Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Taiwan Beef Noodle Soup Tour Stop #1: Unnamed Beef Noodle Soup Shop On Hen Yang Road - 台灣牛肉麵導遊之一: 衡陽路的無名牛肉麵館 (Taipei, Taiwan)

Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵
Beef Noodle Soup - Niu Rou Mian (牛肉麵)

So here it goes, the start of my beef noodle soup (or as some refer to it as NRM) tour of Taiwan. Although this will only cover some of my favorites in Taipei, I'll hopefully be traveling to a few other cities in Taiwan over time and document those bowls as well.

Beef Noodle Soup on Hen Yang Road (衡陽路的無名牛肉麵館)

The first bowl of beef noodle soup is a classic, and one of my personal favorites, though it'll be a common phrase I'll be using in the coming weeks. This beef noodle soup shop lacks a signage, a name, and yet, it's always packed. Us locals often refer to this shop as the beef noodle shop on Hen Yang Road. Hen Yang Road is an area of town cluttered with bookstores, and jewelry stores. This is an area my family and I often visit to exchange US currency into the New Taiwan Dollar(NTD).

A little travel tip from me: the banks in Taiwan are truly awful in terms of exchanging US currency to NTD, and often require a 7 day hold on the funds. The airport currency exchange fronts often screw you in terms of fees and rates, thus going to a few selected jewelry shops is always the way to go! For those that are used to carrying American Express' Traveler's Cheques, a word of caution, there's only ONE place in Taipei that would do the exchange, which is at the AE's headquarters. So I digress....

Exterior of the Noodle Shop

This is the exterior of the shop. It's probably the best clue I can give you in terms of its location. Outside from its dilapidated shack in appearance, the beef noodle soup here is legit. Although the price for a bowl of beef noodle soup is a bit steep (160NTD, ~$5), it's well worth the price. What to order you may ask? You really only need to order two things here:

Rice Steamed Pork Ribs 粉蒸排骨
Rice Steamed Pork Ribs - feng zhen pai gu (粉蒸排骨)

I'm not sure what's the exact English translation for 粉蒸排骨 (feng zhen pai gu), but I'll call it rice steamed pork ribs. This small bamboo steamer contains sweet potatoes, pork ribs which were covered in this seasoned rice mix that's used for steaming. The end result was this perfectly cooked pork ribs with a delicious Chinese five spice flavor. It's quite tasty and a must order item here.

Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵
Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵
Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵
Beef Noodle Soup - Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian (紅燒牛肉麵)

Now for the main event, the stewed beef noodle soup (紅燒牛肉麵). Even though a clear beef noodle soup was offered, don't bother with it, stick with the stewed beef noodle soup. It's their best thing there. I'll admit, the soup itself was quite oily, loaded full of beef's delicious oil and flavor, it could be a bit too much for some. For me, it's perfect. The flavors of the broth was intense, flavorful, and all around fantastic. The beef was cooked tender, and just the perfect amount reside in the bowl. The noodles themselves weren't my favorites, but worked well with this broth. And of course, no Taiwanese beef noodle soup is the same without some mustard greens on top. I usually add the mustard greens quite liberally as I enjoy the sour flavors added to the beef noodle soup. For me, no trip back home to Taipei is the same without stopping by here for a bowl of stewed beef noodle soup. There has to be a reason why this shop is older than I am, it's really quite good!

Rating: 4 out of 5



bagnatic said...


i mean, damn, the beef noodle soup looks good. where can i get myself a good bowl in the sgv?

joanh said...

nice! looking forward to all the stops in your tour. wait! are you in taipei??

Anna A. said...

That broth looks off the hook! Can I get an IV of the broth alone.. tap it in!

Diana said...

I just love this type of food as it is hearty and filling, but also pretty healthy. I could live off noodle soup if only I knew how to make a good one!

weezermonkey said...

I don't need an ATM. I have my grandma! LOL!

And I hope you're not giving secret tips in Chinese because I can't read them!

Kung Food Panda said...

Amy: Dai Ho is my favorite. Let's go!

Joan: Haha, I wish I was in Taipei...

Anna: If I can find a NRM IV, I'm not sure if I'd share it :P

Diana: I'm not sure if this is entirely healthy, but yes, it's quite homey.

WM: LOL, now that' winning!

Nah, the Chinese are just for fun, it's a mere condensed version of the English text.

Gastronomer said...

The best place to exchange money in Vietnam is also the jewelry store! Our people are so similar.

Chinese or Taiwanese, I love beef noodle soup!

Gourmet said...

jewelry stores, eh? Good to know! And adding mustard greens seems like a great idea! Must tell mom :p

Anonymous said...

I totally miss TW. Haven't been back in almost 5 years. Thanks for the post! It really brought me back =)

kish said...

hmmm i've only had beef noodle soup once. and it was in vegas. at the venetian.

i can't imagine it being authentic at all. haha

i hope to some day be able to visit taiwan to try this one. mmmmmmm

Kung Food Panda said...

Cathy: Smart minds think alike! :) I love any type of soup, especially beef based.

Anon: I love Taiwan too!

Kish: Haha, I doubt it's authentic, but sometimes any sort of beef noodle soup hits the spot. I hope you will visit Taiwan one of these days!

Pandalicious said...

mustard greens are da bomb! yum, great post on NRM!

Kung Food Panda said...

Amy: Without the mustard green, it just ain't the same! :)

Erin De Santiago said...

Was looking up something for an article and ironically ran across your post from when you were in Taipei. :D I remember we talked about this place -- def the best for beef noodles in town. I'm going crazy and I've only been gone two days now.