In early July, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa hosted Xi’An’s Open Table with visiting Master Chef Charles and Master Chef Alex from the Shaanxi Province of China.
Held at their Inazia restaurant, the event kicked-off a week-long celebration of these two talented chefs. This is the second year the resort participated in a cultural exchange, and will be sending two Thai chefs to China in return. The ancient city of Xi’an, former imperial capital of China and home of the Terracotta Army, is also famous for its distinctive cuisine. Standing on the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an draws influences from Chinese and Islamic traders, as well as the local Shaanxi Province. The seven course menu began with handpulled noodles (biang biang) created before our eyes at a exhibition station. The biang biang noodles are named for the sound the dough makes when the chef bangs the noodles against the table.
This was followed by a cold rice noodle dish made with chilli oil, vinegar, bean sprouts, cucumber, and soy sauce. The cold dish was followed with a hot and sour seafood soup. Fried mutton with cumin was dish number four. Succulent and flavoursome I wished it was course number five as well; but we were treated to a tender fish for the fifth course called Old Chang’an Style Fish.
The most interesting sounding dish on the menu was the Chinese Hamburger. And as it turns out it was the most delicious dish as well. Fatty pork was marinated with ginger, shallots, cinnamon and aniseed then slowcooked for four hours before being minced and serviced on a pita-like bread. Dessert was a mixed fruit coconut sago, as the seventh and final course. While the event is over for this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for 2017 – this special week is not to be missed.