Fabulous Chinese noodles in an unassuming little place and an unlikely location.
|Venue name:||Xi'an Impression||Contact:|
117 Benwell St
|Transport:||Tube: Holloway Rd|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £40.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
WOW. I've barely touched Chinese food in England since a trip round china 10 years ago as I was sick of the MSG ridden Anglicised recipes. Xi'an impressions is the first time i've tasted such authentic food in the UK. Amazing dishes that you want to order and absolutely packed filled with flavour. The home made noodles are a serious treat. Don't be put off by the exterior (or do... and leave more noodles for me!). This is a real diamond in the rough... and they deliver!
Absolutely delicious. The cold noodle starter was particularly special.
It pays to book ahead as it was quite busy, but the staff were accommodating and their dish recommendations were spot on.
Xi'an Impression is an excellent restaurant. Staff are friendly and helpful with suggestions for first-time visitors, while the food is very reasonably priced and utterly delicious. Thoroughly recommended. Definitely worth booking ahead as the restaurant is very small - some of the problems people mention in their reviews apparently stem from a lack of willingness to plan a little in advance...
The food is nice but they are very rude over the phone. We have previously booked after a match at the Emirates - however on this time I was told I couldn't book a table at 9.45pm and was then hung up on. Terrible.
I had really high hopes for this place when I read it in Time Out, as I am also from Xi'An. When we arrived it was very busy, so it was understandable that it took a good 15 minutes for the manager (a man with glasses) to even greet us.
There were no tables left. Behind us were a group of three Chinese people, whom I believe were friends with the manager. They arrived after us, but the manager said they had reserved a table – It was obvious they hadn’t – as I saw the wait list which had no groups of three... There was one table outside which the manager offered to his friends who came after us. They refused and left, so the manager gave it to us. At this point we were happy to just be sitting down.
The manager told us to order at the counter immediately, I knew the food so I did. After we ordered, another group of four also ordered. The menu was small so a lot of orders were repeated. To our surprise, this group who had ordered after us, received some dishes before us – the same food we were forced to order at the counter, a good 10 minutes before them. When I approached the manager he was rude and made excuses saying they wanted to serve westerners first as they prefer starters before mains… I said OK. But then another main dish we both order also went to them first. I complained again, but this time the excuse was different, the manager said they actually ordered an hour before us while waiting in the queue… even though we saw him explaining the menu to them after we had ordered and sat down outside!
I’m extremely disappointed as the manager specifically said to us that this group was spending more money than us (he said £100+) and were drinking alcohol – this seemed to be the actual reason we received terrible service and were deprioritised.
The food was average at best, and you can get the exact same thing in a few other places in London without the money hungry front of house manager, such as “Chang’s Noodles” in Bloomsbury or “Murger Han Restaurant” in Euston.
I strongly recommend “Murger Han Restaurant” in Euston, they serve exactly the same food (Xi’An specialist), the environment is better and the service is impeccable – I’m a long-time customer for over a year and never had a bad experience.