When people go for Prawn Noodles aka Hae Mee, it is always about the broth.
It has to be flavourful, brimming with seafood-goodness, with tinge of sweetness and most importantly taste gao-gao (intensely rich).
Of all the prawn noodle stalls in Singapore, I visit the Zion Riverside Food Centre’s most frequently.
Not because it was super rich, but it was a safe, comforting choice. And I haven’t got bored of its taste, yet.
Then it got listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Being a regular customer myself, I was so afraid that the line would even get much longer, but thankfully it was still manageable. Avoid peak dinner-hours if you are too hot to wait.
Some stalls would completely milk their Michelin-fame, while for others… life goes on. This stall, I suspect is more of the latter.
It is a branch of the original at Adam Road, and as such there are some difference in terms of taste of the two.
Also, it used to be known as “Noo Cheng Adam Road Big Prawn Mee” till it changed name to a more generic-sounding “Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle”. Which I think is a really boring and forgettable name, unfortunately.
As this is typically a one-man show, even if you see 5 customers in the line, you may already need to wait say about 10 minutes. Then again, if one person decides to ta-bao for the village…
The stall serves both dry and soup versions of their signature prawn noodle from $6 onwards.
Some new-comers may just scream at the price, at $6, $8, $12, $16, $20, $25. Do not be surprised, I actually hear the $20/$25 orders more frequently than expected.
The size and number of the prawns and ribs do get progressively larger with the prices, but I always order the most affordable bowl.
Because I am there really for the soup.
Cooked for hours with pork ribs and prawn head, the broth was incredibly tasty (and I don’t get MSG attacks after).
Some soups taste artificially sweet, but this doesn’t thankfully.
The only thing is, I noticed of late that the intensity may not be as consistent as before, and sometimes it may not be as full-bodied.
There are prawn mee lovers who like bowls as if an ocean of prawns died within to create that stock. This isn’t one of them, but was still flavourful.
The prawns come fresh and chunky, cut into half.
Do not worry as the shells come off the meat easily so much so that you won’t likely need to use your hands if you have reasonably-good chopstick skills.
Another interesting aspect is the type of bee hoon used.
We typically see the thin (the economic bee hoon type) or perhaps thick vermicelli (the laksa type), but Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle uses something that is in between in terms of thickness.
Order the dry version, ask for some chilli, and you would find a spicy bowl of ‘al dente’ medium-thick bee hoon addictively tasty with fragrant fried shallots.
Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle or Noo Cheng Adam Road Big Prawn Mee
Zion Road Food Centre #01-04, 70 Zion Road Singapore 247792
Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 11.30pm (Tues, Wed, Fri), 6:30pm – 11:30pm (Thurs), 12pm – 3pm and 6pm – 11:30pm (Sat), 12pm – 1am (Sun)
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Hong Kong Yummy Soup 香港靚湯 (Alexandra Village Food Centre)
High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle (Hong Lim Food Centre)
Chef Kang’s Noodle House (Toa Payoh)