Taipei: Niu Dian (牛店)

You know that a country is serious about their beef noodles when they actually have an annual beef noodle festival. Since it is my first time in Taiwan, trying out their beef noodles is a definite must. I chose  to visit Niu Dian (literally translate to Cow Shop) as it was just a walk round the corner from our hotel. Of course, I also heard lots of rave reviews about this noodle place. We dropped by on  Sunday afternoon, and there was quite a long queue of people waiting. Not wanting to hang around the shop, we ordered our food and left our names with the friendly server. After strolling around the area for about 10 minutes, we headed back and was given a seat shortly. P1040807

P1040805Fat Man opted for the original soup beef noodles, while I took the braised combination (half beef and half tendon) noodles. In addition, I also order a side dish of braised beancurd and braised beancurd skin. Okay, ordering 2 similar items was not the smartest thing to do. We definitely liked the braised beancurd skin more as it was served piping hot, with some sauce. I dipped it into the chili sauce provided and ate happily. Fat Man’s noodles came first, and I tried the soup. It was good, despite its deceptive bland appearance. Even though he ordered the small bowl, the portion was still huge! (of course, it also didn’t help that he ate a lousy ham sui kok right before the meal) I thought his thick slices of beef were already quite tender, until I tried my own braised beef. Wow. They are literally the type that falls off the bone. Who needs wagyu beef? I am pretty happy to eat this everyday! Notice that the beef has transparent parts in between the meat, and I am wondering if that is tendon or fat?

Honestly, I don’t think I will order the braised beef set again as it wasn’t very special. I was expecting much stronger flavors from the dark sauce but they were quite bland. Also the cost of braised beef is about twice as much as the original version.  I will definitely come back again when I am in the area, but I am also keen to try out other famous beef noodles in Taipei.

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