I ordered some type of noodles and dumplings. I can't remember what type, but they were both delicious. After paying, thanking the owner of the shop, and saying goodbye to him and his wife, I asked which direction my hotel was in. “Oh, it's very far from here,” the man said.
“You can't walk. I'll take you there on my motor scooter.”
“Don't be ridiculous!” I protested. “If it is too far to walk, I can go by taxi.”
“Out of the question,” the man said, his wife adding, “We're about to close for the afternoon. He doesn't have anything better to do. Besides, he wants to go home to take a nap, and it's on his way.”
When I realized that they were serious, I relented. The man gave me a helmet, took me outside, and drove me across town, weaving in and out of traffic, and dropping me off at the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei, much to the bemusement of staff.
Saving the Best for Last
One last detail that I wanted to save for last.
We had actually chatted quite a bit while I savoured my lunch. We talked about the good old days. We talked about our families. We talked about how I had become interested in Chinese culture. We talked about how Taiwan had changed since I was a student there in the 1970s.
During our lengthy conversation, I mentioned that I was now a travel writer, that I lived in Hong Kong, and that I published a daily travel blog.
“Business isn't so good for small restaurants like ours these days,” the man said.
“It's hard to compete with the flashier establishments. But we serve good food and our prices are low. Still, people these days seem to prefer the chains. Do you think you could tell your friends about us? Do you think you could mention us in your blog?”
“I would be delighted!” I said.
So here it goes. If you live in Taipei, or if you are visiting Taipei, please stop by the House of Yang Noodle and Dumpling Shop for some really yummy dumplings and noodles. And if you play your cards right, you might just come away with a card with your name beautifully inscribed on it by the very friendly – not to mention artistic! – owner.
The House of Yang Noodle and Dumpling Shop
Famous in Keelung for 40 Years No. 15 Ningbo Road East, Taipei, Taiwan. 台北市宁波东街15号 Tel: 02-2321 1015
Readers Respond: Writes M. in Hong Kong
I know who to go to when I visit Taipei! 3 September 2010 (via email)
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: Grand Formosa Regent Taipei Photo Credit: Grand Formosa Regent Taipei