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Sunday, April 13, 2014

[Taipei] Yong Kang Beef Noodles (永康牛肉麵)

Beef noodles (new row mian) is probably one of the most popular food of Taipei. In the earlier days, Taiwan is depended mostly on agriculture and most Taiwanese refrained from eating precious cattle needed for agriculture. Since the retreat of Kuomintang to Taiwan in the late 1940s, the waishengren  (外省人) started selling beef noodles and since 25% of Taipei residents are waishengren, beef noodles is an iconic cuisine in Taipei. The city even have started an international beef noodles festival since 2004.

When Taipei, you'll definitely want to visit Yong Kang New Row Mian (永康牛肉麵館). It is one of the most recommended beef noodles in travel guides as well as local Taiwan's food blogs.

There was a long queue when I was there at around 11am, consisting mostly of tourists from Japan and
Hong Kong.

The owner of Yong Kang Beef Noodles, Mr. Cheng was originally from Szechuan Province. He relocated to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War and set up a beef noodle stall in Yongkang Street, which is near to Da'An Park, originally a military dependents' village or juan cun (眷村). Since the owner hailed from Szechuan Province, you'll definitely want to try their signature Szechuan-style 紅燒牛肉麵 (red braised beef noodles) TWD200 (SGD8.3). 

I love how the braised soup is neither salty nor oily.
The beef is not overly cooked and its tender and fresh. The spices of the soup is light and doesn't overshadow the beef.

Another version of the beef noodles is the 淸燉牛肉麵 (Clear-broth Beef Noodles) TWD 200 (SGD 8.3). I was initially afraid of the gamey taste of beef as it is light broth. To my surprise, I love the tenderness of the beef and the soup is more in depth. The clear broth indeed brings out more of the freshness of the beef. I actually preferred this than the braised version.

Yongkang Beef Noodles is also famous for their side dishes.

The above is the 粉蒸排骨 (Steamed chopped pork ribs rice) TWD110 (SGD4.6).
It is steamed rice with chunks of yams and chopped pork ribs rice. It is soft and aromatic and acts as a good appetizer.

"Yong Kang Beef Noodles" offers one of the best beef noodles you can find in Taiwan. For beef noodles lovers out there, this restaurant is definitely in the 'must-visit' when in Taipei. What's more, since the opening of "Dongmen Metro Station (東門捷運站)" on the Xinzhuang Line (新莊線), Yongkang street has become very accessible.

Food: 9/10
Service: 6/10
Ambience: 6/10

No.17, Lane 31, Lane 31, Section 2, Jīnshān South Rd, Daan District Taipei City,
Taiwan 106

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