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Rice & Noodles in Taipei

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle

The soup base here is really one of a kind, an incredibly rich base with bonito flakes as the predominant flavour. Adding in some fresh coriander as well as garlic and chilli sauce makes for an even bigger taste explosion. The soft misua 麵線 is almost just an excuse to be able to load another great tasting spoonful into your mouth. The only negative point in the entire bowl is the intestines – there’s no flavour to them, might as well eat rubber bands!

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However, beware of very hot chilli; I put 3 spoons in the first time as I was wondering why the spoon was so small and ended up with a mouth on fire (still finished the bowl though). Queue can get very long in evening. Large bowl for NT55 (trust me, take the large, you won’t regret it).

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阿宗麵線 Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle
台北市萬華區峨嵋街8-1號 No.8-1, Emei St., Wanhua District, Taipei City
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門, Exit 6
Official website
Other branches available:
士林分店:台北市文林路101巷24號1樓1F., No.24, Lane 101, Wenlin Rd., Shilin District
東區分店:台北市忠孝東路4段17巷2號No.2, Lane 17, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Xinyi District

Ji Ma Chen Oyster Noodle King


The set came with a bowl of oyster misua, 1 Taiwanese sausage, a tiny glutinous rice dumpling the size of a golf ball (ok, maybe 2) and a sour plum drink (weirdly salty). Only oyster misua we found; was not bad, fairly tasty with lots of juicy oysters and intestines were much tastier than Ay Chung's. But overall Ay Chung's simply better (the bonito flakes do make a difference); it’s like driving a Ford(I actually do drive a Ford), which is good and all, but there’s just no comparison when you’re driving a BMW (or insert other luxury car maker here).

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吉馬陳蚵仔麵線大王 Ji Ma Chen Oyster Noodle King
台北市成都路35號 No. 35 Chengdu Rd., Wanhua District
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門, Exit 6
Official website
Other branches available:
台北市大同區南京西路41號 No.41, Nanjing West Rd.(Original shop)
台北市忠孝東路4段195之2號 (統領百貨旁) No.195-2, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao East Rd.
台北市許昌街12號(台北車站捷運M8出口) No.12, Xuchang Rd (Taipei Main MRT, Exit M8)

Taoyuan Street Beef Noodle

No name beef noodles. Tried both plain and hong shao broths (紅燒牛肉麵, "red cook"); latter much tastier with deep beefy taste. Hong shao was really tender and tasty. The plain broth was rather bland, had to add lots of complimentary preserved veg for more taste. NT150 per bowl. The Hong Shao is a must-try.

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老王記牛肉麵大王(桃源街牛肉麵) Taoyuan Street Beef Noodle
台北市桃源街15號No. 15 Taoyuan St. (MRT Ximen Station Exit 3)
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門, Exit 3, Walk past FE Dept Store, 2 streets on your LEFT.Do not go to No. 16(the one with lots of signs). You will see people cooking noodles outside the shop, no signage.

Tu Hsiao Yueh (Slack Season Tan Tsi Noodles)

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Tan Tsi noodles (specialty of Tainan) either dry or in soup. Silly me chose the dry version because I hate burning my tongue and while it was reasonably tasty, I deeply regretted my choice as the soup choice was much better. The broth was very tasty with lovely bits of braised mince pork floating around adding taste. Noodles were homemade. You can buy the minced pork in tins.

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Had several other dishes including dragon whiskers vegetables 和風龍鬚菜 (bottom left). All relatively tasty.

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Total cost NT560. Sampled branch on 180 Zhongsan Road Section 2.

度小月担仔面 Tu Hsiao Yueh
台北市中山北路二段180號 No. 180, Sec. 2, Zhongshan North Rd., Taipei
Nearest MRT: Minquan West Rd 民權西路
Official website
Other branches available:
台南市中正路16號 No. 16 Zhongzheng Rd, Tainan (Original shop)
台南市中正路101號 No. 101, Zhongzheng Rd, Tainan
台北市大安區忠孝東路4段216巷8弄12號 No.12, Lane 8, Alley 216, Sec.4 Chung Hsiao E. Rd., Taipei
台北市永康街9-1號 9-1 Yongkang St., Taipei

Ya Rou Bian

The shop's name "Ya Rou" is "duck" in Chinese but actually they only sell wild goose. Wild goose quite lean and tough, found it a bit too salty. Ordered a bowl of beehoon soup too, soup nice although somewhat plainish. The Pigpig complained that it has too much beansprouts. NT350 for 1 noodle soup and quarter duck was quite expensive.

