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  The Establishment of Howgi Tan-a-Mi

The glittering sign of Howgi Tan-a-Mi
The glittering sign of Howgi Tan-a-Mi
Standing at the intersection of Chang Chun Road and Gi Lin Road in Taipei, you can see the sign of Howgi Tan-a-Mi glittering. It is as if the sign is welcoming all those who love traditional Taiwanese food.
Gi Lin Road bristles with business buildings whose neon lights glimmering all the time. There used to be a lot of infamous “barbers/beauty parlors” (a.k.a. porn industry in Taiwan) in the area. After the city government swept aside the sex business there in 1995, the bustling Gi Lin Road became quiet gradually and was desolate for a period. However, instead of sex workers, nowadays, you can see one restaurant after another alongside the road, with their own features and fine food. Now the area of Gi Lin Road is known for its variety of delicacies. The restaurants there serve traditional Taiwanese food or fresh seafood which can surely cater to picky gourmets.
Some say that it was Howgi Tan-a-Mi who brought Gi Lin Road back to life. Some others may think it's overstated. However, the undeniable fact is that Howgi Tan-a-Mi attracted constant streams of people and made Gi Lin Road flourish. Not only have the delicious Taiwanese cuisines of Howgi Tan-a-Mi attracted people here, its success has also encouraged many other restaurants to open on Gi Lin Road. It was how Gi Lin Road got revived. What kind of charisma could a place that sells Tan-a-Mi possess? How can it attract people island-wide and world-wide? Let us introduce 好記to you and share with you Howgi Tan-a-Mi's unique flavor and its genuine Taiwanese spirits!
The Rise of Howgi Tan-a-Mi
The 400 square-feet Old Howgi
The 400 square-feet Old Howgi
In 1993, Mr. and Mrs. Lin Chi-hon bought the 430-square feet storefront at the intersection of Chang Chun Road and Gi Lin Road. They called it “Howgi Che-a-Mi”. From the beginning, they kept thinking about how they could change their stall which sold everyday noodle soup and side dishes to fit into the neighborhood. They determinedly closed the stall for half a month and went to Tainan to try out different kinds of traditional Taiwanese food. They finally decided to sell Tan-a-Mi. They tried almost every Tan-a-Mi stall in Tainan, and studied the differences between the flavors of northern and southern Taiwan. They even went to inspect the process of the replenishment of the materials. After their survey, Mr. and Mrs. Lin thought about opening a restaurant which featured traditional flavors. Howgi Tan-a-Mi was then born.
Being Thankful for Old Howgi
At the beginning, Howgi Tan-a-Mi was just a small stall on Gi Lin Rd. The stall itself looked just like a regular noodle stall. However, the hustle and bustle of waiters moving around serving noodles often drew the attention of passers-by. People just couldn't resist the idea of trying a small bowls of noodles, wanting to find out what's so good about them. This small stall with the sign of Old Howgi kept luring customers and finally made itself known. With Mr. and Mrs. Lin's hard work, Howgi has won a fabulous reputation. We asked Mr. Lin what's his key to success. He answered thankfully, “Howgi has opened for more than a decade. Why Howgi holds on through difficulties is not because of a legacy left by ancestors, nor of secret recipes passed down from the past. Our success lies in sticking to traditional Taiwanese flavors, friendliness and delicacies. We also insist on creating Howgi's own flavor of Tan-a-Mi. We share Howgi's love of Taiwan with the friends who also love the island from all over the world.”
Old Photos of Provintia
The origin of Tan-a-Mi written on the old photo of Provintia
The origin of Tan-a-Mi written on the old photo of Provintia
Old Howgi was decorated and separated into two different spaces according to the theme always remembering where you come from. Old pictures of Provintia in Tainan are hung in the space close to the kitchen, while on the wall nearby the noodle-cooking area are two pictures. One is of fishermen in the costal area of Tainan eating noodles on the curb. The other one is a picture of a shoulder pole of an old Tan-a-Mi stall at Taipei Roundabout. These old faded photos show the humble roots of people in Tainan. They reminded us of the harsh times when just a small bowl of Tan-a-Mi can be used to support a whole family.
Howgi's Watchword
A watchword written by the manager is posted on the wall next to the employees who cook noodles. It says, “We have opened for more than a decade! Any unforgivable mistakes made on our service or on the food we serve would drive our customers away!” This watchword is the most important belief of all Howgi employees and therefore it's the one guideline that they would never fail to comply with. Customer service and culinary process are every Howgi employee's top priority.
Tasty Flavor of Howgi
Old Howgi’s bamboo tube for ladles
Old Howgi's bamboo tube for ladles
Near the kitchen stove of Old Howgi stand four bamboo tubes. Inside the bamboo tubes are ladles, noodles, rice noodles and processed bean sprouts inside them. The four tubes are separately inscribed with the words, Taiwanese Flavors, Old Flavors, Friendliness and Delicacies. These four phrases reveal Howgi's true passion. Elder customers would recall their good old days while young customers can find the impressions of their predecessors. The delicacies of Howgi are rich in friendliness and old flavors. They also convey the one-of-the-kind flavor of Taiwan.
Background Music: Unforgettable First Lover, Teresa Teng, Our Songs, Taiwanese Songs, Golden Penguin Records ( Top )

Produced by the Tan-a-Mi-philes ,Taipei Municipal Xi-Hu Elementary School, Taipei, Taiwan Contact E-mail address: hsyea@tp.edu.tw