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Prawn Noodles I Prefer

Prawn Noodles I Prefer

Featuring Old Airport Road Food Centre, The Naked Finn, Beach Road Prawn Mee Eating House, Blanco Court Prawn Noodle, IZY FOOK, Da Shi Jia 大食家大大大虾面, Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle (Esplanade Mall), North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre, Da Dong Prawn Noodles, Wen Wen Pork Rib Big Prawn Mee (Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre)
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

H O S T E D
I’m not kidding when I say my friend Dex and I were blown away by the Superior Prawn Mee Pok ($19++) here. It is a mouthwatering creation that is unlike any other prawn noodles I’ve had. The thin strands of silky “mee pok” are cooked al dente in a lusciously rich gravy-broth made from prawn heads. There is a whole bunch of ingredients in it: tiger prawns, pork, half an egg and sakura ebi. What I love most though is the small chewy pieces of “lap cheong” or preserved Chinese sausage. They use the type that’s imported from Hongkong, so the Chinese wine-fragrant meat adds a delicate sweetness that is intoxicatingly good with the savoury profile of the dish.

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Recommended by a friend, this delicious find at “Park90”, the newly open wine bar on the ground floor of Regent Hotel, more than satisfied my craving for something with a local flavour.
The style is quite “wet” with plenty of gravy, and the ratio of noodles to the ingredients is very decent. Served with it is a savoury sambal that I liked as well. So I ended up plonking quite a bit of it in for a bit of a spicy kick.

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The dry version of this stall’s prawn noodles (it is in a small coffeeshop at Blk. 7 Jalan Batu) has become my preferred. The soup that comes in a small bowl alongside tastes more concentrated than what you get in the regular soup noodles. Their sambal is savoury and fragrant, plus whenever I ask for extra fried pork lard, the hawker is generous in fulfilling my request.

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A spontaneous dinner with my parents at Old Airport Road Food Centre led to me ordering this $5 bowl of prawn and pig’s tail noodle soup from “Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodle” (stall #01-98). Mostly because I had not eaten their food in a long while and couldn’t recall what their style’s like.
Turned out to be pretty satisfying with a sweet broth built on the strength of crustaceans rather than pork bones. Although the vivid orange colour of the soup looks attractive in my photo, do note it has a consistency that’s more watery than opaquely creamy (which is what you get at “Da Dong Prawn Noodles). Nonetheless, I did enjoy sipping it.
What I also found satisfying were the freshness of the prawns and the extreme tenderness of the pig’s tail (guaranteed to leave mouths with a delicious stickiness at the end of the meal).

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It doesn’t get more old-school than this.
Cooked with great care by an old man who looks to be in a perpetually bent position (he stops once in a while as though to ease some discomfort), and assisted by his elderly wife who takes orders, handles the payments and does all the slicing of ingredients for the topping, this is a hawker dish you will need to be patient for. Just like everyone else in the queue for “Covent Garden Prawn Noodles” (stall 01-25 at Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre).
Unless you like your soup light and delicate in terms of prawn flavour, I would recommend choosing the dry version here because the noodles are tossed in a very tasty combination of savoury chilli sambal and pork lard oil (complete with a few heavenly pieces of crunchy fried lard).
My $5 bowl had such a generous amount of mee and beehoon that I had a hard time finishing all of it. So for those with a small appetite, the $4 serving should suffice.

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Although I like their dry noodles slightly more for its unique and extreme tastiness, the soup version of their signature prawn noodles a.k.a. 大食家大大大虾面 is very enjoyable too.
The higher-than-typical price tag translates into a hefty bowl of noodles of your choice topped with a few large, fresh and sweet prawns (halved for ease of eating), really tender, juicy pork ribs plus a broth that is aggressive in prawn power. Another plus point for me is that they don’t overcook the noodles and kangkong here. It might sound like a small thing but I feel there is a difference when instead of limpness, they both still have some bite to them.

