[Taipei] Hailed as one of the best beef noodles in Taipei, Liu Shandong 劉山東牛肉麵 is a well-loved eatery in the Zhongzheng district.
It has been around since 1951.
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles was also awarded the Bib Gourmand in the inaugural Taipei Michelin Guide.
Founded by 劉佩芹 who came to Taiwan in 1949 post-war and started a street side stall selling beef noodles made Shandong-style, his hometown.
With many people from Shandong missing that hometown flavour, it became an instant hit and business flourished.
It is now run by second generation owner 劉少麟 who returned to his dad’s beef noodle stall 30 years ago after his initial business failed.
Known for its specialty Beef Noodles made with beef braised the Shandong way and chewy handmade heavy gauge noodles that need 15 minutes cooking time.
Liu Shandong is the only place in Taiwan to get this type of extra thick noodles.
Popular for its huge portions at an affordable price, Liu Shandong’s rich and robust beefy stock is made with beef bones as well as fat and tendon trimmed from strips and chunks of beef.
What’s unique at Liu Shandong is its use of beef breast and not beef shin which is more commonly used in other beef noodle shops.
The beef breast has that intense meaty flavour yet none of the tendon.
The beef is cooked two ways: Taiwanese beef in a clear broth, and Australian beef braised in a spiced soy sauce.
Located close to Taipei Main Station, this unassuming hole-in-the-wall type of eatery is tucked in a small side alley, occupying a small space you might actually miss it on your first visit.
The walls are filled with newspaper and magazine articles.
It is patronized mostly by locals, many of whom are seniors who pine for their hometown flavours.
Offering scant seating with only 6 tables, this 25-seater shop isn’t the place to have a comfortable, leisurely, and relaxed sit-down meal.
Here people come, eat, and go.
You’ll probably line up if you arrive on a rush hour. Menu in Mandarin is hanging on the wall. Staff don’t speak English but there’s an English menu with pictures, with Japanese and Korean texts to help international visitors.
Diners are served on a first come-first served basis, and they are likely to sit you wherever there is room. It is normal to share a table with a complete stranger.
Once you are seated, finish your meal in 15-20 minutes to accommodate those who are waiting.
If you are able to sit near the kitchen, you could witness the frenzied pace in prepping the orders.
For the past 70 years, Liu Shandong Beef Noodles are faithfully made the same way, without using soy sauce nor herbs to flavour its stewing stock.
Its signature Braised Beef Noodle Soup 紅焼牛肉麺 (NT$150, SGD6.60) has all the flavours and aroma of the soup.
This features braised beef that’s tender and tastier, a glistening, oily broth, and lots of chopped green onions.
While the broth is flavourful, it could leave a greasy feeling in your mouth after eating.
The Pure Braised Beef Noodle Soup (NT$150, SGD6.60) comes with a leaner cut of beef, and not as rich as the braised version.
Usually, I prefer to go for the ”Hong Shao” or Braised Soup for more layered and robust taste of the soup.
The “pure beef” tasted like it was just boiled, but allows you to savour the tender texture and more natural flavours of the beef.
The main thing I didn’t quite fancy was the thickness of the noodles (though it was chewy and had a good bit), almost larger than Sanuki-style udon, which could give a heavy feeling especially if your appetite is small.
The menu features appetisers like Pure Braised Beef (NT$90), Braised Beef (NT$90), and Fried Pork Chop (NT$80). These are essentially the same meats minus the noodles.
The soup is served in large bowls but if you need MORE soup, you can request for more.
If you need more layers of flavour in your soup, there are available condiments on the table: dou-chi or chili black beans, chili oil, soy sauce, and chili paste.
Liu Shandong Beef Noodles 劉山東牛肉麵
No. 2, Lane 14, Section 1, Kaifeng Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, 110
Tel: +886 2 2311 3581
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Liu Shandong Beef Noodles (Taipei)