Tuesday, November 08, 2011

chinese: i strongly recommend MA SHAN TANG

No. 24, Lane 280, Guangfu S. Rd
(02) 2773-5559

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!


c said...

nice post! i haven't gotten around to write about this restaurant yet...oh how i miss taipei and the food choices over there. great to see u writing again :)

Vanessa L. said...

Hi Joan H. we might not meet each other before but since I've been reading your food blog for a while now, please please pass this message along to your friends and relatives or anyone around you to protect others. Thank you so much!

丹丹 said...

Those sesame noodles look GORGEOUS!! Do you know if they're vegetarian? I'd love to try this place out!

joanh said...

c: thanks! you've been busy writing up other places, so you're still ahead! see you the next time.

vanessa: thanks for reading!

丹丹 : thanks! i think it's vegetarian, but i'm not sure, but you can ask. let me know what you think if you give it a try!

arex said...

Definitely a destination the next time I'm in Taipei!

SassyChef said...

I just ate here and wow, the pan-fried dumplings are the best I've had - ever! The filling was so savoury and I liked how they only lightly fried the outside. I did try the sesame noodles but they didn't wow me as much as the dumplings, although the noodles were very chewy. Great recommendation!

Anonymous said...

Your pics looked tasty so we decided to try this place. The beef in the mala beef noodle soup was too chewy. The texture was like beef from an old cow. We think the beef (looked like beef shank) in the broth based soup would've been better. We saw our neighboring table order that and a side of hot oil. Then, they poured the oil into the soup to make their own mala noodle soup. We'll definitely try that approach next time.

Anonymous said...

I tried this place last week, very excited by your post.

The food is far too salty. I ordered the mala noodles and the potstickers. It would have been great had it not tasted like eating pure salt.

Anonymous said...

The place is gone. I went once and now wanted to go again and just found a big construction site. Any ideas what happened?

Anonymous said...

Huh, I'm trying to figure out if I should try to visit this restaurant, and this post made it sound like it was still open as of March 2013: http://eatbma.blogspot.tw/2013/03/mala-beef-noodles-at-mazendo-in-taipei.html

David Steele said...

Just got back from dinner there. Very underwhelming.

I got the Mala beef noodle soup. Too much Ma. Not La enough. Not spicy enough, to much of the szechuan peppercorn numbing. The soup flavor wasn't any thing special. The biggest let down was the flavorless duck blood. Seems like they either seperately cook the blood in water or don't cook it in spicy broth long enough.

Only upside was the delicious potstickers. We order the typical chinese plate of Morning Glory and it was fine.

For the price, it's worth it. However, in terms of quality, I was disspointed.


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