With a web url as unapologetic and unabashed as www.beefnoodle-master.com, Yong-Kang Beef Noodle shop has a lot to live up to. With over 50 years of history serving the Taiwanese public, people have been clamoring to this spot for its rip-your-guts-apart awesomeness of its red spicy brother version of the beef noodle soup. The thing is, this place isn’t a hidden gem. Almost everyone and their moms all know of this place. Every guidebook, blog, foodie app mentions that this is one of the must-go destinations in all of Taipei.
I won’t dive into the history of this place since you can read about it here, here or here. However, the shop is situated around one of the most energetic sections of Taipei. The shop is situated around the Yong Kang street neighborhood, which, on any day, has a bunch of really cool spots for eating, seeing and hanging out. It’s also the place where you’ll find us usually hanging out since our favorite Din Tai Fung restaurant is just right around the corner.
You’ll see a pretty interesting mix of tourists and locals, all mingling at the same table. Granted, it’s not like you have a choice, since the staff will mix and match multiple groups together due to the high demand and lack of table space. So get cozy, cause that creepy old guy that keeps bumping into you in line is probably going to be touching knees with you at the same table.
So how is the beef noodle soup? One one word – stellar. Thick cuts of lean meat, spicy and hearty broth all mingle together to give you this taste explosion that doesn’t subside with the first bite. My armament of choice is the half meat half cartilage option, a staple of local Taiwanese beef noodle soup shops. The broth has just a feint taste of sweetness that is the result of the pickled veggies that you have to add. Overall, the hype is completely warranted here.
Amongst some of its other famous dishes is the steamed fatty pork intestines(粉蒸肥腸), which is pictured above. Yeah, for most Westerners this may sound more disgusting than making out with Courtney Love, but honestly, there is nothing I can say that will change your mind otherwise except I urge you to give it a chance. Plus, its cheap. If you don’t like it, throw it away, no one is going to get butt hurt by that.
Will I come here again? Hell yeah I will. People ask me is this place more legit than Lin Dong Fang beef noodle soup(林東芳牛肉麵)? I really can’t say since they are two separate examples of beef noodle soups. One is hot and spicy whereas the other is more herbal and savory. At the end of the day, you really can’t lose with either one.