Beefy Goodness

Tan Ah Teng at Tin & Tin Beef Noodle stall
Tin & Tin (pronounced Teng & Teng) Beef Noodles may not sound familiar but the mention of “Cathay” with its name will certainly draw nods of recognition.  That’s because Tan Ah Teng, 66, joined his name with Teng of former Cathay beef noodles fame, in the partnership of Teng & Teng.  Fondly known as Lau Wu or Old Five, Tan, the fifth of six brothers – three of whom are involved in the food industry – now serves his secret recipe to a loyal clientele of beef noodle lovers at this stall.

They are familiar with this comfort food of steaming hot Hainanese beef noodles, either in the dry version or in soup.  Now Tan is fast gaining a reputation as “Cathay beef noodles” because fans are making their way to the area close to Johor Baru’s former Cathay cinema to enjoy his signature beef noodles.  Servings come in small or large sizes and you can ask for additional toppings of tendon, tripe or meat at an extra cost. 

Just pick your choice of noodles [Foreground] for Tan
to dish up a delicious bowl of beefy noodles for you!
It’s so simple.  Just pick a choice of noodles for him to prepare, tossed in secret sauces and topped with chopped beef, salted vegetables, coriander leaves and toasted peanuts. 

The dry version of beef noodles will be served with a side of beefy broth, brewed in a delicious herbal recipe, filled with slices of tender beef, tripe and tendons.  A smooth Ice-Jelly drink or fresh coconut perfectly complements its flavours.

This stall is just six months old but Tan is certainly no stranger in the food service industry.  Forty years ago, he was serving beef noodles and chicken rice from a stall he rented in a shop at Jalan Wong Ah Fook. 

Round rice noodles topped with ingredients

In 1976, Tan and his brothers operated Blue Star in Taman Maju Jaya, a popular Chinese restaurant that firmly established his reputation as a Chinese chef.  The success of this restaurant spurred the brothers on to venture out into opening three more Chinese restaurants in Johor Baru.

Connoisseurs of Chinese food in Johor Baru in the 1980’s will recall good dining experiences in their businesses at the Prawn House in Taman Century, Jaws Five at Jalan Straits View and Red Point in Taman Pelangi.  Around the same time, the brothers opened three more Chinese restaurants outside of Johor in Malacca, Tawau in Sabah and in Brunei.  These restaurants have ceased operations as the brothers diversified into different business investments.

Kway teow noodles topped with ingredients with a
side of soup filled with tasty beef, tendons and tripe
Tan seems to have returned to his first love – good beef noodles using a combination of fresh local and imported beef – but distinctly without any beef balls.  For now, this father of three is content to know that his loyal clientele are coming back for his food.  Maybe it’s because he’s already come full circle or simply because his son, Kelvin, 26, is working alongside with him, reassuring him that fans of his noodles can enjoy his noodles for a long, long time.

Tin & Tin (Cathay) Beef Noodle is located at No. 141 & 142, Jalan Lumba Kuda, 80300 Johor Baru.  Business hours are from 7am to 2.30pm and the stall is closed on Monday.  Tel: 014 – 618 5189.

Large and small bowls of beef noodles with their sides of beefy soup
filled with tripe, tendons and tender meat

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 29 February 2012


  1. Dear Peggy, I love your articles. I have added a link to this article to my own blog post on Tin & Tin. I believe readers will appreciate reading your article as much as I did. Have also added your site to my blogroll. Thank you so much.

  2. Anonymous3/21/2012

    Hi Peggy,

    I can't stop reading your posts! It's very inside and nostalgic, love it so much...
    May I suggest to include some info of price as well for informative purposes?


  3. Hi Peggy,

    Is this beef still open? Thanks :)

  4. Yes, this beef noodle stall is still serving and satisfying loyal customers. Enjoy your meal!