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FUN MAGAZINE, May, 2006.
Tainan Du Xiao Yue
12, Alley 8, Lane 216, ZhongXiao East Road
Hours: 11:30 am-10:30 pm,
open to 10 pm Sundays
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.
--By Shanzi Chen Translated by Cara
Famous throughout Taiwan, Tainan Du
Xiao Yue Danzi Noodles was established in 1895, giving
it an amazing 111 years of history. Taipei's only branch
of this restaurant, located behind Ming Yao Department
Store, was opened after the third daughter of the founding
Hong family's fourth generation got married and moved
Five years ago, the original storefront was small and
mostly sold Danzi noodles and simple appetizers. As
it grew, it moved to a new, larger location featuring
a two-floor-high ceiling decorated with calligraphy,
delicate buddhist statues and other artifacts.
Although the decor has become more sophisticated, the
tasty traditional fare is unchanged. The noodle stand
is by the entrance, with the noodle master sitting on
a low stool preparing noodles, in a traditional scene
that has become an indelible image for the business
and is a nostalgic sight for many Taipei residents.
There are two secrets ingredients in their Danzi noodles,
their family-recipe stewed meat sauce and the soup base
prepared from shrimp heads. The noodles in the half-noodle,
half-soup mix fully absorb the soup base and the fragrance
of the meat stew. The use of traditional vinegar (from
"Vinegar King" in Taichung) and a dash of
garlic adds extra flavor.
The Hong family's first generation caught fish for a
living, and they used to set up a noodle stall during
the August and September typhoon season to make ends
meet. Since they only sold noodles in the afternoons,
the idea was to eat well but not to become full. Since
those days, the restaurant has evolved significantly
so that, apart from noodles, they now also offer a variety
of Tainan-style dishes that go well with a drink or
two. These include the Roasted Milk Fish Abdomen (NT$120),
Shrimp Roll (NT$120), Fried Oyster (NT$120), Shrimp
Ball (NT$80) and much more. To ensure freshness, some
ingredients are delivered daily to Taipei from Tainan.
Northerners who haven't yet ventured south to savor
the traditional flavors of Tainan's Du Xiao Yue now
need go no further than a visit to Taipei's own branch
of this renowned eatery.