Xi’an Famous Foods
67 Bayard St (nr Mott St)
City: New York, NY
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Yunnanese
Payment: Cash only
Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment but I can't seem to keep myself away from Xi'an Famous Foods. The Yunnan-style food is among the spiciest I've tasted. It is not for the faint of heart, or stomach.
"Spicy" is the key word. It's found in pretty much everything; Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles in soup, Spicy Tingly Beef Noodles, and Spicy Cucumber Salad. You get the picture. All of the noodle dishes are excellent. The noodles are hand-pulled fresh daily and made to be eaten on the spot, or risk a bloated noodle. While most Chinatown restaurants cater to families and large groups, Xi'an is a magnet for hipsters who can be found at the communal table slurping their noodles.
I ordered lamb dumplings which arrived in a slick of chili oil with cracked pepper and spices. The were sprinkled with black-and-white sesame seeds. The dish is hot, but tolerable. The dumplings are a bit on the clunky side, but a good vehicle for the spicy broth. The lamb burger, on the other hand, borders on insane. It is packed with fiery chilies. It is so hot, I literally broke into a sweat halfway through it.
Maybe next time i'll try to cool it down with some Mi Pi Cold Rice Noodles. But I betcha it's gonna be plenty hot too.
Review By: Thomas Rafael