Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Review by: Audrey Stocker
On a typical drizzly Seattle morning I found myself craving Chinese noodles, the perfect dish to warm up a gloomy mood. For months I had heard about this new noodle place in the University District that, according to just about everyone, I had to try. It was only 11am but I was hungry enough that I decided to get ready and head out the door for an early lunch. By the time I pulled up in front of Xi’an Noodles it was 11:50; and as I walked up to the restaurant I realized that it wasn’t supposed to be open until noon. To my surprise, they opened a bit before noon and I was able to beat the crowds and the rush. I am not positive that this is a daily occurrence, but arriving early to Xi’an is a good idea if you don’t want to be standing in line for a while. (It is worth the wait even if you do get stuck in line!)
Walking in, I hastily claim a table, then jump in line, grabbing a menu on my way. As I have newly become a vegetarian, I ordered the tomato and egg hand ripped noodles, labeled with a V for vegetarian. The rest of my party also go for hand ripped noodles, opting for cumin lamb and pulled pork. I order the cucumber salad as a starter and a coconut tea for my drink and take my seat, excited for the feast to come.
Spicy yet sweet at the same time, cucumber salad is the perfect appetizer and preview to the delicious foods that Xi’an offers. The sweet chili sauce mixes with the cucumber and cilantro for a refreshing palate cleanser. The noodles come out next, cut at perfect thickness. My mouth waters as I take my pictures, eager as I am to dig in. The first bite of soupy tomato and egg, al dente noodles, and crunchy cabbage brings all textures together in one heavenly mouthful. The noodles are cooked perfectly — some of the best noodles I have ever had. The tomato and egg brings a new layer to the flavors, complementing the noodles by highlighting their texture.
For all you carnivores out there, the pork is tender and generously portioned out. To add an extra kick, you can choose from sauces like spicy pepper sauce or sesame paste. Cumin lamb is a mix of flavors that spice up the palate, the cumin adding fragrant appeal. Green pepper and cabbage that accompany the dish add welcome crunch. The meats are available with dry noodles (our choice) or soup noodles. The menu also includes cumin lamb and pork Asian burgers. Adventurous eaters can customize a bowl by choosing whatever veggies and meats are desired. To go along with the meal there are a variety of black and green teas as well as traditional sodas. Although there are many other menu items, and it is always good to explore further into a restaurant’s cuisine, I would suggest starting with the hand ripped noodles. Those are what Xi’an is best known for.
Xi’an Noodles is open every day for lunch and dinner, but some days are busier than others. Try to head here on the weekdays, as you will likely have to wait in a shorter line than at noon on a Saturday. The owner of Xi’an Noodles, Lily Wu, trained in how to make hand ripped noodles in Xi’an, China for two years before opening her restaurant. She now serves some of the best noodles around.
Directions & Hours
- Monday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|