Another gem I found near the main campus of NTU, on 汀洲路 (Ting Zhou Road) was a small shop called 我家涼麵 or roughly translated as 'My Family's Cold Noodles.' They're a small shop that has no more than 4 tables inside, and specializes in... as the name would suggest, cold noodles. Not to be confused with Korean 냉면 (naengmyun), Chinese cold noodles are almost always served with sesame paste sauce (sort of like tahini), sliced cucumbers, and most likely bean sprouts. I, however, haven't eaten 涼麵 made in a restaurant since, well... ever. My grandfather had always said that cold food prepared in Taiwan was unhygienic (probably true), and would most likely have me crying on the toilet bowl (definitely true). I walked in bravely, with absolute determination to finally try some cold sesame noodles.
Naturally I chickened out. I know, I know, their 'thing' is cold noodles... how could I order anything else!? Dunno, I took a look at the menu and ultimately ordered a serving of Chinese style 炸醬麵 (black bean noodles) and also an order of 紅油抄手 (Sichuan style wontons). I don't remember the cost of all this, but I think the final bill was under 100 NT ($3). The black bean noodles, pictured above, were kind of weird to me since they had contained cabbage, and way more chunks of preserved tofu than I'm normally used to. The sauce was sweeter than I expected as well (I'm used to a flavor dominated by spicy and salty elements). Not to say that it was all that bad, it was just... different. To be honest, it was a nice change from most of the noodle places I frequent.
As for the 紅油抄手, I enjoyed this dish quite a bit. Midtown people might think of Sichuan style wontons as those from 'Grand Sichuan,' which is to say, bathed in a pool of chili oil... inviting only a second of pleasure prior to a world of pain. The Taiwanese variants seem much milder, with the sauce being sweetened, and sesame oil based. With the heat of the chili oil taking a backseat to other flavors, the bite-sized dumplings get to shine. The skins probably aren't made in house, but they're adequately thin, and do just enough to hold in a fairly large chunk of pork. All in all, it's a wonderful blend of sauce, pork, and wonton skin. Sigh, if not for sheer embarrassment, I would've drank the remnant sauce at the bottom of the saucer... that's how good it was.
Oh yeah, the only reason I walked into such a crappy shop to begin with? I fell in love with the name on the sign from halfway down the street.