★★★ 欣葉 (XinYe) - Taipei
XinYe is a higher end restaurant in Taipei that serves some of the best authentic Taiwanese food including many dishes commonly served at food stands. XinYe is the place to go if the common Taiwanese night market is a little too chaotic for you. Try all the best dishes Taiwanese food stands have to offer in an air conditioned, clean and bright environment, with prices at twice the what you would otherwise pay for. Kind of worth it after spending a long day in hot and humid Taipei. I will introduce some of the popular Taiwanese dishes here, but my main goal was to try the ramen only served in Taiwan, the 漂香切仔麺 or "CheZai mian" in Mandarin, "ChiGa Mi" in Taiwanese, or "チェアミィ麺" in Japan.
The Soup - is a clear, light broth made of chicken and pork bone. There's not a lot of oil in the soup and the seasoning is very simple, some salt, some deep fried shallots, but the soup packs a lot of flavor and is very delicious. Unlike the Japanese style tonkotsu (pork bone) soup, they don't break the pork bones when cooking the ChiGa Mi soup, it is also cooked at a much lower temperature.
The Noodles - are straight, slight curly egg noodles, cooked on the soft side. I usually complain about noodles being cooked too soft, but I make an exception here. The noodles are a good match for the soup which is quite gentle and reserved.
The Toppings - are a few slices of pork, also lightly seasoned with soy sauce and some herbs.
Overall - A small and simple Taiwanese ramen that you have to try when visiting XinYe. The ChiGa Mi served here is a little more sophisticated than what you get outside in real food stands, but the basic flavor undoubtedly authentic. ChiGa mi is usually 1/3 the size of a normal bowl of ramen, the small serving size allows people to try the noodles without filling up and still have room for the other dishes.
Japanese site - http://www.taipeinavi.com/food/restaurant.php?id=123
Chinese site - http://www.shinyeh.com.tw/taiwan.htm