Monday, September 10, 2012

Taiwan 2012: 永康街 Taipei Yong Kang Street

I've decided to just split up my travel photos according to themes. Instead of going by a day to day itinerary, I'll be posting my travel vacation photos in posts according to say, food, sightseeing, locations, etc. I'll *try my best to post the details of the food places I visited so if you guys want to visit, you can just grab the address to go.

Today, I'll be posting photos of 永康街 Yong Kang Street in Taipei, Taiwan. It really is an interesting place to visit. I was researching online for the best beef noodles in Taipei before my trip, and a lot of the online reviews pointed to a certain shop at Yong Kang Street, simply named as Yong Kang Beef Noodles. And alongside the reviews, I managed to discover that the area is packed with loads of small little cafes. With that in mind, I was determined to pay Yong Kang Street a visit.

I was so taken with the place on my first visit that I actually revisisted the place again on my last day in Taipei. Specifically, just to have another awesome bowl of the yummy beef noodles.

永康牛肉麵 Yong Kang Beef Noodles 

The first time we went, it was mid afternoon, so the lunch crowd was probably over. There were still people there though (many tourists too - we shared with a couple from Hong Kong, and I spotted a few Japanese tourists around us) but we did manage to get seated almost immediately.

The cousin and I both placed our orders for beef noodles (I had the mixed tendon and beef, while she had the beef) and a bowl of 紅油抄手 (dumplings in hot oil).

The dumplings were quite peppery for my liking, but my cousin loved it. Below, that's my bowl of beef tendon and beef noodles. There's a small pot of chopped pickled mustard greens on each table, and it goes really well with the noodles. The soup was amazing, full of flavour, and the noodles were cooked to the right texture (not overdone, soggy or oily). The portion was huge though. We could barely finish the yummy noodles. On our second visit, we learnt our lesson and shared a big bowl and that was just about right. I'm not a fan of beef tendon in general, so while their beef tendon was quite tender, I would prefer the regular beef noodles bowl.


Shop: 永康牛肉麵 Yong Kang Beef Noodle
Address: 台北市金山南路二段31巷17號 No. 17, Lane 31, Jinshan S. Rd., Sec.2, Taipei
Phone: 02-2351-1051
Opening hours: 11.30am - 9.30pm

We walked around abit, but it was actually a rainy day, so it wasn't exactly a good time to be walking around for some leisurely sightseeing. We resorted to sitting at some corner step (I know, how unsightly!) to check online for cafes that we could possibly chill out at. I found a nice cafe that was known for its cakes, so after asking around for directions, we headed to Patisserie La Douceur.

Lots of delectable goodies on offer that it took me so long to decide which to get!
Huge mug of latte on a rainy afternoon. What more can I want? *Sigh.
I decided to use some of the photos I snap using my iPhone 4S. The quality of the photos I've been taking are actually pretty decent, and whatsmore, I can edit them all on the phone (so much easier!) and just upload onto the Internet. Here, we have two cakes that we shared. The cousin is not a big fan of sweet stuff in general, so the stuff we chose are not overtly sweet desserts.

On the left, is a matcha tart, which was really good. It had a crunchy tart base, with an adzuki bean filling in the middle, topped off with matcha mousse (I assume). The right was chosen just because I was taken with its gorgeous appearance (ha!) and because it is a raspberry dessert, and I love raspberries. To be exact, it is a raspberry and pistachio layered cake. The taste was not quite bad, yet not spectacular either.

The place seemed really popular and lucky us managed to find seats probably cos it was rainy day. It had a really warm cosy atmosphere and it was really lovely spending a rainy afternoon there chilling out. If I ever have the chance to visit Taipei again, this will definitely be a place I'll head to.

Shop: 品悅糖 Patisserie La Douceur
Address: 台北市大安區金華街223號1樓 No. 223 JinHua St, Daan District, Taipei
Alternate branch: No. 18, Section 2, Xìnyì Road, Daan District, Taipei
Phone: 02-3322-2833
Opening hours: 1PM - 9PM; Fri/Sat until 10PM

Sights along Yong Kang Street

On our second trip, the weather was pretty good, and after a quick shared lunch of beef noodles soup at Yong Kang Beef Noodles, we decided to walk around the area for a quick look. There were plenty of interesting little shops, small cafes and quite a few tourists and locals who were also making their rounds.
Plenty of small cafes around the area

Having read a few positive reviews online about the shaved ice shop at Yong Kang, we decided to stop to try it. It was really packed, but after waiting around a while, we managed to grab two seats right at the counter area. We got a mixed fruit shaved ice to share - and it was a total letdown! The texture of the shaved ice was gritty, and are not smooth flakes that we were expecting. And I reckon the fruits were not in season, thus there was not too much natural sweetness, most of the sweet factor was due to the syrup they used to drizzle atop the dessert. Heck, we didn't even finish half of it.

Shop: 永康十五 Yong Kang 15
Address: 106台北市大安區永康街15號1F No.15 Yongkang Street, Daan District

*Oh, I just googled and the place has actually closed down! Anyway, the original famous shaved ice restaurant that closed down before Yong Kang 15 was opened (Ice Monster) had reopened instead. That's where I'll be heading to the next time when I'm in Taipei. Here's a review of the place > here and boy does the shaved ice look so much better!

There really are quite a few cafes in the area, probably cos there's a university near by, and what best to attract the young students then a good spot to chill at and caffeine? We walked by a few small alleys, and decided to stop at one for a quick cuppa.

As expected, the place was packed, we barely managed to find two seats at a huge communal style table at one side of the cafe. Groups of friends were lounging in chairs chatting, people were working on their laptops, I even noticed that the girl next to us was actually studying Korean from her notes on the table. (*side note - I swear Korean culture is infusing everywhere!).

The communal table we sat at - once we vacated, our seats were immediately snapped up

We both ordered (what else) a cuppa flat white each. If I didn't remember wrongly, that was quite a good cuppa, with an even balanced of bitter coffee tones and milk. My usual coffee order is either a latte, or flat white. Some places just tend to have a heavy hand with the milk, and it just results in too milky coffee - be it latte or flat white. This cuppa was not so, and I appreciated that.

If you happen to be around Taipei, drop by Cafe Flat White for a cuppa, or just visit any of the other coffee houses along that stretch. There's just something about sitting at a cafe with a cuppa coffee in hand...

Shop: Cafe Flat White
Address: 台北市永康街41巷12號 12, Alley 41, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei
Opening hours: Mon: 12:00 - 22:00, Wed - Sun: 12:00 - 22:00
Website: Facebook page here


  1. thanks for taking those nice photos of the food. i will be going next week and pictures paint a thousand words! thanks for all the useful information.

    - passer by

  2. All the cafes in TW seem to be so lovely!

  3. haha, at least the ones i went were all lovely. nth bad so far! :)

  4. Hi! I love your photos and I'm super determined to make a trip down to Yong Kang Street this week! May I know which camera did you used for the photos here and perhaps if there was editing done, which program/application is it? So so pretty!


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