Fu Hang Doujiang in Taipei

Fu Hang Doujiang in Taipei

On the first day in Taipei, I was listing to my family what I remember about food. They asked me if I had any place in mind and I told me about a place that Nicholas said I should visit. Basically I told my cousin, I don’t know the name of this place but it’s like a dou jiang (soy milk) place that has no sign on the street level but people get in long lines for it. I don’t know which neighborhood it is in or what street it is on, but I know this magical place has ponies. Immediately he was like, ponies? Oh, that has to be Fu Hang. I was like damn, my family knows food the way Bo Knows. I love it. We waited til the last day to try it because I hate lines.

Finding soy milk in Taiwan is about as easy as finding bubble tea. So when you have a one hour line at 9 AM in the morning on a Tuesday, you know it’s some serious serious shit. One of the problems I had with this food excursion was that I went to get take-out so Steph and I can eat it in the hotel, but I forgot to get cash beforehand… so I only had enough for just a youtiao wrapped in carbs and one soy milk.

Fu Hang Dou Jiang is on the second floor of this mall. The line starts from the store, out into the stairwell, and downstairs to street level and out onto the sidewalk. There’s even a sign to tell you how the line works, because I guess there is always a line. I think there are a lot of tourists that get in line, but there’s a good amount of old looking locals that get in line and wait too.

The whole thing took me about an hour, but even once you get inside the stairwell, the line to getting food still takes a while. One thing to know about Fu Hang is that they are cash only. That doesn’t seem very tourist friendly, but it keeps the line moving. What is tourist friendly include the sign they put up on how the line works and some of the folks behind the counter apparently can understand orders in Japanese.

One of the nice thing about the line is that once you’re in the restaurant area, you get to peer into the area where they make some of the food. They seem to have pretty high standards in the quality control department. They have two barrel shaped ovens that I guess looks kind of like tandoori ovens for making naan. They use this for making the Sao bing.

But any time they pull out a sao bing that’s a bit burnt, they just throw it in a different tray and that tray doesn’t get carried out. I was like, damn yo, I’ll eat that at a discount. No need to not use that! There was also a very shopping mall food court type of dining area. The ambiance wasn’t crazy awesome or anything, but there again was the mixture of some local folks reading papers and groups of tourists just looking happy and snapping pictures of their food.

The menu is in Chinese only and I couldn’t really read it, but based on the prices I could sort of figure out what I could afford with my limited cash. The choice was between betting some egg with the sao bing youtiao or save the money on the egg and get two soy milks instead of one. Since I really only remember eating sao bing youtiao without egg, I just opted for two soy milks, both sweet.

So I guess what people like about Fu Hang is that their soy milk tastes better. I think it was good and definitely more flavorful than the typical unflavored soy milk you can get in a supermarket in New York. That’s not surprising considering they make their own. It’s not soy flavor that’s so intense that it’ll knock your socks off, but I think it was a good representation of what a good doujiang should taste like.

As I mentioned earlier, I opted for the sao bing youtiao. Fu Hang actually makes two different version of their sao bing. One is the traditional type that’s thinner. The other is what they’re known for and it’s a bit thicker than what you might find at most places. Most women agree, thicker is better. So I got the thicker type of sao bing.

If you didn’t grow up with sao bing youtiao, the idea of a carb sandwich seems a little odd. You get a baked bread thingy along with a fried cruller and it shouldn’t make sense but it does. If you get warm doujiang or soy milk instead of cold, it’s also good for dipping. It’s a fantastic breakfast. If you visit Taipei and have the free time to line up for Fu Hang, I think it’s a worthwhile tourist experience and if you’re someone who hasn’t seen the mothership in decades, it’s a must visit.

Posted by Danny on November 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

(I invite you to follow me on Twitter so you can get more updates.)