Over a year ago, the legendary Ah Teng retired from his very popular Hainanese beef teow business and closed his stall at Jalan Lumba Kuda (near Hotel Suria and Hotel Grand Blue Wave). Ah Yong then recieved a telephone call asking if he would like to set up a beef noodle stall at this same location vacated by Ah Teng.
Ah Yong who is from Malacca and had been running his own beef noodle stall for over 10 years, accepted the offer.
In the beginning when customers showed up at the stall, they expected to find Ah Teng but found Ah Yong, instead. Ah Teng's loyal regulars were understandably disappointed. Little wonder then that reception of Ah Yong's stall was at first lukewarm, at best.
Ah Yong and his family persevered and slowly but steadily build up his own customer base. One year later, Ah Yong now has his own following. When I was here this late Monday morning, I found that Ah Yong has regular customers of families, and a following from Johor and Singapore. A gentleman named Danny from Ulu Tiram was buying three packets for his family. I chatted with Danny and found that he is familiar with most of the beef noodle stalls in JB, Kulai and Tangkak. Danny told me that Ah Yong is his family's favourite now.
I also noticed Singapore taxi drivers who ply the Singapore - JB route among Ah Yong's customers. Well, many Singaporeans will tell you that, if you want to know where to eat in Singapore, ask the taxi uncles. They know where the best eats are.
And, I requested for a bowl of kway teow dry with mixed beef plus additional beef tendons, which I always found irresistible.
The beef was kept boiling with this large bag of herbs, perfuming the air
Sitting down and waiting for my beef kway teow, I caught whiffs of that beefy aroma that triggered flash backs to the beef noodle stall at the back lanes of 1970s Victoria Street in Singapore. I was then a 15 year old construction worker and I always looked forward to that Victoria Street back lane beef kway teow during lunch, which I bought with my handsome $2 a day salary :)
Ah Yong squeezes in a dash of his signature black sauce before delivering his beef noodles
My bowl of Ah Yong's beef noodles was snowy white kway teow bathed in a gooey gravy and Ah Yong's signature sticky black sauce. The kway teow and pieces of beef were topped with finely chopped preserved cabbage (kiam chye), parsley, spring onions, and a sprinkling of peanuts.
I squeezed a lime into the noodles and gave everything a vigorous stir.
The tacky gravy coated kway teow noodles were simply delicious.
This lai fun or thick rice noodles is the Hainanese way of eating beef noodles. The thick noodles while tender still have a slight firm and bouncy bite. My friends who have not tried lai fun before love the change from the usual kway teow or bee hoon.
The gravy was robustly beefy with touches of sweetness and savouriness with just subtle herbal hints. The kway teow coated with this syrupy gravy was slithering soft and slippery smooth.
The nicely well bodied soup was tasty and beefy too.
Ah Yong cut the beef into tiny pieces with sissors which seemed to be the Hainanese style (as this was also done at Mok Chye, Mok Gao, and Ah Teng's elder brother's stall in Kluang).
The beef and tripe were tender and tasty. The tendons too were soft yet bouncy to the bite. I liked these all.
Another customer's beef bee hoon soup. Looks delicious.
Ah Yong is a new player in JB, and in my humble opinion, he and his delicious beef noodles deserve a warm welcome from Johor and Singapore foodies.
Restaurant name: Ah Yong Beef Noodles @ Restoran Yong Mui 永美茶餐厅-家乡牛腩面
Address: Off Jalan Lumba Kuda
Hours: 7:00am to 3:00pm (Closed on Wednesday)
Date Visited: 5 Nov 2012, 16 Apr 2013