I am not kidding you when I say that Hock Lam Beef Noodles is by far the BEST beef noodles I have ever tasted. In the world. And trust me, I have tried many different types (including the Vietnamese Pho). But nothing…NOTHING can compare to Hock Lam’s! No wonder the founder’s daughter, Ms Tina Tan quit her high-paying banking job to run the business. This businesswoman has expanded the business to 4 outlets island-wide now. We sincerely hope she’d be able to expand her operations worldwide because the rest of the world really needs to try just how rad this dish is.
My foreigner friend rated this dish: 9/10! He was simply blown away by the beef noodles. I asked him “have you tried beef noodles before?”. His reply “No. This is really the best noodles I have ever tasted”. And he doesn’t lie.
Seriously, you guys need to check it out for yourself.
Here is an article which appeared in THE BUSINESS TIMES
- written by Tan Teck Heng | Tue Oct 2 2012:
You cannot deny that a recipe that has been around for 101 years has staying power.
Throw in fourth-generation owner Tina Tan’s branding savvy to the tried-and-tested Hock Lam beef noodles, and you get a winning formula.
The flagship stall in China Street has the look of hawker fare given a 2.0 upgrade, joining the ranks of Ya Kun; google the Hock Lam Beef name and you will be pointed to a put-together website, complete with YouTube video marking its centennial.
Ms Tan, who ditched a high-paying banking career to take over the stall in 2005, said: “My father took a year to pass me the recipe, and there’s no recording of it as he doesn’t want to leak it.”
Spurred to make the career switch because her father’s failing health would have meant the end of a legacy, she went from a desk job to 16-hour-days preparing ingredients - she slices up 60kg of beef herself - and managing the daily operations. She has no regrets.
The manpower issue continues to dog her. The prep work is brutally labour intensive: the chilli, for instance, takes five days’ work because of the addition of blue ginger, which has to be hand-shredded, squeezed, then sun-dried and de-veined with scissors.
She adamantly refuses to cut corners on this, saying it is part of educating the younger generation of customers so a heritage is not lost.
But the chilli definitely complements the beef slices, which are briefly scalded so they remain deliciously pink and tender.
Going for the noodles in soup is a good choice. The broth is characteristically Teochew with a mild, simple herbal flavour.
If you still prefer the dry version, add some pickled vegetable garnish. It is juicy and a tad too salty, but does the job to moderate the thick sauce so it does not get too heavy.
Despite staffing problems, Ms Tan has expanded to a total of four outlets; a new branch at Alexandra Retail Centre offers an extended menu which will be rolled out to other branches soon.
Her brother Ken has joined the business.
To those who gripe that $6.50 to $8.50 for a Hock Lam original is too steep, Ms Tan has this snappy comeback: “Why is one more willing to pay more than $15 for a bowl of ramen with three thin slices of pork?”
Fine, she’s got us there.
** End of Article **
We dined at the Alexandra Retail Centre (ARC) outlet. This is possibly the most upmarket of all the outlets. For 2 pax, it can cost almost S$60.00 to dine here if you choose 2 set meals with 1-2 additional dishes e.g. vegetables like what we ordered.
Per set meal comprising of 1 bowl of Beef Noodles, 1 side dish and 1 drink costs about S$15.00.
But hey, for such wonderful food, we don’t mind paying a little bit more!
Above: Long Beans with Chye Poh (Pickled Vegetables). Their signature dish. Highly recommended. It is truly delish!
Above: Spicy Chicken Nuggets. This comes as part of the Set Meal. Really succulent yet, so crispy!
Above: Coleslaw. This also comes as part of a Set Meal. You have an option to choose either Spicy Chicken Nuggets or Coleslaw as your side dish.
Above: Fried Pumpkin. My friend apparently loves this!
Official Website: http://www.hocklambeef.com/blog/
Food Rating: 5/5 (yes, I am serious)
HOCK LAM BEEF
Far East Square:
22 China Street, #01-01, Far East Square
Tel: +65 6220 9290
Monday to Sunday & PH: 10.00am – 9.00pm
949 Upper Serangoon Road
Tel: 6285 6119
Monday: Closed | Tuesday to Friday: 5.00pm to 11.00pm | Saturday, Sunday & PH: 10.00am – 11.00pm
38 Seah Street
Tel: +65 6339 9641
Nearest MRT station: Esplanade, City Hall
Alexandra Retail Center #02-24
460 Alexandra road
I must admit that I am not a good cook. To be honest, I can’t cook. At all. I was kicked out of Domestic Science Class (read: Cooking Class) in school when the cake I was baking caught on fire. It really wasn’t my fault! Really.
Many years later, I wanted to impress a guy I was dating with my (non-existent) cooking skills. Tried to whip up some fancy Fried Noodles (like those that I’ve tasted in some rad Chinese restaurants, ya know?). Heated up the wok for about 3 minutes, then poured in some cooking oil onto the wok. BUT - lo and behold, and to cut a long story short, my kitchen caught on fire! Sigh. Thank God for circuit breakers and prayers! Yup, I almost burned down my whole place. Now, THAT was a very traumatic experience.
Hence, I gave up cooking… and decided to eat out! Oh, what pure joy! Being able to taste the best food in Singapore! So, here’s a recipe of one of my favorite all-time Singaporean dishes. If you can cook a mean dish of Fried Fish Noodles with XO, pleeeeaaaaasssse DO invite me over for a meal! ;-D When it comes to good food and great wine, I am NOT shy! ;-)
意面 (Fried Noodles), enough for 1
Dried Cuttle Fish
1/3 Cup Evaporated Milk
Green Vegetables (Chai Sim, or ANY Green Vegetables e.g. Lettuce)
1 Cup of Water
A Few Slices of Ginger
Oil, for Greasing
1 tbsp of XO Wine (To Be Added Last)
Salt (Seasoning A)
Sugar (Seasoning A)
Sesame Oil (Seasoning A)
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce (Seasoning B)
1/2 tsp of White Pepper (Seasoning B)
1/2 tsp of Sugar (Seasoning B)
1 tsp Salt (Seasoning B)
1 tbsp Shaoxing Jiu 邵兴酒 aka Chinese Cooking Wine (Seasoning B)
How to make XO Sliced Fish Noodle Soup
Marinate sliced fish with seasoning B for at least 30 minutes (You can marinate it for one whole night to get the full flavour);
Heat oil in wok.
Fry ginger and fish until 50% cooked.
Pour in water and bring to boil.
Add in noodles, evaporated milk, cuttle fish and seasoning A.
Cook for 3 minutes or until the noodle gets soft.
Add in green vegetables and,
Cook for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat.
Add in 1 tbsp of XO wine and stir well before serving. (This is optional)
Note: The evaporated milk is used to get rid of the fishy smell, and make it tastier.