★★★★ 老王記 (LaoWangJi) - Taipei
LaoWangJi has been serving beef noodle soup since the 1960's, long considered the standard for Taiwanese beef noodle soup it has withstood the challenges from a lot of new comers and remains popular until today. It has been a while since I ate here and during my last trip I ordered my long time favorite 紅焼牛肉麺 (braised beef noodle soup).
The Soup - is a dark colored soup made by stewing beef and Chinese herbs and spices for nearly half a day. Unlike some of the newer places that add a lot of exotic ingredients to the soup such as different vegetables, fruits or spices, LaoWangJi's just uses a reserved amount of Chinese herbs which allows you to savor the flavor of the beef more.
The Noodles - are thin, flat medium width noodles cooked medium firm. These noodles are springy and chewy, a very good match with the simple flavorful soup.
The Toppings - are big slices of beef. While not as tender as some other places it is still flavorful and delicious. There is also a bowl of pickled green vegetables on every table for you to add as much as you want to the beef noodle soup. These pickled greens have a sour flavor that adds more depth to the soup and goes great with the noodles too.
Overall - I highly recommend this place. This is the store that started my love for ramen noodles. I must warn you that this place is old and not the fanciest place to eat, about the same level as an open foodstand. But if you want to try some authentic, old school beef noodle soup then this is the place to get it.
LaoWanJi is located at TaoYuan street behind the capitol building near the Ximen subway station. The store actually doesn't have any signs, so use the store photo above as reference.
Address: 15 TaoYuan Street, Taipei.