Showing posts with label beef noodle soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef noodle soup. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra - The Chongqing Sichuan Sauce Lady

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

I saw this place a while back and was immediately attracted to the word "noodle town". I don't know why, but I have an affinity towards establishments that incorporate "town", "village", "city" and even catchy names like Pizza Pit, Burger Barn and especially, my dream restaurant... Taco Town. "Pizza, now that's what I call a Taco," says Adam Samberg.

So with "Noodle Town" in the name I had a feeling it would be worth checking out. This restaurant was previously Dai Ho, not to be confused with the Taiwanese Noodle Nazi in Temple City, and it served some really solid beef noodle soup before it closed down. Bad location/feng shui obscurity due to too much focus on an unknown Chinese cuisine... who knows. Contrary to the name, this place is literally a shack. I was greeted by a very sweet woman. Mrs. Ho is the chef and it seemed as though she was the only person working in the whole restaurant that seats no more than 20 people. Small restaurant, glass display case filled with Chinese deli snacks, pictures of their food adorning the wall and a one-person operation - this is my kind of restaurant.

I've never been to the Sichuan province but for any one into Chinese cuisine, know that they along with the Hunan and Yunnan provinces are notorious for using copious amounts of chili and red peppercorns in their dishes - like they were trying to rid the world of it. The red peppercorns, also known in powder form as prickly ash powder, when cooked with chilis and garlic, produce a numbing taste (ma la) that is delicious with virtually all meats and fish. It was so aromatic that it was said to have drug-like effects. I have a harder time eating spicy Thai and Korean food, but for some reason, I can handle Sichuan food just fine. I love this food and if you haven't tried it, now is a good time to try all the Sichuan, Hunan and Yunnan restaurants popping up all over the San Gabriel Valley. I don't even call that area SGV anymore, to me it's simply China.

Mrs. Ho comes from the city of Chongqing, which according to Wikipedia, has separated from the province of Sichuan. It is now a municipality under Beijing and roughly the size of Austria with 30 million people. Chongqing is also written as "Chung King" for Westernization and you may know of the dearly loved Chung King Szechuan restaurant in San Gabriel Valley. I also learned that Chinese hot pot is originally from the city of Chongqing. But with the influx of Mainlander immigrants to Los Angeles, there's so much to choose from now. As neighbors, it is obvious that there will be major similarities in both Chongqing and Sichuan cuisine. But with all that red peppercorn usage, I have a hard time identifying the provenance of their dishes. Here's what I had - I asked for smaller portions so I could try more food.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Sichuan Goulash Soup Noodles (Sichuan Hong Sao Niu Rou Mian)
Goulash? That is the first time I've ever seen the word "goulash" used in describing Chinese food. But then again, I'm also puzzled by the people that do or don't do the proofreading for many of the restaurants menus in SGV. It's often hilarious and basically "engrish". In SGV, there is beef noodle soup everywhere and I've given up trying to find the perfect beef noodle soup outside of Taiwan or China. I just make it at home instead. At a Mexican restaurant that serves tacos, you can gauge the quality and experience of the chef by the popular items, like carne asada. I sometimes apply the same test on the beef noodle soup, which is one of the most common, peasant foods of China. Because of that, some restaurants just put little effort into it and make it to have it on the menu but others really take pride in their champion bowl. And I wasn't disappointed by Chef Ho's bowl at all - I really enjoyed it. Since it is Sichuan-style, there was a heavy aroma of red peppercorns. Contrary to Taiwan, the Sichuanese do not use as much of the hot chili bean paste, tomatoes or sometimes papaya to form the soup base. The soup was slightly salty but I fixed that simply by adding some hot water. I'm not like a lot of people that will run around kicking and screaming because something isn't done right so just try adding water. The chef asked me if it was too salty and I told her the truth. Also, if you like cloves, there's a heavy dosage of it in here and I found it be very aromatic. The addition of roasted peanuts and bamboo shoots maybe unfamiliar to most but it didn't bother me at all. I'd eat this again because the aroma and taste is there.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Steam Pork Belly with Ground Sticky Rice
I asked Mrs. Ho for some recommendations and she showed me a lot of dishes I wasn't familiar with. And I knew that the beef noodle soup probably wasn't her bread and butter. She pointed me in the direction of this dish which is basically pork belly slices sauteed with a very heavy meat/rice sauce. This was definitely heavy and more than I expected but I thought it tasted pretty good with the peppercorn chili sauce. I would share this if you're a fan of pork belly.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Pork Stomach & Beef Shank Chili Oil Mix
Another thing to look for in Sichuan, Hunan and Yunnan restaurants is their cold deli dishes. A true chef has to make those dishes good because like Korean food, you eat your main courses with small side dishes. I loved this. Great texture, tasty meat and a great chili oil sauce.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Chongqing Spicy and Sour Stick (Chuan Bei Liang Fen)
The Koreans have their cold noodles (naeng myun), the Mainland Chinese have their own cold noodle dish for hot summers. "Liang fen" literally means "cold powder" and it's made with a starch jelly much like the Korean acorn jelly used for mook. This is served cold with a standard chili sauce. But I have to say, Mrs. Ho sauce on here is awesome. This dish is flavorful, spicy and fun to eat.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Hot Sauce Cross Bridge Wontons (Hong You Guo Chiao Chao Shou)
You may be familiar with the Shanghai-style chili oil wontons in which wontons are boiled and served with chili oil sauce. But this goes backwards. Chef Ho says that the Chongqing/Sichuan style entails serving the wontons in soup with the chili oil sauce on the side. She explains that you dip the wontons in the sauce rather than adding sauce on top. But I threw in sauce into the bowl for purposes of shooting the food. This was delicious, and by far, my favorite dish here. She offers the ubiquitous soupy pork dumplings (xiao long bao), but I think this is probably her most popular. The filling consists of ground pork, dried shrimp, scallops, chives and grated ginger. In addition the sauce is awesome too... chili oil, sesame paste, chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce. Add some vinegar in here or in the soup to take this dish to another level. She also sells frozen wontons at 50 for $12. I'm going to get some next time for sure. Facking derishus.

