Xi’an Biang Biang noodles are the sister to Xi’an impression. Biang Biang refers to the sound made by chefs who hand pulls the noodles with their bare hands. The Chinese character biang itself is the most complex word to write. I sometimes forget how close Aldgate East station is being a few stops away on a train ride. Xi’an Biang Biang restaurant sits on the corner of Wentworth Street, between Spitalfields and Brick Lane.
The restaurant itself is quite spacious with Chinese style illustrations plastered on the walls and simple wooden seating. Being at X’ian Biang Biang just after 11:30 am on a weekday meant I could beat the busy lunchtime hours to eat in peace. There were a few other solo diners there, having a quiet uninterrupted meal to themselves.
You are given a laminated menu book full of photos next to the food names in Chinese & English. I mean the hand pull noodles in numbing sauce sound like a winner, right? The food on X’ian Biang Biang menu is from the Shaanxi Province in central China. The menu runs short on variety, cold starters, small eats, soups and noodle offerings. I choose something off the hand pulled belt noodle section and a herbal tea in case I can’t handle the spice.
My plate arrived 牛肉油泼面 (£10.90) of hand-pulled BiangBiang noodles, piled in uneven thick cut ribbons, with six pieces of braised beef, side blanched vegetables swimming in special spicy sauce. It was time to slurp down some noodles. The tiny chilli flakes are clearly visible, chunky beef brisket instantly melts in your mouth. The thick belted bouncy noodles seem like it’s endless spun of ribbon needs to be chewed off to enjoy. These wheat noodles are as fresh as you can get, made on a site by the chefs. Side vegetables seem to be too soft and lost its natural flavour. That special spicy sauce is quite something, usually when I eat in Chinese restaurants the chilli used is overbearing, this one has the right balance of heat and flavourings.
For more information, visit the X’ian Biang Biang website.
Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles, 62 Wentworth Street, London E1 7AL (020 8617 1470)