I recently got invited to try the new menu from Xiao Chi in Lyon 1, a restaurant that wants to maintains the chinese tradition of xiao chi, which translate to “food around the corner”. This restaurant is sort of an equivalent of what we would call in France a “bistrot”, simple food that is very delicious. Here is their take on chinese street food.
Ready for a little tour?
The place is really intimate, elegant and sophisticated with those beautiful calligraphy on the walls, steamers on the ceiling and a small but cute dining room. The owner also has a more traditional chinese restaurant (red colors, dragons…) and he wanted this one to be different and more refined. I think this goal is achieved.
We drank an organic japanese ginger beer (4,80€). Very refreshing!
I also had a chinese iced tea called Wanglaoji tea (3,00€), not bad but really not that thirst-quenching because it is really really sweet.
As a starter and by the chef’s recommandation, we had Xiao long bao (E7 – 12,80€ for 7 pieces). Little dumpling made with rice paper. Purple ones were cooked in red cabbage broth and orange ones in a carrot broth. Very tasty, when you bite in it the juice burst into your mouth, so funny and amazingly delicious.
The we had the C4 soup which a soup from South China with chicken won-ton in it (11,80€). A delight. The broth is very subtil, the dumplings incredibly good and it is a generous serving.
A shrimp noodles salad (S1 – 16,80€) with very fresh produces. The avocados were to die for! The sauce was also a hit! There was some kind of spicy thick sauce drizzled on the shrimp that made it extra interesting. Here again, quite generous in size.
What I loved the most was the (A4) beef Gua Bao (13,80€/2 pieces). Fusion hamburger made with bao to replace the bread. Braised beef inside, melting in our mouths, served with a thick tofu soup. We LOVED it. Not easy to eat… Quite messy… But damn good!
The last main dish we tried is part of a series of dishes that are served in bamboo sections, look how pretty and very much exotic. We had the B1 which is a duck bento (18,80€). Served with a very generous layer of rice underneath the very generous layer of pulled duck. It was served with some edamame beans, veggies pickles, a soy sprouts salad and a soup. Did I say generous? Eat that for lunch and you are filled for the day!
Duck bento in preparation… Yummy!
We were pretty full by the time it was time for desserts so we went for something simple and not too heavy.
A homemade matcha cheesecake, very very strong in matcha flavor with a layer of black beans paste between the crust and the filling. Perfect if you like weird desserts!
And 2 iced mochis (5,50€/2 pieces) : one was cherry blossom and the other vanilla. So good… A very good way to finish this big meal on a lighter touch.
Did we ate it all? ALMOST but not exactly. We were three people and that makes a lot of food but we really had a blast testing this place. The boss is cool, ask him questions about the concept and he’ll happily take you to an imaginary trip to China! Go.
Bistrot XIAO CHI
2 rue Giuseppe Verdi