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

Chuan Yu Noodle Town, Alhambra

I was amazed that she did all this cooking on her own. I have to say she is definitely a sauce master and a very warm person. You would be too if this is what you started doing when you were 16, the age she started cooking. I asked her to show me her chili sauce and she brought the bowl up to me. My god. There were so many things going on. Chili, sesame oil, peppercorns, salt, soy sauce, pickled vegetables, dried shrimp to name a few. And here's the best thing, you can buy this sauce to go for only $5 for a plastic container. I'll be using that for my beef noodle soup and will report back with it soon. There are at least 8 other things that seem like they are worth trying and I can't wait to come back for more.

Aside from the aforementioned, I would recommend the following:
- #7 Steamed Juicy Dumplings (xiao long bao)
- #19 Sliced Boiled Pork Belly with Tasty Garlic Sauce
- #20 Sliced Tender Beef in Chili Oil Sauce
- #25 Twice Cooked Pork (Basically it's fried slices of smoked? pork belly)
- #26 Stew Beef in Sichhuan Garlic & Chili Sauce (MUST)
- #27 Fish & Jellied Tofu in Sichuan Garlic & Chili Sauce (Sounds good)

Thanks for reading.


Chuan Yu Noodle Town
525 W. Valley Blvd. #B
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 289-8966

Eat Drink Style NRM 2.0: A Revisit of Niu Rou Mian 牛肉麵, Chinese Beef Noodle Recipe

Chinese Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉麵



Nearly after one year since my first post on this popular Chinese dish, I continued to work on this recipe at least once a month. Known as 'niu ro mian' (牛肉麵), this is a dish that is shared widely within the Chinese culture - particularly in Northern China and Taiwan. My favorite being the Taiwanese version which is not as spicy as the Chinese version - yet more oily and richer in spices. Tomato paste is also used heavily for its acidity, which balances the 'beefiness' of the dish. I recently went to Taiwan for the sole reason of eating their night markets and pursuing their beef noodle soup. In 2005, Taiwan was named the beef noodle soup capital and started holding competitions that displayed the talents of nearly 40 top noodle restaurants in the city. While I was there, I raided a bookstore for books on beef noodle soup and gladly walked away with 4 books that my parents need to help me translate. I also met a wonderfully sweet lady, that ran a small beef noodle soup stall, that was more than happy to give me her recipe. I was in a rush to fly back to Hong Kong and told her I HAD to have a bowl of her noodles before departing.



