Great idea Aj. Xi'an is supposed to be the epitome of good food in China and has some fabulous restaurants - from the fanciest western/Chinese to the scruffiest looking hole-in-the-walls. I have western mates who come back to Xi'an and refuse to eat western while they are here, because the Chinese food here is better than Shanghai or Beijing!
The 'old' Shangrila has a weekend brunch buffet for 160Y (148Y if you have a VIP card
) which features a HUGE range of yummy foods - including steak cooked to your specifications, sushi and unlimited free real champagne. I haven't tried the new Shangrila yet - but plan to in the next week or so. Japanese mate says they have good sushi.
The Tan (Wei Er Jie - near the Big Goose Pagoda)is good (I have translated the menu into English for them, so you can ask for the English version!!) and every evening has traditional (and not so traditional) Tan dancing, singing and music. Check out the yak meat skewers and the whole leg of mutton.
The Ana Hotel is the Japanese one that has branches all over the world. There are several Japanese restaurants that make even my Japanese friends happy (Cnr Er Huan Lu and Chang'an Lu - opposite the Shaanxi Library)- pretty authentic. Same with the Korean (Chang'an Lu in the library square. The Portuguese (Keji Lu)has good curries, and yummy African chicken - and will do take aways.
The Thai restaurant (one of the Banana Leaf chain) has an Indian chef who makes fantastic green curry and prawn dishes to die for - WuXing (5 Star) Lu, inside the city wall. A Philippino dance troupe works there each night and they are a ball to play with! (They come to my parties as well!) Two Indian restaurants also in Wei Er Jie - the paneer in the Delhi is really good, CaCaJa (part of a chain - another one in Chengdu)is also owned by the High-Fly Pizza company! Very nice samosas and if you make friends with the boss, they will deliver for parties and join in! Sadly the Nepalese has closed down.
Lao Sun Jia in the Electronics Market Square (Taibai Nan Lu) does GOOD Yang Rou Pao Mo - but the best YRPM is in the Muslim Quarter - few steps up from a hole-in-the-wall, but very traditional - closes at 2:00pm. The Xinjiang Restaurant in the same Square does really good Xinjiang dishes and has good Xinjiang tea, plus at night has a traditional dancer.
The Dancing Satyr (opposite the South gate in the new black HSBC building is a good Italian restaurant - very good pizzas, lasagne's and wonderful homemade ice-cream and pesto.
Manchurian food can be had at the Da Qing Hua near the end of bar Street - every taxi driver knows it. There is also another one next door to the Sheraton I think.
Best kao rou and spicy naan bread is in Guang Hua Lu, especially now that the night markets at Ming de men are gone (
). The night markets outside 1+1 are good for 'Xi'an burgers" - jia mo at 3-4:00am.
The Small World Cafe near Heping Men (outside the wall) has good cakes (chocolate, coffee etc) and European stuff.
But this is all just the beginning!