Chinese

Soong Kee

by The Foodster on Fri, June 05, 2009

This place is an institution. It has a lot of history and they are proud of what they do. Make no mistake, they do it deliciously well. Serving beef ball noodles for over 50 years and counting. We thought that we'd pull out this review back, now that Soong Kee Beef Ball Noodles will be screened at the NYC Food Film Festival this coming June 15th, 2009.

The fresher the meat, the bouncier the balls

Foodster's Verdict

Soong Kee
  • TASTE
  • Address

    Soong Kee
    Tel: 03 2078 1484

  • Open

    Mon - Sat: 11am - 10:30pm

  • Pros

    The Uncle here is friendly and won't mind your questions

  • Cons

    Tricky to find and tricky to find

  • Price Range

    RM8 - RM15

  • Parking

    Difficult

  • Certification

    Non-Halal

Chan has worked since he was thirteen years old. Now he is about sixty. What makes a person work almost half a decade century for the same employer? That's getting extremely rare these days. Curious to meet the owner, I met Siew Wei Hann the owner of Soong Kee. He recalls that the business was first started by his grandfather way way back and then his father took over in 1945. the owner of Yang Kee happens to be his uncle's son.

I remember about ten years ago when I was a college student I used to pass by this little store every time I go to town. Before the current air conditioned restaurant setup, this place used to have a very small store with just a place to cook and about three tables, now they have two storeys of them. This place is famous for its beef ball noodles and also its beef parts (tongue, stomach and etc) with noodles. Wei Hann says that how the beef ball tastes has a lot to do with how fresh the meat is. He admits that he can now tell the freshness of the meat by looking and listening to the sound as he cuts it up. Uh..oh.. amazing stuff! He recalls that just after Kuen Cheng school along Federal Highway there used to be an abattoir and the fresh meat used to be sold in Central Market. Back then, Central Market was a wet market and they did their fresh beef shopping in the morning. The meat was so fresh, it was still moving he exclaimed!.... to my amusement.

Since the abattoir has now moved to Shah Alam, his supply of fresh meat is not as fresh as in those days.... but still pretty good. To make beef balls they would initially remove all the tendons from the meat. The meat gets whacked with a squarish shaped rod about 2 feet to tenderize and mince the meat. The fresher the meat the firmer the beef ball would be.

I ordered the big bowl of dried noodles accompanied with some beef balls and beef parts. The bowl of noodles came dry and was covered with a few strands of vegetables and minced beef pork. I find that the minced pork flavor was very distinct and not overpowered by the black sauce. The soup bowl of beef parts and beef ball was just a tad salty but it was great to eat the really soft tendon. The amount of salt used varies depending on the meat. So don't be surprised if sometimes the beef ball soup is saltier than other times or vice versa. As a basic rule, the meat is boiled proportionally to the age of the beef. They normally boil older meat longer than the young cows. This bowl of noodle had more noodles than Yang Kee's.

Soooooo much experience goes into preparing the beef noodles la fellas! This is really a business that you can't simply franchise as it all depends on experience of the cook. As the kind of meat he gets everyday varies, most of the time, he will leverage on his experience to decide stuff such as more salt, less salt, boil longer and etc. They are not many people who make and sell their own beef ball noodles in KL. There are so many good reviews on this place evidenced by prints from numerous publications all over the wall. There is even one in Japanese. The time I spent with Wei Hann was quite amazing. He is a pillar of humility, he works in the kitchen and still supervises the staff. I felt truly honored to able to steal some time from him. He is truly a rare gem like his beef ball making skills. Also he has not raised the price for the last ten years. We at FriedChillies gives Wei Hann and his crew a special Beef Ball Salute and Slurp!....

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