Discover Xi’an Food in London with a Special Type of Noodle

Xi'an Food in London

Xi’an Food in London // Two MUST TRY Treats from the East

It’s been five months since we last spoke to you! We’re super sorry, but we’re back with a delightful find from central London. It’s time to discover some amazing Xi’an Food in London!

Xi'an Food in London
One of Xi’an’s Most Famous Dishes which includes the most complex Chinese character

As for most of you, 2020-21 has been a rather turbulent time.

Bianca and I have been living out of a suitcase for 14 months but finally that came to an end two weeks ago as we unpacked our bags in London!

Many congrats to my (new) wife, Bianca, for landing a brand new, shiny job in the heart of London.

We’ll be here for the foreseeable, meaning we’ve got a tonne of different cuisines to get stuck into and discover.

We couldn’t be more excited to share them with you.

China is a place close to our hearts – it’s where we met and where we spent a good few years of our lives. Both of us still hold important work connections there, meaning our knowledge of the cuisine is deep.

When people talk about Chinese food and bring up the “Sweet and Sour Chicken”, “Chicken Chow Mein” or “Crispy Fried Beef” I internally roll my eyes. I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it!

I feel the need to show people who don’t know this cuisine how diverse it really is. In fact it’s far deeper and way more than these dishes, which quite frankly don’t even come close to representing Chinese food.

Xi’an for example, is locked in central China. A beautiful city boasting some of China’s most incredible sights, not least the Terracotta Warriors and Huashan (a mind-blowing mountain of epic proportions).

Aside from the sights though, Xi’an boasts it’s own delightful cuisine and we were over the moon to discover a little restaurant in central London that provided two treats Bianca and I love.

Today, we will introduce you to:

  • BIANG BIANG 面 (油泼面)
  • 肉夹馍

We’ll show you what these dishes are, and where you can find them… let’s go!

Xi’an Food in London – What’s The Restaurant?

Xi’an Food in London – How To Get There?

Xi’an Food in London – What Are The Dishes?

Xi’an Food in London – Price?

Xi’an Food in London – Overall Experience

Xi’an Food in London – What’s The Restaurant?

Master Wei - Xi'an Food in London

The restaurants name is Master Wei and it is located nearest the Russell Square Underground Station.

The restaurant is tucked away off the main street of Russell Square and down an almost hutong like street named Cosmo Place.

It’s a small, humble little place located right in-between a couple of typical English pubs and an Italian Restaurant (of which there are seemingly more than there are Tesco’s in London)!

It’s pretty easy to find and it’s aim is to provide an experience of Xi’an food in London. Could they achieve it?

You bet!

Xi’an Food in London – How To Get There?

It’s all very easy.

Presumably most of you will be coming through the Underground. If so, you’ve got a simple 5 minute walk which is mapped out below.

There are also plenty of bus routes and ab Uber can drop you off on Russell Square also.

If you’re perhaps driving yourself, pop in the below address into your Sat-Nav and you’ll be good to go.

It’s tucked away, but dead easy to find.

ADDRESS – 13 Cosmo Pl, Holborn, London WC1N 3AP

LIKE JAPANESE? Then you’ll absolutely love discovering Tsukemen with us

Xi’an Food in London – What Are The Dishes?

The restaurant actually boasts a wealth of dishes but we were on a mission for two things, so our eyes were immediately fixated to the two dishes mentioned above!

  • BIANG BIANG 面 (油泼面)
  • 肉夹馍

For those of you who don’t read Chinese… BIANG BIANG 面 (面 meaning noodles), are a belt like style of noodles. They are covered in oil and spice to add a tonne of flavour and they are pretty heavy so consider sharing these with other dishes.

They come a big, very Chinese style bowl and have an element of wow factor about them.

TOP TIP – In China it’s more common to order a number of dishes and share them rather than order one dish per person which is more common in the west.

QUICK CHINESE LESSON!

They also go by the name of 油泼面, the reason why?

BIANG actually represents the most complicated Chinese character in the entire language… so complex it is impossible to type out as a character on a keyboard or phone.

It’d appear an ineligible mess!

It’s genuinely true.

The traditional BIANG character includes an insane 58 strokes, and the simplified one just 43.

Due to this, even on Chinese menus you will see this written as BIANGBIANG面 or alternatively 油泼面.

Just to show you how complex the character is, here is a restaurant in China that went the full works by actually engraving all 43 strokes, twice!

Bare in mind this is the “simplified” version of the character! But that’s a discussion for another day.

Back to the food itself.

BIANG BIANG 面 (油泼面)

Xi'an Food in London

As stated, these are a really unique type of noodle, extremely heavy and very long.

At Master Wei in London I think the bowl was actually comprised of just 3 noodles, but they are LONG!

These are a must try. This is genuine, proper Chinese food.

Ditch your “Sweet & Sour Chicken” and head to Russell Square!

