Technically, my first meal stop in Taipei was to the Da’an outpost of the famed Ay Chung noodle shop (阿宗麵線), near the Zhongxiao Fuxing metro stop.DSC_0134-001 House of Haos Ay Chung Mian Xian Taipei Taiwan Noodles 2House of Haos Ay Chung Mian Xian Taipei Taiwan NoodlesAy Chung (or Ah Zong, in phonetic Mandarin) is well-known for its mian xian, a kind of rice vermicelli, in a thick, savory soup made from dried bonito, bamboo shoots, and pork large intestine (there are still chewy bits of the intestine in the soup, which added nice textural moments).

I didn’t have much of a point of reference, but the small bowl I had packed an immense wallop of flavor, a pungency that recalled and rivaled some mean ramen broths, which makes sense given the shared presence of bonito.  The noodles are barely noticeable, almost disembodied, but this seemed appropriate; more weight would’ve distracted from the flavor rush.  I further punished myself by adding small but potent doses of additional seasoning, especially the hot sauce, which unexpectedly hit me like a ton of bricks.  I slurped my bowl to the gooey end, pausing to wipe the sweat dripping from my head.


Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles
No. 2號, Lane 17, Section 4, Zhōngxiào East Rd, Daan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

+886 2 2388 8182