There is that comforting feeling that Prawn Noodles provide, and Singaporeans love a spectrum from the old-school Hae Mee with light and delicate flavours; to those with rich and robust prawn soups.
One Prawn & Co at 458 Macpherson Road belongs to the latter, and also provides a taste profile you cannot quite find elsewhere.
Flavourful but not too jelak.
Have seen online reviews with comments such as “prawn soup is very powerful”, ”taste is legit”, to “just soulful and warms your soul”.
If you find the name familiar, the team was previously from “One Prawn Noodle” at Golden Mile Food Centre.
They took the leap of faith to open up a full-fledged eatery with Prawn Noodles with Claypot Soups, Ngor Hiang, more offerings in the pipeline.
Chef Gwyneth Ang helming the place has more than 10 years of culinary experience in established restaurants like Burnt Ends, Tong Le Private Dining and Forlino.
Therefore she uses a mix of both Western techniques such as brining; Asian techniques such as velveting to bring out the optimal flavour-profiles for the various ingredients.
Originally from Penang, she wanted to create something which had elements of Penang Prawn Noodles and Japanese tonkotsu broth – the result is the current rendition at One Prawn & Co through numerous experimentations.
Accordingly, the flavours are extracted from over 48kg of prawn heads and pork bones, and you can imagine that daily production of 100 litres of collagen-rich prawn broth is both time-consuming and laborious. The soup broth is also tended to for many hours to ensure a smooth boiling process.
All that effort, but the results are worth it. You can taste it in the soup.
The Prawn Noodles starting from $14 are divided into two main categories, with Jumbo Tiger Prawns or the classic Prawn Noodles.
The soups are served in claypot, with options of toppings such as Lala, Tobiko Prawn Balls, Braised Pork Ribs, or Shabu Sliced Pork.
Here are some of the recommendations at One Prawn & Co:
Five Fortune Jumbo ($30), Supreme Prawn Noodles ($20)
If you like an all-in-one bowl to try out the varied toppings, then go for the Five Fortune Jumbo Prawns Claypot ($30) served with tiger prawns, or the Supreme Prawn Noodles ($20) which comes with the usual sized prawns – deshelled so it easier for customers.
The true ‘magic’ is in that gao gao rich and robust prawn broth that appearing in a distinct tangerine-orange colour, coming with umami and fresh-tasting seafood sweetness.
The soup and key ingredients are now served separately in the claypot, which is able to retain the heat much better to give that comforting shiok feeling throughout the meal.
To be honest, the thicker-than-usual prawn noodle soup can taste closer to bisque than the typical hae mee teng, and legit flavourful.
(If you prefer your soup to be a little lighter, you can also inform before hand, but do try its original version first to experience the fullness of flavours.)
Even though the Jumbo came in a heavier price tag, I preferred it (which uses Tiger prawns from Malaysia) as it came with a firmer bite, more fleshy and sweet. But some may prefer the other prawns as it is also less messy to consume.
Also, the pork ribs were better than what I remembered to be, meaty and almost fall-off-the-bones-tender.
Tobiko Prawn Balls & Jumbo Prawns ($22), Tobiko Prawn Balls & Prawns ($14)
This version comes with bouncy tobiko prawn balls to provide that that extra, addictive crunchy bite.
Lala & Jumbo Prawns ($22), Lala & Prawns ($14)
Added with lala clams with chewy-tender meats with a mildly sweet flavour and briny ‘ocean’ accent.
Shabu Shabu Pork & Jumbo Prawns ($22), Shabu Shabu Pork & Prawns ($14)
Instead of the usual pork rib pairing, you may also try the shabu shabu topping with thinly-sliced pork with even marbling to give a tender mouthful.
Each main comes with a choice of noodles, with options of yellow noodles, thin bee hoon, kway teow or thick bee hoon.
Toss them well with the house-made sambal chilli, master soya sauce, and shallot oil.
Good to know that they still insist on making their own fried shallots and pork lard which just gives the added crucial crunch and fragrance.
Somehow, the best accompaniment to any Prawn Noodles has to be Ngoh Hiang.
Pick and choose options from Crispy Prawn Cracker ($2.20), Prawn Beansprout Cake ($2.20), Sotong Youtiao ($2.80), Liver Roll ($2.80), Water Chestnut Cake ($2.20), to Yam Roll ($2.40).
If you prefer to try all their signature items, there are also two variations of Ngoh Hiang Platter ($8.50 for 1-2 pax, $13.50 for 4-5 pax) which includes a recommended selection of fried items – from Classic Pork Ngoh Hiang, Crispy Prawn Cracker, Seafood Roll, Handmade Fish Cake, Sotong Youtiao, to Fried Beancurd.
They still use a wok to deep-fry as a higher heat (of up to 180-200 degrees) helps to keeping some of items crunchier on the outside.
While some items tasted quite average (as compared to the “wow” people get from the prawn soups), my vote would go to the Seafood Roll and Handmade Fish Cake.
One thing to note: this is by-and-large a non-airconditioned environment with open-concept kitchen, also because Chef wanted to replicate the feel of what she experienced in Penang.
Come slightly off-peak hours to avoid the crowds and longer wait time, because it does get popular during lunch time.
One Prawn & Co
458 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368176
Opening Hours: 11am – 5pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with One Prawn & Co.