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Oct 13, 2006 06:09 PM

Taiwanese small eats in SF?

Besides Tea Garden is there any place in SF that serves good boba and Taiwanese small eats? Thanks!

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  1. In terms of authentic small eats and for something that's much closer to those of the more common food stall offerings in Taiwan, it will require a long drive south to Milpitas to Ay Chung Noodle (who recently have added a few new items to their menu and also increased the portions of a few dishes + kept the prices intact). While Ay Chung Milpitas is supposedly a far cry from the original location in Taipei that has been around since 1975, there really isn't anything else locally or in the Bay Area that's quite close.

    So to give you an idea, Ay Chung has small eats ranging from oyster or shrimp pancake, mien sien with chitterlings (thin noodle in dark thick broth that is intentionally soggy texture, supposedly also eaten in SE Asia as it is a supposed Fujianese staple), rou gan (meat stew in soup, your choice of pork, fish, squid with or without choice of noodles), rice dishes like the typical minced pork with rice (lou rou fan), beef noodle soup (superb soup flavor, but the beef is overcooked and dry tasting last I had it), various soups including gong wan, fish ball soup, marinated snacks like soy sauce boiled egg (lou dan), tofu (dou gan), seaweed (hai dai), a variety of bobba drinks, shaved ice, and even teppan lunch sets like steak/chops with rice or spaghetti (grilled meats on iron plate). Fast food kind of place, order at the cashier, take a #, they bring it to your table. Customers there on most days are predominatly Taiwanese expats /tech workers from Cisco or nearby. Stinky tofu is not on their regular menu but they have it as a special pretty much all the time (everyone seems to order it there)...the specials are only written in Chinese though so bring a pal who can read or ask the cashier.

    1. Taste of Formosa on 26th and Clement has a somewhat limited, but very good, menu of freshly made sausage, little dumplings, cold meats, etc. No boba drinks (if you need one, you can walk down the block to the Quickly to get one on the way home), and not as much "stall food" as the above poster describes at Ay Chung, but it IS local and tasty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: calvarez

        Here's a thread from last year with more on Taste of Formosa -

        1. re: calvarez

          I'd add, parenthetically, that there seemed do be a bit of disconnect in the OP's specification of Boba AND traditional Taiwanese small eats. Boba is something that was virtually unknown 20 years ago and little known 10 years ago, and when you have something trendy and pitched to youth attached to something of much older vintage and appreciatd by a much older audience, you have to wonder about the focus. I don't go to Jamba juice looking for a good bowl of chili, or to a favored chili joint expecting a good smoothie, for example.