Taste of Taiwan
Du Hsiao Yueh
As the story goes, a fisherman named Hong began selling his unique ‘Tan Tsai’ noodles in 1895, during the several-month period (“Du Hsiao Yueh”) between the tomb-sweeping and mid-autumn festivals, when the Chinese seas were notoriously rough and the local fishermen couldn’t set sail for fresh catch. Though he began by selling his noodles from baskets on the street, Hong was soon successful enough to open a restaurant, which to this day operates in the heart of Tainan City in the south. Now, more than a century later, Du Hsiao Yueh makes the first voyage out of its native Taiwan with a newly opened branch in Beijing’s Parkview Green.
All of the traditional tastes have been brought over, with the savoury signature Tan Tzai Mian (translating to ‘peddler’s noodles’) coming complete with a brief instruction manual: first, thoroughly mix the shallot minced pork into the noodles. Then, take a deep breath of the dish’s fragrance, drink a mouthful of the seafood-flavoured broth, and finally, dig in. The other not-to-be-missed signature is the ancestral braised pork with rice topped with pickles and shrimp. Side dishes like grilled sausage and golden hibiscus tofu round out the menu, and it’s all dished up in a chic and simple dining room of wooden tables and hanging lanterns. Noodle up!