This spectacular dinner show blends a recipe of historical tradition; rich, colorful entertainment; and exemplary cuisine. Located in central Xi-an (Shaanxi Province, China), about 2 kilometers from the Bell Tower, the Tang Dynasty Show is a must-see for visitors to the city. Many overseas visitors highlight the evening as the best experience during their trip, it’s unsurprising then that 5.5 million guests have enjoyed the show and food since its debut in 1988.
For those who want to know more, please check out the Tang Dynasty Restaurant homepage, or please read on so we can make sure you will be hooked!
Xi-an has long been known for the rich history of its 13 dynasties since 1067BC. Home of the terracotta warriors, and thousands of ancient tombs and ruins, Xi-an is the best place to see this dazzling showcase of Chinese history.
The Tang Dynasty ruled over China between the years 618 to 907 AD. At the time it was one of the largest cities in the world, rivaling Constantinople (Istanbul) and Baghdad. It was a time of wealth and affluence in China.
Tango music and dance blend traditional dance cultures from past dynasties, with other cultures that wandered into Xi-an down the Silk Road. The new and open Tang Dynasty was the most progressive and prosperous in terms of Chinese music, arts, and dance. Wonderful staging and lighting effects transport guests back to this prosperous time in China’s history, where Xi-an’s ancient art-form comes to life.
The Dynasty Dinner is created by one of China’s greatest chefs, Mr. Sang Hua Rung. Served an hour before the show starts, and accompanied by a band playing traditional music on stage, the meal is a truly sumptuous experience in a unique restaurant setting.
The menu includes delights fit for royalty, with delights such as The Royal Marriage: a black mushroom consomme; The Heart of the Dragon: crispy king prawns with honey glazed cashew nuts, and The Princess’s Pin: a beef fillet in sweet and sour sauce. A starter, after dinner sweets and jasmine tea, are also provided at the prestigious Chinese restaurant.
You may also choose the dumpling banquet, during which you try 20 different varieties of freshly made dumplings, including chicken, pork, prawn, abalone, beef, pickle, walnut, and many others. The meal comes with beer and rice wine. For this meal, you will dine in another restaurant and then move to the theatre afterward for the show.
Folk dances originated from dance and music rituals, performed to appease the gods and goddesses and to ask them for a good harvest or a better life. Tang musical instruments include bells, drums, and zithers (a type of harp with a box body), to emphasize the connection to the gods. 30 master musicians play various traditional instruments to give the most accurate rendition of life during China’s ‘golden age.’
104 highly gifted and rigorously trained dancers and artists grace the stage, thoroughly learned in the history of the period. Preparation began four years before opening, to ensure perfection at every level. The enticing acts include the White Ramie Cloth Costume Dance: a flowing cloth invented by the Chinese 1,500 years ago; The Da Nuo: a masked dance performed every New Year’s Eve to expel ghosts; and The Warrior Dance: composed by Emperor Li Shimin, who was Emperor of Tang 627-649, to express the powerful and forceful spirit of his troops.
These are a few examples of the eight different acts that will thrill and excite you throughout the hour-long show. And you get to enjoy it all while sipping champagne!
Things to know
You may see reviews of this show stating that people are unsure how authentic it is, but it has been recommended by people from UNESCO, who should know what they are talking about!
There is no dress code as such to the show, but as it is a classy experience you may feel out of place if you turn up in shorts and flip flops!
There are three different options for the show: Dynasty Banquet and Show; Dumpling Banquet and Show; and Champagne Show. Most tour operators will sell you the Dumpling Banquet and Show, which is fantastic, but just be aware there are other choices.
This show truly has something for everyone, so go and enjoy this unique recipe for a successful trip to the magical city of Chinese delicacies, with both an amazing show and restaurant experience combined. Only in the mystic capital of Xian, China!
The Religion of Chinese Food
A famous Chinese writer, “Lin Yutang” once said: “If there is something we take seriously it’s not a religion but food”. Cooking is a way not only to learn how to make food but a learning tool for life itself. In regards to food preference as well as the respect and appreciation towards food, the eastern kitchen could be considered as the best.
Many have forgotten how in the past the Chinese use to seek perfection through a good quality and balanced ingredients. Originally as a Confucius belief, this tradition is still carried from generation to generation despite the unpopularity of Confucius thinking in modern-day China. A common misconception is that the quality of food is not good and a developing society prefers cheap ingredients. While this is somewhat true and food scandals are an everyday reality in the country. Despite the doom and gloom, this is not happening out of choice, but out of necessity. The living conditions have yet to improve to the level, where if reached, every Chinese person would prefer fresh quality ingredients for their food.
Everyone has a level of food consciousness and unlike the neighboring Mongolians, in China vegetarianism is no stranger. In fact, eating only meat is considered unhealthy as one must keep a balance between the yin and yang by eating a good variety of ingredients. If you believe in oriental philosophy or not, it is obvious that such thinking promotes nutrition and health.