Talk about mee sua from Taipei and everyone talks about Ah Zhong. Mee Sua is a kind of flour rice noodles made from rice flour. It is usually eaten in a few occasions like birthdays as it signifies longevity and as especially popular amongst old folks. In the modern day, many people only eat flour rice noodles when the are ill as it is easier to digest and light on the stomach. Flour noodles can be cooked lightly and eaten with soup or cooked till starchy when it resembles more of a starchy porridge.
When it comes to mee sua, the number one name known to all locals and tourist is the Ah Zhong Mian Xian which started their business since 1975. One of the most important reason to its popularity is the location. Located right in the centre of the bustling Ximending shopping district, you see long queues and tonnes of people standing in front of the store with a bowl of mee sua in hand.
The store itself is fairly large with 2 – 3 servers taking the orders, scooping the mee sua into different sized bowls and collecting payment. The process is pretty fast and the queue actually moves quickly so you do not need to wait in queue for too long. There are only 2 sizes available for sale; the small for TWD 55 and the large for TWD 75. Each bowl will come with parsley so if you do not eat that, you will need to inform the servers.
There are a few condiments stations with chilli, garlic and black vinegar for customers to add into their bowl of mee sua for taste. The recommended sauce to add will be the vinegar and garlic to balance out the starchy taste of the noodles.
To serve the endless queue of customers, they also have a store at Shilin night market. This is the picture is a large bowl with pig intestines and oysters. As this is only a store front with no seating area, everyone gathers and stands around the store and on the streets to have their mee sua.
The large bowl is quite substantial in amount and can be very filling. The noodles here are more starchy although you can still taste each strand of noodle with definitions. The pig intestines are very lightly flavoured to the extent of slight blandness and I could hardly find any oysters. The braised soup base is very light and although the taste is good, I find that the flavours are not deep enough. I had always gone for this noodles until I discovered another store which is the best in Taipei in my opinion. You can read about it Chen Ji Mee Sua
Address: No. 8-1號, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Operating hours: 9 am to 11 pm