217 Syed Alwi Road
Gar Lok Eating House
Singapore 207776

(open in Google Maps)

Thursday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

Friday:
Closed

Saturday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

Sunday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

Monday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

Tuesday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

Wednesday:
08:00am - 05:00pm

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Reviews

From the Burpple community

The Beef House at 217 Syed Alwi Road is famed for several things: yong tau foo, beef balls, beef tendon balls, soon pan (笋粄) and suan pan zi (算盘子).
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It is not hard to understand why they are so immensely popular because nothing here is factory made - well, maybe except for the various noodles (bee hoon, kway teow, Hakka mee) used here but otherwise, everything else is handmade.
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I ordered a bowl of beef tendon ball soup with bee hoon ($5), two pieces of soon pan ($1 each) and a plate of suan pan zi ($2).
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The soup is refreshingly light and clean-tasting especially with the addition of coriander however, what really stood out for me, are the tendon balls.
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Seriously, I have not tasted such beefy flavored balls before. Also, the texture is firm yet bouncy, I suspect if it rolled off my table, it might bounce across the road to the coffee shop opposite.
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It is so meaty, so substantial I doubt there are any fillers in it.
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I loved suan pan zi but they are so hard to find! This Hakka delicacy is made by kneading tapioca flour with yam but over here, they added pumpkin into the mixture as well which is then rolled into shape and stir fry with a copious amount of minced meat, black fungus, mushrooms and hae bi (dried shrimps).
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The Hakka soon pan had yam added into the dough of the skin.
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They are extremely generous with the fillings inside the soon pan which included jicama, bamboo shoots, black fungus, mushrooms and hae bi.
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Incredibly chewy and starchy, the crystal-like translucent skin may seem a little thick but to me, that is the best part because I enjoy chewing on chewy stuff!
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They are extremely generous with the fillings inside the soon pan which included jicama, bamboo shoots, black fungus, mushrooms and hae bi.
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Read more: https://thedeadcockroach.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-beef-house-217-syed-alwi-road.html?m=1

Recently went back to The Beef House to takeaway one of my favourite suan pan zi around! They’re still as good as I remember to be - soft textured with a great chew and generous ingredients. Try their Hakka soon kuehs too if you’re here!

2 Likes

If you want to taste real beef in beef balls, here is a place for you. As a person who loves to make all types of balls: fish balls, pork balls..., I can say the ratio of beef to flour is higher than other beef balls you have ever tasted in Singapore, at least for me. Not only that, it’s also springy to perfection. A downside is the dried noodle is tasteless with some fatty minced pork.

On a side note, dont forget to couple it with Milo peng $1.5. It’s good.

Small noodle with beef balls: $4
Small noodle with yong tau too: $3
Big mixed beef balls and tendon balls: $5

Took me three attempts before I got to enjoy the Hakka yong tau foo at “The Beef House” coffeeshop in Syed Alwi. The stall which is named after what it sells, is linked to the beef stall next to it, and on my first two visits, had either sold out or was closed.
It opens daily (except for Fridays according to Google Maps) at 7am, so by the time I arrived at 11.15am last Monday, the yong tau foo looked quite visibly reduced to anxious me. And the moderately long queue which was already in place, ended up stretching out onto the pavement by the time I got my food about half an hour later. My advice: Reach early to avoid disappointment.
But was it worth the wait? I believe so.
There is nothing fancy about the Hakka Yong Tau Fu here because it looks a little rough around the edges but it is its old-school taste that’s the big draw for me.
Not that you get to choose but the variety of items on offer (which is impressive considering the hawker doesn’t seem to have any assistants) is divided into those best enjoyed dry and those meant to be served in soup. Every piece of YTF I got tasted fresh and was appetisingly seasoned. My order of two large portions for TH and I cost only $10 which is a steal. I did think the serving of noodles was a bit on the modest side but the yong tau foo certainly wasn’t. In the bowls of soup were a generous amount of soya beans too, something I consider important for the proper enjoyment of this dish.
While eating, we were already in discussion about our next visit. That should say plenty about how good the food here is, right? 😊.

3 Likes

Elite but visit at your own risk. I always found the estrangement between old and new Singapore sharpened in hawker culture. New Singapore is orderly and mechanical, old Singapore is informal and spontaneous. So you get customers who struggle to order in Mandarin/dialect, you get confusion in the system, and other angst. This coffeeshop is a classic example. They're very busy, they have no structured ordering, they allow callers to jump the queue, and they're one of those notorious hawkers who take liberty with your order, which is neither a good nor bad thing lah. My queue took half an hour although there were only five customers ahead. There, it splits into beef noodle and yong tau foo - and they seem to inter-cook! Both stalls would serve you what's left or what's convenient - that's how we ended up with ytf mee kia. On the food, the balls and soup were first-class. Balls were plump, flavourful and juicy. Soup was so sweet it demanded respect. I think they used the same soup but the sliced beef gave its soup a meatier profile. Although this beef was inferior to the balls, its texture was unique. The noodles and Hakka minced meat were good too.

1 Like

However, when I was there at 12.30pm on a Saturday, they were completely sold out. So, I just ordered what was left - Beef Ball Soup and Noodles [$4].⁣

Because it was not planned, those 2 dishes certainly caught me by surprise. Firstly, the beef balls tasted springy with strong umami. The owner makes them by hand everyday and I can assure you their taste is completely different from any beef ball you buy outside. Secondly, unlike the usual MSG soup from many noodle shops in Singapore, the soup here was very refreshing. It was a clear soup but it had good concentrated flavours. Lastly, the noodles were thin, chewy with a strong onion taste. It may not be suitable for everyone but I certainly liked it as it paired well with the beef balls.⁣

Overall, I may not have gotten to eat the famous Hakka Yong Tau Foo set there but the Beef Ball Soup and Noodles were definitely not subpar. In fact, they were so tasty now I wonder how good the Yong Tau Foo is that it overshadows the success of these 2 dishes. I shall return another day, albeit earlier to make sure I try them. -Foodier✌🏻

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