[Taipei] Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館 is known to be one of the best Taiwanese beef noodle joints in Taipei, well-known for its spicy soup.
This two-level restaurant serves up signature Beef Noodles with tender Australian beef and chewy noodles in a flavourful broth, definitively a winner judging by the line in front of this dining establishment. (The other famous shop in the neighbourhood is 老张牛肉麵店 Lao Zhang Beef Noodles.)
I went at about 10:45am and there were about 2-3 people in the line. Thinking that it should be okay if I take a stroll around the neighbourhood, I returned at 11:00am only to see about 30 – 40 people in the queue already.
Many of them brought along their luggage or entire families. Lesson learnt: Come early.
Yong Kang Beef Noodles was founded back in 1963 by Mr. Cheng who originally from Szechuan in China.
After he finished his military duties, Mr. Cheng decided to open a small stall at Yong Kang Street and sell beef noodles.
The stall became an instant hit and started to attract both locals and people from China who moved here to Taipei City.
After Mr. Cheng retired in the 1970s, the place was handed over to his protégé, Mr. Luo who is the current owner.
As for the interior, it has not much changed over the years.
There are dozens of tables and they are usually packed with customers. You will also see the counter with a menu to choose from. There is also a tourist-friendly English and Japanese menu with photos.
Most of the tables are round and can accommodate up to 6 people. If you come solo or in a pair, you are likely to be seated with other patrons.
Their signature dish is the Braised Beef with Noodles in Spicy Broth (NT$200 for small, NT$230 for large, SGD$9.00 and SGD$10.30).
I enjoyed the “Hong Shao” style of beef broth.
It was hearty, aromatic, with that distinct and unique herbal taste. Moderately on the spicy side, the soup was hot and flavourful, that I didn’t have problem finishing.
Another feature of the noodles was the Australian beef used, more tender and robust.
With that said, there were still pieces that I wished were less tough.
In comparison, the beef chunks in the Clear Broth version were much tenderer, almost melt-in-your-mouth.
The Clear Broth Beef Noodles, named “To Stews With Beef Noodles” on the menu (NT$230, NT$200), had a cleaner soup base which reminded me of shio ramen. My friend preferred this version as it was less intense and you could appreciate the natural flavours of the beef better.
Do not forget to add a spoonful of the salted vegetable, just like the locals.
Overall, while it did not have a “wow” effect on me, I found this a decent, delicious bowl of Taiwanese Style Beef Noodles.
Other dishes on the menu included Spicy Dumpling, Steamed Hog Spareribs and Steamed Hog Large Intestines, all priced at NT$110 (SGD$4.90) each.
The steamed rice served in a small bamboo basket with chewy pork intestines, which I found equally worthy to recommend.
Getting to Yongkang Beef Noodles is relatively easy. From Dongmen MRT, Exit 4, start walking straight and on the first turn go right. Continue walking down the street until you reach the Jinhua Primary School and then take a right turn. From there, you will arrive at your destinations in a few seconds.
Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麺館
No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (Near Dongmen MRT, Exit 4)
Tel: +886 2 2351 1051
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 3:30pm, 4:30pm – 9:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Yongkang Beef Noodles
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Du Xiao Yue 度小月 (Yong Kang St, Taipei)
Huang Ji Braised Pork Rice 黃記滷肉飯 (Zhongshan, Taipei)
Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 (Zhongshan, Taipei)
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