A separate post regarding Lake City Way had me nostalgic about the long-shuttered Shi'An Restaurant, formerly a board favorite for its Xi'an cuisine. I was excited, then, to just learn of an apparently similar place having opened in Edmonds late last year - Biang! Below is a link to a review.
Has anyone tried it? Comparison with Shi'An? TIA.
re: Tom Armitage
My wife and I went to Biang! on Saturday night – not the best timing in light of the snow which started falling during our dinner, making the drive home on the narrow, curvy road through our hilly neighborhood a pulse-pounding experience.
I was guided in selecting the four dishes we shared by the previous posts in this thread, so I don’t have much new to share. As expected, the Hot Oil Seared Biang Biang Noodles were clearly the star of the show. I loved the slightly chewy, elastic quality of the noodles, the intense flavor of the broth, and the big kick from the generous amount of chilies. I also very much liked the Broccoli with Garlic Sauce and Sesame Oil. The sesame oil was just a whisper of a background note, which meant that it didn’t overpower the broccoli, the flavor of which remained front and center. And the broccoli was perfectly cooked to the Goldilocks standard – neither undercooked nor overcooked and lightly crispy. I’d definitely order this again. There wasn’t anything “wrong” with the Spicy Cumin Beef Sandwich, but it didn’t particularly excite me. The flavors were curiously subdued given the list of ingredients, it wasn’t what I’d call spicy, and I didn’t get much taste of cumin. I wanted to have more intensity of flavor – something closer to the pork burger at Facing East, for example. Our fourth dish was the Xi’an Strip Pork with Skin. In this dish, the pork had been fried and then steamed in a light broth. The pork was very tender, but not intensely flavorful. The broth, on the other hand, was delicious and totally comforting on a chilly evening. I might order this dish again primarily to drink the broth, dabbing the pork in a mixture of chili sauce and vinegar. I’d be interested in exploring more of the menu at Biang!, but it will be hard, if not impossible, to resist ordering the hot oil seared noodles.
I never ate at Shi’An, so can’t compare it to Biang!
I hadn't been to Shi'An restaurant, but I have had xi'an food in Beijing and in NYC.
I thought the biang biang noodles (especially the hot oil seared ones) were excellent. I also liked the cold rice noodles. The sandwiches were pretty good. I thought the tendon was not great, and the dumplings were pretty average. So if someone were to go in not knowing what to get, I feel like it could be a bit of a crapshoot.
But the hot oil seared noodles? We just kept ordering and ordering them. Eventually ordered a whole order to go just for lunch the next day.
Husband and I tried them last week. We were very pleased with the cumin beef noodles, which were exactly at our spice level limits (I'd say we're not lightweights, but also not extreme chileheads). Noodles had a nice texture but were a bit unwieldly to eat because they are so wide. We also had the minced pork sandwich (pork was kind of tart/sour and a good match for the flatbread, which was pretty bland). Didn't try the soup (which is really the only thing I remember well from Shi'An), but based on the other items, I suspect it will be good.