Xi’an Impression, Holloway, London
Xi’an Impression feels so stripped down when you first enter it’s doors in Holloway Road/ Arsenal. But you walk out with such a good impression of this no frills Chinese restaurant, after dining on its delicious and authentic fare.
Make a good impression
Xi’an Impression has been around a number of years. And it is a little hidden away on Holloway Road/ Arsenal just around the corner from the stadium. There’s only a very limited amount of seating in this shoebox of a restaurant. Fortunately my friend Judy and I were able to get the final table.
It’s an affair that won’t break the bank, with dishes all easily under the £10 mark. The boneless chicken in ginger sauce is £6.80, the pork dumplings and hand pulled noodles were all at similar prices. There’s also plenty of more authentic dishes for the not-so-faint-of-heart. This includes the classic Chinese burgers, black fungus, cucumber and preserved egg. My parents would be very happy at Xi’an Impression!
I’ve got beef
For those with less adventurous spirits there’s plenty to please and keep yourself happy. Which is great, because even for us half the menu was out of translation. We loved all three of the dishes that we ordered. The ginger sauce chicken was refreshing and light, and it’s pretty tame and easy to eat as it’s all boneless too.
I was very much looking forward to the noodles (Xi’an biangbiang) and these didn’t disappoint. There’s an addictive bite to the noodles and it all goes down so well. The braised beef was a bit too ‘bitsy’ for me – it’s got bones and had a chewiness that I didn’t enjoy so much. Service at Xi’an impression was basic, as you’d expect in a joint like this.
Overall I was impressed with my experience at Xi’an Impression. It’s one of those places that lack ambience and you get transactional service but it’s all about the food. And it’s real good.