Menu Filter

Xiaoling Menu with selected Chinese dishes and separate vegetarian, diet and fitness sections


28 William Gladstone Str.(entrance from Tsar Asen Str.), Sofia
+359 87 816 8752
10:30 - 22:30
(Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: chinese restaurant, xiaoling

Li Xiaoling came to Bulgaria more than 10 years ago for a specialization program, and later on she left to complete a PhD in construction. In China, she worked as an assistant professor at the University of Shanghai and her original intention was not to stay in Bulgaria, but “fate intervened”. “Now I’m used to living here,” she says.

What she likes the most about Bulgaria is the tranquility, climate and nature. “There are fewer people here. Living In Beijing or Shanghai is crazy, too many people and cars. The roads are huge, there are overpasses with six rings. If you take the wrong lane you may have to circle around for a long time before you find the right way. I’ve been in Bulgaria for 10 years and when I go back to China it’s unrecognizable. The streets have changed, there are large skyscrapers everywhere. But Bulgaria is a small country and has the whole package – mountains, as well as sea. You can get to seaside for a couple of hours.”

(scroll down and read more)

13_ Xiaoling_47x67

Her favorite Bulgarian dishes are meatless vine-leaf sarmas and banitsa with pumpkin.

What she misses the most from her home country are her relatives and loved ones.

Her favorite childhood dish is called tsuzho tun fantiao – typical winter dish from North China. It consists of pork, Chinese sauerkraut and thick potato noodles.

The restaurant was opened in 2006, but Mrs. Lee has been in the restaurant business since 1999. The name of the restaurant comes from Mrs. Lee’s first name – Xiaoling.

What makes this restaurant different are the special themed menus – vegetarian, fitness and diet menu. There are also many specialties with romantic names like “Dragon and Phoenix in love harmony” – chicken and fish with bean sprouts, and “Dzhanien tu hua mantanhun “- pork with tomato sauce, fried and served in the shape of a flower.

In this restaurant they adhere to original recipes, but still take Bulgarian taste into account. “When it comes to Chinese cuisine there are different areas. For example, in Shanghai they cook with lots of sugar. People here do not like this taste. In North China, for example Beijing, their meals are more salty and that’s what Bulgarians prefer. Moreover, in China, no one eats fried rice with vegetables together with another main dish. Fried rice is eaten alone at breakfast and main courses are eaten with plain white rice. When British, Americans or people who’ve lived in these places, come to the restaurant, they order individual bowls of white rice together with the main dishes, but local Bulgarians love to mix them with fried rice, white rice for them is tasteless. It’s not right, but that’s the way they like it.”

Visitors to the restaurant are people from all over the world because of the central location of the restaurant. “One time we had people from 8-9 different nationalities in the parlour downstairs – there were all kinds of people and it was really fun,” she says.

Interview and photos: An Fam
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Kremena Cholakova for Compote Collective
November 30, 2013