Of course, we were sceptical beforehand. Would it be super pricey, would the flavour replicate that of in China itself?

We came away delighted.

These Biang Biang Noodles hit the spot. The bowl perhaps not so packed as it would be in it’s native land, but the flavour was unquestionably bang on the money.

A bit of spice, a lot of oil and an explosion of flavours to make your mouth go wild!

You can choose beef, pork or go veggie so there’s something for everyone.

THE CHINESE HAMBURGER 肉夹馍

肉夹馍 (pronounced ròu jiā mó) literally translates to meat folder bun.

It is affectionately known as the Chinese Hamburger outside of China but don’t expect anything similar to your Big Mac here.

China isn’t really known for burgers in truth. This is a small bun (nothing on the size of a giant American burger) filled with beautifully flavoured meat.

These are a classic street food in China… generally smaller when buying in China. Here they’ve added a western twist and increased the size, presumably to please the punters and give us more value for money as these come in at 6GBP per burger (much more expensive that in China itself).

Once again, the flavours mimic its homeland perfectly.

Combined with the aforementioned noodles, these were a genuinely superb taste of “home” for Bianca and I.

We ate and reminisced about our earlier days, when we first discovered these huge noodles, the flavours, the feelings and everything else.

THE REST OF IT

Of course the restaurant plays host to a number of other dishes including Veggie and Vegan alternatives.

Unfortunately we didn’t take any pictures of the menu as we were so keen to get stuck into the two dishes mentioned above, but you can check out their menu on Deliveroo here.

If we could, we’d love to recommend you the following having eaten probably most of the menu in China!

  • Traditional Liang Pi Noodles (西安凉皮) – This is a type of cold noodles and is hugely popular throughout China.
  • Any of the Dumplings (饺子) – China is all about dumplings, there are so, so, so, so many types and you can’t go wrong with many of them at all.
  • Sour and Spicy Shredded Potato (酸辣土豆丝) – A classic filler dish from China. Far from mind blowing, but China has a great ability to make a normally bland sounding dish, full of flavour. This is one of them. Stir fried potato with a spicy/vinegar hit.

Xi’an Food in London – Price?

Xi'an Food in London - BIANG Mian & Rou Jia Mo

We went to Chinatown the week before, our first visit, and spent 40GBP on Dumplings/Dim Sum.

It was great, and a delight to enjoy some Dim Sum again, our first since leaving Hong Kong, but it doesn’t come cheap.

Some say that’s London but we had an equally fulfilling experience for half the price here at Master Wei – spending 20GBP (we did have Jasmine Tea instead of beer in Chinatown though).

One key difference between eating in China and Hong Kong we discovered was the b@stard service charge.

In China this doesn’t exist, in Hong Kong, sadly they are all over this tradition that you can probably tell, irks me to the bone.

In fact, our friends at Master Wei treated us to a small 10% discount, perhaps our little conversation in Chinese helped, but still, it was a nice touch. The week before, we had a service charge smacked on top! Little things make a big difference.

We enjoyed two dishes and unlimited Jasmine Tea for 20GBP – of course, not as cheap as China, but then nothing will be in London.

Most BIANG BIANG Noodles come in around 10GBP with the Veggie one the cheapest by about a pound.

A bottle of Tsingtao (China’s premier beer) costs 3.60GBP, not too bad in London terms.

Xi’an Food in London – Overall Experience

Would we go back? Absolutely.

This is a taste of real China and it mimics the experience perfectly. We spent an hour getting nostalgic for our lives in China and it all centred around their excellent, hugely diverse, cuisine.

The staff were friendly, we also enjoyed a chance to practice our Mandarin which was greeted nicely by the team. Language has a wonderful habit of bringing people together.

NOTE – Due to the social restrictions in place – we were seated outside. A tad windy, but no bother at all. It made the experience all the more intriguing given the fact we were 10 metres away from a classic British pub on the left (pies, beers, bangers and mash… the lot) and an Italian restaurant on the left.

WANT TO DISCOVER IT YOURSELF? Check out their Tripadvisor page for more opinions.

EVER HEARD OF BANH MI? It’s one of our favourite Asian street foods and it’s a taste sensation!

Xi’an Food in London – FAQ’s

Where is Master Wei Restaurant?

It’s located on Cosmo Place which is a short 5 minute walk from Russell Square Underground Station.

What cuisine does Master Wei Restaurant specialise in?

Master Wei focuses on the food of Xi’an, a famous city based in the heart of central China

What is the most famous dish from Master Wei?

Although Xi’amn Cuisine boasts a wealth of superb dishes, the Biang Biang Noodles (belt like in shape) are the star hit at Master Wei.

How much is a bowl of noodles at Master Wei?

The cost for the famous Biang Noodles is roughly 10GBP depending on whether you have with or without meat.
The veggie option is just under 10GBP and with meat is just over.

Recommended Articles