Sunday, October 10, 2010

chinese/breakfast: i recommend FU HANG DOU JIANG

at Hua Shan Market, 2F
No. 108, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Sec. 1
(02) 2392-2175

MRT: Shandao station

hours: 5:30AM- 10:30AM


Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted. room for strollers and family seating

Visit reviewed: 9/22/2010

I've never seen so many people in line for Chinese breakfast before checking out Fu Hang Dou Jiang, so of course, while waiting in line, my expectations grew. From where the picture above is taken, I'm near the end of the line looking at the front of the line, and you can't see the people in between us, snaking between the stairwell and open kitchen.

Fu Hang Dou Jiang is one of those places that you'd never find unless you knew someone that knew it was there. It's tucked on the 2nd floor of a local market and doesn't have an obvious storefront for passerbys. Once I made my way up the stairs, I was amazed at the long wait. It was a weekday morning around 10AM, and it was about a 20-30 minute wait. At least you can admire the process when you get closer to the front- the freshly made you tiao and sao bing get baked and fried and toasty.

The menu is mostly in Chinese, though up front there are some picture menus with English.

Most of the traditional Chinese breakfast menu items are available here including sweet soy milk (warm or cold) or dou jiang, salty soy milk (hot), fried doughnuts or you tiao, sao bing or sesame flatbread, rice balls or fan tuan.

One thing that is different here is that the sao bing is available in a thicker or thin variety. The hou bing or thicker flatbread is more chewy and doughy, but still has a crispy exterior.

The hou bing has a slightly sweeter and chewier taste than the thinner sao bing (NT$18). It had a distinctive taste and would make for a hearty breakfast. You can get it by itself (NT$25), with egg (NT$35) or with you tiao (NT$45). I had a bite of my friend's breakfast, but I got the regular sao bing you tiao (NT$38) which was crispy and flaky, but wished the you tiao was crispier.

The salty soy milk seemed to have a strong soy sauce flavor and was a tad salty for me. But I liked the cold soy milk (NT$22) which they will serve in a bowl with a spoon if you eat there instead of to-go unless you request a cup and straw.

The end verdict? A solid spot for Chinese breakfast, especially for those in the neighborhood, but be prepared for the lines. I can't imagine how crazy it could be on the weekends! The good thing about the lines is that you're likely getting a fresh out of the oven hou bing or sao bing because of the turnover and stuff isn't just sitting there like most places. I guess they remodeled in recent years though so that the space is more modern and nice with lots of room for families and larger groups. Give it a try if you want something different from your usual spot, are up early or out late, or want to show someone that you know where the locals eat!

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BeefNoGuy said...

Very cool to see that you don't have to flock all the way to Yongho township to enjoy this stuff. Looks fantastic. Saw reports of long lines even at 6 am! The shredded daikon sesame bun 蘿蔔絲餅 (limited quantities) looks like a winner also. Also dig the fact there are 16 staff in the kitchen and the place operates quite efficiently it seems.

Johnny said...

Good report, I'll give it a try if I'm ever in the area in the morning.

Thirsty Pig said...

That was a good place. Great Post. I love Taiwanese breakfast.

kirbie said...

One of my favorite things to read on your blog are your Taiwanese breakfast posts. It's odd. I'm not much of a breakfast person. I usually hate heavy, big breakfasts, but the exception is definitely a Taiwanese breakfast. These posts make me miss Taiwan so much!

Jean said...

You're absolutely right! They remodeled last year when I came back to Taiwan. I love this place. According to my mom who's in her fifties, Fu Hang's shao bing tastes exactly the same as what she had growing up. Good stuff!

黃愛玲 said...

Oh man, I like eating that for breakfast. I agree. I recommend it myself. =o)

keauxgeigh said...

hehe, that fried flat bread wrapped around fried ...breadstick 油條 is a staple for breakfast that my uncle often gets when I visit Kaohsiung. It doesn't make sense on paper and can't be healthy, but it's really good, especially with 豆漿, and I dare say Kaohsiung does it better than anywhere in Taipei (I know, fighting words. Or not).

If you ever go to Kaohsiung, I have recommendations for a shaved ice dessert place and a Mexican place. But the breakfast place my uncle goes to is a little harder to direct people to, aside from that it's in Yancheng district.

watermelon.infusion said...

Wah, I just went there last week, just live down the road!! Its sooo yummy and you get full very quickly!

Anonymous said...

Is this place still there? We went this morning and couldn't figure out how to get upstairs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! The food is really nice, as I made my way there based on your description.

For the people who failed to find the place, the place is still there, you have to make a right turn along the road after exiting from the mrt exit. then you can take lift up to the 2nd floor.

Anonymous said...

Far as I know, this is Shandong food.