With my books and visual lesson of making beef noodle soup, I knew what I had done wrong all this time... I was using way too much star anise and five-spice powder. The technique I used belonged more to the mainland Chinese way of NRM. After cooking NRM with the Taiwanese recipe, I had to have my Taiwanese/Chinese friends come over for a test... and they really enjoyed it. Pictured below is the cut of the beef shank braised in the soup. In my original version, I had cut the beef shank into large cubes. After hours of braising, the cuts of meat lost its shape and much of the fat/tendon content. I found that braising the whole fiber of shank muscle was a better way to serve this wonderful dish. Not only was the soup pot less crowded, I was able to make nice slices - the same way cha shu pork is served in Japanese ramen shops. It's more presentable, easier to eat and shows the grains within the shank meat.





Here's my recipe for Chinese beef noodle soup. Since there are HUNDREDS of variations in China/Taiwan, I picked 2 of my favorites and mixed them together – Sichuan and Taiwan style.



Ingredients for 6-8 Servings in a 5 qt pot

2-3 lbs. of beef shank (use brisket if you don't like tendons)hot chili bean paste (attachment is a non-hot version, but hot is recommended. you don't have to have that same brand. just match the Chinese characters with whatever you can find. In the image attached "chilibeanpaste.jpg", I prefer the brand all the way on the left with the blue label from Taiwan. I don't really like Lee Kum Kee products.)

dark soy sauce (also labeled as Mushroom Soy Sauce)

soy sauce

sesame oil

6 garlic cloves

Small handful of star anise

6-8 slices of ginger

2 bunches of green onions (cut off the green part)

3 small tomatoes, quartered (or whole canned tomatoes for a more punchy, hearty tomato taste (taiwanese) - omit this for Chinese style.)

2 cans of beef broth or 2-3 tablespoons of beef demi-glace (paste)

1 large onion

8" piece of daikon radish (optional... adds a nice sweetness like tomatoes. taiwanese ppl use papaya sometime.)

2 chinese spice packets (image attached)

shao xing rice wine

rock sugar for a subtle sweetness - should not be candy sweet

salt

white pepper

whole black peppercorns

sichuan peppercorns

dried flour noodles

cheesecloth/string (for star anise, sichuan red peppercorns and whole black peppercorns) - omit sichuan red peppercorns if unavailable



Garnish

green onions

cilantro

bok choy or spinach ( i like spinach better)



Use this as a starting point. Our pots and BTU's are all different so everything is affected... add more as you need. don't be afraid to add/taste things.



(1) Cut the beef shank into 1.5" square pieces. Place in a pot of water and bring to boil to remove blood and impurities. Remove from pot and rinse off the meat – set aside.



(2) Add oil to a pot, once it's hot, add garlic and ginger to flavor the oil for 1 minute (do not burn). Add the beefshank back into the pot and brown the meat - don't overcrowd the pot – fry in batches. Take out the meat once it's browned, and repeat till finished. Add all the meat back in and add 3 tablespoons of hot chili bean paste, 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, 1 cup soy sauce, small handful of salt, tablespoon of white pepper, 1/4 cup of shao xing rice wine and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Fry for about 8 minutes.



(3) Add tomatoes, green onions, spice packets (image attached), a handful of sichuan red peppercorns and a handful of whole black peppercorns) along with 2 cans of beef broth, and filling up the rest of the pot with water. Bring to a boil with lid on and lower the heat to a simmer for 2.5-3 hours. longer the better, you want your meat to break easily w/ a fork.



(4) When the meat is tender, adjust the taste of the soup with soy sauce, white pepper and rock sugar to your liking. If the soup is too dense, add water to balance it out. The soup may appear oily from the hot chili bean paste, but keep that in there for flavor. And add another tablespoon of sesame oil to wake up the broth. To ensure a beautiful clean bowl of beef noodle soup, ladle thesoup into a sieve with cheesecloth over your noodle bowl. Aesthetics count! Boil some water and cook your dried flour noodles al-dente. The Chinese refer to the chewiness of the noodles as "Q" and it's important in making a perfect bowl of NRM. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and whatever boiled vegetable.



