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Taipei's Tainan Du Xiao Yue

(02) 2773-1244
12, Alley 8, Lane 216, ZhongXiao East Road
Hours: 11:30 am-10:30 pm,
open to 10 pm Sundays
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.

--By Shanzi Chen Translated by Cara Steenstra

Famous throughout Taiwan, Tainan Du Xiao Yue Danzi Noodles was established in 1895, giving it an amazing 111 years of history. Taipei's only branch of this restaurant, located behind Ming Yao Department Store, was opened after the third daughter of the founding Hong family's fourth generation got married and moved north.
Five years ago, the original storefront was small and mostly sold Danzi noodles and simple appetizers. As it grew, it moved to a new, larger location featuring a two-floor-high ceiling decorated with calligraphy, delicate buddhist statues and other artifacts.
Although the decor has become more sophisticated, the tasty traditional fare is unchanged. The noodle stand is by the entrance, with the noodle master sitting on a low stool preparing noodles, in a traditional scene that has become an indelible image for the business and is a nostalgic sight for many Taipei residents.
There are two secrets ingredients in their Danzi noodles, their family-recipe stewed meat sauce and the soup base prepared from shrimp heads. The noodles in the half-noodle, half-soup mix fully absorb the soup base and the fragrance of the meat stew. The use of traditional vinegar (from "Vinegar King" in Taichung) and a dash of garlic adds extra flavor.
The Hong family's first generation caught fish for a living, and they used to set up a noodle stall during the August and September typhoon season to make ends meet. Since they only sold noodles in the afternoons, the idea was to eat well but not to become full. Since those days, the restaurant has evolved significantly so that, apart from noodles, they now also offer a variety of Tainan-style dishes that go well with a drink or two. These include the Roasted Milk Fish Abdomen (NT$120), Shrimp Roll (NT$120), Fried Oyster (NT$120), Shrimp Ball (NT$80) and much more. To ensure freshness, some ingredients are delivered daily to Taipei from Tainan.
Northerners who haven't yet ventured south to savor the traditional flavors of Tainan's Du Xiao Yue now need go no further than a visit to Taipei's own branch of this renowned eatery.