Xi’an is known for its amazing dumplings, and it’s Dumplings Girls.
During the Tang Dynasty beautiful women were curvy and voluptuous and their civilization was prosperous.
The images of these dumpling girls are everywhere.
Even as a modern day marketing symbol.
On our first night in Xi’an we enjoyed the optional Dumpling Dinner. We looked at exploring Xi’an on our own but the $15.00 (US) dinner including our transportation to and from was too good to pass up.
We were told that there would be about 18 different types of dumplings out of the 100+ dumplings this city is known for.
The restaurant is a multistory space with a number of large dining rooms and our space was packed.
Tables were set with a number of appetizers, tea and as per usual with our you we were offered bottled water, Coke, Sprite or local beer.
The appetizers included: local ham
A stewed beef ‘lunch meat’ which was a little chewy and not very flavorful, as well as one made of chicken.
Tofu skin noodles, fish tofu which really didn’t have much flavor
And, they finished up with a cucumber salad, chilled green beans and fried peanuts
After the cold dishes we have a numbered list of the dumplings with descriptions in both English and Chinese.
However, even with the numbers they didn’t bring them out in order. With very little English they called out numbers as they brought them out. We did our best to reminder to be able to photograph them and renumber them…
each dumpling has a specific shape to correspond with a filling.
So here we go…
Boiled pork dumplings with chives
Pork with black moss
Pork and duck with sesame, they look like little ducks
Sour soup dumplings, the broth was delicious and they served two kinds pork dumplings and vegetable dumplings
Chicken, shrimp and pork dumplings that were slightly spicy
Sweet potato dumplings, kind of flat and one note. The looked like little cabbages and were really dense. (They needed cinnamon and brown sugar).
Pakchoi with mushrooms
Baby shrimp with pork
Pork, water chestnut and black mushroom… they look like little pigs!
Straight beans with egg
Pork and celery with black mushrooms
Walnut and peanut
And finally brown sugar with sesame
Overall it was a fun experience, the randomness of the dumplings coming out and people spinning the table to grab things they liked (and photos before they got scarfed down) made it a little tough.
It was a good value but the dumplings we had on the street were much better…
More on that later!