Kluang Beef Noodles

A standard serving of beef noodles - dry version
Still serving Kluang's super beef noodles

In 1930 when grandfather, Goh Hin, arrived in Kluang from Hainan Island, he started selling beef noodles from a stall in the old market along Jalan Pasar.  Known as Tian Le Yuan beef noodles, this thriving business was a magnet for beef noodle connoisseurs who came from as far away as Singapore, to enjoy the tasty treat. 

As he advanced in age, this father of seven gradually handed over the business to his three sons who went on to set up separate businesses under their own names. 



Beef balls in tasty beefy soup
In 1975, his youngest son, Goh Kee Loon, started trading as Yean Kee beef noodles at Jalan Kapten Ahmad and remained so popular among regulars that they followed his trail when the stall moved to Jalan Panggung in 1982. 

Just as he was trained by his father from young, his son Goh Chuan Kian, also started learning the trade as a youth and helped in the stall after school.  Now in the third generation, Goh Chuan Kian and his wife, has taken the traditional family business to new heights with an updated business concept in their shop at Taman Murni, Kluang.



Goh Chuan Kian and his wife, Sit Li at Yean Kee, Kluang
After a facelift last May, their shop started to attract a younger clientele who appreciate the clean, cool colours and modern concept in the cafĂ©-like eatery.  While most regulars will still order their signature beef noodles topped with cuts of beef, omasum, tripe and tendons, flavoured with chopped salted vegetables, crunchy peanuts, sesame seeds and secret sauces, there is now a menu to pick from a choice of noodles and side dishes and drinks. 

“At first, the old-timers complained,” said Cheong Sit Li, Goh’s wife, because they preferred the traditional layout of the shop but she was glad that they still kept coming back for the noodles.  She realizes that regulars simply enjoy the traditional recipe in the preparation of the herbal soup and special sauces used with the beef noodles. 



Yean Kee beef rendang
In fact, their smooth rice noodles are homemade in a family recipe that was passed down through the generations.  Using a combination of manual skills and some automation in the noodle preparation, Goh said his father still helps him and his wife with this.  The process starts from about 6am and in about one and a half hours the noodles are ready, freshly made for the stall to open at 10am. 

“We have to change with the times and keep up in business innovation,” said Goh who grew up observing how his father and grandfather worked hard to build the business.  In addition to beef noodles, Yean Kee now also serves beef ball and fish ball noodles, beef rendang with rice or noodles, and freshly sliced tender beef noodles in a dry choice or in beefy broth. 

Yean Kee is located at No. 4, Jalan Murni 1, Taman Murni, 86000 Kluang, Johor.  Business hours on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are from 10am to 9pm.  On weekdays the hours are from 10am to 3pm for lunch and from 6pm to 9pm for dinner.  They are closed on Monday and Tuesday on alternate weeks.  Tel: 012 – 7733 088.

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 21 September 2011

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great story. I am planning a makan venture trip to Kluang with my daughter. I am sure to include Yean Kee in my itinerary and will definitely have a great time ;D

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  2. Joseph Gan3/24/2012

    Went there many times already after they moved from behind the old coronation theater

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