Xin Xin BBQ

Growing up in Mississauga, I found the selection of Chinese restaurants lacking. When we ate out, my family always ended up at the same two restaurants. Recently, we headed to one of these old favourites only to find it closed for renovations. With no backup plan, we walked straight into the restaurant next door. Overall, Xin Xin BBQ was pretty meh and only managed to reinforce my parent’s faith in their tried and true watering holes.

Atmosphere: Xin Xin BBQ had little decor and was reminiscent of any standard Chinese restaurant. The space was quiet and clean with families enjoying dinner.

Service: Service was fine, but unmemorable. Dishes came out in a timely manner and servers had to be flagged down if needed. We ordered a signature fish soup which arrived in a large stone pot and was set on a portable stove. This was a nice touch, which kept the soup simmering and building flavour throughout the meal.

Food: For 4 people eating at a casual Chinese restaurant, our bill ended up being over $80, a bit on the expensive side. We ordered 4 dishes. A fish soup (market price based on the weight of the fish and type), cold somen noodles with chicken, stir fried lamb slices and beef pot stickers.

The main course was the spicy sour fish soup. We choose green bass over tilapia and was told they only had two, a big one (3 lbs) or an even bigger one. We went with 3 lbs, which was a lot of fish. In addition to fish, the soup was filled with bean sprouts and celery. There was lots of flavour that grew the longer it simmered. Lots of Sichuan peppercorns ensured a strong mala taste. The fish itself was tender and meaty. I would’ve loved the option of fresh greens, like watercress or lettuce, to hot pot in the soup. This was a good dish, but I’m not sold it was $40 good.

The plate of cold somen was a generous portion and well seasoned with peanut and mala sauce. There was not a lot of shredded chicken. Cumin was the main spice of the lamb dish, another spicy one. Thin slices of lamb were used and it was cooked well, but nothing extraordinary.

Our last dish was a dozen beef pot stickers. Each dumpling had a golden, crispy bottoms and the filling was heavily seasoned. I really enjoyed these, but unfortunately they did not sit well with me after dinner, which marred the memory.

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