It is important to note that after your first day, the soup will turn a bit sour from the soy sauce and sesame oil. This is normal. Restaurants make fresh batches every day and never reuse soup. You will have to add more water or sugar to bring back the taste if you eat for the next few days because it will lose its potency.



enjoy, please send photos of your final products. regards, dylan.



Here are some other links to NRM.



Kirk of Mmm-Yoso

Chez Wang

2005 Taipei Beef Noodle Festival



Feel free to add any NRM links to the comment section. Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style Taiwan Time: Pictures Are Worth a 1,000 Words and 1,000s of Calories

After only a few days in Hong Kong, I had eaten everything I dreamt about since last year... in about 3 days. Meaning I ate 6 kinds of soup noodles, 10+ different street vendor snacks - amongst other cholesterol-boosting junk. As much as I love Hong Kong, too much of anything isn't a good thing. And I wasn't going to let myself get infected by 'hot air' so early in my trip. My two friends from LA were going to see their parents in Taiwan and offered to show me around. So I took a mini-trip over to Taiwan and piggy-backed with them. I was going to be in Asia for nearly two weeks, so this was a good opportunity to venture out. 1.5 hours later, I was flown to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

I met up with my two friends, the W's (pronounced 'The Dubs'), at Chiang Kai Shek airport and took a one-hour limo ride into Taiwan. Driving on the freeway, all I could see were gray skies, gray buildings, gray grass and gray people. My god, the pollution was way worse than Hong Kong. I tried to be positive and think that it added some flavor to the delicious Taiwanese food that I had come searching for. The majority of the cars on the freeway were service and delivery trucks with the occasional scooter rider. Once we got into town, it was a different story - I was stuck in Scooterville. Scooters usually hold one person - not here though. They can hold as many as three people at a time. For every car on the road, there's a scooter... and they ride in packs.

Carpool Program
Here, you can see an example of Taiwan's carpool program. Add a fat lady, a dog that can walk on two legs and an albino flame-spitter and you'd get a circus act. It's actually a good thing that three people are riding one scooter because the pollution is seriously bad out there. *Note the front rider with no helmet, unless you wanna count that hooded sweater as a source for noggin-protection.

Taipei 101
What looks like a gigantic asparagus is actually Taipei 101, the world's tallest building. This thing was massive! On the first few levels, there's a mall and a huge food court. Yes! I get to eat fobby food AND shop for fobby clothing!

Yung Ho Do Jiang (Yung Ho Soy-Bean Milk)
This is what powers the people of Taiwan every AM. Me and W got here at 7:30 am and there were already 15 people waiting in line for their floury fix. Pictured here: egg pancake, scallion pancake, chinese fried donut and hot bowls of soy milk. How much did all this cost? Less than $3. So good. Yung Ho also has a location on Valley Blvd./New Avenue in San Gabriel. Definitely try it out.

Taiwan Beer
Cheers! We drank this at a lounge outside of Taipei 101. My first time trying it was a few weeks back at my friend's Sichuan hot pot dinner and it was nice and refreshing. The two bottles are different but pretty much taste the same.

Betelnut Girls (Bing Lang Nu)
No this isn't a light fixture shop or raver store. The green fluorescent-tube indicates one thing: betelnuts. Betelnuts are seeds that come from the Betel Palm and are chewed for their helpful effects. Rewarding benefits include asthma exacerbation, hypotension and tachycardia. Whatever those mean - they don't sound too enjoyable. It tastes peppery and bitter and is pretty gross. But for the people of Taiwan, this is Major League Chew. Everyone knows that sex sells and with over a few thousand betelnut stalls in Taiwan, a simple billboard won't do the trick. I can see the meeting right now. A bunch of marketing guys are huddled around a large oak conference table. They spend HOURS thinking of ways to advertising something that is pretty much bad for you. All of a sudden at 3:41 am, one executive exclaims: "Why not get girls to dress in skimpy Forever 21 clothing and sell the betelnut?" Here's a glimpse of what I'm talking about. Genius. So genius that Taiwan has asked that betelnut stalls start 'cleaning' up their act and put more clothing on the salesgirls.


Betelnuts (Bing Lang)
Betelnuts are traditionally wrapped in leaves.

