will soon be upon us, and Shaanxi is making the final preparations for its first ever chance to host this prestigious event. Even though the games officially start on the 15th of September, some events will be beginning their initial runs before that, so we have translated the official list of events and where they will be held so that you can be ready to watch your favorite events.
Can you introduce yourself? Job title, educational background, languages, hobbies, your family etc.
Neeta: I am Neeta Santika Duffy, Indonesian-British, a daughter of Indonesian diplomats born in Barnsley, the UK. I have four degrees; The double honours degree bachelor in law and economics LLB (Hons) and BA (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), Economics MSc (Kings’ College London, the UK), International Business MSc (University of Auckland, New Zealand), and International Affairs and Language MA (Chongqing, China). I am a polyglot speak six languages; English, Indonesian, French, Dutch, Sudanese, and Chinese, and I’m currently working as a Global Business Development Representative for Advanced Energy, a US company, named to the Forbes 2021 America’s Best Large Employers.
I’ve often felt that the term ‘hidden gem’ is a bit overused. Often times it is used to describe places that is both convenient to get to and in plain sight, not the hard to find places that are actually good. However, occasionally you do find a legitimate hidden gem – place that you would not have actually found unless you were guided there. This is the case with Matsukawa Japanese Restaurant.
Agood burger can be hard to find in Xi’an, with most offerings being of the bland fast food variety. That was until the minds behind Westhouse opened up EGG BANG in the Saige Mall at the close of 2019. It was refreshing. It was delicious. It was good. But then COVID hit and Saige decided to renovate their 6th floor, eliminating many restaurants, including EGG BANG. It was a sad discovery. But not one to stay down, they got back at it soon after by opening a shop at Momopark, and their most recent outing, a shop at CityOn Mall in the North.
If you haven’t noticed, people around Xi’an really like bars. It’s seems like there is a new bar that pops up every day, and there are more always on the way. However, most of these bars fall into two distinct categories – beer and cocktails. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with a nice cold craft brew or an expertly mixed concoction, there is something that has been missing from the landscape for quite some time – a wine bar. Enter CUB.
C anada’s favorite coffee shop hit Chinese shores in early 2019, with their first store opening in Shanghai. Since then they have expanded to other large cities in China, with their most recent opening right here in Xi’an on July 29th. The shop, located at MIXC not far from exit C of the HuiZhanZhongXin Metro stop is a bit of an odd choice, being far from the downtown area, but is likely just the beginning of their expansion in Xi’an.
Forgive me for this month’s contribution being a hot bake in the sweltering summer, however it all balances once served with a scoop or three of cooling vanilla ice cream.
This sweet is a traditional South African dessert with a pep and tweak from a classic British baked chocolate pudding. I don’t claim it, nor shall I entitle this as my own recipe as it does come from my chef school recipe file. As a student, I made this many a time and has often proudly taken place of honor on many dinner tables back home.
It’s no secret that people here love a nice beer in a can or bottle. Often you can find one table with 10-20 at a time. And I’m sure we are all familiar with the sweet bottled Rio drinks lining the fridges of Everydays all over the city. But I foresee something new on the horizon. Because why should you only put beer in a can or bottle; why not a refreshing chardonnay or a Manhattan cocktail? Yeah, we are officially in the future.
Even though the summer is winding down, there is still plenty of time left to crack open a cold one. But the question is, which cold one to crack open? While there are plenty of imported options available to quench your thirst and numerous craft brews, the imports come with a heavy tax and the craft beer comes with the craft tax, taking their prices well above what you’d pay for an equivalent local beer. So, if you’re looking for cold, refreshing, moderately alcoholic beers to carry you through an evening of barbeque al fresco, consider some of these local options.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived at Fuji was that the environment was innovative and had a kind of night club-like vibe. We could easily imagine such a restaurant in some trendy neighborhood of Tokyo. The restaurant just opened in May, but it was quite full even though we arrived later on a Wednesday evening.
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.
Coffee has been around for so long that it seems that there is little to no room for innovation. For the coffee purist, there would seem little to be no need to do so, but for shops looking to bring in more customers, the next big thing is a priority. FOOM Coffee, also known as BakeWorks, has settled on an interesting trend – charcoal lattes.
It’s safe to say that cocktails have taken Xi’an by storm. There are more cocktail bars than any one person would be able to visit, and there are new bars opening all the time, even as older bars close. But even with the vast variety, bars can sometimes start to feel…generic. It’s always the same drinks, mixed in very similar ways, without out much in the way of theme or originality. It’s often that I walk into a bar and recognize every single drink, and every single bottle on the wall. So, it takes something unique to impress me.
As the National Games are approaching soon, I thought it best to include a recipe for this month’s issue focusing on shared food.
Many of us think of a fondue being made and served in a pot, however, the vehicle of choice here is an entire loaf of bread that’s been disemboweled and stuffed with cheese. The inner bits removed are torn into chunks, anointed with olive oil and baked in a hot oven until crispy. These bronzed morsels are used to dip into the fondue. This is an ideal oozing, gooey pull-apart treat that’s great for sharing whilst watching the games and certainly a crowd pleaser.
Diets are one of those things that everyone loves, and hates, to talk about. Many of us are on one, or have some kind of dietary restrictions for tons of different reasons. A lot of people also love to have a nice drink; a cocktail here or there to take the edge off. And being knowledgeable about drinks, people often come to me with questions or request about drinks they can have while sticking to their diet. It’s tricky trying to balance both of those lives. I wanted to make an article to help people figure out how to drink responsibly (for their health, the rest is on you). It would be super easy to list a bunch of low-carb, sugar-free, healthy cocktails but you could easily look up list after list of these. I figured, as someone who knows craft cocktails, I could give you some techniques and tips on how to make your own drinks suitable to your diet. So, let’s dive right in.
Sometimes it feels like there is nothing new to do in Xi’an. Our casual routines and set patterns lead inevitably to a sense of boredom that can feel difficult to overcome. However, there is more going on in and around Xi’an than most people realize, and it would be a shame not to give the different activities happening around the city a shot, even if it is just to temporarily relieve the ennui. Since the National Games are now upon us, we decided to pick out a few different sports-based activities that you can try out in Xi’an.
Shuyuan Men is an area of Xi’an located just inside of the South Gate, running along for a few hundred meters until eventually terminating close to the Forest of Steles near Wenchang Gate. This area is often visited by tourists, who come looking to pick up some trinkets or calligraphy – something to take home that looks like it has some cultural value. And, indeed, Shuyuan has become the home of some of Xi’an’s various artists, especially those that specialize in the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy.
Money and budgeting is one of the things on most people’s minds. Whether it is due to a change a of jobs when the income is tight, or whether you are just trying to save as much as possible to send back home, many people will reach times when they need to pull down on the purse strings and really save some money. So all of this begs the question, how much does it cost to live minimally in Xi’an.
As many ultra-endurance races got postponed this year and travelling is still very complicated, expensive, and includes many risks, me and some friends decided to set up our own challenge here in China. We came up with the idea to cycle along the Great Wall from west to east and called it Great Wall Ride (GWR).
I took the train with my bike and met my friends from Beijing in Jiuquan, who flew there. Whenever possible I prefer to take the train over a flight, because I rather carry/handle my bike myself rather than trusting airlines with it. Once we had met up, we were ready to begin the trip.