Beef Noodles are must-eat when you visit Taipei. In those poor old days, these were special treats for occasions. As the society got more affluent, chefs started to innovate. Since everyone love beef noodles, at the level of burgers in the US, a sub-culture flourished. Now, it is an obsession for Taipei citizens.
Master Hong’s “#1 in the world” (洪師父 維吾獨尊) beef noodles is probably the epitome of such obsession. Yep, it costs 888 in local currency (about US$28). If you wish, they will give you extra noodles for free. A bowl is recommended for two, three of us shared that and we were all quite full after.
Guess the overall impression was “under-whelmed”. It was an excellent bowl of beef noodles, but way over-hyped. The soup base was rich and seasoned perfectly. The beef, all 4 kinds, were cooked to the melting point (allegedly over 48 hours of slow cooking). The best part is the noodles. They were freshly hand-made and cooked with just the right amount of al dente and substance that was so satisfying. I will be coming back just for the noodles.
I also visited Shi’s beef noodles (史記) during the same trip. Interestingly they have a completely different style of beef noodles. The beef was essentially corned beef briskets and the soup base clear as broth. The noodles were thin with nearly no yield. It was also wonderfully delicious to the point of addictive. There are probably hundreds of beef noodle restaurants in this city and everyone of them is trying to be unique. Taipei citizens are more than happy to sample as many of them as possible and spread the words around.
Sigh… I gained weight whenever I visited Taipei.