While Hong Kong eateries are springing up all over Singapore, the same cannot be said for Taiwanese food. To curb cravings for authentic Taiwanese beef noodles, the most decent place would be Lai Lai Family Restaurant which is conveniently located along Liang Seah Street.

I ordered the Best Value Set A ($12.20 nett) which included the specialty beef noodles, one side dish and a bubble tea. The origins of this signature dish supposedly hails from the Sheraton Hotel in Taipei and is made up of fresh egg noodles, dark beef broth, accompanied by three different cuts of beef shins. 

The broth is strong in herbs and spices, very flavourful and somewhat spicy with its pepperish undertones. (Okay, my friend complained it was too herbal though.) It tastes best if you add in the preserved vegetables and dried chilli, a combination which can mask the taste of the beef. Though I am not a fan of carbs, the noodles is tangy and not too thick. Few eateries can cook beef well as they are either too raw and rubbery, or well-done and tough.

Some of the popular side dishes include Pepper Salt Chicken, Flower Squid, Braised Pork Slice, Century Egg Tofu. As a fan of Taiwanese fried hawker fare, the Pepper Salt Chicken was my first choice.

My take is: Too much salt and too little pepper. The chicken were slightly too dry and would have been much better had they been chunkier and juicier. The Century Egg Tofu, if served very cold, can be an interesting blend. More pork floss would have made it perfect though.  As for the other two, the Flower Squid is more rubbery rings than crispy calamari. While the braised pork slice is neatly and thinly cut up, the slices do not melt in your mouth immediately.

The restaurant can get rather crowded during peak hours. But do not take the seats upstairs. As it is an enclosed place, it can become a too noisy due to poor architectural acoustics. Plus they were blasting Jay Chou the last few times I went. So if you are not a fan…

Lai Lai Family Restaurant, 20, Liang Seah St S(189041) Tel: +65 68371556

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Ah Tai (Chinatown)
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