It's been eons since I was last here at the Far East Square outlet of the Original Hock Lam Beef Noodle (I was a pupil then!). The restaurant's still as bustling as ever, and the beef noodles still rank as one of the best in the market.
As with all CBD eateries, weekday lunchtimes are heavily trafficked, so expect to wait in line for a table. Turnover is pretty fast though, so you won't have to wait very long.
The Beef Kway Teow Soup ($8.90) was full-bodied but balanced, littered with shavings of meltingly tender beef.
The Chunky and Sliced Beef Kway Teow ($8.90) was slathered in a velvety gravy potent with herbal accents, while parboiled beansprouts lent a refreshing crunch.
For big appetites, an extra side of Beef Balls Soup ($4.50 for 5 pcs) should hit the comfort spot squarely. These were tasty and springy.
The lackluster Beef Hor Fan ($9.90) was bathed in a silky egg-drop gravy but insipid. This needed a good salting to amp up the flavours.
The Golden Corn Fried Rice with Beef Steak ($12.90) looked nicely plated, but lacked practical purpose. The plate was way too small for the mountain of vapid rice so it was a struggle eating without leaving a mess all over.
The Garlic Fried Rice with Beef ($13.50), served on a sizzling hotplate, was fragrant and tasty.
The Long Bean Fried Rice with Beef ($11.90), generously dotted with tender beef slices, was pretty decent as well.
The Creamy Butter Chicken ($10.90) was coated in a delectable salted egg yolk glaze, spiked with fried curry leaves and chilli padi, but disappointingly overfried.
Original Hock Lam Beef Noodle
22 China Street
Far East Square #01-01
Tel: 6220 9290
Open daily from 10am to 9pm