It has been a long while since I last visited Taiwan. One of the top reasons for my frequent visits before was for its food, be it street food, Japanese food or traditional Taiwanese cuisines. Food was the main focus, as always. There are plenty of Taiwanese restaurants in Hong Kong, many serving noodles as their draw but one thing in common among them is how different they are compared with those I had in Taiwan. It is rather puzzling why such discrepancies exists but the same theories apply to many other restos in Hong Kong as well I suppose. I had the opportunity to visit San Xing Taiwanese Beef Noodle 三星牛肉麵 the other night and it was a refreshing change for the not so special Taiwanese noodles places out there. It was a rather bold move in my opinion for them to open its door in Sai Ying Pun, a rather quiet residential area close to the University of Hong Kong. But their confidence in doing so mean something. I wouldn’t say they serve the best Taiwanese noodles in town but it is worth a return visit for their dedication to details (culinary wise) and how they are willing to listen to diners and improve on them.
We started off with preserved / pickled vegetables (cabbages + eggplant). Very refreshing but the strong pickled flavors were not for everyone. I quite enjoyed the pickled cabbages, a great way to get your stomach ready.
Next was the marinated platter with grilled pork neck, egg (yum), wings (yum) and dried bean curd. I am quite picky with my egg and one way to see how long they marinated it would be with the darkness of the egg white and here they did the job quite well. The pork neck on the other hand, while tender and juicy, the flavors were slightly weak.
One of their signature noodles was the San Xing noodles which came with different soup base and three types of … beef, sliced beef, beef tendon and beef offal. I love all three parts of the cow! The first bowl we had was the spicy Mala soup base. I am not a spicy sort of person but I dared myself to give it a try. It certainly gave me a kick to my taste buds but it was … quite exciting.
The braised beef noodles was sort of boring in comparison with the Mala one. Flavors can be richer and stronger in my opinion.
The unexciting braised beef noodles was followed by the wonderful Tomato soup base noodles! Rich and slightly creamy, I like! I am not sure why but the noodles itself seem to be slightly firmer than the previous bowl. I prefer firmer noodles.
Deep fried pig intestine is not a dish for everyone but definitely one of my favorite! What made this one special compared with others was the fact that they marinated them before deep frying so the flavors were richer than usual.
Taiwanese styled pork rice was another dish worth mentioning. Pearl rice was used but the important thing was how the pork / meat was prepared. According to the owner, they prepared them differently than many of the existing restos out there in a way that instead of mince pork, they finely sliced / diced the pork horizontally then vertically. I have to admit that the textures were quite different in a good way. Flavors were quite rich yet balanced out with the the white rice. Worth a try.
Salt and Pepper Chicken pops, well flavored and the the texture of the meat was quite interesting. Instead of being meaty, it was quite fluffy, if I did not know better I truly wondered if they were chickens.
Only 8 servings per night, so was so special about this braised cabbage? I wondered too so I asked the owner. Apparently they special ingredient was the “egg shreds” used. They were prepared by whisking the egg yolk and then put them right into hot oil quickly. In other words they were deep fried egg shreds which require time ad effort in front of the stove I suppose. Quite an interesting dish to say the least.
To end the meal we were served … “coffin cover?” It sounds weird but it got its name from the shape of this toasted thick bread with either chicken curry or seafood cream fillings. After deep frying the bread, the center was cut out and fillings were poured it. Quite a heavy dish that it can be treated as a main to be honest. I liked the fact that no batter was used, the whole toast tasted like one big bread crumbs haha …
Thanks again for she.com for the invitation to this tasting at San Xing Taiwanese Beef Noodle 三星牛肉麵. What I like to see different would be a stronger and richer soup base for the braised beef noodles as well as stronger seasoning for the cabbages as well.