Authentic Taiwanese dan zai noodles in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Words Iris Wong Food photo Mike Ho
Every Du Hsiao Yueh restaurant, including the Hong Kong branch, is fitted with a traditional Taiwanese noodle stall with a short furnace, small stove and tiny bamboo stool. Diners can see every bowl of famous dan zai noodles being made through a large display window. From the main dining area, which is adorned with Taiwanese archways and an overhead fabric display of black-faced spoonbills, there’s a view through another dining room to Victoria Harbour – a bonus given the restaurant’s affordable menu.
Du Hsiao Yueh’s dan zai noodles are what the guests are all here for. e restaurant’s founder, fisherman Hung Yu-tou, created the iconic dish in the Qing dynasty to survive low sales in typhoon season. Designed to be consumed immediately, dan zai noodles ($28) come in petite blue-and-white porcelain bowls and with eating instructions: stir, sniff, sip, chew. We could slurp down three at a sitting. Next are deep-fried shrimp rolls ($88/six pieces), filled to the brim with minced prawn and paired brilliantly with sweet, garlicky sauce. However, the rolls were fried for too long making the batter very hard and impairing the dish. Another signature, braised minced pork with rice ($28), is made with less-fatty pig’s leg meat, fried with Taiwanese shallots and stewed with secret ingredients. While we enjoy the flavours and the rice is fluffy with each grain separate, the dish is a tad oily and could do with more meat. A highlight was the basil and sakura shrimp omelette ($68), with a generous quantity of sakura shrimps, plus basil, green onions and carrots. The dish has a balanced flavour, varied textures, and reminds us of home.
We may not appreciate Du Hsiao Yueh’s location in Ocean Terminal, but no doubt it will attract queues of tourists after navigating this maze of a mall. The dan zai noodles was the only dish worth the long wait, but next time we’ll order three bowls each. Maybe five.
Spending: about $200 for two
Highlights: dan zai noodles, basil and sakura shrimp omelette
What else: the restaurant gets very busy, so come early, or opt for a late lunch after 2pm.
Du Hsiao Yueh
Shop 31, LCX, 3/F Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 8300 2001