Taipei Eats: Fu Hang Soya Bean 阜杭豆漿

Address: 台北市中正區忠孝東路一段108號2樓之28(華山市場二樓) (HuaShan Market Building, 2F, Zhongxiao E. Rd. Sec. 1, No. 108, 2F; MRT Shandao Temple Station Exit 5) (Google Map)
Tel: (02) 2392 2175
Operating Hours: 5:30am~12:30pm (Closed on Mon)
Price: NT20~25 for soya milk, NT25~55 for Chinese Snacks

Conveniently located one stop away from Taipei Train Station (at Shandao Temple or 善导寺), Fu Hang Soya Bean (阜杭豆漿) is no stranger to Taiwanese foodies yearning for a delicious and wholesome breakfast. As you proceed to the second floor of Huashan Market, you will see a snaking queue extending all the way from the interior of the food court (or what Singaporeans call it), to the staircase. The queue is so long, they need a directory or guide to direct the traffic:

ImageThe Guide to Queuing for Fu Hang Soya Bean

Readers with a keen eye would have noticed – everything here is written in Chinese characters. Although it seems like they do have an English menu, try to bring a Mandarin-speaking friend along. Insofar as the staff are friendly and helpful, they are also very efficient and taking time to pointing at various pictures might slow down the process. Nevertheless, be prepared to queue for 30min – 1 hour. We arrived at about 7.30am and got our breakfast at 8.10am. Interestingly, we overheard a teacher asking her student if he could still make it in time for school (at about 8am), despite the long wait. Perhaps it was really that good, worth skipping school for.

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The Ordering Station – after a 45min wait.

ImageThe Line extending to the Staircase

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The Open Concept Kitchen

As you gradually progress towards your ultimate destination, you will pass by an open-concept kitchen where the various breakfast snacks are prepared. Everything here is freshly baked and served right from the oven, explaining the cause of their popularity.

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Artistic photo of our prize – Fu Hang Sweet Soya Bean Milk

And finally, the product of waking up early AND braving the queue. Yes, London Gal and I realised that Taiwanese do love to queue for good food, just like Singaporeans. But is Fu Hang Soya Bean really that good?

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First up, I thought that the sweet soya milk (甜/热豆漿)(NT20) was really fresh and tasted a little like organic soya milk (though I’m not sure if the soya beans were organic). It was really smooth and mildly sweet, unlike Rochor Tauhuay, which could be described as “a little rougher” than Fu Hang. I did some research but was unable to decipher the secret to their recipe. If you know the secret to this unique taste, please tell us why! In addition, if you are adventurous enough, do try the salty soya bean milk (咸豆漿), which according to some bloggers, comprises curdled coagulated soya bean that tasted like Japanese Chawanmushi. It is topped with vinegar, scallions and some oil, making it the perfect companion for fried dough fritters (油條). We’ll definitely try that the next time we pop by!

We also ordered the Egg Crepe (Dan-bing or 蛋餅)(left) and Roasted Flatbread (Shao-bing or 薄餅夾蛋)(right)(NT38), which were totally out of this world. The pan-fried egg crepes here are comparable to the ones at Mudan House, which are the probably the best in Taipei. However, what blew me away was the Shao-bing:

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Roasted Flatbread or Shao-bing (薄餅夾蛋)

Despite my 6-month stint in Beijing, I have never tasted anything like this before. The outer crust was toasted golden brown and it was crispy and savoury. The dough beneath that golden skin was however soft and fluffy, and can be topped with an egg and/or a youtiao (subject to preferences). It was both mildly sweet and salty, making it a good companion to sweet soya bean milk. Perhaps the perfect match 豆浆油条 has a possible third party now :D

ImageThe newly renovated Food Court, filled exclusively with patrons of Fu Hang (the other stalls operate in the afternoon)

Verdict
Some say Fu Hang Soya Bean is way better than Yonghe Soya Bean, and others say a breakfast at Fu Hang is a must for any traveller. Although we didn’t get to try the latter, we thought that the 45min wait was worth it. Most importantly, we left feeling satisfied, happy and recharged for our trip to Hualien :)

Rating: 4.2/5 Soya Milk

Pls continue on to Taipei Part II: Itinerary (Day 5)

 

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