Tian Xiang Ge (天香阁)

After a couple days in Xi’an eating their local delicacies, it got just a little too heavy for us and we’ve opted for something a little lighter and closer to home: Cantonese cuisine in Xi’an! WOW! Adventurous.

Here’s a short excerpt from the hotel’s website: “Authentic Cantonese cuisine ranging from traditional dim sum to freshly homemade noodles. Tian Xiang Ge also serves famous dishes from other regions of China and local Xian specialities.”

On a day when I’m not feeling particularly well (no thanks to BT Wings) and when you don’t really want to give too much thought on where to eat, I know I can count on Shangri-la for decent Cantonese cuisine.

Entrance to Tian Xiang Ge at Xian Shangri-la

Entrance to Tian Xiang Ge at Xian Shangri-la

A grand entrance to a small(ish) restaurant.

Sharks fin soup with shredded sea cucumber, abalone and fish maw

Sharks fin soup with shredded sea cucumber, abalone and fish maw

Kailan pan fried with Chinese wine and ginger

Kailan pan fried with Chinese wine and ginger

Efu noodles braised with crab meat

Efu noodles braised with crab meat

Lamb brisket braised with dried bean curd in clay pot

Lamb brisket braised with dried bean curd in clay pot

How much I write here is probably a reflection of how I was feeling at that moment.

All the dishes were pretty standard … nothing to go crazy over (to be fair, except for the lamb pot, everything else is pretty light), but definitely not bad. I just wish I could’ve enjoyed it a little more … damn wings!

Bill came up to about RMB 400 (including tea & 10% service charge).

Xian Shangri-la

Xian Shangri-la

I love the architecture though.

Siu Yeh Rating: 7/10

Note: Photos taken with Ricoh GR Digital

Xi’an Shangri-la
38B Keji Road
Xian, China 710075
Tel: +86 29 8875 8888
Fax: +86 29 8875 9999

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BT Wings (BT 翅) Harms Your Health

So I was in Xi’an again recently and some locals told me about this new(ish) concept called “BT 翅” or “BT Wings”. I’m not sure if this only applies to Xi’an, or whether BT is present throughout China. Whatever it is, its marketing ploy worked because I was on the next cab to find out about this place.

What “BT” stands for is “Bian Tai” (变态), which basically means [more than just] abnormal … almost to the level where it becomes “sick”. The term is usually reserved, I think, for pedophiles, serial killers, people with strange fetishes; basically people with some sort of perversion.

BT Wings

BT Wings

And so here I was, standing in front of the sign, wondering which one I should go for. The “halloween” fonts they used for the “BT” wasn’t going to scare me off and I didn’t come all the way here to have honey wings. I’m going to go all the way! “2 skewers of honey wings and 2 skewers of BT wings” please. (4 skewers for RMB 14)

I should probably add that if you manage to have 10 skewers of BT wings, its free … but you know, I wanted to test the water a little.

Grilling the Wings

Grilling the Wings

So while they’re grilling those wings … I was wondering what all the fuzz was about. Is it in the sauce, like Nuk’em Wings? Apparently not. After they’re done with the wings, they would take the wings behind the counter (away from customers’ sight) and they probably jabbed the skewers into a bucket-load of spice & pepper (see below).

Guess Which One is BT?

Guess Which One is BT?

Interesting.

At this point, I thought maybe this wasn’t such a good idea afterall, but I can’t let YOU down. I strategically used only my teeth to tear a bit of the wings off and chewed, while being extremely careful not to let my lips get in the way. Initially, its not bad at all. I thought maybe this whole thing was a little exaggerated. By the time I had actually felt a tinge of tickle on my throat, I was done with the first skewer.

BT People

BT People

I went on to finish the second skewer of BT chicken wings, and in retrospect, I honestly don’t know why I had done that because I was now sweating a bit, my eyes watery and nose runny. Then I realized, the spice was in the finish! My lips were screaming and my tongue was dead. I stood up and felt a little lightheaded and my instinct told me to walk next door to buy a very cold drink. Luckily, they were serving some mango slush (ice shaves) which cost about RMB 7 (I would’ve paid RMB 70 for that).

Mango Ice Shaves

Mango Ice Shaves

I was getting a bit dizzy by now, but the mango slush really helped … temporarily. When I was done with the drink, I was still feeling those burning sensation in my mouth. That same feeling was to conveniently migrate to the other side the next day as the wings left my system. No, it really isn’t funny.

During the next day or so, my stomach was feeling really bloated and uncomfortable. Dinner at Shangri-la that same night could’ve been a pleasant experience if it weren’t for these BT wings. 真他妈的变态 dude. Nuk’em-level wings is weaker (I wouldn’t say weak) compared to this. This stuff is potent.

These wings are a serious health threat. I wouldn’t recommend any sane person to do this … unless you can really take it.

… what I’d go through for this blog is beyond my comprehension.

Note: Photos taken with Ricoh GR Digital

Siu Yeh Rating: 7/10
(I mean it taste good and stuff … the spice is a little too much to handle)