While we were in Taiwan we stayed at the Rainbow Hotel, which was at Xi Men Ding. Just around the corner was this wonderful stall selling vermicelli noodles, Ah Zhong Mian Xian. K had been to Taiwan twice already, and he was very excited to go to Ah Zhong Mian Xian to have their vermicelli noodles again. After checking in, we went hurriedly around the block to this shop.
There is no seating room at Ah Zhong Mian Xian, and there is only one thing on the menu. If you choose to have your noodles at the shop, your noodles will be served in a plastic or ceramic bowl, and since there is no sitting room, you stand around and slurp your noodles while trying not to scald yourself, or spill any on your shopping. It’s quite an amazing sight watching everyone stand around with their faces buried in their bowls. It also makes for very good advertisement for Ah Zhong Mian Xian, though they probably don’t need it – they’re famous enough.
This vermicelli is the smooth silky kind, which mixes together with the soup so each individual strand of vermicelli is almost indistinguishable from the soup. K loves this kind of vermicelli, and I’ve to admit, so do I now. When it’s served it’s scaldingly hot, and we love mixing some vinegar and garlic chili sauce into the noodles to give it an even greater fiery kick. There are little chewy bits of pig stomach in the bowl as well, which I personally don’t like, but K loves. We can’t emphasize how wonderful the vermicelli at Ah Zhong Mian Xian is; all we can say is that we had it at least once a day when we were in Taiwan, sometimes twice. I remember taking away a large bowl and heading back to our hotel room late one night to have it for supper, together with some other street food we bought that evening – ah, the memories.