We went to Xi’an primarily to visit the Terracotta Army but were pleasantly surprised by how much to city had to offer. Especially the Muslim Quarter, which is a foodie’s dream. The Quarter isn’t like a lot of the other markets we visited in the way that there were locals and tourists alike all enjoying trying new foods, drinks and having a look at the souvenirs on offer. The atmosphere of the market is buzzing and it’s fun to walk around even if you aren’t planning on buying anything.
The first time we visited we actually sat inside a restaurant for dinner. The food and the service were not great and I would not recommend eating inside, anywhere in this area. The way to sample the food is to grab a few different bits as you are walking around. So, the following night we came back with a game plan; to sample as many small delights as the market had to offer.
I thought that staying away from meat (which is sometimes unavoidable in China) was the best idea. Also, I’m not very keen on the whole ‘meat on a stick’ thing. Surely you should at least know what animal the meat came from? Also; I didn’t fancy spending the next couple of days in the toilet cubicle. Adam however devoured the meat, saying it was some of his favourite food in Xi’an, and he left with his stomach in tact. We shared some Bombay potatoes which made such a nice change from weeks of noodles and rice. The combination of the spice and butter left us wanting more and more.
After trying a few more savoury options we headed to a dessert stand. There was an array of sweet treats including sesame biscuits, fruit, mango shakes and the all-important Thai ice cream rolls. Overall, the market was a complete assault on all senses, and the scale was unlike any food market I’ve ever witnessed before. I would say that the Muslim Quarter is an absolute must if your heading to Xi’an, and it will definitely have you coming back for more.