Posted on 11 / 10 / 2009
We have been here twice during our stay in Xi'an since many of the other vegetarian restaurants seem to have closed.
First off, I want to note that the map showing this restaurant as near the Bell Tower is incorrect. This restaurant is located on the grounds of Daxingshan Temple which is south of the city walls. However, it is easy to find since it's on every map and all the taxi drivers know it. It is not a big temple, so easy to find once you're there.
The atmosphere isn't much and there are no pictures or any English on the menu, but everything we've tried has been delicious. On our first visit, we had tofu in brown sauce, a cold stir fried spinach dish, and dumplings. The tofu and spinach dishes were both a bit spicy. The dumplings come in servings of 30 or 60 which sounds like a lot, but they are rather small. 30 fits on a normal sized plate, so order 60 if there are two of you and you're really hungry.
On our second visit, we had an eggplant dish which was really great. It was served sizzling on a hot iron plate. The sauce was a bit sweet, sour, spicy, and salty all at the same time. We also had stir-fried greens and mushrooms which were tasty. Finished it up with 60 dumplings.
This place is very inexpensive. Both times we went, it was about 50 kuai for 2 people. The staff was friendly and helped us with the menu as best they could. One server spoke some English, but some Mandarin would be helpful, although you could get by just pointing at random items and probably be okay. Since we can't read Mandarin, we just asked for tofu, eggplant, or dumplings and the server pointed at corresponding menu items to show us the price.
We will probably go back before we leave as it is in a fairly convenient location and the food has been reliably good. Definitely worth a visit or two.
good food, great value, healthy food
lacking in atmosphere