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Oct 19, 2007 11:28 AM

Lhasa, Xi'an and Guilin

Going to Tibet and China for the first time. Have opportunities in these three cities for dining on our own and are looking for great Chowhound recs.

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  1. Some comments of some of the places I ate in in Xian recently:

    Xian Hotel
    Built in 1929
    Grilled lamb skewers ¥6 each
    Bean curd in court style cooking ¥18
    Baby bok choy with mushrooms ¥10
    Tsing Tao beer 2 talls
    Total: ¥92
    Classic baby bok choy and mushrooms. Clear tasting, the mushrooms in sauce were particularly good, sweetish, meaty. The bean curd/tofu in a slightly sweet chili oil sauce with peanuts, green bell peppers, bamboo shoots, not that hot at all. The tofu had a really soft yellow interior almost like a corn custard (the famous flower tofu?). The lamb skewers were grilled than coated with a cumin, chili powder, quite spicy. Jasmine rice. The SO found the lamb very spicy, much nose blowing and Kleenex. Heh. How did the tofu which was very soft and custardly yet have skin and not break or fall apart? Not a very stylish interior: linoleum floors, wooden tables and chairs, very busy with locals and Chinese tourists. It’s specialty is soups and fresh noodles, where along the room, servers would pour several kinds of sauces or oils over the noodles. Good meal, brisk service.

    Hyatt Regency Xian
    Chrysanthemum leaves mélange with Chinese vinaigrette
    Braised shredded pork ear with chilis and Sichuan pepper
    Shanxi crispy chicken leg
    Stir-fried water spinach with garlic and XO sauce
    Dailian soft-shell crabs fried with crispy garlic flakes
    Steamed rice
    Noodles with Huilon sauce
    Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc NZ (delicious)
    Snacks: spicy pickled carrots, cucumbers and chili peppers; spicy coated peanuts
    The pig’s ear thinly sliced with coriander, onions, bell peppers, chilies and a tiny bit of sesame oil—fairly hot, crunchy, cool. Chrysanthemum—delicious, sweet/sour vinaigrette, very slightly bitter green. Very nice. Hailon noodles: chili, garlic, green onion, light wheat noodles. Sesame seeds. Very nice interior, a Hyatt Regency after all. Older Chinese couple across from us, evidently the gentleman was not used to spicy food although enthusiastic because he was sweating profusely and constantly wiping himself with a handkerchief. His wife found this amusing while they calmly ate their meal.

    Dinner in Muslim Quarter.
    One of the flashy ornate restaurants in the quarter, very busy and loud and plain in the interior. What fun!
    8 skewers beef tendon and lamb
    Mustard greens with chili
    Braised lamb with vegetables
    Thick wheat noodles with peanut sauce, chili, and some thin sweetish/salty brown sauce
    The skewers were why we came and they were delicious. Lightly salted, smoky charcoal flavor. Small bite-sized pieces, maybe 4-6 pieces per skewer. The beef tendon was surprisingly flavorful and a bit chewy. Great beef flavor. The lamb was tender yet chewy. Very nice lamb flavor. The mustard greens were too salty. The noodles were that thickish white wheat noodle that is everywhere in Xian. This had the dark sauce on the bottom, but also had some peanut sauce and chili on top. Not hot at all but the peanut sauce made it very tasty. I liked this dish. The braised lamb with vegetable was insipid and the lamb tough. Not good. Nevertheless, a visit and meal in the Muslim Quarter is a must. Lots of street food and snacks too.

    Had some good street snacks and dumplings on the street at various places, too. Have fun!

    1. Thankyou for the reviews and recommendations. Looking forward to checking these out.