Hurry me(!), before memories of my visit to Beef Boss Hot-Pot 牛老大涮牛肉 vanishes into the ether. This restaurant doesn’t have an English name, so I once againt took the liberty to make one up. 老大 can translate into different meanings, one of them being “leader of a criminal gang”, but “Beef Godfather” sounded a bit too dramatic, so I went for a more moderate definition with “Beef Boss”. 🙂
Beef Boss hot-pot started out in Kaohsiung, with a simple concept of serving freshly butchered beef, usually from the same day, with a flavorful broth made from beef bones, tomatoes, pineapples, daikon radishes and more ingredients than the guidebook’s author could list. The execution of the idea must have been a success for them to open a second store down the road from the original place in Kaohsiung, and in other cities on the island.
Which place to choose if you’re in Kaohsiung? I don’t think there’s a huge difference if you’re just going with a group of friends, but for a family reunion, the second store feels more appropriate with its modern furniture and spaciousness. I don’t know if it is still something special to eat beef in Taiwan, but on the evening I went, I noticed many big family gatherings as if they were celebrating something.
When it comes to ordering, there’s choice of small (50NT) or big pot (100NT), and if you’re unsure which one to pick, the waiters will kindly advise you. Then, you have to pick ingredients to dip in the broth. All kind of beef parts are available: lean, belly, tail, tendons, tongue, intestines, heart, liver, stomach, and kidney. Each portion being priced at 350NT. There’s also the usual vegetables, some seafood paste, and various beef stir-fry or soups as side dishes.
On my visit, to my dismay, they were out of a lot of greens that I wanted, which was surprising for an early evening, so I fell back on some crown daisy leaves 茼蒿, then ordered some squid paste 花枝漿, and a serving of tofu skin 豆皮. Rice was not complimentary, at 10NT the bowl. The meat part was kept simple with just a plate of lean beef, yeah, I know, I’m a sheepish eater, haha.
As described in the guidebook, the meat held its promise of being tender and juicy, and could have been good just on its own, but I found it hard to resist dipping it in the quintessential soy sauce and green onions, a personal must whenever I eat hot-pot 😛 .
Final verdict? It was an interesting experience, and I would certainly go back to try other parts of the beef, haha, and the very tasty broth as well. Although, if I had to choose between beef hot-pot and pork hot-pot, my preference would go to the pork at Liu’s Traditional Juancun Food with its white meat (pork) and sour cabbage hot-pot.
Beef Boss Hot-Pot 牛老大涮牛肉 has outposts in Hsinchu, Taoyuan and Taipei. Reading through a blog review, prices apparently do differ, with slightly more expensive price tags in the northern part of the island.
Name: Beef Boss Hot-Pot 牛老大涮牛肉
Additional Reviews+Photos: pixnet/ksdelicacy, pixnet/mary5888 (original restaurant), pixnet/hsuanhs (second branch), pixnet/qqrice0416
Menu: Only Chinese as far as I know (give Pleco some thought).
(last updated: 2012/12/28 三)