a journal of finding good food and restaurants i love to eat in Taipei when I'm not in Los Angeles. looking forward to hearing from other food lovers about where your favorite places to eat are, so i can try them next!
Monday, May 04, 2009
chinese: YONG KANG BEEF NOODLE SOUP
YONG KANG BEEF NOODLE SOUP
No. 17, Lane 31, Jinshan S. Rd., Sec.2
(a few blocks from Yongkang St)
hours: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-8pm
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted
Visit reviewed: 4/17/2009
Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it was too spicy for me. Maybe my tastebuds were just used to the chewier noodles and tomato accented broth of Shan Xi Dao Xiao Mian that we had eaten the day before or the lighter broth of beef noodle soup from Din Tai Fung the night before that.
But I just didn't love the braised beef noodle soup at Yong Kang Beef Noodle Soup. The beef was a bit tough and the soup's spiciness overpowered the rest of the seemingly soy sauced broth for me. I didn't even want to finish my bowl. Instead, I gravitated to my friend JL's bowl of clear broth beef noodle soup, which had more depth in the soup.
I loved how they had big pots of sour and sweet pickled greens on the table and I liked their large assortment of cold appetizer dishes, like the pickled cucumber. I also liked their side dish which had steamed pork and yams or "fen zheng pai gu" which is available also with intestines. There were other things on the menu, but it was only in Chinese.
But Yong Kang Beef Noodle Soup shop has been around forever, or since 1963, as the sign proudly declares. I guess they've also recently redone their sign in an eye catching yellow, which made me check twice we were headed to the right place, since a lot of photos I've seen online show red signage.
If you must try all the beef noodle stores in town, you should give this place a try and then walk around Yongkang Street for some other eats. But if you're looking for the best- you can try neighbor Lao Zhang, voted Best beef noodle soup in my Best of Taipei reader's poll (which I haven't tried yet either).
My personal faves? Probably the "niu rou mian" from Shan Xi Dao Xiao Mian, and half beef, half tendon from Little Shanghai or "Xiao Shanghai."
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The beef is a lot more tender at Lao Zhang's. The only reason we tried Yong Kang Beef Noodle one time is because Lao Zhang's was closed (I think each shop is closed on one weekday, and they're different days).
The "fen zheng rou" and intestines are also great at Lao Zhang's. Man, I miss it!
There is a place called "Taoyuan Jie Niu Rou Nian" (Taoyuan Street Beef Noodles" Its located on Taoyuan Street just behind the presidential building, it's been open for 50 years and is a institution. There is no signs but look for the lineup, def worth a try
I respect your opinions typically, but if you didn't really like something, please have the integrity in yourself to not post it as something you recommend. This is more like something "everyone else" recommends, right? :) It's ok, everyone has their own opinion on food!
Carry on! I enjoy your posts.
abstractpoet: i think i've probably been taken to Lao Zhang's a long ago by relatives.. i'll have to check it out eventually.
dlin: okay! sounds good!
anonymous: actually, thanks for catching that! i was working on a bunch of posts at the same time and sometimes auto-post them in advance while still tinkering with them. and actually this was supposed to be neutral and not "i recommend" since i didn't like it... i'm gonna make the changes! :)
Definitely agree with your take on Yong Kang Beef Noodle. I've been there a number of times and definitely prefer the clear broth beef noodle soup as well. I'm also not sure why everyone is so high on Lao Zhang. I personally don't find their beef noodles to be especially good. I would recommend Hong Shi Fu Beef Noodle Soup which is located on the corner of Jian Guo N. Road and Chang Chun Road. They've also won some best of Taipei awards and their zhao pai is this 3 beef noodle soup which uses 3 different cuts of beef which are cooked differently.
The clear broth beef noodle soup certainly looks more delicious than the braised beef noodle soup. Simple and yummy.
I have never been to a restaurant that served such a big pot of the sweet and sour pickled greens along with the noodle soup! Very interesting.
I will definitly give both of these a try if I am every in that part of town. The best place I've had beef noodle so far has been in Kinmen.
Taoyuan jie beef noodle shop is by far the best braised beef noodle soup i've ever had. Will blow your mind!
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