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Evil Penevil

Chinese Shaxian Snacks on 2nd Road Near Soi 6

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Chinese Shaxian Snacks has become one of my favorite  restaurants in Pattaya.  It is one of the better recent additions to the local food scene as Pattaya has always been weak on the Chinese side.  I've eaten there a number of times since it opened in September, 2018.


It's a small restaurant on the east side of 2nd Road near Soi  6.  The name can be a bit misleading as the word "snack" in Chinese (xiaochi,  literally "small eats") encompasses  a lot more than potato chips and salted peanuts.  Chinese snacks are street food that has traditionally been sold by hawkers and vendors from carts or stalls on busy streets, often near markets or temples.

Shaxian refers to Sha county in Fujian province.  In the 1990s, local entrepreneurs began selling their county's specialties on the streets of larger cities. The "snacks" became hugely popular and an association was formed to market the Shaxian brand name.  The snacks themselves are  Chinese standards like dumplings and noodles as served in Sha county.  Today there are thousands of outlets for Shaxian Snacks across China and even some branches in foreign countries.  

The new Pattaya branch has four tables indoors and three outside.   It's cramped and basic; clean but messy, with no decorations. The exterior sign is its fanciest feature.  However, the food I've tried so far has been delicious. 

The big attraction for me is that the jiaozi (dumplings) are made fresh daily in the traditional fashion.


The fact that she sat in the dining area filling the jiaozi  gives Shaxian a very authentic Chinese feel.  It's a bit rough at the edges and about as far way as you can get from elegant dining, but the food is excellent.  




And this is how those dumplings will end up: either  steamed , boiled in broth-


or fried-


Most of the staff at Shaxian know I can use the nimble tongs, but a new waiter brought me the order above with a fork and side dish of ketchup (:yikes:)!!!   The fork was replaced with chopsticks and I used the dark vinegar instead of ketchup (:puke)




One of my favorite dishes is the noodles in peanut sauce and topped with scallion and pickled cabbage.




You have to mix it thoroughly.



I also like the steamed dumplings:


and the beef brisket noodle soup:


One of the dumplings is missing in the pic, as I popped it in my mouth before I took out my camera.  The dumplings cost 100 baht and the big bowl of soup was 130.  The wheat noodles were fresh, but hadn't been made on-site.  The broth had a great taste, quite sophisticated for a Chinese restaurant in Pattaya.  Each table had a container of  dark vinegar, a bowl of chili paste and a squeeze bottle of chili oil. 

A couple of things to note: this is an authentic Chinese hole-in-the-wall place, more a glorified food stall than a sit-down restaurant. I believe it's mainly intended for take-away rather than in-house dining, just like in China.  

The menu is short, about a dozen dishes, with text in Chinese and English, but the English can be strange.  Who would guess that "Fried Cow River Powder Noodles" are actually  broad rice noodles with beef brisket?  Large and accurate pictures are the menu's saving grace; just point at what you want. Next up for me will be zhajiangmian  (noodles with minced pork in bean paste) and wontons with peanut sauce.

Chinese Shaxian Snacks is clearly aimed at ethnic Chinese visitors to Pattaya.  It offers a taste of China, not Chinatown.  Farang looking for U.S.- or U.K.-style Chinese food will be sorely disappointed.  There's no General Tso's Chicken or chow mein on the menu.

Several times at Shaxian,  I've seen farang families walk in, sit down but not recognize any items on the menu.  After some fruitless questions the staff didn't understand, these families got up and left in frustration.  On a couple of occasions,  the family father made stupid remarks that reflected his ignorance rather than any shortcoming with the restaurant. If Orange Chicken at Panda Express defines your taste in Chinese cuisine, you're better off skipping Chinese Shaxian Snacks.  While its menu has expanded at bit since it opened 5 1/2 months ago, it is still concentrated on a few types of Chinese food, namely dumplings, noodles and soups.  If your heart beats warmly for  boiled or fried dumplings, beef brisket noodles,  herbal soups and wonton or noodles in peanut sauce, then Shaxian is the place for you. 

Bottom line:  I eat at Chinese Shaxian Snacks two or three times a week.  I can definitely recommend it, but only if you are familiar with and enjoy traditional Chinese snacks


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Great report , there is another place in Jomtien in the outside of the complex... 

I ate at the silver tables last night , was mobbed with Chinese ... 

The farang is being chased out of town , more evidence of the decline of the West ..

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