Nov 26, 2010

Temple Entrace 廟口牛肉麵


Address:    新竹縣竹東鎮朝陽路18號      
                   No. 18, CháoYáng Rd, Jhudong Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan 310
Phone #:  N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no


Food Quality: 4.7 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4.1 out of 5
Recommendation: Unique Hakka-Style Beef Noodle Soup.

The oldest and most frequent place I been eating Beef Noodle Soup, and what has defined beef noodle soup for me is the bowl you get at Temple Entrace in Ju Dong. They started literally as a small beef noodle restaurant at the entrance of a temple in Ju Dong. Through the continual support from the locals, they managed to move to a bigger space separate from the temple entrance, but kept the name. They have been in business for over 20 years now, and it still seems to be filled with local Hakka clients, who love the heavy flavored broth, with a mixture of spices, and the flat-stlye noodles, that may not be as Q, but soak up the soup very well. If you ever venture south to Ju Dong, you should try this local favorite.

The interior is very traditional Hakka, with these long stools around wooden square tables. They actually dedicate the entire front portion of their store to their cooking, but I did not continue to take pictures because the owner knows me and thinks it was wierd for me taking pictures after not ever taking pictures for 18 years. However, I snaped a bit of the interior. It is nothing to wow about, but the tables are clean, and are reminiscent of an older era. Their service is very friendly, and the owner still remembers me after 18 years, so that is really special since I come maybe only once or twice a year.

Like most beef noodle restaurants, this place serves myriads of small appetizers at different price ranges. The most favorite one is their spicy bean curd. Their tofu is braised for so long that the outside is very very black. Each bite has a lot of flavor in itself, but the flavor is complemented with a topping of spicy garlic oil and green onions. The spicy-garlic oil lathers up what would be a flavored but dry tofu, into a slightly spicy slippery well-braised snack.
This is the bowl of beef noodle soup that I have been eating for 20 years. Even though their flavor has slightly become less salty and dense over the years, it still captures the elements that I love about their beef noodle soup to a point where I will still come back for more. They load each bowl up with a decent amount of meat and vegetables. They also use my favorite type of noodle: the flat-style taiwanese yang chun noodles. It is kind of like a linguine, but not so al dente. These type of noodles go down real smooth and lop up a lot of the flavor. The soup is not clear style, and you can feel the sandy texture of the grounded up spices that they used to flavor the broth. They also dab a bit of their spicy garlic oil with each serving to add a light kick and salty flavor to the bowl. Most people might think this bowl is way to heavy or salty, but these dense flavors is very characteristic to Hakka style cuisine, and is one of the reasons why I have an affinity towards their beef noodle soup. Personally, this bowl of beef noodle soup sets the bar for what higher end beef noodle soups need to surpass to get a 5, and what everything else falls short of. Also, this bowl is only 70 NT. Compare that to all the "gourmet" ones in taipei that run around 150NT...This one definitely wins in the value category.

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