Ohhhhhhh-Toro
Look at the size of that... mole on his forehead. Just kidding, this chef was really cool. With Japan only a few hours away, your guaranteed to get quality fish. This chef was more than proud to display his prized cut from the tuna. Look at it, it looks like a beef steak. He prepared this dish by basting on his home-made soy sauce glaze and torchóned it. Absolutely delicious. I was so tempted to just jump out and grab the toro and run for the hills.

Shi Lin Night Market (Shi Lin Yeh Sih)
The main reason I wanted to come out to Taiwan was to eat at the numerous night markets. Starting at about 7 pm, vendors haul all of their goodies out and it's awesome. Just think of it as a swapmeet for food. You'll see all walks of life at the night markets - everyone.... just starving for food. Food zombies... just like me. In a few scrolls, you'll start to see all the fabulous food offered at the majority of the night markets. Stuff, that if they were to be sold in LA, would make the danger dog ladies run for the hills. I went to three: Shi Lin, Hua Xi (Snake Alley) and Lin Jiang. Three of many in Taiwan.


Snake Alley Night Market (Hua Xi)
Many people told me that this is one of the smaller and sketchier night markets because there are some 'undercover' businesses if you know what I mean. A nail salon may offer nail services, but there's also an option to have a 'happier ending' to your night. In light of that, Snake Alley is named for its obvious delicacy: snakes. Yes! Two foodies I respect the most are Anthony Bourdain and my good friend, Eddie, of Deep End Dining and I know this is what they would definitely eat. I headed over there with W and it was definitely not banging. There were about 50-60 people walking around and I could pretty much see the end of the alley. I passed by a few 'nail salons' and 'hair salons'. And the occasional toy store. Hmm, where are the snake shops? After a few minutes, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a store with a few fish tanks. Hmm. That's not it, those are turtles! A few meters down, I saw a store with a large TV bolted on to the ceiling and a few tanks. This time, there were brown, leathery things in the tanks. I had read that Hua Xi snake shops used to demonstrate the slaying of a snake before a live audience. With signs that said, "The snakes used are unprotected snakes." and "No photography", I can tell those supersensitive folks at PETA have paid a visit here. Regardless, I was going to try the snake. I approached the owner who was on the microphone luring customers in for his delicacy. I walked up to him with W.

(In Chinese)
Restaurant Owner: "HELLO! COME ON IN AND TRY MY SNAKES!"
Me: "How much is it and what do I get?"
Restaurant Owner: "THREE HUNDRED TAIWAN DOLLARS! SNAKE SOUP!"
Me: "What else?"
Restaurant Owner: "SNAKE BLOOD"
(keep in mind, the bold type symbolizes his loud voice on the microphone. It was on 11, not the usual maximum of 10, on his speaker system.)
Me: "Ok."
Restaurant Owner: "AND VENOM AND BILE!"
Me: "W, let's go."


He was so happy to get us in there. I told him I wanted the 300 NT special which is about $9.38. It comes with snake soup and the shots. I was VERY excited. I noticed another table of foreigners there for the same reason I was. He seemed to be enjoying it. Along the walls, there were locked, display cases filled with various jars. Each jar contained some type of offal in a colorful liquid. All were wrapped with a red bow. Not your typical present to the one you love. Must've been very expensive alcohol.


Snake Soup
In less than 5 minutes, the snake soup came out and it smelled really good. The broth was probably made with chicken bones, dried mushrooms and various herbs. There were about 5 two-inch cuts of bony snake in there. I first tried the soup... very nice. Then I picked at the snake and tried to pull off as much meat from the bones. It was really laborious. The snake really tasted like chicken but more rubbery. It was yummy.


Snake Shots
As I was working on the bowl of soup, a waitress came out with a tray of three colorful shots. I started off with the blood shot on the right. I loved how it came with two random pills... made me feel like I was playing Nintendo's Dr. Mario game. The guy explained that the pills were to help prepare the stomach for foreign fluids. I took the blood shot in one gulp and it tasted like.... Vodka! No taste of blood. But damn, that was strong. It had to be mixed with 50%-plus wine. Next, I had the venom shot and it tasted like... Rum! The final shot was the bile and it tasted like... Tequila! After a few minutes, I started to feel, not only a little buzzed, but DROWSY. It is said that the fluids of the snake enhance virility. I didn't feel that.... I felt more dazed than anything. It was a good experience. Whoever came up with this idea to drink snake fluids was one big alcoholic. Same with the person who first discovered how to open an oyster. They were freaking hungry. We thanked the jovial owner and ventured off for some good eats. Here we go!

