Imagine that it is about 39 degree Celsius out there. You see a long line of people queuing up at a food stall. Each patron grabs a bowl of something and quickly dig their spoons in. As the hot air rises, the sweat trickles down. You think that something must be very wrong with these people, or very good with what they are queuing for.
This shop at popular Xi Meng Ding 西门町. No tables to place your food. No chairs for you to seat. (What? No chairs!) Just people hanging around this shop around – One hand holding a big bowl, the other slurping furiously. And for me, also wiping my sweat away. Only Ah Zong has this charm. I really can’t think of any other hot food that can make me stand in Summer.
It’s almost crazy. Each time I go to Taipei, I eat Ah Zong at least 3 times. 没有夸张！
Every time I eat Mian Xian in Singapore, there’s always something wrong – the soup is watery, the vermicelli clogs together, the pig intestines has a strange taste, or it just doesn’t have the oomph! 台湾人会说，好好吃喔！
For Ah Zong, after you add the 3 sauces of vinegar, chili oil and garlic, it’s like something you never tried before with the fine blend the different spices. It’s so fragrant, and the intestines are soft yet chewy. Only best when it’s piping hot. And it’s cheap. Only 40NT for a small bowl, that’s less than $2.
A friend who suspiciously think I was over-exaggerating is a convert now. And it’s almost as if the first place this friend to go after touching down is not the hotel, but Ah Zong. (Disclaimer lah: Mian Xian is really not everybody’s cup of tea, especially if you don’t eat 大肠.)
While in the past, there was only one main store front, You can now find Ah Zong at Xi Men Ding 西门町(E-mei street across rows of sports shops), Zhong Xiao Fu Xing 忠孝复兴 (behind Sogo) and Shilin Market 士林夜市. I do like the branch at Zhong Xiao, at least I get to sit down on the bench to watch TV.
Next time, I will go again during Winter, and I am very sure it will still taste as good as it ever did. So have you the so called Number 1 recommendation in Taipei?
Ah Zong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線, No. 8~1 Emei St., Taipei (East XMD Pedestrian Area) 台北市峨嵋街8號之1, Tel: (02) 02-2388-8808, 2388-8182