I would be doing you, my loyal visitors (and fellow food bloggers) a huge disservice if I hadn’t report to you Xi’an’s Snack Street … nicknamed “回民小吃一条街” (Hui Min Xiao Chi Yi Tiao Jie) or “回坊风情街” (Hui Fang Feng Qing Jie) … I was already full from De Fa Chang, but my senses were begging me to explore some real food they have out there, and since this snack street was literally 2 minutes walk from the previous restaurant, I had to make that treacherous hike for YOU. Thank me later.
And boy did my taste / smell buds go off like a siren here … in retrospect, I wish I had made a pass on De Fa Chang and came straight to this place instead.
As mentioned in my previous Xi’an posts, there’s a huge Xinjiang influence in this city … quite a bit more than Beijing I would say, so you’ll see a lot of Uighur people preparing their goodies. What I love about their food is the spice and herbs used in their marinate … almost like Indian, but not really. The flavour and the smell is not necessarily more poignant compared to Indian … boy, I really don’t know what it is. I’m still trying to learn and figure out how to describe it.
Here they’re seen preparing something similar to pancake, except that once the skin is half-cooked, they throw in the content of your choice. They have spiced-up … pork? (wait, it can’t be pork! They’re mostly muslim right?) … I don’t know what it is then … oh wait, I see … its beef. The orange stuff is spice mixed with [preserved] veggies?
Yeh, I still have no clue what this is …
At Hui Fang Restaurant, they have an English menu … and if you look closely at the translation on the right of the picture, they actually really make sense. I stood there for about 5 minutes … it wasn’t great, but at least it wasn’t pre-Beijing Olympics Chinese-English menu bad … nothing like “The Cold Cow in West in Special Grade Picks” for 特级西冷牛扒 (or Special Grade Sirloin Steak). Props to them! Really, I think its great they finally got the menu right.
But just when I thought the English on the menu was pretty good … I came across this store. To be fair though, the point is made. I mean, no matter how bad the name is, as long as they can get the point across … that’s fine. But I still got a good laugh from this … funny how they’re able to monopolize the Hangzhou tea trade 1,400 km away. They’re good.