Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hainanese Beef Noodles @ Mok Chai 莫才 in Kulai, Johor, Malaysia

My friend Alex from Kulai brought me to Mok Chai 莫才 which is one of the two famous Hainanese beef kway teow shops in Kulai. The other famous beef kway teow shop in Kulai is Mok Gao 莫搞.

I asked Mok Chai if he was related to Mok Gao, the other famous Kulai Hainanese beef noodle shop. Mok Chai said no. He explained that the word Mok is like the word Ah in Hokkien and Cantonese. So Mok Chai and Mok Gao, is like Ah Chai and Ah Gao in Hokkien and Cantonese. I got a language lesson while food finding, not bad :)

Mok Chai told me that he started working at his father's Hainanese beef stall in 1965. That's 47 years ago! And, Mok Chai told me that his beef kway teow is made in the same way through all these years. That means, everything is done by hand and all ingredients have to be fresh. So, Mok Chai and his wife start work every day at 3:00am to prepare the beef, broth and the gravy.

And, customers stay with Mok Chai because they are so used to the old tastes and flavours.
We ordered a dry version. It looked very similar to those Hainanese beef kway teows that we had in JB and Kluang.

Kway teow noodles, doused in thick beef based gravy and topped with fragrant chopped parsley leaves, preserved vegetables, fried shallot crackles and crunchy fried peanuts.

The brownish gooey beef gravy is the soul of beef kway teow. Made by boiling beef parts for many hours, the beef gravy was slightly salty, and had that distinct beefy flavour which I liked. Don't take this beefy flavour for granted just because this is a beef kway teow stall - I have eaten at enough beef kway teow stalls that serve gravy that had no beef flavour at all i.e. no soul, so to speak.

The clear beef soup was tasty, slightly herbal, and had generous amounts of beef and beef parts soaking inside.

Every piece of beef was fresh, naturally sweet and cooked till tender.

Dipping the beef into this tangy, spicy hot chili sauce made it even more delicious.

Mok Chai's beef noodle is very likable and the warm, familial ambiance make it even more enjoyable. Little wonder then that regular customers stay loyal to Mok Chai 莫才 for decades.

Restoran name: Mok Chai 莫才 Noodle Restaurant
Address: Jalan Kenanga 29/4 (in commercial centre off Persiaran Indahpura Utama)
GPS: 1.641887,103.619109
Hours: 6:00am to 1:30pm (Closed on Monday)
Non Halal

Date visited: 1 Oct 2012


  1. I can almost taste it! Looks great!

  2. The dry version looks very similar to the Seremban one, except they don't use kuay teow but homemade rat tail noodles.

    1. hmm... I think rat tail noodles go very well with this gravy too. Must stop over at Seremban to try :)

  3. have pork or just all in beef??

  4. Hi All,
    I went to try the Indian Breakfast stall this morning.
    Not bad Dosai and fried chicken.
    As I was nearby, I thought I'd try this Mok Chai Beef noodle.
    Found the place and decided to ta pau 2 packets of beef bee hoon as I was still not hungry. Cost me RM11.
    Surprises surprises when I opened up the ta pau when I got home...
    5 tiny (and I mean TINY...actually measured it - the BIGGEST piece was 1.25 in by .25in by like 1.5 mm)thinly sliced pieces of beef and two even tinier pieces of tripe and a meat ball...
    Wah! Inflation so fierce oredi meh???


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