My favorite restaurant in Xi’an is the wonderfully-named First Noodle Under the Sun, and I would go back to Xi’an just to eat here. It’s truly that good! We discovered First Noodle on a previous trip to Xi’an and dined there twice this visit. The house specialty is the 4-meter-long noodle, which comes folded up in a bowl and covered with assorted veggies and a scrumptious meat sauce. The waitress expertly served each of us our own giant noodle and divvied up the toppings. We ordered this dish both nights as it is absolutely delicious! We also enjoyed the “dial the knife” noodles – whatever that means – and their rich, meaty sauce. The noodles with tomato sauce and scrambled eggs, a classic dish, were light and creamy and another hit.
First Noodle’s vegetable dishes also shine, especially the cold cucumber and garlic in a tangy vinegar sauce. Eggplant fans will love their take on the classic green bean stir-fry, and the broccoli with garlic and peppers in a buttery sauce was popular with all. We just won’t think about the MSG that was surely in there as well.
We sampled a few different dishes to round out both meals. The cumin-flavored chicken skewers were tasty, though heavy on the cartilage. Be careful if you order their gongbao jiding as it’s loaded with exceptionally potent Sichuan peppers that even the most spice loving among us had a hard time with. A much safer bet is the fried pumpkin cakes filled with black sesame paste, which we asked to be brought last so we could enjoy them for dessert. Bonus: the leftover cakes make an excellent cold snack the next day!
They also serve cold beer which can be rare for non-Western places in China, where the default is usually room temperature. The waitress remembered us the second night and brought us cold ones without our having to ask. The staff in general were friendly and got a kick out of our enthusiasm for the food. Now we just need them to open a chain in Shanghai!
First Noodle Under the Sun Address: 19 Dong Mutou Shi, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China Pricing: dishes range from 6-58 RMB