Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hawker degustation: New Whampoa Hawker Centre

with office colleagues

Whampoa Hawker Center is a formidable foodie hangout. During the renovation works, the stalls existed as the Temporary Whampoa Hawker Center, and now the new fangled Hawker Center is complete. The new generation Hawker Centers are all high ceiling, which allows plenty of ventilation, and gone are the days of stuffy food centers. has 3 entries on the Temporary Market, and we attempted to eat at 2 of them - Ah Hock Oyster Omelette and Ruby Popiah. When we arrived about 12:45pm, Ruby was not ready yet, so we settled with just Ah Hock's Ohr Neng - a variety of the famous Hokkien dish of Ohr Chien (fried oyster...typically an omlette with oysters held together with tapioca flour). The Ohr Neng (oyster egg) is fried without the gooey flour. And one gets to taste the original taste of the oysters, flavoured only with eggs.

The plate was a beautiful sight. Eggs and oysters...sometimes the simple things taste best. Omelette on its own, when fried well is intriguing and is a taste sensation by itself. Add succulent oysters, and the dish transforms itself to greater heights.

The oysters, imported from Korea, no less were not super huge, but they were very fresh, succulent, and had a marvellous flavour. I am sure my own family doctor would caution against this dish, though my good friend Dr. Mycroft may heartily recommend it, though I think he is not a big fan of oysters...delicious and shiok as it may be, as both eggs, lard used to fry and oysters are high in cholesterol.

The sharp, tart, tangy, and pungent chilli provides counterpoint to the rich dish. Lovely.

Instead of eating at the famous Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee, we decided to try out the less famous, but reportedly better tasting version dished out by Qin Li, just down the corridor.

This Fried Hokkien Mee was quite well done. The stock used to fry the noodles was quite rich, and provided some starchiness to the thick gravy. The prawns were ok in freshness - no crunch, and no sea fragrance. The chilli was also quite punchy but not extraordinary. For me, I will rate this below Kim's and the rather unique dry example fried by Golden Mile. But perhaps on par with the one in Beo Crescent.

We also ordered some fish soup from a rather famous store.

This came in a rather large steampot. We ordered the fish sliced version, though they also serve the fish head one. The same store also cooks up a mean cze char, but we did not try that on this occassion.

Rather large chunks of fish was cooked in the rich broth, along with vegetables. The stock for the broth was probably done with fish bones, deep fried ikan bilis, and seafood. The broth tasted very well..robust, seafood flavours permeate. The fish was reasonably fresh, and very tasty.

Ah Hock Oyster Omlette
Qin Li Fried Hokkien Mee
Whampoa Hawker Center
90 Whampoa Drive

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Restoran Ah Meng, Johor Bahru

with Kennard, Ken, Alice

We found ourselves in Johor Bahru, a grand diversion with multiple stops, but actually the excuse to go try out a few eating places. Our first choice was a Teochew restaurant near Pelangi, reputed for their Ohr Nee. But we were a bit late in arriving...about 3pm, and we settled for an air-conless restaurant a short drive away. Ken, the native Johorian recommended this Cze Char shop.

Their signature dish is a flat, dry fried bee hoon...some say this is the chow tar bee hoon, some simplly call it flat bee hoon...I call it delicious.

The bee hoon must have been fried with a rich stock, imbuing some magical taste powers to the strands of rice noodles. Chives, some vegetables, chicken, eggs make up this interesting dish.

The noodles were soft, slightly flattened in the wok and slightly charred by the immense heat of the wok. Wok hei is there in spades. Shiok.

We also had the pork rib curry.

Some regular readers might know that my mom cooks a mean Nyona curry, be it chicken, fish head, squid (real power curry! Really to die for), and pork rib. But Ah Meng's version is not too far behind...I loved the rich, coconut gravy. If they used curry powder, it was not powdery taste this one. The rich shallots, lovingly tumis to fragrant golden brown form the backbone for such flavoursome gravy.

The potatoes are first fried to slightly crisp/charred/caramelised before being inserted into the curry. The pork rib is from succulent ribs, and floating ribs - rendering the meat soft and tender, and the cartilage almost edible. (indeed they were crunchy and good bite).

Steam fish, with chye por was next.

The fish was fresh. Steaming done just right. Bits of fish around the backbone remain just slightly rare to require a small amount of force to seperate it from the bone...the meat was tender, and sweet. The chye por added crunch and punch.

We also ordered the ngor hiang.

Innocent looking enough. The skin was translucent, and this was the first hint that this ngor hiang was going to be special. Pick up a slice, and the roughly chopped ingredients gives the second hint. This was not mass processed ngor hiang. This was bodering on artisanal.

The ingredients are quite ordinary for a ngor hiang. A quick fry in hot fat seals in the taste, the outside is golden brown crispy, the vegetables inside still slightly rare and crunchy. Each mouthful is full of flavour - the crunch of the crispy skin intermingled with the carrots, meat, seafood (I think there is some seafood...prawns in the mix).