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鴨肉扁土鵝專賣店 Ya Rou Bian
台北市萬華區中華路一段98-2號 No.98-2 Yi Section,Zhonghua Road
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門

Water Dragon King

Stumbled upon this shop while looking for something to eat in Ximending. Lu rou fan 滷肉飯 (pork rice) - not bad; flat noodle soup 切仔板條 - soup was a bit bland; texture of noodles quite nice ad chewy; Shacha cuttlefish noodle soup 沙茶花枝羹麵 - quite nice and the cuttlefish ball was really bouncy and tasty. The soup was a bit too starchy for my taste, then again we are not a huge fan of "starchy soups, 羹", not unless it's Ay-Chung!

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水龍王魷魚羹 Water Dragon King
台北市萬華區漢中街34號之3 34-3 Hanzhong St.
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門

Moving onto the rice section…

Formosa Chang

Quite simply the most amazing bowl of rice you can get, for it is topped with pieces of braised fat – awesome!! Best tasting lu rou fan 滷肉飯 (pork rice) I had in Taiwan but very unhealthy. So good it sustained me while the PigPig spent the next 4 hours shopping in Wufenpu nearby.

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Glutinous rice dumpling - lots of filling, tasty.

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鬍鬚張 Formosa Chang
台北市永吉路 533號 No. 533 Yongji Rd.
Nearest MRT: Houshanpi 後山埤
Official website
Other branches available:

Hope Noodle Shop

We were looking for Lin Dong Fang beef noodle 林東芳牛肉麵 but was closed so we ended up in this random noodle shop just a few doors away. The pork on rice was a bit “meh” after Formosa Chang's, but the option of adding in all the preserved vegetables we want was nice. Noodles ok.

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合浦刀切麵食館 Hope Noodle
台北市松山區八德路三段284號 No.284, sec 3., Bade Rd.
Other branches available

Ah Chai Milkfish

Very near our hotel. Only open for supper from 10pm to 6am. Recommended for lu rou fan 滷肉飯 (pork rice) and milkfish 虱目魚. Latter came first, very tasty sauce (a bit too salty without rice) not fatty at all light fish flavour. Lu rou fan small bowl mix of lean and fatty meat lacks seasoning so the sauce from milkfish dish helped a lot. Pork belly on rice 控肉飯 was quite good with the preserved veg.

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Total cost NT260. Extremely crowded. Service very haphazard and slow. Waiter came to take away dishes but never came back to clean up table. Also forgot our order of cockles so we cancelled.

阿財虱目魚 Milkfish
台北市萬華區內江街53號 No.53 Neijiang Rd.
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門

Zheng's Pork Trotter

Pork trotter with rice, lots of preserved vegetables as well to give more taste and crunch. Pork very tasty but quite fatty (the Pigpig loved it).

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Milk fish 50% fat in belly, nice sweet flavour. 2 bowls for NT210. Free soup of the day nice and hot, but scum floating around. Actually I really enjoyed that bowl of rice.

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鄭豬腳小吃店 Zheng's Pork Knuckle
台北市中正區延平南路22號 No.22 Yanping South Rd.
Nearest MRT: Ximen 西門

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei. It is currently the second tallest (508 meters) building in the world after Burj Dubai (828 meters). We went up to the Taipei 101 observatory which is located on the 89th floor. It offers a 360 degree view of the city - not as impressive as Hong Kong's IMO. But you get to experience the world's fastest elevators. They can carry 24 passengers up at a speed of 1010 meters per minute (about 60 km/hr) and down at 600 meters per minute (about 36 km/h). You can reach 89th floor (382 meters) in 37 seconds.

Taipei 101 view
View from floor 91, Taipei 101

Tea at Taipei 101...

Keelung Wu's Ding Bian Cuo 基隆百年吳家鐤邊趖

Ordered a set which includes a bowl of lu rou fan, soup with ding bian cuo (the white stuff) and vegetables. Ding bian cuo is a famous dish in Keelung night market. It's just rice noodles (thicker version of the flat rice noodles we are used to) and it's the way they make it that made this dish unique. Here's how they make the noodles. Lu rou fan ok as compared to Formosa Chang's.

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Lesser South Gate 小南門 傳統美食

Another set of lu roufan, soup and vegetables. Also ordered their famous peanut beancurd 花生豆花 - smooth, with lots of nuts and "stuff", not bad. Soup bland. Lu rou fan ok as compared to Formosa Chang's.

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Taiwanese tempura/ tian bu la 甜不辣

A very popular snack in Taiwan. Basically different types of fish cakes in a sweet and spicy sauce. All the different types of fish cakes have different textures. Delicious.

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台北101購物中心B1美食街 Taipei 101, B1 Grand Market

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