Beef Cake!

Today I want to introduce you to another of my favorite Chinese dishes. If you have been to Taiwan, then chances are you have at least tried it once.

niúròumiàn牛肉麵, beef noodle soup is easily one of the most popular local dishes, and you can order it just about anywhere. The quality will vary from stand to stand, or restaurant to restaurant, depending on the noodles it is served with, and the herbs and spices that are used to flavor the soup, so the flavor can differ drastically depending where you order it.

If you want to eat the best (in my opinion, of course) niúròumiàn牛肉麵 that Taiwan has to offer, then I suggest you try the two restaurants that I recommend below. The first, niúlǎodà牛老大, is located in the Shida Night Market shīdàyèshì師大夜市 in Taipei, just near NTNU.

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(牛老大, located in the Shida Night Market in Taipei. Worth a vist…or three!)

This is the better of the two, in my opinion, as I really like the flavor of their hand-made noodles, and you know you are are getting the real deal because you can see their master noodle maker doing his thing right as you enter the restaurant. This in and of itself makes it a unique dining experience. The noodles are thick and chewy, and they make a big difference in the overall taste. Their soup is also really great, a little spicy, but not so much that people who don\’t do hot food will be turned off.


(Just look at those chunks of beef! Yum!)

Though they have a full menu and offer a variety of dishes, pretty much everyone just orders the beef noodle soup, because it\’s just that great! I have also tried their hóngyóuchǎoshǒu紅油炒手 which is also the best of this dish that I have had in Taiwan, so I\’d imagine that their other food must be good too!

The other place that I highly recommend is a chain-store called sānshāngqiǎofú三商巧福, which I love and eat at regularly, as they have a location near one of the schools that I work at.


(This is the 三商巧福 near my school in Taoyuan county)

This is my fiances favorite, but as much as I like their niúròumiàn牛肉麵, I usually end up ordering their niúròushòuxǐfàn牛肉壽喜飯 because it just tastes awesome. It\’s a simple dish consisting primarily of rice and beef, but the addition of ginger adds an extra kick that really compliments the taste. Plus, I always order a set meal with a side of kimchi(which usually gets stirred in with the rice, yum!). Also included in the set meal are a seaweed soup and a fountain drink of choice.

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(Above, the beef noodle broth 牛肉湯麵 (no beef chunks), and below my favorite, 牛肉壽喜飯 (a beef and rice dish) served at 三商巧福)

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Regardless of where you get your niúròumiàn牛肉麵, you should have access to an ample supply of pickled Chinese cabbage, suāncài酸菜, and I suggest you take advantage of it.


(A healthy serving of 酸菜, and there\’s always more where that came from!)

It\’s a really good compliment to the soup\’s flavor. A lot of stores also refill soup for free! Take your time and enjoy! mànyòng慢用!——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Chinese phrases of the day:

niúròumiàn牛肉麵= beef noodle soup

hóngyóuchǎoshǒu紅油炒手= dumplings served in a spicy sauce

niúròushòuxǐfàn牛肉壽喜飯= a beef and rice dish

suāncài酸菜=pickled Chinese cabbage

mànyòng慢用= take your time/enjoy


The first three pictures are taken from as I didn\’t have any photos of the restaurant on hand, and the rest are my own.

Blown Away


Is what my fiancé, Ruby and I nearly were this past Wednesday when we went to the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou. This is the largest hospital with the best equipment and facilities in Taiwan. You can get there very easily from many places, including the San Chung Bus that you can take from the Kuo Kuang bus stop located near the Taipei Main Station just out the South entrance and across the street to the right. The ticket costs around 40NT$ and it's about a forty minute ride (depending on traffic of course). But we live in Zhongli, so we took a cab to the shuttle bus on Zhong Yang E. Rd. In front of the 7-11 and hopped on. The bus-ride is about thirty to forty minutes long, depending on traffic and the fare is 35NT$ per person.


(A view of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from afar taken from

One interesting thing about hospitals in Taiwan, and hotels for that matter, is that they never have a fourth floor. Their floors go like this: one, two, three and then they skip to five. Now we all know that Chinese have a reputation for being good at math, right? So what the heck's going on here? Well, as I wrote about a while back, Chinese people are very superstitious, and a lot of their superstitions stem from how words can sound like other words very easily in Mandarin (Believe me, just try saying forty-four stone lions without screwing the whole thing up and you'll thing Sandy and her seashells are a joke!). The word four, or sì(四) sounds very close to the word sǐ(死) which means death! So would you want to get operated on on the forth floor? I didn't think so? Moving on. So, despite it being a Typhoon Day, Ruby and I were at the hospital for her surgery(a very minor and routine procedure, so calm down already!). She had already booked her appointment, and I had taken the day off from work to accompany her. It was a quick visit and we hit up the hospital's food court, or měishíjiē(美食街) for lunch after she was fineshed. She had beef noodle soup (broth without the beef chunks) niúròutāngmiàn(牛肉湯麵) and I had Subway. Are you kidding me? Yes we have Subway in Taiwan! Bellies full and feeling satisfied with the trip, we headed back to the shuttle bus to Zhongli…or we tried to! Somehow or another we got turned around in the hospital's maze-like corridors and ended up leaving by another entrance. Rather than going back the way we had just come, we decided to walk around the building to the bus stop. We hadn't gone a hundred feet before it started raining down hard. Another few feet and our umbrella was broken by the strong winds. It sucked, but strangely, even though we were being pelted like there was no tomorrow, our reaction was to laugh. Seriously, it felt like the rain was punching us!

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("Momma said knock you out"-LL Cool J)

We eventually made our way around the building, but rather than finding the shuttle bus waiting to take us home, we were back where we had started out from! It was too ridiculous a situation to get mad about, so we went back in and squeezed as much water out of our clothes as we could in the bathrooms, then we did what we should have done in the first place. We went back through the basement level of the hospital and eventually found the bus terminal and got in line. Cold and wet, with the bus's AC blowing in our faces, we made ourselves as comfortable as we were able and we took the forty minute trip back to Zhongli. Once we had arrived, we got off the bus, took a cab back to the house, followed by a hot shower and then a two hour nap! Adventures are tiring!

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Chinese phrases of the day:

sì(四)= four

sǐ(死)= death/die

měishíjiē(美食街)= food court

niúròutāngmiàn(牛肉湯麵)= beef noodle soup (no beef chunks, just soup and noodles) ———————————————————————————————————————————