Saturday, June 5, 2010

Taipei Day 3: Our First Original Taiwanese Beef Noodles

We woke up to rain again on our third day in Taipei. The temperature hovered around 12-14 degrees Celcius thereabouts. It was the kind of temperature that made any hot meal taste like the very last meal on planet earth.

We had a good start at this place which had very solid Taiwanese beef noodles (winner of some kind of best Taipei noodles under NTD100).

Again, this was one of the places which we chanced upon which turned out to be one of the notable ones in Taipei. And the good news was that the shop was super-near our hotel. 

 It was so near that it felt like having breakfast in bed. Click on the map above to see a larger version.

There was a very old man (whom we imagined was the originator of the place) who invited us to sit & he spoke in pure original Taiwanese Hokkien which was unintelligible to us. This was supposedly his son who took over the business.

Taiwanese beef noodles came into Kuching in the 80s (probably came with the Taiwanese wives) & were quite popular then. Then somehow it degenerated to a lesser standard & today it is something of a forgotten taste. 
But on that one cold freezing morning, it all came back & it was ten times better.

The noodles here come in clearer beef soup and well marinaded beef cubes which were really juicy & tender. The noodles were freshly made ones, broad and al dente.

There was also a slightly spicy version. Both were equally good but a word of warning, the serving per bowl is quite huge. Do not attempt to finish the whole thing yourself, otherwise you won't have enough room for anything else for the next two days.

We also ordered some fried shui jiao and this was good every time anywhere we went in Taipei. Here it cost somewhere between NTD40 or 50 for this portion.

This was the day that I learned to trust in Taiwanese beef noodles again.

After that, we took quite a long walk after breakfast in search of the Museum of Contemporary Arts but when we got there, it was still closed for the holiday. That meant we had a bit of time on our side so we decided to drop into a shopping mall with a strange name - Palais de Chine.

There was some commotion going on. It looked like some Japanese Taiko drumming fusion of some sort. The fusion of culture is obvious since Taiwan was colonised by Japan for 50 years.

The walls of the mall were lined with real life plants from floor to ceiling. My first initial thought was that it was an idea but maintenance would be a handful. If you had something like this in the house, you'd also be living with creepy crawlies & bacterias, & everything else in between.

The mall was basically crowded with people. From mainland China.

Though not as impressive as Japan's large departmental stores, their desserts were equally alluring.

Hmm. The more you look at it, the more it feels like staring at edible art pieces.

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