I’m almost certain that the first post I ever did see about Da (big in Mandarin) Dong Prawn Noodles (大東蝦面) was from @veronicaphua, and then my feed just went absolutely wild with nothing but Da Dong swinging around. I know from personal experience that having a Big Dong is absolutely awesome, but I simply couldn’t understand why everyone was losing their minds over Da Dong’s, well, 大东.⠀

I have failed in my quest to survey Da Dong twice before, so I made sure I was up bright and early to get the full Da Dong experience. I got a bowl of their standard pork rib prawn noodles ($8), and made sure to order thin vermicelli so as to avoid interfering with the legendary broth. Well, that was apparently a really good idea, as the broth turned out to be milder than most other prawn broths.⠀

It’s a lot less forward on the briny sapidity that only seafood can deliver, instead relegating the seafood umami to the copilot’s chair. The captain here is definitely the pork bones that have been painstakingly boiled down into the stock, which results in a lighter and cleaner, yet richer & fattier broth. You are far less likely to get overwhelmed with Big Dong than any of its contemporaries, but the deeply savoury broth is no less satisfying as it slides into your guts.⠀

As you can see, the $8 bowl is pretty miserly especially compared to any other famous competitor out there. Sure, the prawns were fresh & the pork ribs were terrifically tender, but nobody other than people with small appetites are gonna be full for long on this. Still, I’m glad to have enjoyed this famous prawn star, and now I completely understand why so many people are lusting for Big Dong.⠀

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