Tuesday, April 10, 2012
In Tokyo, there is a New York expat named Ivan Orkin who opened up his own ramen restaurant (Ivan Ramen) to great instant success, fame, and worldwide recognition. A foreigner who against the odds, entered a field of fierce competition where you had better be good, no...excellent, in order to get to the top.
There is a similar success story, all but shunned from international media, in Taipei, Taiwan. Many foreigners settle down in Taiwan, bring their food and culture with them, and have their own success stories. You see people from the Middle East, India, Pakistan who open up their own eateries and food stalls. You find Turkish ice cream at night markets, and of course the grilled lamb wraps (where the wrap skins are hand tossed and grilled to order). But for someone who came from Iran, entered the field of beef noodles/beef noodle soup, or niu rou mian 牛肉麵, and came out with a very successful product, business, and loyal fan following, is rare and unheard of.
The Ivan Orkin of Taipei in the beef noodle world is a man named Davod (= David) Bagherzadeh. He speaks fluent Mandarin (I'm sure way way way way way better than mine) too.
The clear stew noodle broth is made with beef knee bones and is simmered for upwards of 4 days.
The signature red stew broth contains tomato, various spices, and a secret blend of Persian herbs that brings out the needed spicy kick and fragrance. Many Taiwanese who studied abroad (e.g. New York) and have had a range of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean street food, then come back to Taipei and eat at 老外一品牛肉麵 will find many familiar flavors in this bowl.
Definitely a must try.
老外一品牛肉麵 Foreigner's Beef Noodles
台北市中山區吉林路403號1F (Taipei City, Zhongshan District, Jihlin Road #403, 1/F)