The first evening in Taipei was spent roaming aimlessly around Xi Men Ding (西門町), where I enjoyed observing the younger Taiwanese crowd go about their evening. We did a bit of window shopping, but was really just looking for another place where we could eat. We wandered around until we stumbled upon Ya Rou Bian, a small, no-frills restaurant which had the word “duck” in their name but was really serving goose. As strange as that may sound, the locals seemed to love the place as it was packed on a weekday night! We had to wait a bit for the staff to open their second floor to guests before we were able to get a table for ourselves.
Ya Rou Bian has been open since 1950 and only has one branch!
The place offers only one type of soup base; you just get to choose what type of noodles you want to eat with it. A bowl contained slices of goose, fresh beansprouts, fried garlic and spring onions. We all loved how much flavor was packed in a bowl of this thing! Definitely worth it. I used a bit of chili paste and it managed to bring the flavors up a notch. The only downside to this was that it was pretty oily, but we obviously didn’t care much for that since we finished everything down to the last drop.
Dad ordered a serving of Goose Intestines, which everyone (except Mom) loved! I don’t know how Mom can resist these things. I can honestly eat all of that by myself. :p
Growing up and eating out with Dad taught me that when you learn of a restaurant’s specialty, you try it. No excuses (maybe with the exception of beef for me. 🙁 ). Ya Rou Bian’s specialty was goose and he ordered half of it for everyone to devour. The meat was very tender and, again, packed with flavor. Definitely a crowd favorite, since even Mom was convinced that it was delicious. It only took us several minutes to finish this entire thing off, and Dad kept on asking us if he should order another serving.
Some minutes later, Dad decided to order this one instead: a huge platter of nothing by Goose Wings (鹅翅)! My aunts were noticeably thrilled by this and they all dove straight in, eating with their bare hands. I don’t exactly like using my hands when I’m eating out, so I was using my chop sticks at first. A few minutes in and I realized how difficult it was. I decided to ignore that little voice in my head telling me how messy eating with my hands was going to be, and started attacking the wings like the rest of the family. :p The wings weren’t exactly my favorite since they were a bit tough, but seeing how much my relatives enjoyed them, I thought it could just be me. 🙂
** Ya Rou Bian is located at No.98-2 Yi Section, Zhonghua Road, Taipei (Wanhua District)