Friday, January 30, 2015

Xi'an - The Muslim Quarter aka "Eat Street"

Other than the Terracotta Army, Xi'an is also very well-known for its Muslim Quarter - a centrally located area next to the Drum Tower that offers a myriad of food, glorious food. I regret reading up too much on this, as it made me indecisive over which food I should try, and for which meal. LOL

I can only eat so much, you see ;)

So here's some pictures I took along the street - also known as Bei Yuan Men. I went there early at abvout 5 pm before the dinner crowd started arriving. Walked the whole length and turned back to see what was on offer.

The Drum Tower, all lit up.

Early crowd.

Fried baby potatoes came highly recommended - and did not disappoint. It was quite good, all hot and spicy and salty. Lots of salt, cumin and chili!

This was my very first bite of Xi'an street food. Yums.

I don't know what this is - some sort of rice cakes. Reminds me of our radish cakes.

This is a similar one at another stall.

Hooves? Trotters? For sure it's halal though. I was very tempted to try. Alas I did not.

These trotters must be popular, there are many stalls selling it.

Oodles of noodles.

Candy-puller pulling candy :) I did not try any sweets.

I did buy a slice of this - rather bland, it's made of rice and before you eat it, you dip it in some kind of sweet rose water syrup. Looks better than the taste.

Uh. Goat meat aplenty.

Quail eggs on a skewer, some takoyaki-kinda thing. Not bad.

Cold soba like noodles with peanut sauce and chillies for dinner. And they eat beads of fresh garlic. I tried a few, they were alright, very fresh and crunchy. I felt so healthy!

There are many, many, many types of grilled meat on a stick here. Strong flavours from the spices used, and not oily.

Meat for the sandwiches! *Don't mess with a guy with a chopper.

This was not in Muslim Quarter, but on the street where my hostel was located. My FAVOURITE ! I had it twice for breakfast. If not for my desire to eat as many things as possible I would've been happy to just eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's like a big, light, crunchy wrap, with egg. Freshly made to order. I put in my order via sign language :)

Here goes the egg onto the wrap, that's on a hot flat pan of some sort.

On goes the chillies! The next order I managed to ask her to double the chillies :)

Some onions, scallions, a little salt I think.

Then she adds on this fried crunchy flake/wafer thingy I don't know what it is. Also some lettuce.

This is a close-up of that flake/wafer thingy.

She rolls it up and cuts it into halves. It's now ready to eat! Yumminess. It's so light and needs to be eaten while it's still warm. 

 Again, chillies and spicese were common toppings.

They love their chillies here. 

This squid on a stick was super tasty and super hot, I got sniffy and shed happy tears eating it.

Actually I did wonder where these came from as Xi'an is smack in the middle of the mainland. They tasted fresh. (please, no fake squids!)

This stall always had a long queue, so I finally gave in and went to check out what's the story here.

You pay for the sandwich 15 yuan to one of these guys and you'll get a 'ticket'. Now join the queue.

See the plastic bag on the right side? You're supposed to take it yourself when you're in front of the queue. I just watched what everyone did. Monkey.

This is the ticket thing, by the way. You give it to the guy when you place your order.

He'll take a freshly steamed bun, place it in this paper pocket, and fill it with chopped stewed meat

This chunk of meat is freshly stewed or boiled. It looks soft.

Hey look there's another queue next door!

Chop chop chop and in it goes.

It tasted like soft, salty corned beef. Definitely a comfort food. I do like it, but don't think it deserves the hype it gets. 

Freshly pressed pure pomegranate juice to cleanse the palate.

Okay that's the express post on the Xi'an's Muslim Quarter for now - I'm blogging in the middle of doing some work so I gotta run.

(Not very good blogger :p)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peek : Xi'an Marks the Spot

So, finally, I stepped foot onto mainland China, to a city that has captivated me since 1990.

Why 1990? I've only heard of Xi'an in that year, when a friend shared a photo of her dad accompanying the then Agong to visit the Terracotta Army. (They went down into Pit 1, okay)

In the short trip I managed to cover most of what I wanted to see and experience.

The place that took my breath away - Hua Shan.

View of the West Peak. Mesmerizing.


More soon :)