Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉面 & Smoothie House 思慕昔 @ Taipei
If you ask Taiwanese to name one type food that can represent Taiwan, I think most of them will tell you ‘beef noodle’ 牛肉面. Some even call beef noodles Taiwan’s “national dish”. This doesn’t totally explain how much Taiwanese love their beef noodles, do you know there is “Taipei Beef Noodle Festival”? It is to award to the city’s best beef noodles of the year. There are award categories including best traditional spicy broth, best clear broth soup and most creative beef noodle soup. A dish is an obsession when it has its own annual festival LOL
For tourists like you and me, a bowl of beef noodles is the best way to dive into food culture in Taiwan! I would say beef noodle is a must-eat when visiting Taiwan so lunch at one of the best beef noodle at Taipei was included in our itinerary!
Founded in 1963, Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉面 is known to be one of the best beef noodles restaurant in Taipei especially for their red spicy broth (红烧). It’s a restaurant that you can practically find it in most of the travel guides to Taipei. Yong Kang also a consistent winner of the aforementioned ‘Taipei Beef Noodle Festival’.
Side dishes counter at first floor dining area.
Some side dishes/appetizers we had before the noodles are being served. (NT$40-150)
From clockwise: Chilled Spicy Brinjal, Seaweed, French Beans, Taiwan Style Pickled White Radish, Kimchi, Cold Noodle, Stewed Kao Fu (gluten) & Braised Dougan (Middle)
Price list – Not cheap to be honest, noodles price started from NT$120 (small) to NT$290 (big) =.=’
Braised Beef Noodles with Beef Tendon (红烧半筋牛肉面) – NT$240 (small)
Yong Kang’s signature noodle in Sichuan-style spicy red broth with beef and tendon. The broth in crimson red hue is prepared using many different kinds of species such as five-spice powder, star anise, peppercorn, Chinese medicine and of course some of their secret ingredients. The spiciness is bearable, not enough to set my mouth on fire but it struck my palate with a pleasant spicy kick. The various of spices certainly added a depth of flavors to the broth. It did a great job to warm my tummy on a cold day. (It was 21°C that day) Although we had the small portion but it definitely more than enough to be shared among 2 small eaters!
There are a pot of chopped pickled vegetables on every table and this certainly another essential of a bowl of beef noodles.
Add some to my bowl of beef noodles and I found that the pickled vegetables went well with the broth and it also help to cut through the robust flavours and any sense of “oiliness” from the broth.
The meat was perfectly braised, tender yet not mushy and still retained a good bite texture. The tendon was equally well cooked too, reminiscent of gelatin, slightly “chewy” and both were fully absorbed the flavors of the broth.
Pork Chop Noodles (NT$180 – small)
If beef not your option, there are pork chop, pork knuckle, Dan Dan Mian (担担面) and Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面). Complimentary hot tea is the only available drink here, so don’t expect to have a beverage menu like what we (Malaysian) normally get in any restaurants/cafes here. Service was OK albeit the massive crowd.
The chef was preparing 粉蒸排骨， steamed marinated pork ribs coated with rice flour concoction.
Verdict: Yong Kang Beef Noodle undoubtedly a good place to have a taste of Taiwanese beef noodles. Price is slightly on higher side but rest-assured, the portion and quality of food will be there.
Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉面
No.17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Taipei Taiwan
Tel:+886 2 2351 1051
We were stuffed after the beef noodles lunch but we’ll make sure to save room for our next food destination ~ Smoothie House.
Specializes in serving shaved ice desserts, Smoothie House is a very popular and also the best selling shaved ice store that sits along Yong Kang Street, one at lot no.15 and another one at lot no.9. The cafe is often swarmed by both locals and tourists and you may have to expect a queue too. They also spread wings to other countries such as Singapore, China and Korea.
Place order at the counter and you will be given a number. Wait you number to be called on the LED display board and collect your order at the counter.
Super Mango Snowflake Ice with Panna Cotta 手工鲜奶酪芒果雪花冰
A must order at Smoothie House. Mango lovers will be delighted at the finely shaved ice surrounded by generous chunks of fresh mango. Bouncy handmade milky panna cotta atop the snowflake ice served with mango puree. Using Aiwen Mango (爱文芒果) sourced from local farm, the fruit is extremely sweet and fragrant.
Snowflake Fruits Mix with Panna Cotta 手工奶酪综合水果雪花冰
We were attracted by the colourful assorted fruit toppings served with the finely shaved ice with sheet like appearance.
Taiwan Sweet Taro with Peanut Flavor Snowflake Ice 古早味花生芋头雪花冰
Definitely a hidden gem in the menu which we rarely can get such a taste back at Malaysia. Covered bountifully with taro/yam cubes, sweetened red beans and crushed peanuts, the peanut flavored shaved ice is da bomb! My mouth was filled with glorious nutty flavor of the peanut as soon as I had a spoon of that shaved ice. The velvety taro cubes and crunchy peanuts added contrasting texture to the dessert. No hesitation in recommending this other than the signature mango shaved ice.
Verdict: It’s not difficult to find out why they are so popular, stellar level Taiwanese shaved ice. A place well worth checking out for shaved ice desserts devotees.
Smoothie House 思慕昔
No.15, Yongkang St., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10650, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 2341 8555
Operating Hours: 10.00am to 11.00pm
No.9, Yongkang St., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10650, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 2395 8770
Operating Hours: 12.00pm to 9.00pm
Since both shops are located at Yong Kang Street, let me share with you a little bit of info of this street.
Yong Kang Street houses restaurants and cafés that cater to all budgets. There are numerous of eateries, food carts, shops and boutiques nestled at Yongkang Street and its neighboring lanes. Beside the above Yong Kang Beef Noodle and Smoothie House, original Din Tai Feng restaurant also is located here.
Both Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉面 and Smoothie House 思慕昔 are on the route of Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus (Red Line)