Ji-Ma Chen Noodles!

January 7, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

Restaurant: Ji Ma Chen Oyster Noodle King
Food: Oyster and Large Intestine Flour Rice Noodles
Location: Various (see below)
Price: Expect to spend around TWD 60-100 per person (especially if you get a meal deal)

This one is worth trying if you are not squeamish about eating internal organs.

Ji Ma Chen’s new franchise (he formerly sold records!) sells noodles with oysters and large intestines, which is a favourite of the Taiwanese locals.  The most famous shop that sells these noodles is in Ximen (with another store at Zhongxiao Fuxing) – Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles – but Ji Ma is beginning to encroach on its market share.

(Click on ‘More…’ to find out more about Ji-Man Chen Noodles and how to find the place!)

Ji Ma Chen's Zhongshan store

In terms of pure taste, Ji Ma Chen and Ay-Chung are pretty close.  Where Ji Ma’s noodles improve on Ay-Chung’s is that the intestines are stewed for a very long time, giving them a thick, rich flavour and without that internal organ texture.  If you weren’t told that you were eating intestines, you wouldn’t even know.  Further, the oysters are big and juicy, and the soup is thick and just the right taste.

On top of that, Ji Ma offers a pork sausage as a side, and it’s one of those traditional Taiwanese sausages infused with garlic.  A somewhat unusual combination but it complements the noodles surprisingly well.

Most tourists would probably still want to try the legendary Ay-Chung, but having Ji Ma is not a bad alternative.  8 out of 10!

Where to find

The franchises are multiplying quickly, so they shouldn’t be hard to find.  The one we went to was near Zhongshan MRT station (on the red line).  Go out of exit 2 and turn right, and it’s only a few steps away.

Another one that I have seen is near Zhongxiao Tunhua MRT station (on the blue line), right outside exit 2.

[Note: for those who still want to try Ay-Chung, take the blue line MRT to Ximen station, take exit 6 and walk down the pedestrian strip.  When you see the Sony store, take a sharp right turn at the intersection (there are two streets on the right – take the one with the more acute turn), walk up about 20 metres and you’ll see the big line.  There is another one at the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station – take exit 4 and walk across to the right side of the SOGO department store and you’ll see it at the next side street]

The main store of the legendary Ay-Chung is at Ximen