YONG HE DOU JIANG DA WANG
(or YONG HE SOY MILK KING)
102 Fuxing South Road, Sec. 2
hours: 24 hours/7 days a week
$ (Cash only)
Kid friendliness: no high chairs
Visit reviewed: 3/5/2010
If you're visiting Taipei, you must try the Chinese breakfast experience at least once, and I'd definitely recommend that you try it here. I've been slow to try out Yonghe Dou Jiang Da Wang, despite hearing raves about it for awhile, thinking all Yonghe Dou Jiangs would be about the same. But I was wrong. It is definitely the "King" like it's name.
And what makes it better than the rest?
Perfectly hot and crispy you tiou, soft on the inside. At some places, the you tiao feels a bit stale, but here, it tastes like it just came from a vat of bubbling oil. Even after it's cooled in the plastic bag when you get it to go, it's still retained a satisfying crunch.
You know that everything is fresh, as there is a mini-army of hands rolling out dough, cutting out strips to make new "sou bing" or the bowls of baby shrimp, scallions and pickled vegetables to be stirred into a bowl of salty soy milk.
And you seriously cannot beat the prices- you can feed 2 people for about NT$100, or gorge yourself for less than the price of a McBreakfast. You have the option to mix and match items to your stomach's desire. Put egg, pork floss or a sticky rice roll in the sou bing, or put you tiao, sticky rice roll or pork floss in a dan bing. You can even put fried turnip cake in an egg, or egg in a man tou.
Other items on the Chinese only menu include fat, handmade xiao long bao or steamed dumplings, or sticky rice roll (fan tuan).
On my first visit, I got a trio of items, a sou bing you tiao, which is like a carbilicious breakfast sandwich- an airy and flaky flatbread to envelope the crispy "fried chinese cruller" (NT$30), a dan bing (NT$20) which is an scrambled egg in a thin crepe like wrapper, and a warm soy milk (NT$20) or dou jiang.
On my second visit, I got just a you tiao(NT$15) and a salty soy milk (NT$25) which is more like a breakfast tofu stew with chunks of soft coagulated soy milk, with bits of dried baby shrimp, pickled vegetables and diced you tiao which give it a wonderful milky, salty flavor.
The portion was quite huge and I was too full to eat lunch after finishing this huge bowl, so I'm sure it's enough to share. The mini shrimp with miniature black eyes freaked me out a little bit, but I tried to enjoy it as it was meant to be. But if you're the type to avoid eyes in your breakfast, then I'm sure you can ask that they leave it out.
Salty soy milk isn't for everyone- the appearance and texture can be unappetizing to the uninitiated- I only first tried it last year. Instead first timers should try the sweet cold soy milk. If you like it less sweet, you can get warm or hot soy milk.
I found that the you tiao seem more lithe than the ones from other places, but perhaps that's how they get it the right combination of crispy and soft.
I got my items to go, but if you eat it there, be sure to take advantage of the soy, vinegar, and chili sauces available, and enjoy the immediate satisfaction of eating theyou tiao hot. The space looks and feels like it's been there forever, but it's clean and a place to eat and go.
View Larger Map