Stall # 36 marks the spot for Xi’an Famous Foods which is housed in the basement of the Golden Mall in Queens. Here’s where you will find some really incredible hand pulled noodles. It’s best known for its Liang Pi “cold skin” noodles, Savory Cumin Lamb Burger and Lamb Face Salad.
Historically, Xi’an was known to be the first capital of China and is where the famous Terracotta soldiers reside. It was also the starting point of the Silk Road, which exposed the local cuisine to many foreign flavors and spices.
Xi’an Famous Foods is barely a restaurant – It’s more of a food stall with a few tables to sit at. The ladies behind the counter are extremely friendly and very helpful in making suggestions on what to eat.
Xi’an Famous Foods has been visited by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Eric Rippert, who found the noodles here fabulous. Thanks to all the great publicity there is now a second location in Manhattan – just in case you cant make the trek out to Queens.
Here is some of what we ate:
LIANG PI “COLD SKIN NOODLES”
This is a cold noodle dish which is really excellent. It comes with chunks of tofu, veggies and is drenched in a tangy soy based sauce. The hand pulled noodles themselves are ragged flat noodles that strike a perfect balance between chewy and soft.
SAVORY CUMIN LAMB BURGER
The cumin lamb sandwich was outstanding. It really demonstrated how historically the Mughals and other traders and soldiers who passed through the Silk Road heavily influenced the cuisine of this region.
LAMB FACE SALAD
The lamb face salad came highly recommended by the girls working behind the counter, but as I don’t have the same tolerance for strange foods as Anthony Bourdian does, it didn’t go down too well with me. When I realized that the salad actually had bits of the face of a lamb in it – I could eat no more. I’ll just take everyone’s word for it that it’s outstanding.
STEWED PORK BURGER
This was also very good but was missing the spices that the cumin lamb burger had. It’s a good alternative for someone who does not enjoy spices.
HOT OIL SEARED HAND PULLED NOODLES
This dish was very similar to the cold skin noodles but had a nice spicy kick to it. Next time I would try one of the warm noodles with lamb in it.
MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL
Service: ☆ ☆½
I recommend: Liang Pi “ Cold Skin Noodles”, Lamb Burger.