Tam Jai International Co. Limited raises temperatures in its first foray outside Hong Kong with the launch of TamJai SamGor Mixian (“SamGor”) in Singapore. The Michelin-approved, award-winning household noodle brand from Hong Kong adds on to its 66 native outlets to bring a taste of Hong Kong street food to spice-obsessed Singaporeans.
Well-loved for its intensely-flavoured, piquantly-spicy bowl of mixian with six soup bases, 10 levels of spiciness and a selection of fresh ingredients to choose from, Hong Kong’s favourite noodles will leave locals thirsty for more.
Unlike the typical noodles widely used in the market, what truly sets apart SamGor’s ‘mixian’ is its chewiness and cooking method that ensures it remains al dente (or ‘firm to the bite’). Its smooth surface makes it a perfect complement to SamGor’s unique soup bases. Made simply from the humble rice flour and water, ‘mixian’ is gluten free and gentle to the digestive system, suitable for discerning palates of all ages.
TamJai SamGor has been winning its social media game recently. It made the Hongkongers emotional in a recent video campaign. Amid the recent surge of people leaving Hongkong and resettling in the UK, the noodle brand came up with a really emotional video campaign that makes the Hongkongers think twice before leaving their country.
Its ad "A Taste of Memories" capitalized on Hong Kongers' current dilemma: whether or not to stay in the city. A narrative was crafted by the brand that revolved around nostalgia. "Although the environment may change, the relationships between people will never change," the brand stated.
The campaign video had MIRROR's Ian Chan as the lead character. When he was a student, he would have his rice noodles at TamJai SamGor. A bowl of rice noodles brought back memories of happier times when he returned to Hong Kong after living abroad for several years.
Along with being released online and broadcast on ViuTV, the video also received OOH exposure. You may find user-created Instagram filters, animations, YouTube videos, and creative postings on the internet. As if that was not enough, TamJai SamGor also invited its fans to express their "Taste of Memories" by tagging their friends, as well as paying tribute to and interacting with other Hong Kong companies that contributed to our collective memories.
A Bowl of Endless Combinations
SamGor’s first overseas outlet opens at Bedok Mall serves its signature customisable bowl of noodles in over 700,000 available combinations. The chain also serves up an “all-in-one” combo mixian and an array of side dishes redolent with the tastes of Chinese and Hong Kong-style cuisine.
In every bowl of mixian, smooth strands of rice noodles are immersed in a flavourful broth with SamGor’s secret blend of spices, including the famed Sichuan peppercorn. The iconic Hong Kong noodle chain popularised Yunnan mixian when founder Mr. “Sam Gor” Tam Chap Kwan first established TamJai Yunnan Mixian with his brothers in 1996. He was intrigued by the unique texture of mixian and found that it goes perfectly with Sichuan mala hotpot soup.
Complexity of Flavours
Inspired, he created SamGor mixian that brings the tastes experiences with “fragrant, numbing, hot and spicy” in sequence at the one time in mind. A lingering fragrance due to the unique, aromatic mix of spices is followed by a slow spreading of tingling numbness that envelopes the tongue. The final salivating spiciness enters and stays in the mouth and throat. It stays in the mind too. After the sweat, spice and throbbing heat, diners return to experience it all over again.
Smooth yet chewy mixian, a spicy yet flavourful broth, and an unforgettable taste that lingers in the mouth, it is no wonder that diners in Hong Kong are wildly addicted to the taste of SamGor.
Unique Soup Bases with Ten Levels of Spiciness
It offers spicy-seeking noodle lovers a selection of six unique soup bases for all kinds of tingling sensations. One of the most popular choices, Ma La Soup (Hot & Numbing Soup), is a slow creeping of numbness followed by a hit of electrifying spiciness. Order Wu La Soup (Charred Pepper & Spices Soup) which is a SamGor original recipe. Founder Sam Gor infused the taste of his favourite dish, claypot rice, by frying chilli and spices to the brink of being burnt. These charred spices are then added to the broth for a smoky flavour to spread through the soup. Perfect for Singaporeans who love wok hei.
SamGor is known as the original spicy soup experts and its soup bases have set the standard for spicy food in Hong Kong. Spike the soup with 10 levels of heat, starting with Non-Spicy for the spice-averse, followed by a spectrum of Mild levels, to Hot and Extra Hot. 1/10 Mild, which is second on the SamGor spicy meter, is recommended for first timers to the brand.
Pick from a list of over 20 ingredients with the likes of shrimp wanton, premium beef slices and bamboo fungus to add to the customised bowl of smooth mixian. For the undecided, SamGor offers a combo dish, Cross-Bridge Mixian (Guo Qiao Mixian), where noodles are crowned by a variety of 16 pre-selected toppings. One of the not-to-be-missed side dishes is the brand’s trademarked TuFei (Hunan Cumin) Chicken Wings. The chicken is marinated with special herbs and the skin is roasted to a crisp which shatters to reveal tender, juicy meatwhich oozes flavour with every bite.
Mr Daren Lau, Chief Executive Officer, TamJai International, says “The opening of SamGor in Singapore brings our original spicy flavours and authentic Hong Kong food style first time to overseas markets. As a vibrant and energetic city same as SamGor’s character, Singapore is a melting pot for various food cultures in line with SamGor’s vision of pursuing culinary excellence by continually introducing new and creative elements in our dining concept. We believe our unique spicy flavours will be a real appeal to food lovers in the country. Opening stores across the borders under the Covid-19 shadow is a great challenge, but it does not stop us in sharing the great tastes to our foodies and friends in Singapore. As the spicy food authority in Hong Kong, we also hope to establish our unique spicy spectrum as the new international standard for hotness.”
The TamJai Mixian Empire
From a neighbourhood corner store in Sham Shui Po to one of Hong Kong’s most recognised chain restaurants, SamGor’s style of mixian has become an integral part of Hong Kong’s food culture. In 2011, SamGor was recognised with a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide and retained its title for three consecutive years.
Proliferating to 66 outlets (as at 1 September 2020) in Hong Kong and seeking mixian domination with its sister brand TamJai Yunnan Mixian (“TamJai”) with 65 outlets (as at 1 September 2020), SamGor hopes that the popularity of mixian boils over to the international food scene.
“Since Toridoll Holdings Corporation acquired TamJai and SamGor in 2018, we have dedicated our resources to strengthen our market positioning, enhance operation standards and efficiencies, develop innovative products as well as improve overall food safety and food quality. Supported by the dedicated efforts of all our colleagues, we have now built a solid foundation, and we believe that this is the right time to expand our brands overseas. In the true spirit of SamGor’s vision and persevering nature, the brand is all about serving good food enhanced by creativity and innovation.” Daren adds.