Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Restaurant review: Shenhsien Sichuan Beef Noodles (神仙川味牛肉麵)

By Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff reporter

The beef in clear broth (NT$140 for a small bowl and NT$170 for a large bowl), which probably has closer roots to what might have been the original beef noodle dish brought over to Taiwan by Nationalist troops in 1949, is well prepared, though just a little coarse, and while superior in flavor to many, slightly lacking in depth. It is good without being memorable.

Four treasures

For something to remember, the heavenly four treasures beef noodles (天官四福麵, NT$280) is definitely worth trying. This is available in a Sichuan-style, regular red broth and in clear broth. The selling point of the four treasures is the presence of tendon, tripe, shank and brisket as the topping to the noodles. It must be said that the tripe I found to be sliced too thin and to be without sufficient flavor, but the brisket adds a lusciousness to the mix that makes the high price almost worthwhile.

Side dishes are generally excellent, and the chili sauce provided on the table is outstanding, very hot with a stylish finish, which is bound to appeal to chili lovers. It was particularly good with the dried tofu in beef juices (牛肉原汁滷花干, NT$40).

For those averse to eating meat, Shenhsien does provide one vegetarian option on its menu, a vegetable noodle dish (風味時蔬麵, NT$90), which shows an inclusiveness that is commendable. While this is the sort of place where you eat and leave — not detained by the ambiance or the chatter of the staff — while you face off with your heavenly treasures, you are not really expected to be thinking of anything else other than the food.

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