Thursday, October 19, 2017

故宮晶華 (Silks Palace Noodle Beef Noodle in Taipei)

故宮晶華

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No trip to Taipei is complete without a trip to the National Palace Museum.

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Or so everyone told me. This massive museum houses room after room of Taiwanese relics, from calligraphy to paintings to sculpture. The most famous piece here is a jade carving that looks like a cabbage. And here it is:

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It was interesting watching the crowds. I don't think anyone actually looked at the green wonder without a cell phone to record it. Anyways, I was told the museum takes days or even weeks to go through, but I felt like I had seen every room in less than two hours (did I miss something?). In particular, the calligraphy was my kind of exhibition. If it sounds like I am dissing the place, that is far from it.

With all that extra time, I had to eat.

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Turns out there is a fancy restaurant right next to the museum, a restaurant that won the country's top prize for beef noodle sometime in recent years.

There is a genre of beef noodle that can only be labeled as fancy hotel noodles, and some suggestions from people in the know were to avoid these at all cost. You'll pay double, and most of that cost goes into the white linen and professional menu creation services.

Silks Palace is one of those places, as they also have a branch at the Reagent Hotel. Sorry, I'm going to try it anyways.

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Wow, that was some good beef noodle. Many beef noodle shops in Taiwan have either hongshao (dark and spicy broth) or qingdun (clear light broth). Here you get both. I thought it would be a gimmick, but this worked out. Each bowl has different cuts of meat, different vegetables, and of course a very different taste.

Silks Palace is a full fledged restaurant, and apart from the $15 bowl of noodles, a small group could easily spend a few big bills on a plethora of dim sum, Cantonese dishes, and a stewed cabbage that looks like the aforementioned work of art at the neighboring museum. This is definitely a gimmick, and the internet backs up my suspicions. Go for the beef noodle, crush it, and get on with your trip.

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Doesn't this ancient drawing look like a dude Instagramming his food?

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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Official site here.

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No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Open 11:30-4:30, 5:30-9:00

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