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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > April 2009
 

Famed Taichung beef noodle eateries--Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop, Luoyang Chinese-Style Delicacies, Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup, Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop

By Niang Chen
Translated by Ann Lee

Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop

Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop

Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop

Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop

(04) 2231-7077
75-1, BeiPing Rd, Sec 3
Hours: 11 am-about 8 pm (until sold-out)
closed the 10th, 20th and 30th of each month

Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop has been in business for 18 years now, and 90% of its patrons are long-time customers. Ask almost any diner here and they'll tell you they've been a customer for over a decade. The regulars are even friendlier than the owner and, if you're new to the shop, will rave to you about how good their beef noodles are. The owner insists on using fresh, top-grade ingredients to cook each bowl, leaving nothing overnight. The noodles come in big portions, and the generous boss often adds extra soup and noodle helpings for free.

A: Located on BeiPing Road, Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Shop has a unique way of making its beef broth and cooking its other items. This has proven to be an outstanding success, as many celebrities and five-star hotel chefs come here just to savor the great food.

B: The secret to the freshly-prepared braised appetizer dishes here are the meticulous techniques used by the cooks, who pay close attention to cutting, spices and side ingredients during preparation. This quality even extends to the simple appetizers. A few choices include Pig Head Skin Pieces (NT$30), Beef Stomach (NT$80), Sliced Bean Curd Pieces (NT$20) and Chopped Seaweed (NT$15).

C: Xiao Lin's Beef Noodle Soup (NT$100) is made with an exclusive broth cooked with ginger, red garlic and thick beef chunks. These ingredients are placed inside a pot and cooked for 14 hours before serving. The dish has a slightly spicy yet sweet flavor and an appealing texture. Hand-rolled noodles, made with the perfect ratio of dough, are wonderfully chewy, even when purchased for take-out and kept in the fridge until the next day. In each bowl, you'll find a three-layered beef flank, with small beef-shank pieces that have been marinated for long hours to make them very flavorful.

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Luoyang Chinese-Style Delicacies

Luoyang Chinese-Style Delicacies

Luoyang Chinese-Style Delicacies

Luoyang Chinese-Style Delicacies

34-1, HuiZhong Rd
(04) 2311-8436
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-8:30 pm (closed Mondays)

This tiny local diner is located on a small street corner, and its female owner yells out customers' orders in a lively voice. The owners of this popular shop come from Luoyang in Henan province, China, setting up shop in Taichung to offer authentic family-style dishes from their hometown to Taiwanese patrons.

A: In existence for over 30 years now, this little shop is located on the corner of HuiZhong and QingHai roads, and is marked with a bright red sign that makes it really easy for passers-by to spot.

B: The Beef Noodle Soup (NT$90) is a popular dish here. These thin noodles are hand-rolled by the chefs themselves, while the broth is made by braising beef shanks for four to five hours. In a truly authentic combination, each bowl of noodles comes with its own large portion of meat, with the flavorful chunks taken from lean beef parts, along with a small heel-muscle portions. The lean beef is slightly salty, while the nutritious heel muscles are soaked in the soap, giving the broth a smooth flavor that slider nicely down the throat.

C: Streaky Pork, Spiced Bean Curd Pieces & Assorted Appetizers (NT$100) is a great option here. The bean curd pieces are sauteed with onions, ginger and garlic. Then other ingredients, like seaweed and beef stomach, are placed inside the pot and cooked with a little spice-filled bag. Keys to making this dish are heat control and cooking time, so that all ingredients fully soak up the flavor of the spices. Other appetizers here include Pig's Ear (NT$300), Chopped Seaweed (NT$30), Pork Intestines (NT$90) and Beef Stomach (NT$120).

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Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup

Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup

Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup

Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup

181, DaDun 18th St
(04) 2310-1098
Hours: 11:30 am-9 pm

Shih Jun, owner of Ji Ping Beef Noodle Soup, formerly owned a well-known beef noodle shop with the same name on TaoYuan Street in Taipei, and chose Taichung as the site for his second branch. All ingredients used to make these tasty noodles are fresh-made with natural ingredients in order to provide the most authentic flavors. The soup is cooked to perfection and is unique to this restaurant.

A: Originally only available in Taipei, Ji Ping's famous beef noodle soup is made from a broth that is light but rich in flavor. All beef noodle soup fans will not want to miss visiting this place.

B: Braised Beef Tendon Noodle Soup (NT$140) and Braised Beef Offal in Clear Soup (NT$120) are both made by mixing beef chunks with ingredients like star aniseed, Chinese peppers and various kinds of fruit to create a unique soup base. The result is a naturally savory broth that takes a lot of time to prepare. The chefs add other ingredients like beef bones, onions and ginger to the soup base in order to give it a lighter texture. While the noodles are all hand-rolled by the chefs, you'll also notice a unique tangy flavor when you eat them. The best way to enjoy such a delicately prepared dish is to first chew the noodles, then eat a chunky piece of beef or beef offal, before finally washing it all down with a spoonful of soup.

C: Two popular snack-sized dishes are Smoked Pig's Skin (NT$40) and Fermented Tiny Fish with Dried Bean Curd Slices (NT$40). The first dish is served in thin slices and made from the pig's head. In addition to a rich, smoky flavor, it also has a very tender texture. The second, must-try dish is made by combining two methods--deep frying and then sauteing tiny dried fish pieces, dried bean curd and chili peppers in a wok, with the chefs' secret being great heat control.

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Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop

Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop

Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop

Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop

(04) 2381-0069
589, XiangShang Rd, Sec 3
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-8:30 pm

Located on XiangShang Road close to HuanZhong Road, this beef noodle shop features a country-style setting with big red Chinese lanterns hanging outside. It's hard not to take a second look at this place when you drive by. The owner of this diminutive establishment comes from Harbin, China, and has great skill in making not only beef noodles but also various flavors of dumplings. The whole shop has a classy, yet simple, ambiance and has attracted a good number of diners from around Taiwan.

A: Xiao Chu's Beef Noodle & Dumplings Shop is located away from the heart of the city, making it hard to imagine where all its customers come from during peak dining hours.

B: Xiao Chu's Signature Beef Noodle Soup (NT$120) is made by cooking the soup with both beef and chicken bones, plus a good portion of onions for extra flavor. The beef flanks are first cooked in boiling water, then put into a frying pan with olive oil, garlic and ginger, before more onions and other spices are finally added. The hand-rolled noodles have a smooth texture and are put into the bowl with the broth and beef chunks, before a mixture of carrots, radish and spices are added.

C: Song Hua Chicken Leg (NT$80-150) is a popular dish here. The chefs first remove the bones from a chicken leg, then stuff it with smoked thousand-year-old eggs. The soft, tender meat, mixed with the egg's stronger flavor, gives off a unique aromatic smell. This rare local Harbin delicacy cannot easily be found anywhere else. Owner Xiao Chu displays great talent in the kitchen, and creates many other secret-recipe dishes from her hometown in addition to beef noodles and dumplings.

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