Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodles

Tony was abroad for some time. His busy schedule also limited my communication with him eversince I last saw him at the Baroque Grill gathering. To me, Tony is like Johor’s hawkers’ warrior – he champions for them. He has interviewed and blogged on so many JB hawkers, some are not new. Rather, he is responsible enough to review and update hawkers’ fare from his previous posts. I was indeed very happy and honoured that he invited me to join him for another interesting food trail and this time, we went to JB by bus and then on foot. Thank you for the invitation, Tony! 😀

Traffic jam on the PIE (Pan Island Expressway) while on my way to meet Tony.

Traffic jam on the PIE (Pan Island Expressway) while on my way to meet Tony.

We went into JB by bus and then on foot.

We went into JB by bus and then on foot.

Tony had wanted me to try braised duck in Restoran Shang Ji but the stall was closed. It was also closed the last few times he went. We found out from neighbour stallholders that the braised duck seller had to attend to some family business.

We walked from the CIQ Complex to Restoran Shang Ji located at Jalan Lumba Kuda.

We walked from the CIQ Complex to Restoran Shang Ji located at Jalan Lumba Kuda.

Tony did a post on Tin & Tin Beef Noodles before and since we are here, perhaps it was a good time for him to do a review while I get to taste and do a maiden post of this stall for my own blog.

Tony did a post on Tin & Tin Beef Noodles before and since we are here, perhaps it was a good time for him to do a review while I get to taste and do a maiden post of this stall for my own blog.

The founder and owner of Tin & Tin Restaurant, Ah Teng, started selling Haninanese beef noodles forty years ago. Today, his son, Kevin, does most of the cooking. While the dish itself may not be the best, the lai fun in their dry version was simply ineffable!

Although lai fun aka laksa noodles, this one is different from the usual coarse beehoon we eat. I like the noodle’s texture that has spring and bounce in every chew. I suspect the noodles are not made purely of rice. Roughly the size of the Japanese udon, the lai fun has the “clarity” of har kow skin compared to the opacity and clean bite of coarse beehoon. Every bite has bounce and spring, it was like dancing on my tongue. The texture felt like watered down gummy bears. Is that possible? According to Kevin, they’d changed supplier for this noodle.

The beef and the other secondary ingredients were tender. The soup is light, not too beefy but that’s ok with me as it still was aromatic.

I was attracted to this on the display. Beef tendons and tripes (not seen). Our first meal has begun!

I was attracted to this on the display. Beef tendons and tripes (not seen).
Our first meal has begun!

Four types of noodles offered.

Four types of noodles offered.

Four types of noodles offered. Yellow noodles, lai fun, beehoon and kway teow.

Four types of noodles offered. Yellow noodles, lai fun, beehoon and kway teow.

I picked Lai Fun as our carb base and I'm so glad I did.

I picked Lai Fun as our carb base and I’m so glad I did.

Dark Soy, Fried Peanuts, Crispy Fried Shallots and Salted Vegetables.

Dark Soy, Fried Peanuts, Crispy Fried Shallots and Salted Vegetables.

Chilli dips and limes for the meat. Or you may want to mix them directly into the dry noodles.

Chilli dips and limes for the meat. Or you may want to mix them directly into the dry noodles.

Kevin, son of Ah Teng (founder) cooking for us today.

Kevin, son of Ah Teng (founder) cooking for us today.

When you see plastic bag in this red cup (can be any colour), you'd know someone has ordered take-away.

When you see plastic bag in this red cup (can be any colour), you’d know someone has ordered take-away.

My meal would be next. I'm dining in of course.

My meal would be next. I’m dining in of course.

This one's for Tony's Instagram.

This one’s for Tony’s Instagram.

Even though there's some gravy, this is the dry version of Hainanese beef noodles.

Even though there’s some gravy, this is the dry version of Hainanese beef noodles.

The clear broth in front of the picture is what you'll get if you had ordered the soup version. I ordered a mix meat dry version where the tripes and tendons came in a bowl of clear broth.

The clear broth in front of the picture is what you’ll get if you had ordered the soup version. I ordered a mix meat dry version where the tripes and tendons came in a bowl of clear broth.

Tendons, tripes and brisket in clear broth. The broth was not overly beefy. Quite light in fact but still tasty.

Tendons, tripes and brisket in clear broth.
The broth was not overly beefy. Quite light in fact but still tasty.

Hainanese Beef Noodles.

Hainanese Beef Noodles.

The soup version does not offer fried peanuts I think. I'm not sure but I think it would be weird.

The soup version does not offer fried peanuts I think. I’m not sure but I think it would be weird.

The Lai Fun noodles seemed different somehow.

The Lai Fun noodles seemed different somehow.

Upon closer inspection, I realised they were more "see through" than the normal lai fun aka laksa noodles.

Upon closer inspection, I realised they were more “see through” than the normal lai fun aka laksa noodles.

