Discovering Yong Kang Beef Noodle

by Mar 17, 2016

Sushi in Tokyo, chicken rice in Singapore, chilaquiles in Mexico and coq au vin in Paris. Foreign locales are homes for unique and tasty dishes known the world over, drawing endless culinary tourists down any rabbit hole for just a taste. Taipei isn’t any different from any other culinary location. Beef noodle is Taipei’s ubiquitous street food meal and rightly so but it may take a few attempts to find a good one.

The Search for Beef Noodle Continues

There is a version of it nearly in every night market and just as many vendors selling it everywhere else. I actually never knew it was a thing till we got to Taiepi. Having tried it in several places we found it…. what’s the word… lacking. But that changed… The last night at Hotel 73 we found ourselves hungrier than normal but lazier than normal to venture too far out into the humid Taiwan night.

I recalled reading that there was a beef noodle place nearby that was supposed to be good. With the first beef noodle place being merely a-OK we opted to try out another place for Taiwan’s #1 dish that was supposed to be great.

Yong Kang Beef Noodles Night Time Exterior

Yong Kang Beef Noodles Menu

Walking up the street to the Yong Kang Beef Noodle, we were unsure whether we would be able to get a table because of the line of people we saw outside. By the time we got to the building, the line seemed to be moving quickly so we decided to stick it out and see what all the fuss was about. Nadia being a fish out of water as much as I was coming to the local language, we hoped that the staff understood enough English to get us from hunger to satisfaction.

Walking in we told the hostess that there were only 2 of us and she quickly sat us at a communal table. She then handed us a small menu and stood there while we contemplated our order till we finally decided. Looking around, and staring at the menu for a few minutes we opted to go for the ever popular spicy beef noodle and spicy dumplings. I wish we had pictures of the spicy dumplings, but we were so hungry that we forgot to take pictures before devouring it upon its arrival.

Despite not having any pictures, I can tell you that the spicy dumplings were both satisfying and not too spicy that it was not enjoyable. The dumplings were deliciously stewing in the sauce it came with, however it was nothing out of this world. But with it. we were sated enough by the time the main dish arrived that we were able to snap off a couple of shots of that before ravaging that as well.

The main star attraction was their beef noodle. The noodles had a nice chew to them, the soup had a lovely kick (though not actually spicy for us) and the beef was super tender! Sitting there for a while, I noticed that people had gone up to some table near the front, coming back with bowls of pickled vegetables.

Going up there myself, I helped herself to a variety of pickled vegetables and promptly brought it back to the table for further consumption. I imagined it was to help cut the richness of the dishes served, which turned out to be just the case. The beef noodle was by far the best I had and the pickled vegetables help me eat more of the rich broth, beef and noodles.

Bowl of Cucumbers at Yong Kang Beef Noodles Menu

F8T Tip

  • While you’re waiting for your food, near the door there is a station where you can order a variety of side dishes like pickled cucumbers or other cold dishes. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the rich beef noodle. I’d recommend you try at least one plate; we loved the lightly pickled cucumbers with diced red chilis and garlic.

The service was fast and the other people at our table left right after finishing their meal, giving us more room to spread out. The meal was misleadingly filling despite the few dishes we ordered. Like everyone else, after dinner we got up and proceeded to pay on our way out. From there, our energy replenished, we vanished back into the night.

All in all this was a solid place. I wish they’d given us wet napkins like they did for every other customer (who knows maybe we just look completely foreign) but other than that, it was a good experience! At least they gave us an extra bowl since they knew we were sharing a large! Our satisfying dinner cost us a total of $340 ntd (around $11 usd). A bit pricey for beef noodles, according to the reviews we read, but it was good so we didn’t mind!

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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