Thanks to China Daily, I recently got my first ever article about food published, making this possibly my first blog post about food. It was about Taipei’s Yongkang Street area, a neighborhood filled with restaurants, cafes, and some especially big names like Din Tai Fung and Yongkang Beef Noodles. I didn’t try the former since it wasn’t going to be covered in my article.
Instead, I ate at the latter, which is one of the most famous beef noodle places in Taipei and has been around for 60 years. When we got there, there was small line at the door, but it moved quickly enough that we were in within 10 minutes or so. This special quality about this place’s beef noodles were their spiciness and strong flavor (by local standards), which was apparent when you can smell the aroma while standing in the line outside. The price is kind of expensive (beef noodles start from NT$160), but it’s worth it, I believe. My dinner companions, all Taiwan locals, thought it was pretty good. The restaurant also has a less-spicier version of the beef noodles too. Besides Yongkang Beef Noodles, there’s another supposedly famous beef noodles restaurant here so if you don’t like your noodles spicy, you can try Old Zhang Beef Noodles. Beef noodles are very popular in Taiwan.
We then headed to a nearby dumpling restaurant, which boasted its own relatively long history (opened since 1961) and specialized in dumplings and potstickers. Dongmen Jiaozo (dumpling) Restaurant was large, spacious, and nicely decorated, with a fishpond right outside its front door. The dumplings were good, and the cong you bing (scallion pancake) was crunchy and good.
Finally for dessert, we tried the shaved mango ice at the huge Smoothie King. This store fills up an entire corner, and is blue and yellow so you can’t miss it at all. Don’t worry, despite its name, shaved mango ice, not smoothies, is the main dessert here. Shaved mango ice is a Taiwan dessert specialty consisting of ice, mango slices, and fruit or ice cream. Smoothie King has several versions of shaved mango ice, with one of their specialties featuring a twist as instead of ice, you get a kind of ice-ice cream blend called snowflake ice. The mango ice come in huge servings in big bowls with prices to reflect it, but it’s worth it at least once. I admit I shared one with a female friend who also had to help another friend finish hers.
And finally, I even bought cong zhua bing (layered scallion pancake) from Tianjin Cong Zhuabing to take home.
Yongkang Street is just a few minutes south of Dongmen MRT station in the middle of Taipei, so it’s not hard to reach at all.
Yongkang Beef Noodles’ signature beef noodles in all its spicy splendor.
A small line forms outside the restaurant on an early Saturday evening.
Congzhuabing (scallion pancake) at Dongmen Jiaozi restaurant.
Smoothie King, with a long line waiting to buy its mango shaved ice.
Snowflake mango with ice cream, left, and snowflake mango with panna cotta at right. Snowflake refers to a special kind of ice-milk blend that itself tastes like ice cream. So in effect, you’re getting two types of ice cream in these dishes.
———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-I will be going on a trip to SE Asia tomorrow, so there probably won’t be any major posts until July. Apologies for that; please check back from time to time.