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An Instagram post by @pengloh initiated my visit to this prawn noodles specialist.
Opened just three months ago, this casual eatery is an offshoot of “Big Eater Seafood” (a.k.a. “大食家海鲜”) with branches in Upper Changi and Jurong West. Unlike those with a full range of offerings on their menu, the more centrally-located “大食家大大大虾面” at 89 Killiney Road focuses on prawn noodles but they do have a couple of dishes (century egg minced pork porridge is one) for those who don’t take crustaceans.
After reading what Peng had to say about their soup and dry noodles, I had to order both.
Shown above is the latter, the 大食家大虾炒白米粉. Roughly translated, it means “Signature Big Prawns With White Bee Hoon”. I think it is a bit of a misnomer because the insanely tasty gravy colours the noodles an appetising reddish-brown.
Completely unlike the other “white bee hoon” I have had, this boasts of “wok hei”, a gloriously umami, slightly thick sauce that has its rich flavour intensified by loads of fried pork lard and fresh “khng chye” (can someone please enlighten me on its English name?). Besides large prawns, the noodles are fried with slices of lean pork too.
Although the menu is made up of only portions in one size meant for individuals, I found both our orders to be very generous. Those of you with a small appetite can share a serving and maybe add on a side dish like the Salted Egg Chicken or Shrimp Prawn Roll ($5.80 each).

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I am sorry to say I left this eatery feeling a little peeved.
Sure, their signature prawn noodles were tasty enough with that rich broth and three fresh prawns of a decent size (at $12++ for a modest portion, it had better be). Service was also attentive and prompt with my request for extra chilli swiftly fulfilled by two staff.
However, when I asked for a serviette thinking it had been overlooked, I was told they don’t provide any. As the staff went on to politely elaborate that they have wet napkins for sale at 30 cents a packet, I could only look at her with my greasy mouth hanging open.
Yup, at this casual restaurant that charges 10% service charge and 7% GST, they do not have any sort of basic cleaning items for customers. No tissue, no serviettes or napkins whatsoever. Zilch. Nada.
Am I wrong to be perturbed by this?

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I feel the “Hae Mee” (prawn noodles) at Restoran SFF can give the more popular “Curry Mee” a run for its money.
The broth is a vivid orange from the prawn shells used to make it, which also accounts for its unbeatable umami sweetness. Stir in the dollop of sambal chilli, a standard with every order, and you’ll not be able to stop yourself from draining every drop.
Besides shelled shrimps, each bowl comes with sliced pork “char siew”, some “kangkong” and a hard boiled egg. Classic toppings for the Malaysian-style of prawn noodles.
Since the ”Curry Mee” here is not one to miss, I recommend getting both dishes instead of trying to decide between them.

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What a delight (and relief) it was to learn that the taste of the prawn noodles here remains true to the original stall’s in Pek Kio Market.
I personally don’t mind the $12 price tag for my order as I got to eat it in air-conditioned comfort, and from crockery that’s a little special. Plus there’s table service here, so no queuing was required. Although not strictly the same, the chilli sauce served at this much fancier outlet is spicy and shiok too.
However, I have to say, “Da Dong Prawn Noodles” is still my go-to when the craving for prawn noodles strike.

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Here is an update on my favourite prawn noodles stall. The elderly uncle of #DaDongPrawnNoodles has been recovering from a fall but fortunately, his son Watson has been manning it with his mum, so customers can continue to get their fix.
I have been there twice during this time and was very pleased to find that nothing has changed and most importantly, the broth tasted just like how his dad has always made it. That rich stock of prawns and pork ribs coupled with the subtle sweetness from loads of garlic, is as fabulous as ever. In fact, I would not have been able to tell any difference had I not witness Watson doing the cooking. I was also glad to see that he has re-introduced kangkong because I've always liked that vegetable in my prawn noodles.
The good news is his dad is definitely on the mend, so I'm sure I'll be seeing uncle back at the stall soon enough.

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The good news: I found a stall selling exceptionally tasty Penang-style "hae mee" (prawn noodles) and an interesting dish called "Yuan Yang" (pictured above) which is a half-and-half mix of "hae mee" and "lor mee" 😋😋.
The bad news: the hawker will be ceasing operations in early June 2017 😩😩.
So why am I planning to return for more of PK's food before he closes his stall? Well, it's because this Penang-ite uses a recipe handed down from his grandmother and does it real justice. Which shouldn't be surprising as he's been cooking "hae mee" since he was 12.
From chatting with him, I learned as well how much time and effort is required to create his dishes. The use of exact ingredients is also integral to achieving that authentic taste, especially for the stock. Which is why he even bothers to import "ang kah hae" (red-legged prawns) from Malaysia.
However, PK's pursuit of perfection is a double-edged sword because the difficulty he's encountered in obtaining the right ingredients is also the reason he is closing his stall despite only opening last November. Sigh...
All I can say is, if you want to give his noodles a try, do make a trip down soon. And if you can handle spiciness, his homemade "sambal belachan" is a must-have.

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Follow me on Instagram (@veronicaphua) for much more content! 😊

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