Pork Back/Belly
This is braised in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine and five-spice powder. It's super delicious and probably one of the fastest ways to check in at Hotel Six Feet Under.

Cornmania
Taiwan is nuts about corn. They have several stalls that sell them steamed, grilled with butter and also with satay barbeque/hot sauce.

Garlic Crab Legs/Claws

Cuttlefish
This is a favorite beer snack. It's served with soy paste (jiang yo gao) which is sweetened soy sauce that has the consistency of oyster sauce.

Salt-Fried Chicken (Yen Su Ji)
This is a snack you'll see quite often in boba shops in LA. They are usually served in a paper bag with a few skewers for spearing and devouring. A tasty and barbaric treat.

Fried-Tofu (Za Dou Fu)
These tofu cubes are beautifully fried in a light batter and topped with green onions and soy sauce paste.

Golden Ham Hocks

Ham-Wrapped Scallions

Mochi Rice Cakes


Various Fish Cakes (Oden)


Oyster Pancake/Omelette (Oh-Ah-Jian)
This is another popular Taiwanese treat... also topped with soy paste.


Taiwenese Sweet Sausages (Xiang Chang)
You can find these at Sin Ba La in Arcadia, a Taiwanese joint.

More Sausages

Grilled Shrimp
Shrimp in an orgy.

Shrimp On Vacation
These shrimp are laying back and getting a nice tan at Taiwan Beach.

Skewered Goodies


Grilled Squid


Stinky Tofu (Chou Do Fu)
Oh yes, one of my favorite things. Ever sit in a restaurant and think you smell the chicken farm off the 605 and 60 freeway. Well it's probably Taiwanese stinky tofu. For some reason, you can smell these a mile away, but when they're right under your nose, you can't smell a thing. These are deliciously-pungent goodies are served with soy paste. Read more about it here.


Wax Apples (Lian Wu)
Taiwan is also known for a large variety of fresh fruits due to the island climate. One of the most popular fruits are the Wax Apple, aka Syzygium samarangense for you big SAT-word people. It looks like a really fitnessed apple yet tastes somewhat like a pear. The inside isn't very dense and reminds me of styrofoam balls we all used to use for the Solar Planet project back in school. Taiwan used to have black colored ones which they called "black diamonds' but aren't as available anymore. These were delicious. Read more about it here.

These are just a few of the MANY night market food photos I shot.

And finally, the highly-coveted dish of Taiwan: Beef Noodle Soup. Taiwan is so big on this that they even have a beef noodle festival! And have been named the Beef Noodle Soup capital of the world. Hearing that, I imagined monumental statues of bronze bowls. Something grander than the Statue of Liberty. On my last day in Taiwan, I got up really early to head out and do my last rounds of eating. The whole trip, I was gratefully spoiled by W's parents with delicious food. But I don't need to have the finest things in life to be happy... just a bowl of beef noodle soup and I'm all hot and bothered. I went up and down the streets of this one particular street filled with food stalls yet 9:45 am was too early for the people of Taiwan to eat BNS. Luckily, I found a lady and saw her cooking BNS. I told her that I was visiting from Hong Kong and was heading to the airport very soon. She was too nice. She quickly got a bowl and filled it with noodles that were cut no more than 3 minutes before and filled it with goodness.




The Noodle Man
I watched him for about 10 minutes and snapped away. He was more than happy to tell me what he was doing. A few minutes before, he was smoking a cigarette that was pretty much 2" worth of ash. God knows if any of that fell into the noodle mix. I didn't care.


I devoured the bowl of BNS in about 7 minutes and thanked the lady for her kindness. Lunch wasn't served for another 2 hours but understood a man's needs. I gave her a $10 tip and she tried to run after me to give it back.

I had a killer time in Taiwan. HK and Taiwan are definitely great foodie spots. Everything is CHEAP - even cheaper than HK. Hope you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for reading. Shanghai and Macau are next... I just don't know how soon.