NB, it has come to light that the story I mention in this post was mistranslated. Ms Liu did not receive a custodial sentence but a fine and a suspended sentence. There is also evidence to suggest a personal vendetta on her part.
Let’s start with some home truths. Anyone who doesn’t eat beef noodles at a beef noodle joint needs shooting. Likewise, anyone who complains that the food is too salty deserves at least public flogging.
So, frankly, Ms Liu, a blogger who got 30 days in jail and a NT$200,000 fine for moaning about a restaurant, is a very lucky lassie. The unfettered audacity she showed in criticizing the food at a beef noodle joint in Taichung is astounding. She’d only tried one bloody dish. What was she thinking extrapolating from the crapness of that to the rest of the menu? Dear me.
Bearing Ms Liu’s grievous oversight in mind, I’d like to commence the latest installment of the “Quest for the Golden Horns” by stating baldly that the braised beef noodles (紅燒牛肉麵) at Lao Wang (老王 紅燒牛肉麵) on Chaozhou St (潮州街) are shite, the boss is a gormless pranny, and the conditions are reminiscent of a delousing station.
What? Ah, but did you see that? I ragged only on the one dish that I tried. The personal abuse is apparently A-OK, the description of the sanitary conditions merely “narration of facts.” Pay attention Ms Liu and the next time you won’t have to issue groveling apologies for your despicable behaviour.
The above review is a load of old (Wang) bollocks by the way. This is a fine beef noodlery, with one slight reservation.
People – especially locals – have been great in supporting my Quest and Lao Wang was recommended to me a good while ago. The only time I’d got round to passing by it was closed and so, with hours to kill ahead of a friend’s one-man show in Guting on Saturday, I punctuated a stroll there from main station with customary 711 beer breaks.
The acrid smell of the joint would probably put off less hardened connoisseurs but it boded well to me. This was obviously some beef that had sat braising in a vat for some time. Nice.
The side dish menu was limited but the plate of succulent pig’s skin I had while I waited for the main event was unlike any I’ve tried. Lots of meat and melt-in-the-mouth fat. Credit to my errant fellow beef noodler the Inveterate Bede for getting me into this delicacy.
The beef noodle itself was excellent. A really flavourful broth with decent noodles, ample hunks of meat and a generous sprinkling of water spinach (空心菜) on top.
Unfortunately, instead of sticking with the paste that gives the medium-hot broth its kick, they throw in powdered chilli for those wanting things blistering. It gives a musty flavour to the broth that rather impairs the taste. Medium hot or extra paste for me next time round. Quite fancy the sound of the poached egg beef broth too (蛋包牛肉麵湯).
Sarcasm aside: Good luck to Ms Liu. The ruling is a joke. A month in jail is not. Let’s hope exposure of this utterly barmy decision will force the authorities into a U-turn.
Lao Wang Braised Beef Noodles, 82 Chaozhou St
10 a.m.-8 p.m.