Thursday, August 5, 2010
[台北縣永和市] - 樂華夜市 樂華米粉湯 Lir Hua night market Mifen Tang/Lu Rou Fan/Er Rou
Lir Hua Night Market 樂華夜市 has a more down to earth neighborhood feel with slightly more shops than there are eating places, unlike the more famous and touristy food night markets e.g. Shihlin where on weekends they bus in tourists from Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea. Thus, you are competiting with these folks just for valuable elbow space and a table at some random yet not so spectacular eatery. And suddenly you feel like a tourist yourself, even if you are just visiting.
Every night market in Taipei serve more or less the same snacks, small eats, local specialties. Some things are more common than others, with varying quality. The key to maximizing your decadently indulgent food orgy snack munching bingefest (with hopefully no purging) at such places, is to quickly identify and be familiar with what the more seemingly popular places are, what they truly specialize in, and to concentrate on those.
In the midst of food vendor stalls and sit down eateries that appear rather random and potentially ho hum is one sit down restaurant that not just dishes the variety and goods out (street food style), but does it so well that it has the full patronage of locals filling up almost all of the foldable stools at the tables. Don't be surprised if you have to wait when you get here.
Almost every rice, rice noodle, regular noodle, bean thread noodle dish you can find at any night market, you can also find here. Their menu sports over 50 items, and arguably more.
The interior is not fancy at all, just white tiled walls with various signs including some excerpts of the menu. Each table has a pad of paper with the menu printed on it in Chinese. The procedure here is simple; you mark off the item you want, quantity, then give it to your server. Disposeable chopsticks are wrapped in plastic, the wooden but circular variety that is arguably a notch better quality than the low brow bleached wood kind made in China that is everywhere. No chairs here, just foldable stools, so get used to it.
No smoking allowed in here. The only alcohol they serve here are 3 kinds of beer (including Taiwan beer which is an aquired taste they say)
Here's what we ordered:
Stir fried vegetable - one can only have so much meat and nasty bits. A juicy, flavorful, garlic stir fried local greens dish is just what the Taiwanese doctor ordered to lessen the guilt of the bingefest (and to make you feel a little better, like ordering a Diet Coke with Three Big Macs and Supersize Fries).
I must say that it was quite a pleasurable experience to go into a neighborhood joint like this. It's not famous or touristy by any means, and while some of the stuff might not be terribly appealing, it is interesting nonetheless.
樂華夜市 - 樂華米粉湯 (Lir Hua Night Market restaurant stall)
台北縣永和市永平路151號 (Taipei County, Yongho Township, Hir Ping Road #151)