Nov 2, 2011

Cow Daddy 牛爸爸


Cow Daddy is the pimpest Beef Noodle restaurant on this block. Depending on your tastes, they can give you their cheapest most bare bones Beef Noodle soup for 150 NT or they can present you with their most baller bowl of beef noodle ever. They have a bowl of beef noodle with 4 cuts of beef (including wagyu) consisting of the most Q noodles and a rich and savory beef stock. Such an extravagant bowl of beef noodles can not be enjoyed without dropping 10 stacks. If you feel like making it rain for some scrumptious beef noodle soup, then you gotta round up the crew and hit up Cow Daddy.

Phone #: 02-2778-3075
Business Hours: 11:00-21:30
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Price Range:   $$$$
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4.16 out of 5
Recommendation: Baller Beef Noodles

The interior is very clean and much has many interesting news articles and artifacts surrounding the space. The tables and chairs are wooden, and have a sense of classical Chinese elegance. The kitchen seems to be very sanitary as well. There sign outside says that they bring the cleanliness and food standards from Vancouver Canada to bring Taiwan a taste of excellent beef noodle soups. Indeed their decor and service is well beyond the standard local beef noodle shop. However, it comes at a price because their beef noodles aren't cheap. I can get a tasty bowl for about 70 NT in Hsin-Chu, a decent bowl for around 150 NT in Taipei, but somehow at Cow Daddy's they start their bowls start at 200 NT. THe 200 NT is the bare bones version. The signature beef bowls start at 300 NT. It is no wonder that all the customers that visited this place on that day were speaking English at the tables, because I don't think a local would bear to drop 300 NT on a bowl of beef noodle soup when they can get a similar fix for less. That is why, if you come here, you must at least get the 300 NT bowl, or you will not be gettting your money's worth.

As you can see, I wasn't lying. They do have a bowl of beef noodle soup for 10,000 NT. The Wall Street Journal article on Cow Daddy gives a reason to why the 10,000 NT noodle is so expensive. Basically, it's the custom cuts of meat and the arduous process for preparing the soup base that causes the price to be so high. Since I don't got racks on racks on racks to spend on the 3k or the 10k bowls of noodles, we decided to go on adventure and try a spectrum of beef noodle soups (BNS). In this visit, we tried (1) the Beef Soup Noodles (contains no meat), (4) the Cow Daddy Noodles, (6) the Rich Soup Stock BNS, (7) the Numb Spicy BNS, and (11) the VIP BNS.
This is the (1) Plain Beef Soup Noodles. They don't contain meat, but its just the noodles with the stock. This is the lowest of the low BNS they have here. Don't even consider it. The stock is noticably less savory and dense as the ones above this level, and it really isn't worth the 150 NT when you can go to Yong Kang, Old Wang's, or even Old Dong's. I wouldn't haul myself here just for this thing. Bypass.
This one here is the Cow Daddy BNS (4). This is probably one of their first attempts to trying to be creative. The soup stock of this one is similar to (1), so that is already not so impressive. That's ok, but did you have to throw in a pig leg into my BNS? This is Cow Daddy! I expect my meat to have been mooing at some point of its short existence if i go to a place called COW DADDY. The pig feet doesn't add anything to the stock, and adds the trouble of nibbling a bone during a BNS experience. There are other places for pig feet.
This is when the BNS begins to get good. For 300 NT, you can get the (6) Rich Soup Stock BNS. This one comes with braised flank steak and tendon. This is what I think is the bare minimum bowl you should order if you ever visit Cow Daddy. The noodles are snappy and Q. Much better than Yong Kang or Lao Dong in terms of texture. It is not soggy like Lao Dong, and much more Q than the ones at Yong Kang. The difference in the soup base with this and the previous two is stark. Just visiually, you can see that the consistency is very thick. The thickness is caused by little particles of meat and fat swirling around. The noodles are the same type as the previous two noodles: thin, round, and spagetti-esque. I would return and have this one again.
If you like some heat with your BNS, then get (7). It is basically the same as (6), but with chili oil added to give it the right amount of kick that you're seeking. But if you really feel like splurging...
Drop a G on this bowl of VIP beef noodle soup. This is a pimped out version of the (6). The soup stock is about the same denseness and savoriness. However, this baby is tricked out with thicker noodles and wagyu beef chunks. The difference in meat quality really sets this apart from the flanks and tendons in (6). The wagyu beef chunks contain the same braised flavor, but the marbling adds an extra layer of scrumptious oil/fat to the mix. The pieces literally melt in your mouth and bless your tounge. If I wanted to spoil myself with BNS, Cow Daddy would be the spot. Anyone with the means should try these noodles out. One of these days I will need to try the 3,000 NT and the 10,000 NT bowl. Only then will i deserve to say, "Whatchu know about BEEF NOODLE SOUP?" I'll wait til I strike the lottery, but you shouldn't wait to go get a yummy bowl of beef noodle soup in a great environment.

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