Recommendation: Cheap noodle and soup dishes with signature "sister-in-law noodles" Review
In the corner of Da An road and Zhong Shiao East Road is a reknown noodle place called Greatest "Sister-in-law Noodles." It actually literally looks like Whistle Noodles, but a quick view of the history of this dish makes me go with "Sister-in-law Noodles" as the proper translation. This seems to be a popular noodle establishment with customers coming through rapidly. They have various locations around Taipei, but the original store is right here in the East Side. Their menu items are all under 100 NT with difference in prices with big portions and little portions. Their whistle noodles are dry Qey noodles mixed in this oniony meat sauce. They also serve a variety of fish ball soups and dumpling soups. Definitely worth seeing what the fuss was all about, but did not really enjoy the sauce.
They go through so many customers so fast that they don't even think it's worth the time to use actual bowls. When you order the signature noodle dish, they plop this cardboard container filled with slop sooner than you can unravel your chopsticks. I was not sure what I was looking at, but there were familiar objects all whipped into a coagulated mess. The sauce is probably made up of cabbage, tomatoes, egg, diced pork, onions, and mushrooms mixed with yam starch. I used the chopsticks to uncover:
I have to say that the noodles they used for this dish was pretty darn Q. They were thin and snappy, and had that resiliency that you expect from this type of noodle. The texture of this noodle was really good: it was smooth and slighty elastic. I need to start making a chart to plot out the Q factors of all these different noodles. I realized that all the Taiwanese food programs use the word Q so much that it probably lost a lot of it's meaning since 1980. In retrospect, I just wished the meat sauce was flavored more with pig fat or something, cause it was weak sauce. I felt the sauce lacked flavor, and maybe I should have added to it myself, but I like to try things in it's original state before I adulterate it. That's why I only gave this dish a 3.5 out of 5. Good noodles, weak sauce, but somehow popular: must be a childhood/cultural thing.
I downed that bowl of dry noodles with this cup of 40 NT fish ball soup. You really can't go wrong with this fish ball soup as long as the fish is fresh and the soup is relatively clear with a hint of pepper and soy sauce. Yet, there is nothing that stood out from this bowl of fish ball soup from the myriad of other stores that serve the same dish. I doubt they make their own fish balls, so there is nothing custom, grandma-style, or special about them. Just your trusty mediocre fish balls in soup. This store is a cheap way to get dinner. Especially if you're craving noodles, but had beef noodle soup the other day, and ramen the day before, and spagetti the day before that.