Ling Dong Fang’s famous Taiwanese beef noodle soup (Taipei)
There are plenty of clean and delicate restaurants in Taiwan, but to really experience the local culture you must get down and dirty with the commoners. Taiwan is also famous for its stewed or braised beef noodle soup. When you put the two elements together, it means you must visit a local beef noodle soup stall/shop.
And there are few beef noodle soup shops in Taipei more popular than Ling Dong Fang (林東芳牛肉麵) — which I assume is the name of the owner/chef).
It’s a place you wouldn’t look at twice if there wasn’t a massive line outside of it during peak hours. There is an open kitchen, a table for the side dishes, and two small tables pressed against the walls allowing a total of about 10 customers. In summer it can get pretty hot in there despite the presence of air conditioners. Due to its size, most of the customers are there to get the takeaway.
What’s so good about Ling Dong Fang? I ordered the best thing they had, the half-tendon, half-beef noodle soup for NT$190 (the large is NT$220), though the full-tendon noodle soup can cost up to NY$250 (for the large).
And as you can see, the meat is plentiful and nicely carved, unlike many other local beef noodle soup joints who skimp on those things. I also loved the green onions. The soup is lighter than I expected, and that’s probably what makes it so popular, as traditional soups are often heavy on the salt and MSG. The noodles are excellent, with a handmade texture and the perfect thickness and bite.
It was a perfectly good bowl of beef noodle soup, but to be honest I can’t say it is the best I’ve had. It’s a matter of opinion.
Ling Dong Fang Beef Noodle Soup (林東芳牛肉麵)
Address: No. 274, Sec 2. Bade Road, Taipei
Phone: (02) 2752-2556
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am – 5:00am
MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing, Exit 1