Tainan City – 阿江鱔魚意麵 eel noodles

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Stay with me on this one, folks. If you’re a Brit, then quickly dispel thoughts in your mind that this could be like the infamous jellied eel. Nope, not even close.

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Dingy, at best. This place is winning no cleanliness awards. Michelin dining this isn’t.

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However, what it is, is an interesting shack churning out honest food, with character spilling out all over the place.

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The old man, with his piles of eel, noodles, onion, chilli, powder and sauces, is definitely enough to draw attention to this place.

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The shop owner is a pretty hard worker, truth be told. He doesn’t really stop for breath. He has his routines, and he definitely sticks to them, wasting no flavour from the pan. He starts by cutting up garlic, taking a handful of the onion and chilli mix, and frying it up with the cut up eel and a selection of perfectly measured out sauces.

He then cooks the noodles in the pan when the eel has been dispatched to the seperate bowls, essentially cleaning his pan. He uses water, the noodles you can see to the bottom left of the above pictures, and that’s pretty much it.

It’s actually fascinating watching this guy practicing what is clearly a technique he has honed over tiiiime (pity he didn’t think about cleaning his shop throughout that time, though).


Eel with noodles and sauce

鱔魚意麵(濕的)

shàn yú yì miàn (shī de)

$90

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Our first time eating here, we decided to order a bowl of both the sauced kind, and the dry fried kind. I really liked both of them, but this one was probably my favourite. The sauce was tangy, lightly spiced, peppery, sweet and moreish (that’s probably the MSG, at a guess).

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These are possibly my new favourite noodles. There’s an al-dente feel in the center of the noodle, whilst the outside is nice and chewy. The noodles are fried first, then cooked in water, so there’s a deep-fried taste to them, too.

Dry fried eel with noodles

乾炒鱔魚意麵

gān chǎo shàn yú yì miàn

$120

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Growing up in the UK, jellied eel was always known as a seaside ‘treat’. Treat? You must be joking. That stuff is disgusting! However, this eel is fresh, fishy, crunchy, soft, meaty, salty. Packing punches of flavour, spiciness from the small amount of chili it’s fried with, garlic coming with each mouthful, and onion rounding off a clean mouthful, it’s a triumph. I was a very happy man, chowing down on this. My only regret? Not ordering 2 bowls – gluttony.


Opening times:

Monday – Sunday 17:00 – 02:00


台南市中西區民族路3段89號

No. 89, MinZu Road, Section 3, West Central District, Tainan City


 

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