There is something about Prawn Noodles (Hae Mee) with umami-rich broth made of prawn shells and pork ribs, that can be both comforting and satisfying.
With that said, I found many famous prawn noodle stalls slightly inconsistent, or that the broths have gone more diluted over the years. Unfortunately.
Fresh Taste Big Prawn Noodle at Zion Road is possibly still my personal favourite; but I also enjoy those from River South (Hoe Nam), Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles, Prawn Village (Ghim Moh Food Centre), and Noo Cheng Adam Road Big Prawn Mee.
Another friend recommended Da Dong Prawn Noodles which I will try soon.
Through the years, Whitley Road Prawn Noodles has been known to be one of the best prawn noodles stalls in Singapore, cooking their dishes only upon order.
They have 3 other outlets (Old Airport Road, 273 Thomson Road, 36 Circular Road) in Singapore gathering a long line of loyal followers especially during lunch hour.
I went to the Old Airport Road stall as it was the one recommended by the Michelin Guide (with a Michelin Plate).
Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles offers Hae Mee in both the dry and soup versions, with options which also comes with pork ribs and pork liver.
Most people seem to go for the Big Prawn Pork Rib Noodles ($5.50, $8, $10, $12) or the Three In One ($8, $10, $15) with pork ribs, liver and tail.
The good thing is you do not have to wait around the stall (especially when it is congested and can get very warm) as you would be given a buzzer.
I reckon that the wait was about 15 to 20 minutes when I went both times, plus auntie was quite friendly.
The stall serves a smaller portion compared to others, but what it lacks in portion makes it up in flavour.
The prawns were chunky and tasted fresh – could be sweeter though; while the pork ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender.
Interestingly, I preferred the dry version. The noodles were coated in a spicy-savoury and home-made chili paste with some zing.
Fried shallots and pork lard added provided that light crunch and aroma.
Choose the soup version if you prefer something warm and soothing. The prawn broth was vividly orange with reasonably strong prawn flavours.
I thought that while the soup was slightly flavourful and sweet, it lacked the depth that I would have preferred. Also, I thought that it could be hotter.
Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles (威利大蝦麵)
Blk 51 Old Airport Road, #01-98 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm (Tue – Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon