Saturday, April 22, 2006
chinese: i strongly recommend AH-CHUNG NOODLE SHOP
Hsi Men Ding
website: ay-chung.com Chinese, English and Japanese available
There's only one thing on the menu- and it comes in either a Small (NT$40) or Large bowl (NT$50). How are you going to find it? Head to Hsi-Men Ding, wander past the McDonalds and the Watsons and just look for the shop with all the people crowded in front, standing or squatting, slurping their hot bowls of noodle soup. I forget how I first heard about it- it must have been a friend who said I had to try it, or was it seeing the long line of people waiting for their turn?
When you get to the front of the line, the chef asks (1) small or big bowl and (2) how spicy? You should also let him know if you want to eat it there or get it to go. The chef skillfully scoops up the right amount and cuts the long noodles with the ladle against the huge pot. And then you get your piping hot bowl of melt-in-your-mouth rice noodles, the thick flavorful soup, and occasional bite of pork intestine. Yes, it sounds not appetizing, but it's actually quite good, and meshes well with the consistency of the soup and noodles. You can even make your noodles more spicy or salty with the mini-station of spices off to the side. This type of noodle soup is often served with oysters, known as "oyster noodle strand" soup. I've had it in Orange County with squid.
Once you have your bowl, you can claim your spot nearby, stand or squat or sit. Once you're done, you put your empty bowl and spoon the bucket with all the others and resume your shopping/sightseeing/workday/fill-in-the-blank. It's fast, it's ultra-cheap, it's filling and it's delicious- the ultimate must-try Taipei experience in a bowl.
No.24, Lane 101, Wenlin Rd.
Zhongxiao Branch (newest)
No. 2, Alley 17, Zhongxiao E. Road, Sec. 4
(alley right next to Sogo, next to Watson's)