KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — A good bowl of beef noodles can do wonders for the soul. Sip good beef broth. Savour tender pieces of beef tenderloin. Chew on thick pieces of cow’s stomach. Bliss!
Since it started about 12 to 13 years ago, this beef noodles stall at Argyle Restaurant has been winning fans from all over. It’s run by the affable 70-year-old Ah Heng and his chatty wife, Madam Low. You’ll be surprised but they originally didn’t set out to sell this type of noodles.
Madam Low shares that previously they were selling KL-style lam mee instead. This was at Ah Heng’s mother’s coffeeshop, a few doors away. When they shifted to this spot, they had to abandon that and be different from the other hawkers. Hence, they picked beef noodles.
Ah Heng had once worked odd jobs around Petaling Street. From there, he managed to pick up cooking tips from a famous beef noodle stall.
With beef noodles, it’s back-breaking work to prepare the various ingredients. Even cutting the meat, cleaning it of any gristle and preparing the tendons are done on their only day off. They source for their beef — imported from Australia — from a supplier in Segambut. Other places won’t do, as their meat is not so fresh.
Sadly, Madam Low also laments that prices for these ingredients just aren’t going down. They are also afraid to raise prices of their beef noodles. In fact, she has stuck to the same price -- a bowl of beef noodles for RM10 -- for five to six years.
You will find what makes each bowl here delicious is their beef broth. It’s not overly laden with herbs and spices as they use a lighter hand with those ingredients.
Madam Low revealed that the broth is constantly simmering for a few days with beef bones. You will also appreciate the thick pieces of cows’ stomach that has a nice bite to it. It’s so good that even Madam Low’s son just can’t get enough of it.
The tendons here are cooked perfectly too. Just the right softness. I especially like the beef balls. It’s not made by them but I love the special hidden surprise inside, when you bite into it... juicy beef meat.
If you prefer the dry version, go for their Hakka noodles. The springy egg noodles are topped with a dark meat mince made with pork. Accompanying your bowl will be their chilli sauce — a piquant one with a tremendous amount of chopped garlic to frighten off any vampire.
There’s also a little heat with bird’s eye chillies. Dip your beef slices in it for a mellow spicy kick. Madam Low also has another sauce, available only upon request. The greenish sauce is a pungent concoction, thanks to the addition of belacan.
Beef Noodles Stall
5, Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian, Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur
Open: 8am to 3pm
Closed on Friday