Whenever I talk about food with my expat colleagues, the common point is always how they missed their local food. As a food lover, this is an advantage for me to know different cuisines. Thanks to my Chinese colleagues who know where to eat good Chinese food, they introduced us Ni Shifu. It is the shining diamond of Antwerp for foodies and people who missed their local cuisine.
It takes only 5 minutes to walk from Antwerp Central Station to reach this authentic Chinese cuisine of Sichuan province. Don’t let the uninviting outer part fool you! It is a cozy place that will make you feel like someone invited you to their house for dinner. And you will notice, the tables are full of Asian people which is a sign that you are in the right place!
The menu is in Chinese, Dutch, and English. You have around 130 options, it’s crazy and might be hard to choose. Another advantage of going with my Chinese friends is that they know what to order and more importantly I enjoy sharing the food. In Chinese restaurants, they usually order a dish with rice. Note that, in Ni Shifu, the rice comes with the plate, so you don’t have to order extra.
What to Eat
I know that ordering food can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the menu filled with unusual delicacies. No worries, we got you! I put the numbers on the menu to make things easy for you. Here is what we eat in Ni Shifu (for six people);
Beef and Beef Stomach with Chili and Sichuan Pepper S
(Number 21): This is a cold served (or at room temperature) dish which made of thinly sliced beef. It is very spicy including chili and Sichuan pepper. Fuqi feipian is the other name. It is a traditional and popular dish in Southwest China. Since the weather is hot in the region, they found a way to spice up the daily food that can eat could without sacrificing from the taste. If you used to eat spicily, you’re gonna love it! Otherwise, it’s better to stay away from the sauce 🙂
Barbecued Sea Bass with Chili and Cumin
(Number 35): Another classic Sichuan dish; a whole fish grilled with sauces made with chili bean sauce, cumin, and Sichuan pepper. In Ni Shifu, they serve it with the barbecue, so it never gets cold. The fish is inside of the soupy sauce. It’s simple but super rich and satisfying. The sea bass was fresh and delicious.
Beef and Vegetables in Hot Chili Oil
(Number 68): Shui Zhu beef, in other words, Sichuan boiled beef one of my favorite dishes in Chinese cuisine. Don’t let the name “boiled beef” fool you; you cannot achieve this delicious beef slices (in hot red broth) just boiling. The secret of this well-flavored beefs is that they mix it with starch and water before cooking to keep it soft and juicy. Yum!
Kung Pao Chicken
(Number 89): Another favorite dish! I love everything about Kung pao chicken; mouth-watering diced chicken with peanuts, vegetables (sometimes they even put bamboo and pineapple) and a kinda-sweet delicious sauce. I have to admit that my all-time favorite Kung pao chicken is in Rotterdam. You can read about it here in this post. But in Ni Shifu it’s also delicious, try it!
Noodle soup with Beef Stew in spicy sauce
(Number 116): Actually, we ordered two noodles; one with spicy sauce and one without. It’s a classic noodle soup with sliced meat. What makes it special is the sauce and the homemade noodles. The portions are satisfying. If you are used to spicy food, go for the spicy one!
- Stir-fried cabbage (Number 104): Very simple plate, soy sauce brings up the natural sweetness of the cabbage. Be careful with the pepper though! A great side dish 🙂
- Stir-fried tofu with minced pork and spicy sauce (Number 109): Tofu is a common ingredient of Chinese cuisine, and this is another simple but delicious side order.
We wanted to try Chinese beer and a special cold drink (something like ice-tea as they described to me). But you have some other non-Chinese options as well. I like the tea so much.
The seating is limited, so it’s better if you make a reservation before you go to Ni Shifu. The server was kind, and he knew English and Dutch. They serve the dish once it’s ready, without waiting for the other meals to be prepared, which was fine for us since we were a big table.
In total, we paid 20€ per person for eight large portions of dishes. I never felt any discomfort in my stomach after eating at Ni Shifu. I said that because I have a sensitive stomach and bad oils immediately affect my digestion, especially after I eat Asian food. If you are not familiar with Chinese food, but you want to try, go ahead and eat here. Just don’t forget to ask the spiciness level.
It is disappointing how hard it is to find good food with a reasonable price-quality ratio in Belgium. Now we have an exception with Ni Shifu. We are so happy that we found this reasonably priced fantastic food in Antwerp. Definitely a hotspot!
Reservation Number: +32 (0) 32 316 404
Opening Hours: 12.00-22.00 (Closed Thursdays)