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Beef Soup w/ christmassy taste

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Hi guys, I'm trying to identify a soup I ate while in Macao last year. Knowing that some residents patronize these forums, I hope it's ok to post a rather culinary than travel-centered question.

I had this beef and noodle soup for breakfast in a local place - rich and brownish, not clear. Nobody in there spoke enough English to answer questions about ingredients. What struck me as rather unusual was a subtaste vaguely reminiscent of Christmas bakery. I assume that one or more of cinnamon, cloves, anise are part of the recipe. Now, while this was the one time I remember most vividly, I came across this "christmassy" soup more often, in Hongkong, but also Thailand, so it is definitely not something pertaining just to Macao. It was certainly different from Vietnamese Pho though.

Maybe somebody could give me a name to start googling or even link to a recipe. It would make my day!

Thanks, Hendrik

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