Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle 洪師傅牛肉麵


When Chef Hung first opened in Aberdeen, it was wildly popular for a while with long lineups snaking down the 2nd floor mall walkway. I was never particularly crazy about noodles and didn't fancy an hour-long wait for a bowl of noodles I could make at home. Obviously home-cooked noodles wouldn't taste as great, but just how wonderful could Chef Hung's noodles be to merit such a long wait? Well now that the hype has died down, it was time for me to find out.


On the ordering sheet, there were 4 different types of noodle that could be specified for each particular menu selection: flat (家常麵), thin (細麵), rice noodle (新竹米粉), or vermicelli (冬粉). There was also an option to add the fire chili soup base (麻辣湯底). Sounds pretty intense! We all went for the flat (and thick) noodles which turned out to be a great choice. The texture was al dente and chewy with a slight bounce. There was a sense of homemade warmth with that hand-cut freshness.

I tend to find traditional Taiwanese beef noodles a bit too plain, so I always go for the version with tomatoes. Another reason I didn't want the regular beef noodles was that it was labelled as spicy on the menu, and I wasn't in the mood for spicy. In any case, I'm really glad I ordered the braised beef shank with noodle in tomato soup (紅麴番茄牛肉麵) ($10.95). I honestly think that this should be Chef Hung's signature item instead. This dish has actually won an innovative award in the annual Taiwanese beef noodle festival. Apart from tomatoes, the soup also contains red yeast which is supposedly very beneficial to health. I found the flavour slightly tart and extremely tasty. There might have been some MSG in the soup, but I didn't find it too thirst-inducing. Though I did find it a bit strange that cherry tomatoes were used instead of regular tomatoes.


The champion beef shank with noodle in soup (紅燒冠軍牛肉麵) ($10.95) is the signature item here. It's supposed to be spicy according to the menu, but what we got was not spicy at all. The soup was good, but not nearly as flavourful as the tomato soup. My favourite part was the raw beef. It was so tender that it melted in my mouth. It tasted just like the thin beef slices used in hot pot.


The least exciting was the beef brisket with 5 kinds of vegetables with noodle in clear soup (五行蔬菜牛腩麵) ($7.95). The clear soup was indeed very clear and tasteless. There wasn't much flavour to it, and the bland vegetables didn't help. By the way, I can't seem to count 5 vegetables in there. Broccoli, corn, carrots, wood ear mushrooms, and what else? Do green onions count? Anyway at least the beef brisket was soft and tender, so there was still something good about this dish.


If you ever try this place, go for the more expensive noodles with the signature braised beef shank. In my experience, the cheapest bowl was the least tasty; you'd be better off making noodles at home. I realize that almost $11 for a bowl of noodles is really expensive considering the small portions, but at least there is an ongoing "no HST" promotion. I think it's rather impressive that each bowl of noodles we tried had a different soup base. I've been to a lot of Taiwanese beef noodle restaurants where they just used the same stock for everything. Just this attention to detail puts Chef Hung a notch above the rest.

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle 洪師傅牛肉麵 (Aberdeen Centre) on Urbanspoon
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7 comments:

pyaria on February 09, 2012 12:01 am said...

Yea... awfully expensive, but a delicious treat! I loved how tender and flavorful the meat is!

krispymilk on February 09, 2012 12:26 am said...

@pyaria: Too bad you refused to come to Richmond this weekend :) Or we could go for a bowl of these tasty noodles!

pyaria on February 09, 2012 4:04 pm said...

HAHAHA!
I am not risking running into my mother. =P

Gloria on February 09, 2012 11:26 pm said...

If you ever go back, try the chive pancakes or the pan fried grounded rice cakes!
I like how Chef Hung always talks about the famous award yet in Taiwan, nobody I know has heard about it =__="
*must find my ATF TBN in 604*

krispymilk on February 10, 2012 12:08 am said...

@Gloria: I'm definitely gonna go back again. In fact, I'm kinda craving that tomato red yeast soup right now...

Pan fried grounded rice cakes?! What's that? Do you have the Chinese name for it?

Ying Yao on February 11, 2012 8:32 pm said...

Is this place still busy? I still remember the horrible lineups when it first opened. We tried the place once and never went back... found it quite overpriced and not that great compared to the other beef noodle places~

krispymilk on February 11, 2012 9:27 pm said...

@YY: Nope it's pretty quiet these days. The hype is over. Now the crazy lineups are at Saboten upstairs.

I didn't really like the signature beef noodles (apart from the tasty raw beef topping). But I would totally go back for the tomato and red yeast soup.

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