Xiamen, Fujian (China) - An Unexpectedly Delicious Getaway

I haven't heard much mention about Xiamen in travel articles - most people goes to Xiamen as part of a genealogy hunt... but boy, what are we missing out over here?! Just a few days in this gorgeous seaside city, and I am absolutely in love and am already thinking about coming back.

Xiamen is located in Fujian province of China, right across Taiwan, which explains a lot of similarities between these two spaces - food, language, vibes. Apparently, Xiamen's economy is hugely dependent on tourism, yet they don't seem to market this city to outside of China; nearly all the tourists are from Mainland China, or from Taiwan (lol #sensitive)

I definitely did not cover the whole of Xiamen this time, but I rather spend more time in a single location and properly experience it instead of rushing through just to say I've "been there done that". It could be an age thing... but I discovered this is my preferred travelling style. ANYWAY! My preference for searching for strange and fun things to do have not changed, so stay with me on this post to follow in my adventures in Xiamen ❤️

One thing that I really liked about Xiamen is their food/cuisine which sits perfectly on my palate - mild, comforting food that is somewhat a fusion of Chinese and Southeast Asia. That is only from my perspective, but not sure who influenced who to come up with this array.

1. Sha Cha Noodles (Sha Cha Mian) 沙茶面

I was having a crazy sore throat that day, but I literally see this advertising everywhere I went ahead and ordered it. This is a classic and exclusive Xiamen dish - and definitely a must-have. It is a seafood and/or meats base spicy curry soup with short yellow chewy noodles and yes, my first thought was - isn't this laksa..?! 😂 There is a distinctive difference in which the soup is a lot less thick, with coconut slices and the spice mix is a little different. This dish is very fragrant and eager to please, and it's quite hard not to like it. Also, there are various forms of noodles that are not featured in this post.

2. Oyster Omelette (Oh-ah-jian) 海蛎煎

This is pretty much very similar to what you can get in Taiwan, it's pan-fried omelette with fresh juicy oysters with a sprinkling of coriander, chives and spring onions. Depending on the chef, there will be varying amounts of tapioca flour to give a gooey chewy texture.

3. Coconut Milk Bubble Tea

This is possibly not native to Xiamen but there are specific bubble tea stores dedicated to the love of coconut milk based bubble tea. 😍 Coconut / coconut milk is easily my favourite drink in the world, and incorporating it in bubble tea (also something I've sworn off due to the caffeine) is just a dream come true.

遇见奶牛 I'm Niu Niu Milk Tea Shop
思明南路398-113 (Near to the main shopping street)

4. Shark Meatballs Soup

I swear I am not going to Xiamen during a flu season again because of all the spicy/ fried stuff I would love to try. But if you ever need a non-provocative food, this is the mild bomb that you've absolutely got to try. It looks super plain, but it's super qq and bouncy with a unique and distinctive fresh fish/ crab/prawn taste. It is very calming on the stomach too.

演武路4号富万邦商业广场1楼 (Near to the main shopping street)

5. "Tea Rice"

Xiamen is huge on tea - floral, caffeinated, or otherwise, and it's not a surprise that they would add tea to their food. This is a hipster, modern spin to thunder tea rice, which I welcome greatly! It's a medley of rice, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sausage, meat, and then hot tea is drizzled fresh over it. It makes it almost like a soup or porridge consistency - comfort food for the soul. It looks like a small portion but it's really filling.

Shu Zhen Co. Ltd. 淑珍吃饭公司
大中路86号 (Near to the main shopping street)

6. Worm Jellies 

Just like the rest of China, Xiamen is full of supper da pai dong (大排档) with a large assortment of food choices (similar to zichar in Singapore). Rowdy and full of peanut shells on the floor, these places are where you can find legit local food that the residents of Xiamen actually eat, and not "touristy" food. Other than the usual dishes, special mention goes to the worm jellies! This is my virgin attempt at eating insects, but it turned out... not too bad, actually! It's cold, chewy, and just like a jelly, with a hint of fishy smell and almost a sweet taste?! Yup, it sounds slightly weird, but the experience is an interesting one. Some people swear by it and would eat it every single time.

Thankfully, I didn't get a stomachache after that, but just for luck, down a mouthful of baijiu.

7. Meat, seafood, insect skewers

My favourite place in Xiamen has to be Zeng Cuo An, an area that's like an organized night market - and here, you get all kinds of meats and seafood skewers, squid, crab, oysters, scorpions, beef, lamb, rabbit, pork, chicken.. endless rows of it! You'll never get hungry here.

8. Osmanthus Cake (Gui Hua Gao) 桂花糕

For desserts, look out for these yellow and purple cake that's often in a booth by itself. It's different from the classic jelly with a flower petal encased in it, these are fluffy steamed cakes infused with floral taste. It's delicious and great way to end your eating expedition.

The above-mentioned ones are the ones I've tried and are unique/ representative/ delicious enough to be worth recommending. Please note that I did not specially scour the internet before I went, therefore, I chanced upon these places and may not be the "best place" to get these dishes.

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I share interesting episodes in life revolving around food, lifestyle, travel and inspirational ideas. If you would like to stay in touch, follow me on my Instagram on @amieishungry and Facebook page!


a travel and food blogger with a constant longing to be somewhere to makes her feel alive ☆ life's an adventure

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