Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dan-Tsu-Mien (擔仔麵), Rou-tzau-fan (肉燥飯) and Twin River (雙溪)


Due to the double-10 national holiday of last Friday, last weekend was a long weekend in Taiwan.  Grace and I were too busy to plan for any long trip.  Grace had to visit her office on Saturday morning for the IND submission to FDA.  I picked her up for lunch.  We went to"好記擔仔麵".  Dan-Tsu-Mien (擔仔麵) is as Taiwanese dish as the Lu-rou-fan (魯肉飯).  It is a simple noodle dish served in a very small bowl.  It has a shrimp, a piece of pork, bean sprouts and chives served in a clear broth.  As the beef noodle, every restaurant has slightly different way of preparing it and slightly different taste.  好記 uses clear soup cooked with shrimp skin as the broth for the noodle.  Dan-Tsu Mien is supposed to originate from Tainan (台南), a very old city in the Southern part of Taiwan.  It used to be served by roadside stands with very low and small chairs and tables.  Now it is moved into formal restaurants, many of them still set up this type of stands inside the restaurants in order to retain its authenticity.  The "Tainan Dan-Tsu Mien" (台南擔仔麵) is a restaurant started in 1958 in the red-light district of Taipei.  It went upscale sometime ago and made a big splash of using English bone china to serve Dan-Tsu-Mien.  The other famous one is 台南度小月擔仔麵.  It is originated from Tainan and opened a branch in Taipei. Not long ago, it opened a new branch at YongKang Street (永康街).  I went with my sister during her last visit.  Of course, all these restaurants also serve Lu-rou-fan (魯肉販).  My sister and I also had soy sauce cooked pig feet.  They used the same sauce from the pig feet for the Lu-rou-fan.  It was good and tasted exactly like what I had many years ago in Tainan when I was in the military service.  For the pig feet, 富霸王 at 四平街 is even better, or the one cooked by my Philippines maid is the best.  This way of using the sauce from pig feet for the Lu-rou-fan also makes it less distinctive as compared to the Lu-rou-fan from 金峰 outside of the South Gate Market (南門市場) or 好記.  好記 even insisted on their Lu-rou-fan be called Rou-tzau-fan (肉燥飯).  

After lunch, we went to Twin River (雙溪).  It is not the same Twin-River village on Route 2c.  It is a small stream on the side of Yangmingshan (陽明山).  A road of the same name running along the stream up to its origin.  It passes the famous National Palace Museum, which houses the world best collection of Chinese antiques.  They were originally from the Palace in Beijing. It also passes the Wellesley Girl High School, where Grace went for her junior high.  It is a prestigeous private school.  They said the girls from this school are more elegant than those from the public schools.  It is certainly true for Grace.  She tried her new Nikon D90 this time. We also used a ND filter to slow down the shutter speed in order to get the effect for the stream.  However, we only had a monopod with us, even with the VR lens, we should really use a tripod.  Here are some of our photographs.

2 comments:

Yuansheng said...

I am always curious about the origination of name of "Dan-Tsu-Mien", becasue it is not easy to imagine what kind of noodle it is.

Chinese get used to use ingredients as the name of noodle. Such as "醇香排骨面","罗汉净素面".

Unlike other people, they may try it because of uncertainty. But, I did not......strange name...again...

Bradley said...

I suppose the name comes from the road side stand that sells it. The merchant carries the stand on its shoulder "挑擔子" and walks around the neighborhood to sell noodles. It is my guess, I may be wrong.

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