Of course, the must have vegetable...polisang choi (hmmm how do you spell this?) was lightly blanched and drizzled with some oil. Al dente to the bite, the cook demonstrated great precision in his cooking.

For dessert, Ohr nee.

This is a signature dish of a Teochew restaurant. Made with fragrant yam, steamed, mashed, stirred with generous amounts of pork lard, and served with boiled, smashed pumpkin and ginko nuts. Ah Meng's version is not as fine as those typically found in the great Singapore Teochew restaurants like Hang Kang. The yam was discernable as bits, offering a rough-ish texture...not quite rough enough to feel individual bits, but not quite a smooth paste. The dish was not greasy...perhaps lack of pork lard caused it to lack something in full flavour.

Total price for 4 persons: RM90.

Restoran Ah Meng
38 Jalan Sultan Aminah
Taman Iskandar
Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Photonotes: no theaterics were attempted. Usual equipment, typical workflow. Shot inside the restaurant on a wet rainy day. No flash, no tripod.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pu Dong Kitchen: Eating Shanghainese in Singapore

with Prof Horolographer and Dr. Mycroft

Pu Dong Kitchen is an old foodie favourite...kind of almost forgotten, but not quite. And always a pleasure to visit every once in a while. The service is variable, though when you get to know the Shanghainese owners and staff a bit, it is a bit more friendly. The ambience is more akin to a school canteen than a high end restaurant...bright flourescent lighting, minimalist furniture albeit possibly rosewood chairs. No frills, you get the picture.

But the food is excellent. I will start with what some foodies describe as to-die-for braised pork knuckle or Dongpaoro. This dish is as characteristic to Shanghainese cooking as is Xiao Loong Pau and Guotie (more of these 2 later).

A fairly large, boneless chunk of pork leg, stewed carefully in a thick black sauce...slowly to bring out the tenderness, and possibly drain out the fat. The pork skin glistens, and beckons one to eat it. The portion cost $30, some feel a bit on the pricey side, but methinks if it tastes good, its a reasonable price to pay.

But before we delved into the tasting, we thought we'd conduct a scientific test. The Mycroft's theory of pork leg goodness. Yes, the famous Dr. Mycroft of TimeZone fame, whose Mycroft's Psychosis is the bane of watch collectors the world over, has another theory...this time on something even closer to his heart. He theorises that the quality of the fat and collagen in a given cut of pork leg can be determined by how many times and the frequency the said meat wobbles after a strike is given to the table which holds the plate.

He conducted the test himself, with Prof. Horolographer, being the legal expert in attendance as hey, I am just the photographer. The chunk of meat passed the test easily - the meat stayed in wobbly motion, crossing the threshold 10s mark easily...perhaps a new record.

Cutting the meat open reveals sinews which are tender, with collagen rich connective tissue providing some of the stickiness some foodies just crave.

The outside can be seen to have absorbed the colour of the braising liquid, and the flavours as well...a mix of spices and thick, dark soy sauce. But the insides are virginal in the hue - perfectly cooked pork. Tender, juicy, and extremely tasty. Intermingle the taste of the muscular tissue with a small amount of epidermal fat and collagen, and the taste is heavenly. Superb does not begin to describe the mouthfeel as a piece of the skin/fat/muscle enters one's mouth, and generously give of its flavours.

Picture above shows the muscle end of the pork leg. Note that the layer of skin and fat is quite thin, even though this piece of boneless meat passed the Mycroft Test.

Starch came in the form of Lamien with scallion oil. The noodles were hand made, and nicely drawn into consistent strands. The black sauce, which I was given to understand is scallion oil...I had imagined it to be like the version served by Crystal Jade Shanghai's with onion oil - but this was a thick, black, soybean like sauce, and topped with scallion strips. Horolographer loved the noodles, as did I.

We also had the Xiao Loong Pau...a Shanghainese delicacy.

Typically, this is a thin skinned dumpling, containing some minced meat in hot rich soup within the thin walls of the skin. The fineness of the XLP is judged by a three prong evaluation criteria. The thin-ness of the skin, how delicate it was presented - at its best, it should be coyly semi-translucent and opaque. Also by the richness of the soup as one bites into it carefully. And finally, how tasty the minced meat treasure it contains was. As one of my favourite dishes, I have tried XLP in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and curiously for me, my memory recalls a glorious XLP introduced by DannyNY in Chinatown New York.

I was preparing for the event of the great spillage of soup creating great flavours in the mouth as I bit delicately into the XLP, hoping to suck the soup. But this was not to be. First, the skin was beautifully opaque and though it a texture which promises to be delicate. But when I felt the skin as I picked up the dumpling with my chopsticks my impression was that the skin was firm rather than delicate. On my lips, this suspicion was confirmed. And a bite into the dumpling, with the expectation of hot, rich soup was only rewarded with a moist minced meat interior, sans soup. The meat was very tasty, but no soup. Delicious, but not quite what I expect from XLP.

