Sunday, 12 August 2018

Restoran Shang Ji. Tin & Tin (Cathay) Hainanese Beef Noodle (Update)

Breakfast at Tin & Tin (Cathay) Hainanese Beef Noodle stall at Shang Ji coffee shop near the JB CIQ. There are probably at most 5 beef noodle stalls in Johor Bahru now.

I first tasted Tin & Tin's traditional Hainanese beef noodles back in 2011, when Kelvin was helping his father (Tan Ah Teng) run the stall. Now, Kelvin's dad is semi retired, leaving Kelvin to run the stall himself.

Kelvin's dad Tan Ah Teng and family had been in F & B for over forty years. In the 1970s, Tan Ah Teng started a Hainanese beef noodle stall at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. The Tan family later expanded their F & B empire, running several restaurants in JB, Malacca and Tawau (Sabah). Ah Teng's JB restaurants include Prawn House, Red Point and Jaws Five which are now closed - older local folks will know these places.

In 2011, Ah Teng came full circle back to Hainanese beef noodles - moving into this stall space which was formerly occupied by the legendary Ah Deng Beef Noodles (which closed after Ah Deng retired in 2011).

Initially, there was some confusion between Ah Teng and Ah Deng as they both serve beef noodles and were occupying the same space at Shang Ji coffee shop. Over time, Ah Teng's Tin & Tin (Cathay) stall built up its own following.

We ordered a dry version which comes with a bowl of beef bone soup.

Tin & Tin's beef noodle is traditional Hainanese. The mound of kway teow was bathed in a gooey brown sauce. It is topped with beef tenderloin, tripe and tendon, and garnished with peanut, scallion, and preserved vegetables (kiam chai). 

[This was missing the chopped parsley and blanched minced beef topping from Ah Teng's time.]

Tossing the noodles in the sauce coated it well with beefy savoury flavours. Kelvin makes the sauce by boiling beef bones with herbs, then flavour it with savoury dark soy sauce and thicken it with starch.

The beef tenderloin was a bit fibrous but still tender. The flavour was beefy savoury (but lacked natural sweetness). The tendon was tender like firm bouncy jelly. Tendon doesn't have much flavour themselves but takes on the flavour of the beefy savoury sauce.

👉 I actually felt Tin & Tin (Cathay)'s Hainanese beef noodles tasted rather average because the tenderloin beef while beefy lacked sweetness. But, my buddy liked it a lot, and we actually ordered a second helping. The plus points are this beef noodle is made in the traditional Hainanese way, and by JB and Singapore standards this is already in the good band. 

(Better quality beef is costly, so it is difficult to increase the quality given the price point of hawker food.)

Restaurant nameTin & Tin (Cathay) Hainanese Beef Noodle stall
Address: 149, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Johor Bahru (stall inside Restoran Shang Ji)  
GPS: 1.461184,103.767355  
Tel016-775 9807
Hours: Daily 08:00am to 2:00pm (Closed on Mondays)   

Non Halal

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