Behind the Brand
Why is this special you may ask.
Because it’s one prawn noodle, not two.
Yes lame cos I’m hungry and gastric juices interfere with my witty bone.
But seriously, it’s because the lady who started this stall Gwyneth Ang, used to be a Chef at Burnt Ends.
And she was trained at the Culinary Institute of America no less.
Burnt Ends is the much touted slightly bad boy of innovative cuisine at Keong Saik, with critics falling over themselves to shovel on the praises.
Yes I’m slightly envious and feel an arsehole snarky attack coming on because I’ve never been to Burnt Ends.
I’m told Burnt Ends doesn’t take reservations and this fat slug and queuing are like Susan Boyle and Eminem – least likely to copulate and come to a satisfying fruition.
Burnt Ends and CIA makes her eminently qualified to make prawn noodle soup?
Errr yes I should think so.
From cutting edge cooking to hawker ? Should be an interesting combination but I hope it’s not too funky.
We arrived late at 130 pm and there was still a healthy queue.
We ordered the $9 Super Prawn Noodle, which comes with pork ribs, intestines, pork skin and pig tail and of course prawns and even sliced eggs. And a beancurd roll.
We ordered two more beancurd rolls each to make it a $ 10 bowl.
The stall was rather small.
Gwyneth was taking orders and helping out while a young man was at the helm doing the cooking.
All the pork ingredients were pre cooked and ready to be assembled.
But they only cook the hefty sized prawns when they prepared your order, to ensure freshness.
I felt moved and my heart skipped a beat when I saw the huge metal container of lard and lard oil taking centre stage in the front of the stall.
Praise the lard.
These people took their lard seriously.
My heart again jiggled when I saw the broth.
It was a thick unctuous beauty to behold, like a full bodied Japanese ramen broth that has been boiled for days on end.
The pork items were well textured – soft yet with a bit of a bite.
Prawns tasted super fresh and succulent.
The lard was crispy enough bearing in mind that it had not been drained but was soaked in the oil that came with it.
An animated debate ensued at my table as to whether it would make sense for them to have drained the lard to give it a shattering crispness which would be apparent when spooned over the dry version of the noodles. But it was semantics – it was delicious enough as it is.
The Sexy Broth
But it is the soup which floored me. I would come back again and again just for this decadent broth.
I cook prawn mee at home regularly so I know just how long it takes to render the soup to that consistency.
And the other skill in making the soup perfect is the balance between using enough pork products and the prawn heads and shells to achieve a broth that is aromatic and prawny, but yet balanced by enough porky essence so that it doesn’t taste raw and heavily briny as some big prawn noodles stalls tend to present it.
One Prawn Noodle has got the balance immaculately perfected.
It was thick enough so that the word broth comes to mind rather than just plain soup.
Really, with a broth like that, everything else you put into the mix will always be what Watson is to Sherlock Holmes, Robin to Batman, Fredo to the Godfather.
If there was a blip to the meal, it was because we forgot to order the home made prawn balls which apparently the chefs had to take time to perfect.
It just means I have to be back sooner than the respectable time lag I would normally allow for.
ONE PRAWN NOODLE
Address: 505 Beach Road, #01-93, Golden Mile Food Centre, Singapore 199583
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 8pm
Tel: 9639 8668