After a bit of shopping at Bellevue Square, my man and I headed to Lincoln Square to try Baron's Xi'an Kitchen & Bar for dinner. We were quite surprised that we didn't need to wait for a table on Friday evening, considering we didn't make any reservation in advance.
Let me tell you, most of the menu at Baron's Xian restaurant is way more expensive than other Chinese restaurants around there, and even compared to the other restaurants in Lincoln Square itself. At least, there's a menu that you can check at the entrance door before you commit to spend at least $100 for casual dining, so make sure to check the menu out first if you will actually like their dishes.
Ryan was our server and he was very attentive and prompt, which was great. He gave us enough time such that we neither needed to wait for him long or even felt pressured, which often stresses me out when we visit other restaurants especially on Friday evenings.
Menu-wise, you won't be able to guess the dishes by looking at the menu only as it shows the main ingredients, meaning you won't get much descriptions out of it. That was my first biggest frustration that I got.
At least my man and I managed to order our food; Roasted Five Spice Chicken (whole cornish game hen/ $28 + tax + tip) for my man, Curry Lobster ($34 + tax + tip) for myself, one Brown Rice ($4 + tax + tip), a pot of Jasmine Dragon Pearls tea ($18 + tax + tip) and Almond Mochi ($10 + tax + tip) for a dessert. There didn't seem to be a Today's Special Menu or even Chef's Specials, so you will just have to figure out the dish that you will want to have.
Although it's supposed to be a sort of upscale restaurant, the music was very off. It wasn't very Chinese-inspired, not even Asian-inspired. The music wasn't even classical as it's meant to be bar and restaurant combined, but then the music that they put on were more like noise rock/disco type that are not even traditional rock/metal. The music there whole time was just weird and doesn't really speak to the price that we paid.
The size of the dishes were pretty small too considering the restaurant is located in the states although my man and I didn't have any problem with it as we don't normally eat much. However, if you are a big eater or even have a member in your family, then the dishes won't fill your stomach. Speaking of the dishes, my man whole chicken was more like a regular sized Turkey's one thigh size and my lobster was a quarter of the amount that my man got on his plate. The rice was served in an open plate that got cold and dry in just minutes. The tea came in a gold toned pot that didn't even see how the tea was getting ready in the pot, meaning I couldn't even tell when it was ready to be served to drink. It totally screwed the beauty of having tea. I mean, tea is very important in China historically, but then why would they want to mess this part up? Because they only charge $18 + tax + tip per pot even without any refills?
In terms of the flavour of the food, my man's chicken was cooked pretty good without being too smelly or dehydrated. However, it was too much mess as it isn't free of bones, which may not be a big matter if it was cut in more like in a medium sized pieces. The chicken was cut in small pieces that you will need to take the bone out in every small piece. It isn't kid-friendly. I personally had so much hopes for the lobster and I thought it was going to be a regular yellow curry with lobster. Here, the failure of their menu descriptions got revealed once again. It was fried with yellow curry powder that I couldn't even taste or enjoy the texture of the lobster. I mean, you can get that flavour with any meat to be honest. I was telling my man if they've really used a lobster. LOL. Seriously, I wouldn't pay that much money just to have some pieces of miscellaneous yellow curry balls. At least it was cooked right that it wasn't too crunchy or too oily.
For the dessert, we were getting worried that we would be getting only one mochi with almonds as their dishes didn't impress us that much at that stage. However, luckily 5 mochies with a strawberry in the middle. Instead of flour, they covered mochi with roasted almond slices. The filling wasn't red bean paste, but more like a sweet black sesame paste which was more runny in texture. The paste by itself tastes kind of weird, but it goes well with the almonds. Overall, it just gives an interesting flavour when they are all combined. The real question is though, why did they even put the strawberry? I found it really off.
Anyway, our experience with Baron's Xi'an Kitchen & Bar is very mixed and we think that their dishes are certainly overpriced due the quantity and overall taste of the food you get as we don't know about the quality of the ingredients that you get. And I've been noticing some inconsistency in the restaurant environment and dinner ware, knowing that it's meant to be based on contemporary and traditional Chinese cuisines. Regardless of how great Ryan's service was, will my man and I come back again? Hmm... I don't think that the place impressed us enough to come back again. I'm not actually quite sure if I would miss their food. They were pretty basic honestly.
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