Thursday, April 06, 2017

beef noodle soup: YONG KANG DAO XIAO MIAN


YONG KANG DAO XIAO MIAN 
(YONG KANG KNIFE CUT NOODLES)

永康刀削麵 

No. 5, Lane 10, Yong Kang Street
MRT: Dongmen Station

 $ (cash only) (about NT$150-200 per person)

Visit reviewed: 4/5/2017



[TAIPEI] YONG KANG STREET HAS A LOT OF FAMOUS EATS (mango shaved ice, original Din Tai Fung, spring onion pancake that now always has a line- for more details, check out my guide to Yong Kang Street ), but also a lot of unexplored side alleys with restaurants filled with locals rather than tourists. Tried this knife cut beef noodle shop for the first time today (there are two on Yong Kang, this one is in an adjacent alley. The other one, Yi Ping, where I took a writer for CNN ended up including it in his best beef noodle soup list and now there hangs a red banner announcing its inclusion 😂). 

Enjoyed the tomato beef noodle soup, but the thick noodles are quite filling. You can probably share a bowl (like we did) if you're planning on snacking along Yong Kang Street. Don't forget to pick up some cold dishes and spicy beef butter for your soup at the self serve station!


Check off menu only in Chinese, but there are some photos with English along the wall of the restaurant. Choices are beef noodle soup, tomato beef noodle soup, zha jian mian and then variations without the beef or the noodles if you wanted just the broth and noodles. 



I tend to try the tomato beef noodle soup  (NT$200) over the regular beef noodle soup whenever I see it on the menu. It imparts a touch of sweetness and freshness to the broth. I thought the beef was tender and the portion quite sizable for the large bowl.  The three of us didn't finish two large bowls.  



Zha jiang mian (NT$90) which is a minced pork and tofu sauce with julienned fresh cucumber over the knife cut noodles. Mix up the sauce and cucumbers into the noodles before eating.



There are four beef noodle soup shops in the short Yong Kang Street area now that I've tried (five if you count Din Tai Fung's beef noodle as one).

Yong Kang Beef Noodle is probably the most famous as it has been around for over 50 years and is now a tourist spot, but it's my least favorite bowl, reaffirmed my revisit a few months ago with Chef Sheridan from Las Vegas. It's a bit too salty and the noodles didn't have any bite. The beef noodle soup shop hidden by the Smoothie House mango ice shack isn't bad. Yi Ping San Xi Dao Xiao Mian has smaller pieces of beef and shorter strands of chewy knife cut noodles.

My favorite out of the bunch? Probably still Din Tai Fung's beef noodle soup (with half tendon half beef), followed by this spot.

But if you've never had knife shaved noodles, you should definitely try it at least once (followed by some spring onion pancake from the vendor around the corner).

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