The famous Original Hock Lam Beef Noodle empire has landed in the heart of the shopping belt, deep down in the food basement of ION Orchard. I'm a big fan of its sister restaurants: the CBD original at Far East Square and Southern outpost at Alexandra, so I was curious to see if this lux-ed up branch would fare as well.
It didn't. The ION Orchard offshoot has clearly watered down the bone of the classic Hock Lam flavour, making it less distinctive, but a lot more commercial. The food is a little clumsy too, with braised eggs that were overdone, and rubbery beef that was less than sparkling fresh. The lackluster fare may be why the casual diner was barely filled with people, even though it was a peak lunch period on a busy weekend.
The Australian Beef Ribeye Noodle Soup ($9.90) was commendable, even if it was notably more delicate than the robust herbal overtones of its other outlets. The Braised Egg ($1.50) top-up was awfully disappointing though, it'd been hard boiled to oblivion.
The Beef Ribeye & Brisket Dry Noodles ($9.90) had Australian ribeye slices which were tender, and stewed beef shanks which were unfortunately, stringy and dry, and blanketed with a gloopy, not smooth, gravy.
Hock Lam Beef Specialties
2 Orchard Turn
B3-18 ION Orchard
Tel: 6509 5429
Open daily from 11am to 10pm