06 December 2015

Xian Dining -- Yang Rou Pao Mo

Food of XianYang Rou Pao Mo (Crumbled Unleavened Bread Soaked in Mutton Stew) is a local dish that is enjoyed throughout Shaanxi Province but is particularly popular in Xi'an City as a traditional nourishing meal. Not only do the local people enjoy it on a regular basis; it is also often appreciated by visiting celebrities.

A highly seasoned mutton gravy in which bread is soaked, Yang Rou Pau Mo smells and tastes great. When the weather is cold, this dish is a sure way to warm you up! Many restaurants in Xi'an serve Yang Rou Pao Mo but among the best known is the Lao Sun Jia, established in 1898 and the Tong Sheng Xiang where they have been serving excellent food for almost a century. Both establishments can be recommended if you wish to try this special dish.

Yang Rou Pao Mo, Xian foodHow Yang Rou Pau Mo is served. The custom is both unique and interesting. When you order the meal you will be given a large bowl and a quantity of round, flat unleavened bread (nan bread). The amount of bread depends entirely upon the size of your appetite! You have to break the bread into small pieces so that it can absorb the flavor of the liquid. Be warned, the bread is hard and it will prove something of a test of strength for your fingers but the smaller you break the pieces, the better the result. Once you have prepared your bread, you pass your bowl to the chef who will stir it into a pot of hot mutton soup. After some five to ten minutes he will ladle the soup and bread back into your bowl with a quantity of mutton.

Adding chili paste, caraway and a specially salted sweet garlic enhances the dish. These together act to reduce the greasiness so often associated with mutton.

Yang Rou Pao Mo might not sound as though it could become a favorite with you but if you are seeking to experience something of the local food of the people of western China, this is well worth a try. If you want to taste it at its best, remember to come to Xi'an.

 Well-Known Restaurants

Lao Sun Jia (Xian Lao Sun's Restaurant)
Chinese name: 老孙家/西安老孙家饭庄
Lao Sun Jia should be the most famous restaurant in Xian servicing the authentic beef/lamb stew of bread. Originally opened at the end of the Qing Dynasty, the long history has turned Lao Sun Jia to be a noted landmark of the ancient Xian City. Besides of the time-honored Pao Mo, the skillful cooks here also have created a series of tasty Moslem dishes to meet customers'  various kinds of needs. Additionally, the well-decorated restaurant is an ideal place for you to try the elaborate local snacks. However, nothing in the world in perfect, some customers also complain that the food’s flavor is not as good as they imagine but at a little high price.
Average cost: CNY20-CNY30 per person
Dongguan Branch: No.78, Dong Duan Zheng Jie, Beilin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.8, 22, 29, 33, 37, 43, 203, 218, 232, 300, K630 (get off at Dong Men)
Duanlvmen Branch: No.364, Dong Da Jie, Beilin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.7, 8, 29, 43, 46, 203, 218, 251, 300, K605, You4 (get off at Duan Lv Men)
Xiwulu Branch: No.26, Xi Wu Lu, Xincheng District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.4, 10, 11, 33, 102, 103, You8 (get off at Ge Ming Gong Yuan/Revolution Park)
Gaoxin Branch: No.101, the Pedestrian Street of the Electric City, Gaoxin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.6, 205, 210, 212, 217, 312, 900, Education Special Line (get off at Dian Zi Shang Cheng)
Yanta Branch: No.8, C, the north square of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Yanta District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.5, 19, 23, 30, 500, 606, You4, You6, You8, You9 (get off at Da Yan Ta/Big Wild Goose Pagoda)
Tang Paradise Branch: Fu Rong Lu of the Tang Paradise, Yanta District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.21, 22, 23, 24, 44, 212, 237, You4, You9 (get off at the Tang Paradise)

Tong Sheng Xiang (Prosperity & Fortune Restaurant)
Chinese name: 同盛祥
This Moslem restaurant has enjoyed the same fame with Lao Sun Jia for a long time. Its delicious Pao Mo has been listed in the Chinese Top Snacks in 1997. By the way, occupying the advantageous position in the city center, this two-storied restaurant is always crowded by locals and travelers.
Other Specialities: various kinds of Moslem dishes, dumpling, snack banquets
Average cost: CNY20-CNY60
Zhonglou Branch: at the square of the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, Beilin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.4, 6, 7, 12, 32, 43, 206, 215, 300, 600, 603, 608, U-7, You8 (get off at the Bell Tower)
Shiyuanlu Branch: No.52, Shi Yuan Lu, Beilin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.8, 27, 43, 102, 300, K630, 903 (get off at Xing Qing Gong Yuan Bei Men/the north gate of the Xingqing Park)

