Saturday, April 22, 2006

chinese: i strongly recommend AH-CHUNG NOODLE SHOP

Hsi Men Ding


website: Chinese, English and Japanese available

There's only one thing on the menu- and it comes in either a Small (NT$40) or Large bowl (NT$50). How are you going to find it? Head to Hsi-Men Ding, wander past the McDonalds and the Watsons and just look for the shop with all the people crowded in front, standing or squatting, slurping their hot bowls of noodle soup. I forget how I first heard about it- it must have been a friend who said I had to try it, or was it seeing the long line of people waiting for their turn?

When you get to the front of the line, the chef asks (1) small or big bowl and (2) how spicy? You should also let him know if you want to eat it there or get it to go. The chef skillfully scoops up the right amount and cuts the long noodles with the ladle against the huge pot. And then you get your piping hot bowl of melt-in-your-mouth rice noodles, the thick flavorful soup, and occasional bite of pork intestine. Yes, it sounds not appetizing, but it's actually quite good, and meshes well with the consistency of the soup and noodles. You can even make your noodles more spicy or salty with the mini-station of spices off to the side. This type of noodle soup is often served with oysters, known as "oyster noodle strand" soup. I've had it in Orange County with squid.

Once you have your bowl, you can claim your spot nearby, stand or squat or sit. Once you're done, you put your empty bowl and spoon the bucket with all the others and resume your shopping/sightseeing/workday/fill-in-the-blank. It's fast, it's ultra-cheap, it's filling and it's delicious- the ultimate must-try Taipei experience in a bowl.

Other locations:

Shiling Branch
No.24, Lane 101, Wenlin Rd.

Zhongxiao Branch (newest)
No. 2, Alley 17, Zhongxiao E. Road, Sec. 4
(alley right next to Sogo, next to Watson's)
(02) 2721-9899


Anonymous said...

they are the best!

Anonymous said...

Bless you! Haha!! What a great name for a noodle shop.

Mmmmmm. I know it's not ramen, but I think this place will fall under my "world ramen tour" when I get to it. Good review!

Anonymous said...

ah-chung is so popular...the owner is very wealthy from his little stall and drives a benz.

Anonymous said...

Ay Chung opened up a branch at Shihlin Night Market. I didn't go to the one at Ximending but compared to the Ay Chung in Milpitas Northern California, I can see why Taiwanese expats dislike the California branches of Ay Chung which sell more than Ay Chung Mien Sien. Anyways the one at Shih Lin was SUPERB. They have a minced garlic sauce you can add yourself that the Milpitas branch doesn't have. Good good good stuff. I finished a big bowl myself :-)

Anonymous said...

Finally ate at the XMD location last week. It's definitely the best. Even in the rain 2 days after the New Year, it was packed. They serve drinks now in a separate counter to the right.

bx said...

hey think i going to eat that in taipei, any ideas what is its opening hours?

Anonymous said...

thanks for this suggestion!! i was wandering around ximen with friends when I remembered reading this post and saw a noodle place with a huge line. so delicious!!

Unknown said...

found Ay-Chung by accident while visiting Ximen night market and completely fell in love with it! So delicious! Fell in love with Taiwan when my family and I visited in March 2015, so glad to have found your blog.