No.63, Sec. 1, Hai’an Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan City 700, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Out of the whole of Taiwan, it is probably only in Tainan that you can wake up early of a morning and eat a hearty beef soup with rice. However, Taiwan is an agricultural society, and, according to many Taiwanese, slaughtering cattle that help them to plough the fields is a big taboo. So why is it that in Tainan, beef soup is such a popular breakfast? Food critic Han Liang-lu (韓良露) has written that Tainan beef soup is actually derived from Quanzhou in China. According to legend, a thousand years ago, many people living in Quanzhou Harbor could not eat pork because of their Muslim religion, so turned to eating beef instead. This, over time, gradually affected the Quanzhou people's eating habits. Several hundred years later, when people from China's coastal provinces began immigrating to Taiwan, they also bought Quanzhou beef eating habits to Tainan. This, it is thought, is why the strange habit of eating beef for breakfast was developed. Of course, the credibility of this rumor is not known.
If you are curious to taste the Tainan beef soup for yourself, then Six Thousand Beef Soup on Haian Road (海安路) is not to be missed. This restaurant starts selling beef soup as early as 5:30am in the morning and is often already sold out before 8am! On weekends, there are long queues as early as six in the morning – it really is "the early bird catches the worm." The price of a bowl is TWD120, which, although is expensive by Taiwanese standards, is very cheap for anyone who is used to a western price level. But with the quantity of beef hidden in this soup, which has slowly become a deep red color after its long cooking, coupled with the succulent flavor of the fresh, sweet and salty taste of the beef, it is absolutely worth any queue!