Monday, October 9, 2017

林東芳牛肉麵 (Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle in Taipei)

林東芳牛肉麵

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I spent a week in Taipei, and as such, tried a few of their noodle spots. Sure, there is ramen in Taiwan, but not much. The country instead serves up beef noodle. It's a simple dish; noodles in a clear beef soup with a bit of spice and cuts of stewed beef.

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Lin Dong Fang was a great choice to start a Beef Noodle Adventure™.

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Giant pots of broth and beef sit street-side, failing any sort of regulation should an American health inspector come. This is the norm across Asian, and you simply can't have such amazing food with stringent sanitation.

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Every famous beef noodle place I went to had a line, but the lines move fast, even faster than ramen lines.

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And almost every shop has an ordering slip like this. My Chinese isn't so great, but the characters are easy to decipher with some Japanese ability; Japanese kanji characters are rooted in the Chinese after all. 牛 is beef. 肉 is meat. Easy as that.

I should note that many places have things like 肚 or 筋, belly and tendon respectively.

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Light, spicy soup. The shop adds some secret ingredients to their broth, including some traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Beef noodle broth is either dark and spicy or light and clear. Lin Dong Fang is somewhere in the middle.

The noodles, like most of what I've had in China, are decent but nothing special.

What I came to value in beef noodle is a sort of balance between the beef and soup. The chunks of beef should be tender and flavorful, while the soup is more refreshing. Ling Dong Fang set the bar high!

If you like it spicier, there is an extremely spicy condiment on the table that looks like hardened miso. People called it spicy butter (actually beef drippings with chili), and you should use it with caution.

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For those who value my opinion, here is my ranking of beef noodle shops I visited, with only the top three being ones I would actually recommend:

  1. 桃源街牛肉麵 (Taoyuan Street Authentic Shandong Beef Noodle in Taipei)
  2. 林東芳牛肉麵 (Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodle in Taipei)
  3. 故宮晶華 (Silks Palace Noodle Beef Noodle in Taipei)
  4. 永康牛肉麵 (Yong Kang Beef Noodle in Taipei)
  5. 牛爸爸 (Niu Baba Beef Noodle in Taipei)


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八德路二段274號, Taipei
Noodle House · Zhōngshān Qū

Open 11:00-4:00am
Closed Sundays

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