Yean Kee started as Tian Le Yuan - a push cart stall in the old Kluang market in 1930, and is today a modern air conditioned café run by a friendly young couple who are the founder Goh Hin's grandson and his wife.
This beautiful article by Peggy Loh gives a brief history of the Goh family business. Goh Hin's eldest son used to run the renowned Ah Deng Cathay beef noodles along Jalan Lumba Kuda in Johor Bahru that KF Seetoh raved about. Ah Deng is retired now.
As the old signage and photo that adorned the walls of the café attest, Yean Kee is an established name in the world of beef noodles.
The dry beef kway teow comes with a bowl of mixed beef soup. The tasty herbal beef soup is clear, not oily and garnished with fragrant fried shallots and shallot oil.
The generous chunks of tripe, meat and tendon are tender and naturally sweet.
The dark sticky beef sauce has that 古早 old time aroma that takes me back, in an instant, to those alley stalls of old Victoria Street in 1970s Singapore. When the sauce is tossed with the peanuts, shreds of preserved cabbage, cut spring unions, squeeze of lime, chunky beef and kway teow, the result is an awesome and hearty bowl of beefy goodness.
Yean Kee's signature is this udon like lai fun (a form of rice noodles). It is tender with a natural rice fragrance as they are freshly made daily at the shop - rice fragrance is an olfactory pleasure that is today, a privilege, as one cannot get it from mass produced factory kway teow.
The fresh chili sauce mixed with lime is hot, naturally sweet and tangy sourish - it enhances the flavour of the beef.
Old style beef noodles in contemporary setting - couldn't resist this soy bean drink with chin chow.
Restaurant name: Yean Kee
Address: 4, Jalan Murni 1, Taman Murni, Kluang, Johor
Hours: 10:00am to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Mons to Fri. 10:00am to 9:00pm on Sat and Sun. (Closed on alternate Mons and Tues)
Date visited: 14 Feb 2012