The next dish presented further interesting twists.

The Guotie, presented as pale, dumplings heaped unceremoniously together. Flipping it over drew some ahhs from present company, and revealed a golden brown, crusty, crispy caramelised base.

This dumpling should come with a warning! Popping one into the mouth, and biting the skin would result in hot, rich soup spilling forth. This was a complete reversal between Guotie and Xiao Loong Pau...XLP should have hot broth, and not Guotie. But this was an interesting twist. Both were very tasty. And once we got over the strange twist, we enjoyed both dishes very much. In my opinion, the XLP and Guotie was way better than the one served by Din Tai Fung.

Of course, this blog advocates healthy, balanced, not balanced with fat and collagen as one might be led to expect with a cursory examination, especially with Dr. Mycroft providing medical would surmise a cholesterol heavy diet...but not. I must always have vegetables.

Unremarkable, but absolutely essential. In fact, this was the first dish to be served, and we ate our vegetables dutifuly, including Mycroft...before we even indulged in the pork leg. We were good boys, we are.

Overall, a superb meal, with great company and good conversation...if you know us...especially my evil twin Mycroft and me...we switched topics with each breath...from cameras, to watches, to food, to vacations in Japan and whatever else. Great fun.

Pu Dong Kitchen
271 Bukit Timah Road
#B1-02 Balmoral Plaza

Tel: 6732 8966

Photo notes: shot with usual equipment. But many shots were taken using a tripod - Manfrotto table tripod with a Kangrangpoche ball head. I think the tripod imparts a sharpness only achievable with a completely still camera. Our server came up to us and asked if we were intending to open our own Shanghainese restaurant. I said, made her day when I told her we loved the food so much we had to take away memories. Horolographer has his Canon G9 with him, and was also snapping photos.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best Nasi Lemak, and then some...

with family for breakfast

This is a favourite of Edward and I when we go on our bicycle makan sessions. It remains a favourite with us, and Kin. I also brought my good friend Frank Muller - a German who lives in Dresden, to eat, and he too loved it.

The stall next door at Stall 1 also sells Nasi Lemak...and in days of yore there was only one Stall 2. However, recently business seemed to have picked up for Stall 1 as well, and when visited both queues were almost as long.

The rice, cooked from basmati rice was very fragrant. This is the first store I have come across using basmati rice to cook nasi lemak. It makes great sense. Each grain of basmati is typically less starchy, and dryer...and hence is able to take on and absorb flavours. In nasi lemak, this would be coconut milk and pandanus leaf. Fragrant. Very fragrant. We use a similar technique at home to cook chicken rice, where the absorbent qualities of the rice is put to good use to soak up the chicken stock for a power packed full flavour rice.

As a bonus, the rice is also medium glycemic index. this means that it releases sugars more slowly into the bloodstream than starchy rice like Japanese rice or even Jasmine Thai rice. I understand the Canadian Diabetic Association recommends basmati rice for diabetic patients (in moderation).

I always order the Full House, and it used to come with either a dollop of achar or sambal sotong gratis. But times, they are a changing. They still charge the same for a Full House (comprising of rice, one deep fried battered chicken wing, one fried egg, some deep fried anchovies and peanuts, and a grilled otak), but if you want the sambal sotong, it will cost $1 more. I don't think it is really worthwhile adding the sotong...a small miserly can see in the pic above merging with the sambal.

The sotong is admittedly very good...this is made from slices of cuttlefish, rather than calamari, and cooked, probably for a long time with spices and sambal. While by no stretch of imagination one would describe the sotong as tender, it has a chewy complexion and tough-ish texture, but it tastes excellent - a blend of sweetness, sotong-ness and goes well with the sambal.

The chicken wing is exceptional. Freshly fried, it was very crispy on the outside, it retained all the juiciness and flavour on the inside. Very satisfying to eat. I sometimes order additional chicken wings at $1.50 each (which is more worth the money than the sotong). I once asked the owner why he didn't offer chicken drumsticks or legs...he said that they once did, but the demand was for chicken wings.

The sambal is also extremely good...spicy, with a great kick, it was coyly also sweet with just the right tinge of sour to balance. Superb. I greatly prefer this nasi lemak to the famous ones in Changi Village.

Wash this all down with a cup of teh tarik halia, and alls well that ends well.

I didn't find much variations in the teh halia from the various stalls...I have been drinking at the Adam Road Sarabat stalls since my university days...where our seniors dragged us for tea and roti prata at 3am in the morning after a whole day of orientation (dare we say ragging?) as I lived in Raffles Hall, a hostel just across the Bukit Timah Road.

Perhaps I am not discerning enough in teh halias, but this one tasted similar to the others...I always order "kurang gula" meaning less sugar. The astringent tea goes very well with the sharp, pungent ginger, and blends well with the milk. