西贝西北菜 – Pudong, Shanghai

There are many types of cuisines in China, and it is always a different eating experience when you try different cuisines, especially within China.  My colleague Justin is from the Xi Bei region of China, so he took a bunch of my friends and I to a place that specializes in Xi Bei cuisine.  Xi Bei is the Northwest region of China, so there is a lot of meat involved in the cuisine, as well as other types of delicacies.

We went to a place called XibeiXibei and ordered a bunch of dishes!

We started off with some Blueberry Juice, which they say is a normal drink in Xi Bei.  Who would have guessed?

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Our “Whet the Palate” dish was poured out.  Looked interesting, but I’ve seen these before and they usually don’t taste good.  I was not wrong about it here.

This was a grain which was turned into a soup.  Absolutely tasteless and a small sip was enough for me.  Worse than oatmeal, it was millet soup.  Yeah, don’t do it.

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The next one to tease the palate was Yogurt.  Apparently it’s huge in Xi Bei.  So we tried it.

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They say you should add honey to it and then mix and eat.  Not bad tasting at all!  Pretty good, the yogurt was nice, the honey made is sweet.  Yup, I can eat this.

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Cold Noodles with sauce and some tofu and other pickles.  Standard stuff I think.

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And then of course your cucumbers.

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Next was a sticky corn and rice concoction.  I thought it might be like sticky rice.  Dead wrong about that.  One bite, that’s all I wanted.

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Julienne veggies.  OK.IMG_3719

Now for the hot dishes.  This was a meatball made from pork.  Pretty juicy, not bad at all.

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Stewed lamb with carrots.  I’ve had this before, this one was nice and tender, a good job.

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Stewed Chicken with Black Fungus.  Again, not bad.  Prefer San Bei Jie, but this was ok.

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And then meat.  Roasted Lamb.  Yum, yum, yum! Tender meat, crispy skin, marinated with some spices and cumin, and then additional dipping powders.  Yup, winner!

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Special Xi Bei Tofu.  Processed in the towel the old way, handmade.  Then squeezed out and left to form.

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A little sauce on it, and this improved the taste.  But you know what?  It’s still tofu.

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Lamb Kebabs.  Yum.

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You can’t but have some fun right?

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Then we got to play a game, you play Rock, Paper, Scissors with the waitstaff and you go around the table.  For each time you beat the waitstaff before you lose you get a point.  You accumulate the points and you get a free dish based on the range of wins you had.

I personally beat the waitress 5 times in a row. Our table of 10 had a total of 13 points.  So we got a free dish!  Some kind of rice mixture.  It was ok.

IMG_3733So the verdict?

Eat the meats.  Let everything else go by the wayside.  Eat the roast meat, the grilled meat, the skewered meat, and perhaps some of the stewed meat.  Stay away from all else.

But that’s just me…

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