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Aug 5, 2010 12:47 AM

Trip report: Xi'an and GuangZhou

I took a trip up to Xi'an and Guangzhou during Easter. A friend from Xi'an kindly asked her cousin to give me a tour of the city. Thanks to her I was able to get into the famous ShangXi History museum (free entrance, which means an impossibly looooong line). Another friend of hers turned out to be a Chinese muslim with 500 yrs roots in Xi'an so they took me to a few Chinese muslim restaurants as well.

The Muslim district in Xi'an is the center for tourist actions right behind the drum tower. We went to the Grand Mosque (~1000 yrs) and then Mr Jia III's Soup Dumpling (GuanTang Baozi) on the tourist main throughfare. The soup dumpling were pretty good but what's really wonderful was the sweet 8 treasure congee. This place reminds me of those state-owned establishments so expectation for service from the waitstaff should be minimal.

Then I took the food pilgrim around the area the next few days- Muslim side: Lamb soup soaked Mo, Mr Fan's Rou Jia Mo (Chinese burger) on the non-muslim side of the drum tower, and some random noodle places in the neighborhood.

Guangzhou was only a stop over for a day on the way back to SG. I only went to Guangzhou Restaurant - my parent had fond memories of the place decades ago. The place looked promising - many retirement-age ladies gathering with family and friends. And the food didn't disappoint. I had olive conch soup and cumin grilled neck muscles. The other items on the menue looked nice too. Will head back to try more when opportunities arise.

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  1. My, my, I am salivating at your description! It would be nice if you can also provide us with addresses and preferably also numbers to call, if possible. Somehow, Chowhound moderators disable the address-map link here which is made available to US boards.

    6 Replies
    1. re: M_Gomez

      Jia III's Soup Dumpling 贾三灌汤包子馆: 回民街北院门93号 029-87257507
      (Beef or Lamb soup dumpling + 8 treasure congee. No need to order anything else)
      There are a few vendors for lamb soup on 大皮院 Big Skin Court a block north
      Mr Fan's Rou Jia Mo 樊记腊汁肉店: 竹笆市街53号 029-87273917
      (Fermented drink + The chinese burger)
      There is a Liang Pi place right across the street from Mr Fan's and there is a little food court right next in the residential complex with nice layered onion cakes, noodles and pastries

      Guangzhou restaurant: No.2, Wenchang Rd., 020-81888388
      First floor garden bistro type ( I posted the menu) and the higher floor is for banquets
      Ha, I found a reference here:

      1. re: Ting Ting

        have you tried the biangbiang mian, or the persimmon sweets in Xi'an?

        1. re: Jerome

          I didn't know which one to try as there way too many vendors advertising BiangBiang Mian. Not sure about the sweets either - is it the dried with sugary powder? The same kind that's used in Cheng Tng in SG?

          1. re: Ting Ting

            don't think so...
            (sg san gabriel?)
            lintong fire crystal persimmons-
            pictrue at
            and picture of the cakes at
            chinese story on cakes at
            google will translate the page.

            a very good page with links to lots ofinfo in english on xi'an food and snacks

            1. re: Jerome


              Interesting! I did see some reddish cakes being made and sold. I think I even bought one and took a bite. I do read Chinese and the story was a bit folksy. There were some theory on how the character Biang for the biang biang noodle didn't exist in written text and was created solely as a marketing ploy.

              I was really intrigued by how much Xi'An tourism was centered on the muslim district though, considering that they are less than 1% of the population and mostly decedents of the 50k-ish survived the 1860s bloodshed. I had no idea about this part of history before my visit to the city.

              1. re: Ting Ting

                For another nice hidden riff - esp on the genocide on bannermen in the 1911 revolution look at
                Rhoads, Manchus and Han. the 1911 section is the part i found most intereting.