Many of us may be too young to know the famous Odeon beef noodle stall (Hwa Heng Hainanese Beef Noodles) that was opposite the old Odeon theatre at North Bridge Road. Many a romantic date at the movies back then was accompanied by a good bowl of piping hot beef noodles here. The stall was demolished but the two sons continued the family business in food courts - first in the now-defunct Scotts Picnic Food Court at the basement of Scotts Shopping Centre, and now at ION Orchard (others are probably franchised outlets).
Thanks to Andrew who shared with us this incredible find at 27 Maude Road, I was able to taste the original Odeon beef noodles. The stall is run by the younger of the two brothers who own the business. And the prices remain old school - just S$3 for this bowl of mixed beef noodles. What a steal! They also have dry noodles, beef tendon noodles and such.
The stock is brewed for 5-6 hours with 10 herbs. Beautifully smooth, robust and fortifying. It's the perfect broth for a rainy afternoon. I was glad I braved the rain sans umbrella to come here.
And what really made the meal complete was the chili sauce with cincaluk. Now, for the longest time, I have never understood how cincaluk pairs well with beef noodles. It just seems like a total clash. Until I tasted the one here. It is so refined, so different and tailor-made for this dish, that it completely changes the taste and transforms it into a new sensory experience.
I don't know how they do it but this is the way. You can't just dump any mass-produced cincaluk onto some chili paste and hope for it to work, like they do at most beef noodle places these days.
I did not take a photo of the chili sauce per se, but you can see it vaguely in the background here.
Mr Kian and his daughter run the stall at this very old and rustic coffee shop in the midst of a semi-industrial area full of workshops for car repairs, bicycle parts and even fishing equipment. I forgot what time they open in the morning (I think 11am) but take note that they close at 3pm. Come for lunch, not dinner here!
TOA PAYOH HWA HENG BEEF NOODLES
Bendemeer Market Food Centre,
Block 29 Bendemeer Road, #01-01,
Open Wed to Fri: 10.30am - 5.30pm
Sat and Sun: 10.30am - 2.30pm
Closed on Mon and Tues