I watch as a dour looking waitress places the bowl of beef noodles in front of me. This is the best beef noodles in Taipei?! For beef noodles that supposedly had Jacky Chan floored, the noodles in front of me looked remarkably ordinary and – dare I say it?- a little unappetizing.
I lifted the noodles and watched it plop limply back into the soup. Flatlining my expectations, I took a sip of the broth. The spices hit me, hard, and I nearly choked from the unexpected kick. Suitably encouraged, I took a bite of the noodles – soft, smooth, though I’d have preferred it more al-dente.
And then, the moment of truth.
I picked up a wedge of beef. The fine glistening strips of tendon marbling it would have made for an Instagram-worthy moment, but greedy me didn’t want to wait a moment longer. The meat came apart easily, tender yet firm to the bite. The QQ nature of the meat in fact complemented the texture of the thin noodles perfectly; slurp it up with the soup and you’ll understand why Lao Zhang Beef Noodles has consistently been voted Taipei’s best beef noodles.
Apart from the spicy beef noodles I tried, Lao Zhang Beef Noodles also has their signature tomato soup beef noodles as well as clear beef noodles soup. The latter has a milder beef taste but is just as delicious as the more piquant spicy soup. The side dishes are also buffet style at NT50 per plate, so if you’re hungry (or just Singaporean) pile your plate sky high and try to make your way back without spilling anything.
Address: Ai Guo East Road, No. 105, the intersection of Li Shiu Street, Da An District, Taipei City