TerraCotta Boyz is one of the few places we would go for Xi’An cuisine in Vancouver. Xi’An Cuisine Northern Chinese cuisine that is mostly carbs in salty/spicy sauce. There are quite a few Xi’An restaurants in Vancouver. Most of them are not authentic. This Xi’An restaurant is above average. TerraCotta Boyz is located in the Old Orchard Shopping Centre on the NorthWest corner of Willingdon Avenue and Kingsway, Burnaby.
Strength: Above average Xi’An Cuisine
Weakness: Small seating and limited staff
Other Chinese Noodle
Located in the Old Orchard Shopping Centre
The signage is black and white. It is easily missed with the small storefront real estate. Customers who come here would know this hidden gem.
Bold use of color, yellow and white
The interior space is very simple. It is very bract to use bright yellow as the main color. The seating is mainly to the right. There are some barstools to the left for overflowing customers. The design elements are inspired by the Qin Dynasty’s Terra-Cotta Warriors.
The Chinese Last Supper
The bar area is also used as the condiment station. The most important thing here is the hot sauce. It is not very spicy but has a very appetizing fragrance. You can also see fundraising chocolates being sold here. The owner is very low-key and did not advertise for them.
Wooden utensils are comfortable to the touch
TerraCotta Boyz is a very simple restaurant. They have white tables, white tableware, and wooden utensil. There is no background music in the restaurant. The owner’s focus on food is very apparent. This small restaurant seats 18 people. The limited area allowed for very good service. I also see the boss himself come out to wipe the table when it gets busy.
Expensive Beef Tripe
TerraCotta Boyz serves 15 skewers of tripe on a rectangular plate. The $15 price mark may seem expensive. To put things in perspective, this is $1 per skewer which is not too bad.
Not a lot of sauce, but enough
The skewers are seasoned with sesame sauce, hot sauce, and some sesame seed. The taste of the sauce is not overpowering. It may seem a bit lacking but is enough to last through the dish. Beef tripe’s texture is a little on the soft side. Some people may like it this way.
Spicy Oil Noodles with Vegetables
The spicy oil noodles with vegetables tell you there is no meat in this dish. We ordered this dish because we see a lot of Caucasian on Yelp praising this dish. It is basically hand-pulled noodles served with bean sprouts and some greens.
Good sauce, weak noodle
The most important aspect of this bowl of noodle is on the noodle and the sauce. I have to say this dish taste very good. The savory flavour is not very strong. Dried herbs add a lot of appetizing aromas. Hot spicy chili is present but quite subtle. I prefer it to be a bit spicier but overall this is a very good bowl of noodle.
Hand made noodle are very long
The noodles are made to order. This type of noodles is wider than normal because they are hand-stretched from the dough. Once you order the noodle, you will hear the chef stretching the noodle and hitting it against the table. I think the noodle’s textures are a little too soft.
Signature Xi’An Stewed Pork Bun
If you ask anyone from Xi’An China about their signature dish. You will definitely hear about this Stewed Pork Bun. The direct translation is “Meat wrapped buns” hinting the amount of meat is enough to wrap the buns. TerraCotta Boyz cut my pork bun in half for easier sharing. They cut the paper wrapped around it too.
Freshly chopped pork
I saw the staff fish out of the soup. They chop it to order to retain the pork’s moisture. Fat and lean meat intertwined like a meatball after the chopping process. If you are lucky, there may be a bit of cartilage in your bun for variant texture.
Lots of meat in the buns
The bun is firm. It is a little crispy on the outside. This picture is taken vertically to showcase the amount of meat stuffed in the buns. I really like TerraCotta Boyz’s Stewed Pork Bun because the meat is very moist, but not too wet to have juice dripping all over the place. It’s awesome for neat freaks like me.
604 Food Critic Assessment
TerraCotta Boyz cost about $15 per person depends on what you order. Their food is quite authentic to Xi’An, but there are minor improvements that can be done. The owner and staff are really down to earth. This is a no-frill restaurant. I would recommend this restaurant if all you are looking for is a simple, good-tasting Xi’An cuisine that will fill you up for a medium level cost.
How to get in touch
- Phone: (778) 885-2961
- Address: 4429 Kingsway, Burnaby
- Hours: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm