I previously lamented the lack of a local Nanjing beverage. Well, Xi’an certainly has its favourite drop and it’s Hans. I think it is a local brand that had been taken over by Tsingtao, and in all the restaurants around town you can’t get anything else. It’s the beer they drink round here.
There’s at least 4 varieties – Red Wolf, 9 degrees, Pineapple and Dry. The Dry is easily the most popular and the Xi’anians give it a fair old lash. I’ve only one bloke drinking rice wine, everyone else has been pouring Hans Dry down their throat like it is their last. Let’s just say it is an adequate session beer and not really distinguishable from the 9 degree.
It doesn’t add much to the cost of a meal either – generally most places charge between 5 and 10RMB for a 560ml longie. Again, if you are prepared to eat on the street amongst the locals, it’s bloody cheap. Xi’an’s famous for its Muslim quarter and there are an infinite number of shops dishing out noodles, soups, meat on skewers, dumplings and sweets. One dish we tried was Biang Biang Mian, which is 3.8m long paper thin noodle in a shallot and chilli sauce. Awesome. And if you go to Xi’an find the First Noodle Under the Sun restaurant.