First off, I'd like to say... I'm switching my photos to a larger size. Mostly because I got some complaints about the thumbnail size ones that I've been posting (but really, if you clicked on them they'd blow up to full size). Oh well, everyone wins this way I guess. Anyway, back to the food. I go to 西門町 (Xi Men Ding) all the time. Mostly when I'm bored, and mostly for the food (let's be honest, with my default dress being a rowing shirt and jeans, I'm not there for the latest fashions). The selection there is pretty decent, a mix of street vendors, Japanese, Korean, and fast food litter the small grid that comprises maybe 5 city blocks. There was always 1 place that I really wanted to visit, but never did in the past because of my aversion to seafood. That place is 阿宗麵線 (Ah Zong Noodles). It might sound stupid that I'd want to visit a place that specializes in oyster noodles, but this was for good reason. They're really famous, and there's always a super long line. This past Summer, I finally got my chance to have a bowl.
For all of 50 NT (which is $1.50 if I remembered the price correctly), you get a large serving of oyster soup with thin noodles, known as 蚵仔麵線. The thick oyster soup is made with a base that tastes strongly of miso, combined with pork broth, garlic, oysters, and then thickened by corn starch. Use of thin rice noodles is preferred for both the character of the strands as well as the increased surface area for coating. End result is a bowl of noodles unmatched in flavor when compared with traditional noodle soups, and what I'm sure is incredibly satisfying in cold weather (not that I'd ever know in Taipei's Summer season). Definitely worth checking out even if you're not close, but be prepared to stand while eating. There are no tables, and nowhere to sit either. That hasn't stopped a ridiculous number of customers from visiting everyday, and should be considered a testament to how good it really is.