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This 23-Year-Old And His Father Serve Shiok Teochew-Style Beef Kway Teow

They're related to the founder of the famous Hock Lam Beef noodle chain, and their spin-off stall is in Siglap.

This 23-Year-Old And His Father Serve Shiok Teochew-Style Beef Kway Teow

Sixty-two-year-old David and his son, John Paul, 23, at their stall, Empress Place Beef Kway Teow. John discovered his passion for cooking when he started helping his dad out at the stall when he was only 11. In the last two years, the communications management diploma holder decided to turn cooking into his full-time career and worked as a junior chef at hipster angmoh restaurants Camp Kilo and Wolf Burger to hone his culinary skills. He now helps his dad out at the stall after leaving Camp Kilo last December. His goal? To set up his own restaurant using the Empress Place name. “My dad’s dream is to open a proper restaurant that sells everything related to beef — like stir-fried beef, beef hor fun and more. I want to help fulfil this dream, and also introduce more modern dishes like beef brisket ramen.”


Sixty-two-year-old David has been running Empress Place Teochew Beef Kway Teow in a Siglap coffeeshop for the past 16 years — but he hopes to retire soon. He picked up cooking from his dad, also a beef noodle hawker, more than four decades ago. Since then, David set up (now-defunct) beef noodle stalls in Marine Parade and Wisma Atria before finally settling down in Siglap. Interesting fact: David’s mum is the eldest daughter of Tan Chin Sia, the founder of the famous Hock Lam Street Beef Kway Teow chain, which originated in the 1920s. David’s dad had learnt how to cook the dish from the founder before branching out to start his own stall in Empress Place in 1971.

“Our soup version is similar to Hock Lam’s, but our dry one is different. It’s more authentic Teochew-style and served with kway teow instead of the usual thick bee hoon and gravy,” says David. He says that he chose to name his stall Empress Place in honour of his dad, and hopes that his son, John Paul, 23, continues to use the same name in future to carry on the family’s legacy.

See above photo gallery for our take on the grub here.


EMPRESS PLACE BEEF KWAY TEOW, 936 East Coast Rd, S459129. Open daily. Weekdays noon-3pm; 6pm-11.30pm & weekends noon to 11.30pm. Tel: 8399-4715. Last orders at closing. www.facebook.com/empressplacebeef/

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