Saturday, January 16, 2010

[台北] 高家莊米苔目 Taipei, or should I say Hooker Noodles?

I miss this place heaps, as it was my last night in town December2008.

One week ago today on a chilly evening around 11 pm, two dudes cold and hungry descended upon this street eatery Kao Jia Jang 高家莊 (over 30 years old) for deep hearty yet calorifically light and delightful bites. KJJ is located in the Zhongsan District of Taipei City (also quite famous for a high concentration of Japanese expats/businessmen traveler white collar types, and inevitably karaoke, nightclubs, and ho$te$$ bars...ie men behaving BADLY).

Seafood covered in ice to preserve freshness


Signature stewed pork intestines 紅燒大腸 - supremely good.


紅燒肉 (Taiwanese style roast pork, marinated in red vinegar and deep fried)


You won't find any touri$t$ here, it's entirely local hardcore.

Folks hanging around Zhongsan District for fun & games hit up KJJ 高家莊米苔目 either for a mildly late dinner or a late night snack.



KJJ 高家莊米苔目 has been around 30 years and going. Very famous for soy sauce simmered/stewed pork intestines 紅燒大腸 (a plate is about NT$80 or roughly US$2.75). It sounds nasty, but it is deeply deelish. Normally it is rather chewy, but KJJ manages to make it uber soft with the interior fluid tasting exactly like sexcellent pork bone marrow. The secret marination sauce contains about 20 kinds of special herbs and spices.


To go with it you need to order their signature starch bowl, mi tai mu (米苔目), which a small bowl is NT$25 or less than a US buckeroo. It is a Fujianese and Hakkanese rice noodle, arguably a distant relative to the Japanese udon, but much denser, chewier. The broth they serve it in was slow cooked with pork bones and maybe kelp, for hours and hours on end. On a cold day, the broth hits the spot, and you can ask for free refills (who needs drinks anyway).


For NT$100 (less than US$4) gets you a plate of squid sashimi. They give you a plate of sweet soy sauce paste and wasabi on the side. Nice chewy and crunchy local squid.


Don't miss the roast pork 紅燒肉, which although looks like Cantonese cha shiu, is more like deep fried, with a nice crispy outer layer (and of course marinated in red vinegar before slicing).


The atmosphere here is incredible and definitely not replicable abroad.

Oh did I say ho$te$$ bar$ catering to Japanese businessmen in Taipei?

Apparently KJJ is located in an area where the biz-men come in search of local hourly love. They say that these hourly ladie$ are di$creet (so you won't see them hanging around the street) and do meet with their client$ in hotel$ or what not. However on their break or "inbetween job$", I'm told they hit up KJJ for a bite, so you may see them if you go even later into the night, for an even more "authentic" local atmospheric experience.

Inevitably, my friend and dining compadre started nicknaming this joint as "Hooker noodles" or ahem "chicken noodles" (where chicken is Chinese $lang for hooker$). But no poultry here...

高家莊米苔目
台北市中山區林森北路279號‎ (279 North Lin Shin Road, Zhongsan District Taipei City)
Tel: 02-2567-8012‎

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