Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yi Wan Xiao - Hualien, Taiwan

Perfect Post-National Park Meal
Hualien is a city on the Eastern coast of Taiwan near the spectacular Taroko National Park.  We'd spent the day at Taroko, gawking at seascape, rivers and mountains through sun, clouds and cold drizzle.  By dinner time we were famished and looking for restoration.  Luckily our B&B owner gave us an insider's inside scoop and sent us to Yi Wan Xiao for noodles.  The name could be translated as "A Small Bowl" and indeed that's all it took for me to be totally satisfied and ready for a night of unconsciousness.
After a day of walking and sightseeing there was something so perfect about a bowl of handmade noodles with chunks of beef.  Others in my party (ie the Dodo) ordered something less fulfilling, in my humble opinion, but hey - to each his own.  She also likes durian and I still date her so you can see how magnanimous I am.
Isn't this the best stack of juicy steak chunks you've ever seen?  Yeah, well welcome to stupidity - that's tofu, silly.  I was tricked too and I've spent way too much time in Asia to keep falling for it.  These were a tad dry, not as good as the ones we bought from a small hillside monastery earlier in the day.

Just before I almost broke my tooth on one of these hard biscuits, our Taiwan guide (a Dodo colleague) instructed me to break it into pieces and add it to the soup.  They immediately soaked up the liquid, softened and were a nice addition.  Saved from a dumb foreigner move in a nick of time!
 This is a small place - about 30 people can fit in, not counting the one seat in the kayak mounted on the ceiling.
Here's a shot of the exterior.  If we were cooler, we would've arrived on scooters and parked them at the front door.

Here are a few shots from Taroko, enjoy.

94-1 No. Yan Oi St
Hualien, Taiwan

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  1. Beautiful photos. I want to go tomorrow. PS - does anyone serve those Singapore PB things in NYC? If no why the F--k not? They would kill it. I think I have said this before on your site. Damn. All that way to try a $3 snack.

  2. @Niko - Taroko is really nice, I recommend it. The PB thingies in the last post? Those are from Taiwan, can't even find those in Singapore, I don't think. Anyone from Singapore - can you? Let us know.

  3. I am not usually a mee sua person.. at least not in Singapore. But they always rave abt it in Taiwan so I gave it a shot. No regrets.... I wonder if it tastes the same in Singapore. Maybe I should give it a shot someday.

  4. @Dodo - just admit yours was not as good as mine....