Beef Hor Fun is considered a commonly ordered Zi Char dish that is sometimes overlooked.
Although this popular dish has huge fans throughout, it is never termed as one of the local delights, and hey… no food blogger has written a “Beef Horfun” listicle. (Okay lah, just joking.)
There are many average versions around, and sometimes we are unlikely to find clumpy ones, pale in colour (this is not San Lao!), tasteless and thin sauce (not enough seasoning), tough beef (too long on the wok) and lack of the flavour (control of the fire which only seasoned chefs can handle).
After a poll on Instagram, I went to try more than 15 Beef Horfun in Singapore (seriously I think I ate one every day), here is a round-up on 10 of the best (in no particular order).
Geylang Famous Beef Kway Teow
237 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389296
Tel: +65 9388 0723
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30am (Tues – Sun), 4pm – 2:30am (Mon)
Better known as the “Geylang Lor 9 Beef Horfun”, this shop actually has a Michelin-recommendation.
Priced at $7, $12, $18, $22 and $28, the plate is known for its generous portion of tenderer-than-tender beef slices (suspected too much tenderiser), cooked in thick gravy.
This was once considered THE Beef Hor Fun. I remembered the very first time I had it, it was as though this was one of the most wonderful thing that I had ever eaten. (Okay, would say this was about 20 years ago.)
While I still enjoy it, the quality has dropped throughout the years. The wok-hei was not as strong as before, and sauce thinner as compared to the past.
However, the generous portion and almost-too-tender beef still continue to save the day if you need a comforting treat.
Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant
1 Thomson Rd, Singapore 300001
Tel: +65 6254 8490
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Bee Kia Restaurant is located near a coffee shop at Thomson Road, opposite Thomson Medical Centre.
If you noticed, almost every table would order the two signature dishes – Beef Hor Fun and Prawn Paste Chicken – which were indeed crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Their signature Beef Hor Fun ($8) was actually enough to feed two people. The velvety smooth rice noodles were cooked to appetizing charred flavour, accompanied with succulent beef slices.
The meal slices were drenched in luscious black bean and cut chilli which added mild spiciness, making every mouthful rather full of flavour.
Termed as Geylang’s closest competitor, its edge would be the succulent beef full of bite, compared to Geylang which might be overly soft. You feel there is substance.
The sauce was less distinctive than Geylang’s though. The black bean sauce, sprinkled with chilli has a lot of texture. What’s missing was that X-factor.
Teck Hin Fried Hor Fun
20 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-56, Singapore 270020
Tel: +65 9752 1215
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm, 5pm – 8:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Of all the recommendations that came through IG, most were supportive of “that Beef Horfun from Ghim Moh”.
The bright red signboards are very easy to spot, and the stall is jam packed with hungry customers during peak lunch hours every day. Note: I went a couple of times and they happen to sell out before the indicated closing hours.
The stall is run by two chefs in an open kitchen where you can spot them furiously frying and cooking to create their signature smoky wok hei taste.
The price is $5 for all their dishes, and you can choose combinations that come with sliced fish, prawns or mui fan as the base.
As the dish is assembled (ie beef and sauce poured over ready-cooked rice noodles), you may not get that much wok-hei depending on which batch you receive.
However, there was still that smokiness in the noodles, and juicy tasty beef slices which were quite alluring. Definitely worth a try if you are at Ghim Moh.
448 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120448 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120448
Opening Hours: 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
Kee Hock is located at Clementi Central Hawker Centre and Market, and serves up has Zi Char dishes like Seafood Hor Fun, Sliced Fish Hor Fun, and Mui Fan.
All affordably priced at $4.50.
If you are a fan of thick, eggy sauce, then you are in for a treat, especially when the dish came piping hot.
The only thing was the beef slices could be lacking in flavours, and you would find yourself reaching out for more of those green-cut chilli.
Good Day (Amoy Street Food Centre)
Amoy Street Food Centre #01-25, 7 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
There are other dishes such as Sin Chow Bee Hoon, Yang Zhou Fried Rice, and Beef Fried Rice, but people are really here for the Beef Horfun ($4.50, $6.00).
