Mien San, I’ve Missed You

By Anonymous Paul on 26 February, 2013

There was a time when Taiwanese style beef noodles seemed to be the dish du jour. And it was Suzhou’s and Mien San’s versions I liked best, and still do today. Maybe including Khanzu’s in the present list as well. But I haven’t been to Mien San in a while. I really would like to go much more often but there are times when I’m driving on Gilmore and there is just absolutely no parking in front of it. It has since expanded and doubled it’s seating capacity yet the three or four parking slots in front of it remain as is. (With the establishments beside it zealously guarding their own parking allocations.) It’s not quite a problem if you have a driver or commute. But if you double park for even thirty seconds rest assured you’ll have a container truck blasting his air horn behind you. It’s a very busy street. In which most of the time I just say it’s too much trouble for a bowl of noodles. And I just hope to have better luck next time. But one day I did have such luck.

I had some business to take care of in the area and actually found one parking slot just before noon. I thought about asking Kitchyart to join me as she lived nearby but I had to eat and run as well. So I ordered for one. I got the spicy beef and tendon noodles (which is already really filling) with an onion pancake (which not a lot of places serve) on the side.

I’ve had this soup many times over the years and I have to say it not only tasted good on this visit but maybe even better than what I remember. It could be they use a perpetual style stock which intensifies the broth over time. But that’s just my theory. It is unabashedly beefy. There’s almost a smoky quality to it. Bold and deep, perfumed with sweet spices and has that peppery bite that gets you at the back of the throat at the end. Portions of tendon and brisket morsels were just right and the fresh noodles more on the soft side. Hearty and filling.

Which is why I just managed a couple pieces of the onion pancake. I’ve made this at home and the ingredients are simple enough but it takes a bit of time and a lot of elbow grease. From resting to kneading and rolling out paper thin sheets of dough. To layering the scallions and frying them. I’ve never quite had the time to make it again. So I’d rather just pay 108 bucks at Mien San for the cheap instant gratification. The pancakes seemed a bit heftier this time. But still flaky. Could’ve used a tad more spring onion flavor. But I still enjoyed it. Of course with a dab of their fiery Taiwanese style chilli sauce. Then again, you can also stock up and buy the onion pancakes and their other dumplings frozen and cook it at home.

With so many places coming and going; many “concepts” launching then floundering, it is really just comforting to come back to grounded places like Mien San that still consistently serves good, inexpensive, food. All day, everyday.


Mien San Noodle House
40 & 42 Granada St.,
Villa Ortigas II
Quezon City
Tel. (632) 721.5794

Open everyday from 10am to 11pm

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  • FEBRUARY 26, 2013 4:32 PM

    kitchyart said...

    Before I started writing for TFTP, I discovered Mien San through you. It's standard that I get the spicy wonton, juicy steamed shrimp dumpling, tendon stew or hot pot (depends if I order the fried rice which is to die for) and the porkchop. I'm hungry! haha

  • FEBRUARY 28, 2013 1:26 AM

    ifoodtrip said...

    Just last week, I had an important errand to do in Ortigas near Gilmore. I didn't mind that I had to drive through heavy traffic because I made sure I will eat the spicy beef and tendon noodles at mien san nearby. So sarap! go there at off peak hours and for sure you will get parking. I can't tell which is better, the one in Mien San or the one in Suzhou. The suzhou in malate tastes better than their other branches by the way. Don't you just wish we get these kinds of restaurants in Makati?

  • FEBRUARY 28, 2013 1:12 PM

    Anonymous Paul said...

    I suppose I need to be more patient haha. Or have better feng shui. I think Suzhou has just opened a branch in the Fort though I haven't been there yet.

  • MARCH 15, 2013 2:26 PM

    Didi Paterno-Magpali (@didipaterno) said...

    I LOVE MIEN SAN! I am always amazed how they deliver consistently good and yet not overpriced food :) I've been a fan for over a decade already and you can be assured that it won't change (in a good way) for the next years... We always order the century tofu and the pork chop noodle. a porkchop like no other! so flavorful and not greasy at all...