PIN CHUAN LAN 品川蘭
No. 10, Alley 11, Lane 216, ZhongXiao E. Rd, Sec. 2,
MRT: SYS Memorial Hall
website: Pin Chuan Lan's FB page
hours: 11AM - 9:30PM
Visit reviewed: 8/12/2014
When I'm in the states, I devour all the things I can't find here in Taipei. And when I return to Taipei, I return to all my Taiwanese favorites- shaved ice, dumplings, soy milk and shao bing you tiao, or anything that can be found at the night market.
So when I was invited to try out Pin Chuan Lan, the newest beef noodle soup shop to open up in Dong Qu, I couldn't resist.
In a prime location right across from the ZhongXiao Din Tai Fung, Pin Chuan Lan has a new, modern feel to its decor, its menu and its presentation (almost similar to the red, black and wooden look of Japanese ramen spot Ippudo).
The heart of the menu are the beef noodle soups, which can be ordered as spicy braised version, or the lighter clear broth. Diners can opt for beef shank, rib fingers, tendon, tripe or even rib eye steak. There's also pork chop noodle soup or chicken noodle soup for non-beef eaters, as well as spicy chili noodles, beef pancake rolls and a variety of side dishes such as spicy shredded pig ear or eggplants stuffed with ground pork. The stylish menu has some photos and both English and Chinese, as well as identifies where its beef is from with little flag symbols (US or Australian).
Plum juiced tomatoes, spicy shredded pig ear and sweet taro (NT$60)- small appetizer dishes to start off the meal.
Eggplant stuffed with ground pork (NT$90)
Chili pepper stuffed with ground pork (NT$90)
Beef noodle soup with heel muscle (NT$210) - the beef heel shank is cut in wide, thick pieces with swirls of muscle that make the beef still chewy, even if the meat is tender. There's a good amount of beef for each bowl, though I'm in like, not love with this particular cut of beef for beef noodle soup.
Beef noodle soup with tendon, tripe and beef heel muscle (NT$260) if you want a little more depth and bite to your bowl. Everyone will look for different things for their ideal bowl of beef noodle soup. I enjoyed the tendon and the beef, while I prefer my noodles on the chubbier and springier side.
A side by side look at the braised vs clear broth beef noodle soups...
The chili noodles definitely have a kick to them, and was a favorite at the table.
I'd definitely order this again- I loved the flaky, chewy freshly made Chinese pancakes paired with shredded pork that were used to make your own wrap (NT$120/portion). I guess the process reminds me of when I was kid eating moo shu pork in the states.
Otherwise you could order the Chinese pancake with beef shank roll (NT$140) where the wrapping is already done for you- with layers of beef and chinese pancake rolled together with scallions for a perfect bite. Crunchy, chewy, savory and a bit sweet from the bean paste sauce.
Even though it's only been open for a few months, the dining room was almost full of diners slurping up bowls of noodle soup. Not everyone is willing to go to the old school spots for beef noodle, so this place is ideal for people looking for a newer version.