Sunday, October 10, 2010
chinese/breakfast: i recommend FU HANG DOU JIANG
FU HANG DOU JIANG 阜杭豆漿
at Hua Shan Market, 2F
No. 108, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Sec. 1
MRT: Shandao station
hours: 5:30AM- 10:30AM
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted. room for strollers and family seating
Visit reviewed: 9/22/2010
I've never seen so many people in line for Chinese breakfast before checking out Fu Hang Dou Jiang, so of course, while waiting in line, my expectations grew. From where the picture above is taken, I'm near the end of the line looking at the front of the line, and you can't see the people in between us, snaking between the stairwell and open kitchen.
Fu Hang Dou Jiang is one of those places that you'd never find unless you knew someone that knew it was there. It's tucked on the 2nd floor of a local market and doesn't have an obvious storefront for passerbys. Once I made my way up the stairs, I was amazed at the long wait. It was a weekday morning around 10AM, and it was about a 20-30 minute wait. At least you can admire the process when you get closer to the front- the freshly made you tiao and sao bing get baked and fried and toasty.
The menu is mostly in Chinese, though up front there are some picture menus with English.
Most of the traditional Chinese breakfast menu items are available here including sweet soy milk (warm or cold) or dou jiang, salty soy milk (hot), fried doughnuts or you tiao, sao bing or sesame flatbread, rice balls or fan tuan.
One thing that is different here is that the sao bing is available in a thicker or thin variety. The hou bing or thicker flatbread is more chewy and doughy, but still has a crispy exterior.
The hou bing has a slightly sweeter and chewier taste than the thinner sao bing (NT$18). It had a distinctive taste and would make for a hearty breakfast. You can get it by itself (NT$25), with egg (NT$35) or with you tiao (NT$45). I had a bite of my friend's breakfast, but I got the regular sao bing you tiao (NT$38) which was crispy and flaky, but wished the you tiao was crispier.
The salty soy milk seemed to have a strong soy sauce flavor and was a tad salty for me. But I liked the cold soy milk (NT$22) which they will serve in a bowl with a spoon if you eat there instead of to-go unless you request a cup and straw.
The end verdict? A solid spot for Chinese breakfast, especially for those in the neighborhood, but be prepared for the lines. I can't imagine how crazy it could be on the weekends! The good thing about the lines is that you're likely getting a fresh out of the oven hou bing or sao bing because of the turnover and stuff isn't just sitting there like most places. I guess they remodeled in recent years though so that the space is more modern and nice with lots of room for families and larger groups. Give it a try if you want something different from your usual spot, are up early or out late, or want to show someone that you know where the locals eat!
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