TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- For a country that is famous for its beef noodle soup, it is fitting that a noodle shop in Taipei has been verified by CNN as serving the most expensive beef noodle soup in the entire world.
Niu Baba (牛爸爸), which literally means "Cow Daddy," was founded in 1990 and serves a simple menu of only seven dishes, ranging in price from NT$500 (US$16) to NT$10,000 (US$332). To put the price in some perspective, the top dish at this shop is nearly half the new monthly minimum wage in Taiwan of NT$22,000.
In an interview with CNN, Niu Baba's second-generation owner Eric Wang Yin-chyi (王尹奇) explained that their unique approach to beef noodles is what separates them from the crowd: "The price of our cheapest noodles seems astronomical to some, but our way of making beef noodles differentiates us from others."
The cost of the shop's most expensive dish, the Presidential Beef Noodle Soup (元首牛肉麵), evolved over time. The owners left the price blank for over a decade and allowed the customers decide how much they should pay, before finally settling on the current price in 2007.
NT$10,000 beef noodle soup. (Beeffather.com)
"The price tag was left blank for almost 14 years -- we asked customers to pay what they thought it was worth. Many said they were willing to pay NT$10,000 for the noodles. And in 2007, we decided to make that the official price," said Wang to CNN.
What makes their beef noodles so special is that each bowl contains four different kinds of high-quality, imported ingredients including high-grade beef cuts from the U.S. and Australia. For the top end Presidential Beef Noodle Soup, the best and well-marbled cuts of beef are braised an put in the freezer for three days before being carefully cut for the ideal texture and flavor.
The broth consists of a mixture of six stocks and customers can choose from five different kinds of noodles as well as other options for a unique combination to suit their individual taste.
Niu Baba storefront in Taipei's Neihu District. (Niu Baba Facebook page)