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'Dan Dan' Noodles: Noodle King of Sichuan, Lao Deng's Dan Dan Noodles

By Karen Lin
Translated by Ann Lee

Noodle King of Sichuan





Noodle King of Sichuan

2, Lane 2, NanHai Rd (opposite NanMen Market back entrance)
(02) 3322-1088
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5-8:30 pm
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
MRT: CKS Memorial Station, Exit. 2

Second-generation owner Andy renamed what was once known to older Taipei diners as Shen Ji's Sichuan-style Restaurant. He shares a passion with his father for noodles and now draws a attracts a good number of old and new customers (including many Japanese and foreign tourists) to what is now known as the "Noodle King of Sichuan". At this noodle specialty shop you'll find an array of tasty dishes like Beef Noodles, either dry or with soup, and appetizing cold-noodle dishes. Depending on how spicy you want your meal to be, chili sauces here are categorized as non-red (non-spicy), mild red (for first-timers), medium red (the standard spiciness), and heavy red (very spicy). These unique homemade sauces are made with dozens of ingredients, including red chili oil, rock sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and bell chili peppers. The restaurant also custom makes hand-rolled noodles, very similar in texture to Japanese-style ramen noodles. Popular menu items include the multi-flavored Signature Dan Dan Noodles (NT$50), exuding a fragrance and offering a spicy numbness as you chew slowly. These are served with some vegetables and chili peppers imported from China's Xian province, plus some sesame peanut sauce and chopped peanuts. Cold Noodles with Chicken Strips (NT$60) is another well-liked dish ideal for the summer and made with tender chicken strips and flavorful chili paste. A snack-size favorite is Steamed Spareribs with Rice Flour (NT$80), which has seen up to 100 orders in a single day, and features a rich black bean paste that melts into the tender pork spareribs. The owner himself recommends the two affordable but delicious items, Chicken with Hot Pepper (NT$80) and Boiled Dumplings Mixed with Red Pepper Oil (10 for NT$50).

Noodle King of Sichuan Noodle King of Sichuan


Lao Deng's Dan Dan Noodles

Lao Deng's Dan Dan Noodles

17, Lane 137, YanJin St, 1F (near Chinese Television System-CTS )
(02) 2779-0128
Hours: Mon-Fri 11 am-3 pm, 5-9 pm
11 am-9 pm open all afternoon Sat/Sun
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.

This family business, now run by third-generation owner Ho Xi-Kuan, started as a street stand and offers a variety of authentic Sichuan delicacies, giving diners that "numb but not spicy" sensation of these specialty dishes. All noodle dishes, including appetizers, use Chinese (Sichuan) peppers that numb the palate, common red chili peppers offering the spiciness, and vinegar which gives Sichuan cuisine its hint of sourness. According to Mr. Ho, everything here has a unique spiciness that accents the other ingredients and is still tolerable for diners. However, unlike many Sichuan-style eateries, those wanting to savor authentic cuisine without overdoing it can also ask for "mild spicy" flavors here. The popular noodles at Lao Deng's are white, long, thin and chewy. Ho cooks all noodles himself, and is very knowledgeable about ideal boiling times. After the noodles go into a bowl, he quickly mixes in his secret-recipe spicy sauce. The Signature Dan Dan Noodles (NT$50) are mixed with a generous amount of creamy sesame paste, plus peanut powder and chili oil. Other specialty dishes include Lao Deng's Homemade Preserved Vegetables (NT$40), Boiled Dumpling Mixed with Red Pepper Oil (NT$60), spicy and very appetizing Steamed Spareribs with Rice Flour (NT$90), and Spicy Sichuan-style Pork Feet (NT$90). The walls are covered with celebrity autographs, testament to the unique flavors at this petite noodle shop.

Lao Deng's Dan Dan Noodles Lao Deng's Dan Dan Noodles


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