I read that this is opened by siblings of the owners of Bee Kia at Thomson Road.
For $4.50, I really cannot complain about the portion, especially when you see how much beef is given.
The beef was thinly sliced, very tender and tasty, cooked in a thick dark sauce. Even the rice noodles were imparted with a wonderful savoury flavour (though they were pre-fried).
I could totally have this dish again and again. However, as the stall is trying to gather to a huge lunch crowd and long line of customers, the wok-hei could be lacking in this one.
Amoy Street Food Centre #02-102, 7 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat – Sun
The Pepper Bowl stall is helmed by a self-taught couple, and recently got quite popular after being featured in a number of food blogs.
The stall has a few main signatures including Spring Onion Beef Rice ($5.50), Spring Onion Pork Rice ($5.00), and Black Pepper Beef Rice or Horfun ($5.50). You can request for “double meat” at an additional $3.50.
Additional ingredients such as onsen egg ($0.60) can be added on, and the stall actually has a highly customisable menu with a variety of combinations available.
I liked that the bowl was quite full-on and ‘powerful’ in the black pepper flavour, and no lack of wok-hei. The wait can be slightly long as the chef is frying up bowl by bowl, but it is well-worth the queue.
Amoy Street Food Centre #01-56/57, 7 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 2:00pm, 4:30pm – 10:00pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon – Tues
The stall may look like typical Zi Char stall, but they serve up dishes relatively fast, and their rendition of Beef Hor Fun and San Lou Hor Fun are one of the best I had in Singapore.
I once interviewed fashion designer Keith Png, and he said the Beef Horfun here was his favourite, “It serves the best beef horfun I have ever had. The kway tiao has a slightly burnt taste to it, the amount of gravy and beef are generous and the beef is ohhhhhhhhh soooooooo tender yummy.”
The winner here was indeed the black bean sauce. Once I added some of the red chilli sauce, and turned out to be a delicious combination.
Most of the dishes are also affordably priced, such as $5 for the noodles, which also come with strong wok hei.
Mongkok Dim Sum
8 Cheong Chin Nam Road, Singapore 599733
Tel: +65 8686 8829
Opening Hours: 11am – 2am (Mon – Sat), 11am – 12:30am (Sun)
214 Geylang Road, Singapore 389274
Opening Hours: 24/7
Who would have thought that a eatery known for its inexpensive dim sum items would serve up a rather decent rendition of Beef Horfun.
The Beef Horfun ($6.80, $14) is labelled as “Geylang Lor 9 Beef Horfun”. If you are wondering WHY, the two are owned by the same group.
Therefore, you would find that their styles are so similar – super-over-tender beef, thick sauce with that touch of spiciness, that I think some people would not be able to tell the difference if there was a blind-taste test.
Por Kee Eating House
69 Seng Poh Lane (Tiong Bahru), #01-02, Singapore 160069
Tel: +65 6221 0582
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:30pm (Tues – Sun). Closed Mon
A surprise find, since I am usually there for the other Zi Char dishes such as Champagne Ribs and Braised Tofu. The Black Bean Sauce Beef Horfun was surprisingly good.
The wok hei flavour, thick sauce and chewy tender beef suggested that the cooks were very skilled in frying them and controlling the fire so that it is not overcooked.
The friend said it was even better than Geylang’s anytime, but the corn was totally out of place. Its heavier price might put some people off, and Por Kee has seen better days.
Hor Fun Premium
Alexandra Village Food Centre, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150123
Tel: +65 6474 0439
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Hor Fun Premium is a very popular stall at the Alexandra Village Food Centre.
The three parts of Beef Hor Fun ($4.50) are cooked separately. The smooth and broad kway teow would usually be completely drenched in saucy egg gravy, and the layers do not clump together.
I like that they are generous and also include crunchy-fresh kailan, just that it could overall be on the saltier side.
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