MA SHAN TANG
No. 24, Lane 280, Guangfu S. Rd
MRT: SYS Memorial Hall
hours: 11AM - 2:30PM; 5PM-10PM
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted
Visit reviewed: 10/3/2011
I had passed by Ma Shan Tang a number of times, on the way to Wendel's and on the way to Lane 280 to Osteria by Angie, Ari or Fifteen Pizza, but never really thought about what was inside. I can't believe I kept passing it by for over a year.
Thankfully, Sugared and Spiced picked Ma Shan Tang as a place to meet because it really hit the spot as a noodle and potsticker place for hole-in-the-wall prices, but not a hole-in-the-wall space.
We luckily got there before the lunch crowd peaked and office lunch crowd started to line up outside (and in the rain as there isn't much space to wait inside).
Unfortunately, it's one of the only in Chinese check off the box of what you want places as well. So bring a Chinese speaking friend or some pictures of what you want to eat. The main attraction are the bowls of insanely chewy noodles- mala spicy, clear broth or sesame- and their steamed or pan fried dumplings. Other popular menu items include shrimp fried rice or shrimp wontons in chili oil. The small plate cold dishes are self serve in the small fridge in the back of the restaurant which we didn't notice until the meal was over.
Probably one of the most popular dishes at Ma Shan Tang is the bowl of mala beef noodle soup (NT$140), complete with sliced beef, blood cubes, chewy noodles and chili red spicy broth. The bowl is a good option for those who craving mala hotpot without the fuss of calling up a bunch of friends to get a reservation at Ding Wang. Portions are generous and can easily be shared.
The beef slices were slightly overcooked and a little dry. I don't know if the other meats would be more tender. It's also kick-your-butt spicy, so I kept taking bites of the other things we ordered to ward off the burning sensation.
When the sesame noodles came to our table, we kept asking the waiter if we got the right order. It looked way too spicy with the orange red tinge...
But once it was mixed up, the familiar looking sesame paste color coated the QQ noodles. The sesame noodles (NT$60) were sweet with only a faint tinge of heat and I could not stop eating it. Maybe the favorite of all the sesame noodles I've had yet.
And the perfectly crispy potstickers (NT$60 for ten).
I probably could have devoured the whole plate myself, but I was trying to be polite.
You would think that it's easy for restaurants to serve crispy bottomed potstickers, but more often than not, they are soggy and greasy. Ma Shan Tang's potstickers were bite sized, perfectly crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. SO good!