[Taipei, Taiwan] I love love love Yong Kang Street, which has an easy going feel, somewhat hipster vibes, and peppered with good restaurants, indie cafes and trendy boutiques.
Yong Kang is also where the original Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豊 is located, along with other popular known eateries such as Kao Chi 高記, Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麵, and mango dessert house Smoothie House 思慕昔.
Another one of my favourite restaurants there is Du Xiao Yue 度小月, or in Taiwanese pronunciation Tu Hsiao Yueh.
Du Xiao Yue was established in Tainan in 1895, which means it has over a century worth of history.
They are famous for their Dan Zai Noodles, a small bowl of traditional fares added with minced meat, dried shrimp and black vinegar.
The shop opened by the fourth generation of the founder is small and crowded, with this pseudo traditional inn set up – nostalgic brick walls, woody furniture and calligraphy.
Two ladies wearing an inn-keeper type of uniform were sitting on low stools near the entrance, preparing noodles with a rhythmic flair.
The winning ingredient of the unassuming looking Dai Zai Noodles (NT 50 per bowl, SGD$2.10) is obviously the special stewed meat sauce, added with vinegar from Taichung and pureed garlic.
It was rather entertaining to watch them cook, with the minced meat flicked in small quantities on top of the noodles, instead of just scooping and dumping them in.
What main difference does it make, I wonder.
While I was indifferent to the taste and texture of the handmade noodles, the stewed meat sauce with the combination of the soup based prepared with shrimp heads were extremely appetising with this rustic taste. Some would say salty, some would say flavourful.
My recommendation: eat slowly because the portion is so small, you may finish before you know it. The Bee Hoon version (also NT50) was a more palatable bowl, especially after the vermicelli absorbed part of the soup base.
The other Tainan-style dishes are not to be missed, such as Golden Shrimp Roll (NT$120, SGD$5) – easily my favourite, Fried Oyster Cake (NT$120) – er, kind of mushy, Roasted Milk Fish Abdomen (NT$120) and Dou Miao (NT$280, $11.75) – fresh and crunchy.
Du Xiao Yue 度小月担仔面.
No.9-1, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City (Dongmen Station Exit 5)
Tel: +886 02 3393 1325
Opening Hours: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm (Sun – Thu), 11:30 am – 11 pm (Fri – Sat)
12, Alley 8, Lane 216, ZhongXiao East Road, Taipei City (Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, Exit 3, 10 min on foot)
Tel: +886 02 2773 1244
Opening Hours: 11:30 am-10:30 pm (Mon-Sat), 11:30am – 10pm (Sun)