After mixing the noodles and gravy thoroughly, I am convinced this is no ordinary lai fun.<br />Firstly, the size is bigger. Secondly, the translucency of the noodles told me it's not entirely made of rice.<br />I'm suspecting some kind of springy-producing flour mix in certain ration to rice flour.<br />The texture reminded me of the tapioca triangles found in bubur cha cha dessert.

After mixing the noodles and gravy thoroughly, I am convinced this is no ordinary lai fun.
Firstly, the size is bigger. Secondly, the translucency of the noodles told me it’s not entirely made of rice.
I’m suspecting some kind of springy-producing flour mix in certain ration to rice flour.
The texture reminded me of the tapioca triangles found in bubur cha cha dessert.

Tasting the noodles made me even more convinced. I really really liked the texture of the bouncy al dente noodles. It also managed to absorb the flavours of the gravy. Maybe because it had time to soak in since I was taking pictures of the dish.

Tasting the noodles made me even more convinced. I really really liked the texture of the bouncy al dente noodles.
It also managed to absorb the flavours of the gravy.
Maybe because it had time to soak in since I was taking pictures of the dish.

Yummilicious today! But will the recipe be tweaked again?

Yummilicious today! But will the recipe be tweaked again?

Ah Teng and son, Kevin.

Ah Teng and son, Kevin.

I’ve read conflicting reviews about this stall but taste is very subjective. To each his own. Having said that, I would not mind visiting the place specifically to eat the lai fun again and get a confirmation on the consistency of the stall. Some reviews I read said the stall owner, Ah Teng, keeps changing his style of cooking according to customers’ feedback and thus lack consistency. Is constant changing of cooking style good or bad? I don’t know if they would change again but I liked what I tasted today.

Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodles.

Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodles.

Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodles
Inside Restoran Shang Ji
No. 141 – 142, Jalan Lumba Kuda,
Bukit Chagar 80300.
Johor Bahru, Johor.
Malaysia.

Opening hours: 7am – 2pm
Closed on Mondays.

Happy noodling 😀

Tony, owner and creator of Johor Kaki, won the Singapore Best Food Blog Award 2013. Johor Kaki is also the winner of the Malaysia Ministry of Tourism’s Best Malaysia International Fabulous Food 1Malaysia Blog Award 2013.
Read more about Tony’s work at Johorkaki

Click here to see Singapore’s Hainanese Beef Noodle Soup
Click here to see Singapore Hainanese Beef Noodle Dry

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Comments
21 Responses to “Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodles”
  1. renxkyoko says:

    Hey ! ! Uhm, the cook is a cutie ! ! ! ( And I like men who know how to cook, so he’s a plus, plus, plus ! ! )

    • Sam Han says:

      Hahaha… more cuties coming up then 😀 Are you serious, Ren? He’s rather shy and not chatty at all. I wonder how much he’ll blush if I were to relay that.

  2. Laura Lynn says:

    Oh wow, this food makes me want to lick the screen of my tablet! Darn this HD resolution…it tastes like glass but your photos make me think I am there! So delicious!
    Ps: both the cooks are cuties-and they cook?! Wonderful talent. Great pic of you too!

    • Sam Han says:

      Amongst the Chinese dialect groups, Hainanese men are known to be handsome. So perhaps it rings true since Ren and you regard them as cutie (even for the senior?) Are you girls serious??? 😉

  3. As usual, a great and thoroughly delicious post! Yummmmmm…thanks for this, darling Sam! ;+D

  4. Nice and comfort,
    never had a tendon in a regular noodle before, inspired me for my next dish,
    btw, i guess this is a kinda prototype of family chinese restaurant: sweaty cook and servant…..

  5. Lignum Draco says:

    This looks interesting and I’ve never seen noodles that translucent. You need to go back to that area and tell us about the braised duck.

    • Sam Han says:

      Tony was very eager for me to try it because he thought them to be very good. The “closed” shop made me even more curious. I should ask Tony to plant a spy there and inform us when the stall opens for business. As for the Lai Fun, I should have crept up and take a picture of the bag when they were re-stocking the noodles 😉

  6. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Sam! 😀 that shot of the Lai fu. Noodles and chopsticks is fantastic. Your photos are always good, but I could actually feel through sense memory what that noodle dish was like.

    What is Tony’s blog, please? I’ll check the post again. Have you decided to do Instagram as well?

    • Sam Han says:

      Tony’s blog is at the end of my post. Click on the highlighted (darker) words. I have instagram but not using it at the moment. Didn’t like their privacy and copyright terms at that time. Will consider when it is friendlier to owners of photos. 😀

  7. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Found it! Thank you for posting. It’s not highlighting blue on my end. Weird.

    Just out of curiosity, how many blogs are you following?

  8. Sheryl says:

    You always include fantastic pictures, but the ones in this post are absolutely outstanding. I can almost feel like I’m at the food stall with you.

    In response to your question: I think that there needs to be a balance between consistency and change in response to customer feedback. Customers want to know what to expect–yet iterative changes are vital if a food vender or restaurant wants to improve over the longer run.

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