Taipei City – 穆記牛肉麵 MuJi Beef Noodle

We were in the area and stumbled across this Beef Noodle restaurant opposite the Taipei Medical University Hospital on 吳興街 WuXing street. This place is very well known for its 牛肉麵 niú ròu miàn Beef Noodle soup and, especially, for its 斤餅包牛肉 jīn bǐng bāo niú ròu Beef and scallion roll.
Even though the shop doesn’t look particularly busy inside, don’t be fooled: the main seating area is downstairs.
Downstairs is a hub of activity as bowls of steaming hot beef noodles come down the food shaft and brought to your table by the friendly staff. The smell is a rich intoxication of hot beef and salty soup.
This is the menu that the staff use, however, you are given a much more user-friendly menu initially. The other menu has pictures and more depth of description (but, sorry, I didn’t get a photo).
1. 半筋牛肉麵 bàn jīn bàn ròu miàn Tendon and beef noodle soup 
2. 醡醬麵 zhà jiàng miàn Soy bean noodles
3. 斤餅包牛肉 jīn bǐng bāo niú ròu Beef and scallion roll 
1. 半筋牛肉麵 bàn jīn bàn ròu miàn Tendon and beef noodle soup 
My favourite type of beef noodle soup is the one with tendon inside (筋 jīn). The tendon is silky smooth with a fairly neutral flavour. For the tendon, it is more about the texture rather than the flavour. However, the beef is unreal:
This beef is by far the best beef I have had in Taipei. You can see the different strands of muscle within the meat, separated by strands of silky smooth fat. The meat breaks apart with the slightest of touches and melts in your mouth. Inside each bowl there is around 5-6 big chunks of meat (the picture shows just half a chunk). 
As for the broth itself, it is quite average. It really isn’t anything too special but also it is inoffensive. You can see that it is rather greasy, which isn’t ideal. The noodles within the broth (we ordered wide noodles: 寬kuān miàn) are also fairly standard for noodles. They are cooked with a slight bite to them, but more on the soft side than the hard side.
2. 醡醬麵 zhà jiàng miàn Soy bean noodles

醡醬麵 is a common occurrence on many menus around Taiwan. From my experience of 醡醬麵 this one is actually quite different. Usually the sauce is quite heavily soy sauce based, with chunks of tofu and soy beans. However, the sauce for this one has all the usual ingredients, minus the soy sauce and plus pork mince. If you are a regular eater of this dish then it could be a welcomed change, conversely, it could be a strange variation. For my taste, it seemed to go with the latter: a strange variation. I enjoy 醡醬麵 for the soy base and the thicker sauce and I don’t necessarily expect there to be meat inside.  
3. 斤餅包牛肉 jīn bǐng bāo niú ròu Beef and scallion roll 

This stole the show, I felt. It is prepared quite differently to other beef pancake rolls that I have had before. Unfortunately, I cannot show the picture I took of the preparation, as they weren’t very happy with me taking a picture of the method. However, I will describe it to you: A length of dough is rolled out into a sausage like shape, then coated with a special thick sauce that looks like butter. The dough sausage roll is then rolled into a bun shape, rolled out into a flat pizza shape and finally put onto a hot plate to fry. It’s quite different to other preparations which usually just  consist of roll out and fry. 
The beef inside is thin, but plentiful, the onion gives it the fresh kick and the thick sauce gives it a nice tang. The pancake is cooked wonderfully with a slight crisp on the outside, yet soft on the inside. 
Overall, I was very impressed with the beef pancake roll and also the beef within the beef noodle soup. The shop is in a nice setting being on 吳興街, right near a night market area. 
Best dish: 3. 斤餅包牛肉 jīn bǐng bāo niú ròu Beef and scallion roll – It ticked all the boxes. Quite honestly, I will think twice about ordering it at other places now that I’ve tried this one. I feel this could be difficult to beat!
Dish I wouldn’t order again: 2. 醡醬麵 zhà jiàng miàn Soy bean noodles – This was so unlike my usual fix of this noodle dish. It was just so different to what I expected when ordering it, that when it arrived I was disappointed from the moment it hit the table, to the moment it hit my mouth. 
臺北市信義區吳興街239號
No.239 WuXing Street, XinYi District, Taipei City
Happy Eating!

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