Old Xi’an Delicacy has swung open in the Financial District with a menu offering hand-ripped noodles, lamb burgers, and dumplings in a fast-casual setting.
Owner Steven Lam opened the restaurant last week at 164 Pearl St., between Pine and Wall Streets, and it has already drawn a crowd, with lines forming during lunch time on Friday. The menu is divided into appetizers, hand-ripped noodles served dry or in soup, burgers, and cold noodles — a collection that’s reminiscent of popular Chinese noodle chain Xi’an Famous Foods, though the two are not related.
Old Xi’an places four different kinds of hand-ripped noodles on the menu, including stewed pork, spicy beef, a vegetable option, and spicy cumin lamb. Like at Xi’an Famous Foods, burger options include a spicy cumin lamb burger and stewed pork burger. An employee tells Eater that the menu is flexible and will change in the following weeks depending on customer feedback.
Prices range from $7 for steamed pork dumplings to $12 for the noodle dishes. Burgers go for $5.50 to $7. As for drinks, the selection includes herbal tea, soy milk, soda, and plum juice.
Lam used to work in the downtown area and wanted to bring traditional Chinese — specifically “hot and spicy” food — to the neighborhood, an employee says. It’s a genre far less common in the working neighborhood, where counter service sandwich and salad joints reign supreme.
Old Xi’an is the latest rendition of fast-casual Xi’an food offerings in NYC, a trend started by Xi’an Famous Foods, once a tiny stall in Flushing that has since grown into a full-blown chain with outposts all over town. Very Fresh Noodles, a noodle stand inside Chelsea Market, offers a similar experience and menu, and its owners are now looking into the Financial District and Midtown for a second location.
Old Xi’an is now open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from noon to 10 p.m.