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Xi'an Dynasty Cuisine

Xi'an Dynasty Cuisine
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  • Xi'an Dynasty Cuisine

    Post #1 - February 21st, 2019, 7:55 am
    Post #1 - February 21st, 2019, 7:55 am Post #1 - February 21st, 2019, 7:55 am
    My eyes did a double take upon reading the February 13 version of Chicago Magazine's online newsletter, Dish: did they really just announce the opening of a Xi'an place in Lincoln Park (erroneously listed as Chinatown)? A quick check on Yelp confirmed: my reality is on the same plane of existence as this restaurant.

    While I can't vouch for the business strategy--a small menu of regional Chinese dishes on a bro block?--I can say that the food is very promising, with a lot more of the zip evident at Shaan Shaan Taste or Xi'an Famous Foods than the muted flavors I've found at X'ian Cuisine in Chinatown. The liang pi noodles--here called "Cold Rice Noodles"--are booming with vinegar and chili; I also suspect there is some sort of meat byproduct in the sauce, as I was definitely responding in the lip-smacking way one does when collagen is in food. No doubts about said fat in the Beef Paomao soup: the broth is deeply fatty and restorative, nicely balancing with the cubes of bread floating in it. (You doctor to your liking with a chili sauce and pickled garlic). The Pork Saozi bowl is simple comfort: roasted pork, tasting as if straight from the slowcooker, over what certainly tasted like homemade E-Fu style noodles and in a sauce with a really nice vinegar tang.

    The staff couldn't be friendlier, though I get the sense they are all still learning how to run a restaurant. (They told me they were out of the jianbing on the menu, though later admitted the one person who knows how to make it had gone home for the day.) Here's hoping this place can stick around long enough for them to do so: it has a lot of promise.

    Xi'an Dynasty Cuisine
    2218 N Lincoln Ave,
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 904-7253
  • Post #2 - February 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
    Post #2 - February 21st, 2019, 9:49 am Post #2 - February 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
    Took a few peaks at the pictures on Yelp, too, and the food looks as solid as you described in your post!

    Glad to have something worth trying around Oz Park.
  • Post #3 - April 3rd, 2019, 3:39 pm
    Post #3 - April 3rd, 2019, 3:39 pm Post #3 - April 3rd, 2019, 3:39 pm
    I stopped here for lunch today. The space is nice & service was attentive. The food however, meh.

    The pork burger (roujiamo) was pretty good. Very sticky, succulent shredded pork, redolent of five spice and maybe my favorite filling of any the three purveyors that I've had (Xi'an Cuisine, Shan Shaan, & this place.) The bread was just okay though and would rank last. It lacked browning, crispness, or flakiness. And not salted.

    I tried a new to me thing– Noodle with Pork Saozi. It was a noodle bowl with chopped pork, bok choy, and diced, cooked potato & carrot with a splash of spicy broth. There was a spice mix sprinkled on the meat, Sichuan peppercorn & ground chili that brought some good mala to the pork. The broth was sufficiently salty and tied the bowl together fine. Starchy veg were innocuous. But the noodles, like soft spaghetti. Oh well.

    Curious about jianbing and in the neighborhood enough maybe I'll try it.
  • Post #4 - April 3rd, 2019, 4:18 pm
    Post #4 - April 3rd, 2019, 4:18 pm Post #4 - April 3rd, 2019, 4:18 pm
    From pictures, their paomo seems to be the most legit in Chicago (despite being made with beef instead of lamb). I have not been and cannot confirm, however.
    The best food is well-spiced and well-fattened.
  • Post #5 - April 3rd, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Post #5 - April 3rd, 2019, 8:41 pm Post #5 - April 3rd, 2019, 8:41 pm
    Jefe wrote:I stopped here for lunch today. The space is nice & service was attentive. The food however, meh.

    The pork burger (roujiamo) was pretty good. Very sticky, succulent shredded pork, redolent of five spice and maybe my favorite filling of any the three purveyors that I've had (Xi'an Cuisine, Shan Shaan, & this place.) The bread was just okay though and would rank last. It lacked browning, crispness, or flakiness. And not salted.

    I tried a new to me thing– Noodle with Pork Saozi. It was a noodle bowl with chopped pork, bok choy, and diced, cooked potato & carrot with a splash of spicy broth. There was a spice mix sprinkled on the meat, Sichuan peppercorn & ground chili that brought some good mala to the pork. The broth was sufficiently salty and tied the bowl together fine. Starchy veg were innocuous. But the noodles, like soft spaghetti. Oh well.

    Curious about jianbing and in the neighborhood enough maybe I'll try it.


    Sums up our feelings as well. We went not long after the OP and found everything underwhelming and the speed of service in desperate need of help. It was absurdly ridiculous to see a older gentleman with only one job which was to babysit boiling dried noodles (not fresh or made in-house!) in a tiny pot.
  • Post #6 - September 1st, 2019, 3:50 pm
    Post #6 - September 1st, 2019, 3:50 pm Post #6 - September 1st, 2019, 3:50 pm
    We are in town for the long weekend and I told my wife about how there's a Xi'an restaurant in an area that is not very Chinese at all. Although she found that funny, she still wanted to pass.

    I basically surprised her today by going here (LOL) for lunch. The restaurant is small and fits only around 30 people. I seem to remember this was once the location of Fuh?

    The menu is not huge but most (not all) of the food is from around Xi'an. We opted for the combination (Pork and vegetables) Saozi and the sweet and sour dumpling soup. Also the beef bun.

    My wife did her undergrad in Beijing and told me she actually had a lot of good Xi'an food there. According to her, one of the hallmarks of the cooking there is the usage of vinegar. It needs that tangy flavor. Also, the toppings are very important.

    The combination Saozi was really good. We've had other similar dishes at places in NYC that are from the same general region and this one was just as good as any of those if not better.

    My wife took a slurp of it, then started eating a lot faster. When I asked her I'd it's better than Xi'an Famous Foods she said emphatically "God yes. Way way better.."

    This one was good on toppings - potatoes, carrots, bok choy, tofu, a few types of pork, as well as the pork having some dry chili paste on top. Good stuff. The noodles were good too.

    The hot and sour dumpling soup was not as good, but still good. The flavor was not as strong as the Saozi. My wife and I both thought they needed more vinegar in it. The taste was good but would be killer with more vinegar. The dumplings in the soup itself were good tasting.

    The beef bun was also pretty good but needed some sort of thing to dip it into. It was good in combination with the hot and sour soup.

    One more thing is that they need to put things on the table like vinegar and chili paste in case you want some more in your dishes.

    Overall though, I thought this place was pretty strong. The Saozi we had was surprisingly really good. My wife is skeptical of most Chinese food in America but she thought the Saozi was legit and really good. She found it comparable with those she ate during her undergrad days in Beijing.

    Hopefully this place sticks around.

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