Along with lujhong rice, beef noodle soup is one of Taiwan’s most popular local foods. It can be found anywhere in Taipei and is a wallet-friendly foods of the common man. However, it is not as simple as the chain restaurant beef bowls in Japan. Beef noodle soup in Taipei has different recipes and tastes vary from shop to shop. One day when I wanted to try such beef noodle soup, I suddenly thought to myself…
What would beef noodles taste like if they were made with superior meat?
Even when I am in Japan, I sometimes think. “I would like to try a beef bowl made from the finest Akita Komachi rice and slices of Matsuzaka beef”. Ramen noodles made with the finest ingredients anyone has ever seen, nori bento made by a Michelin-starred chef… Don’t you have the same desire to know the ultimate form of the food we eat without thinking about it?
Pin Chuan Lan is a recommended beef noodle restaurant in central Taipei that is a little more elegant and can easily accommodate a single woman.
So, I wanted to try some elegant beef noodles… and came to a restaurant called “Pin Chuan Lan”. Perhaps it was because we went just before lunchtime closing time, but there were plenty of empty seats and I was able to get in easily. The restaurant is spacious and stylishly decorated. Even a single woman can easily enter and feel comfortable… that’s the impression I got.
But just because there is no queue does not mean that the food is not good. After all, this restaurant was ranked fourth in the “Top 8 Beef Noodles in Taiwan by US CNN Reporters” in 2015. What does beef noodle soup that has been recognised by the world’s most influential media taste like?
This time, I ordered one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the “Tan Shuang Beef Noodles”, priced at RMB 370 (about RMB 1,480 at a rate of RMB 4).
Watch how the beef heats up in the hot broth!
A short time later, the dish is brought to me: rare, thinly sliced American short ribs covering the top of the noodles all over. A few minutes later, the waitress arrives with a white pot. The pot contains hot beef bone broth. She pours the soup into the bowl in front of the customer, so that you can enjoy the process of the rare meat gradually heating up in front of your eyes…
Enjoy the contrast between the light soup and the sticky noodles!
The moment you put the soup in your mouth, you feel the slight sweetness of the beef bone broth on the tip of your tongue, and as you go deeper into the soup, a subtle salty taste spreads to both sides below. As the very refreshing soup slides down your throat, the aroma of celery spreads softly into your nose after a short delay. The taste and smell of octagonal and other Chinese herbal ingredients are not noticeable at all.
In contrast, the noodles are thick, like fettuccine. When chewed, they are chewy and go down the throat forcefully. And there, the aroma of celery again fills the air…
The meat covering the noodles goes from soft and semi-soft to heated and firm, allowing you to enjoy the change in texture to your liking. On top of that, you can also take it out of the bowl and dip it in the accompanying rock salt, so the variety of flavours you can experience in a single bowl is truly endless!
A little richer beef noodle soup… Pin Chuan Lan Zhongshan Branch is a 4-minute walk from Shuanglian MRT Shuanglian Station on the Danshui Xinyi Line!
Now, here are the details of the restaurant.
Pin Chuan Lan Out of 5.
Address: 1F, No. 78-2, Sec. 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan Dist.
Opening hours: 11:30-14:30 (until 15:30 on weekends), 17:00-21:00
Closed: Open daily
There are currently three branches in Taipei, but the easiest for travellers to get to is the Zhongshan branch, which is located two MRT stops north of Taipei Station on the Danshui Xinyi MRT line, with Shuanglian Station as the closest station. According to the shop’s website, there are also branches in Songshan Airport and north of Raohe Street Night Market.
Incidentally, the name of the restaurant, Pin Chuan Lan, according to the restaurant’s website, means…
- ‘Pieces (to taste)’ in Chinese food and beverage culture.
- Four “Chuan”, the birthplace of beef noodle soup.
- Lanzhou, where the refreshing soup comes from.
The name is derived from one character each from the following three Chinese characters. It does not seem to have anything to do with Shinagawa in Tokyo.
P.S. Near Pin Chuan Lan, there are also shops like…