Fang Shang Ren
Chinese name: 坊上人
Fang Shang Ren is also a time-honored Moslem restaurant focusing on the authentic Pao Mo. In fact, most of the locals are prefer to visit here for its comfortable dining environment and delicious food at reasonable price.
Other Specialities: Moslem dishes, snacks
Average cost: CNY20 per person
Gaoxin Branch: No.1, the Pedestrian Street of the Electric City, Gaoxin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.6, 205, 210, 212, 217, 312, 900, Education Special Line (get off at Dian Zi Shang Cheng)
Lianhu Branch: No.10, Lao Dong Nan Lu, Beilin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.10, 24, 29, 40, 106, 107, U-7 (get off at Lao Dong Nan Lu)
Ziwei Branch: No.1, Ziwei Ideal City, Gaoxin District, Xian City
Bus routes: Nos.324, 525, 608, 716 (get off at Yi Yuan Lu)

Lao Mi Jia Pao Mo Guan
Chinese name: 老米家泡馍馆
If you are a gourmet to find the budget delicious food, this restaurant should not be missed. In Xian, the tastiest snacks also hide in the unconspicuous streets and lanes, such as the Lao Mi Jia Pao Mo which attracts a great number of locals, but travelers always feel difficult to find it from the bustling Moslem Street. Compared with the above time-honored restaurants, this small restaurant only services customers the unique flavor Pao Mo at very reasonable price.
Tips: if you are willing to have a try here, it is suggested you should get there as early as possible. Usually, after every 15:00, no food is served. By the way, don't expect too high of its service and you have to help yourself sometimes.
Average cost: CNY15 per person
Location: No.277, Bei Guang Ji Jie (namely Moslem Street), Lianhu District, Xian City
How to get there: firstly, you have to get to the Moslem Street, namely, Bei Yuan Men. Then, find a parallel way to its west called Bei Guang Ji Jie, at the south end of which, you will find this always crowded restaurant. Of course, ask for help from locals is more convenient.

Lao Liu Jia Pao Mo Guan
Chinese name: 老刘家泡馍馆
Not far from the above Lao Mi Jia, this small Moslem restaurant also service economical Pao Mo all the year around.
Average cost: CNY15 per person
Location: Bei Guang Ji Jie, Lianhu District, Xian City

Lao Wu Jia Xiao Chao Pao Mo
Chinese name: 老乌家小炒泡馍
Xiao Chao Pao Mo, which is a little different from Pao Mo, is added in some vegetable, such as tomato and day lily. So, it is tasted a little sourer. Lao Wu Jia is no wonder the most popular Moslem restaurant service Xiao Chao in Xian.
Average cost: CNY10 per person
Location: Da Pi Yuan, at the south end of the Moslem Street, Lianhu District, Xian City

Shaanxi Di Yi Wan
Chinese name: 陕西第一碗
Nearby Lao Wu Jia, this Moslem restaurant also cooks delicious Xiao Chao. It is suggested that you have to arrive here as early as possible.
Average cost: CNY10 per person

Yi Zhen Lou
Chinese name: 一真楼
This Moslem restaurant is often visited by locals for a breakfast or supper. The waiters' service is also comfortable.
Average cost: CNY10-CNY15 per perosn
Location: Da Pi Yuan, at the south end of the Moslem Street, Beilin District, Xian City

Lao Liu Jia
Chinese name: 老刘家
The Pao Mo with especially fragrant soup served in this so small restaurant attracts a number of locals and travelers. By the way, it is suggested to try the sweet-sour plum juice here.
Average cost: CNY10 per person
Location: Bei Guang Ji Jie, Beilin District, Xian City (nearby the Great Mosque)
Besides of these noted restaurants, you can enjoy the Yang Rou Pao Mo at any Moslem restaurant located in the Moslem Street. There are also some restaurants distributing in the streets and lanes of the city, such as the Jian Ji Niu Yang Rou Pao Mo.