Chef owner, Jia Mo
We serve authentic regional food from Xi’An, China, home to the well-known Terracotta Army. We make everything on site (noodles, buns, all the sauces) and try to make sure the flavour is as authentic as possible. I love what we do because it reminds me of real Chinese cooking.
I was born in Xi’An and moved to the UK when I was 18 to do my university degrees.
Xi’An is a region that specialises in noodles dishes and food made from plain flour. It is known as “the heaven of carbohydrates” in China. When I was young, I loved noodles, Ma’Shi (a regional dish that uses flour and root vegetables) and Lamb Pao Mo, which was my favourite at the time. I used to go to a small specialised restaurant with my family and order an adult portion of it, even though I was only 6 at the time.
When I moved to Brighton, I couldn’t find authentic dishes from the region I grew up in. There were a couple of places in London that serving Xi’An cuisine, so I though why not bring it to Brighton so the local community can try it too.
I spent 6 months to developing recipes, finding the most suitable basic ingredients (the humble plain flour was the most difficult one) and standardise the cooking process. This was to make sure we can not only serve authentic flavour, but authentic texture for our noodles and buns too.
My two young children keep me busy outside work!
I remember a young child told me “This is the best noodles ever and I finished the whole bowl!”.
Seeing lots of leftovers on the table…
A big bowl of fresh noodles.
I was trained as a scientist and did my degrees in Molecular Neurobiology.
Over the past number of years, people have started to enjoy more authentic foreign flavours, rather than the western adaptions of the original dishes and I think this trend will continue.
Fresh noodles! It’s almost too simple: plain flour and water. The key is make sure the flour dough is not too soft, which will give your noodles a nice texture. Personally, I prefer my noodles to be just under 2mm in thickness and 8mm in width.
Back to the origin – what do the local people in Xi’An enjoy everyday. No need to be complicated, just good authentic flavours.
Published: 27th January 2022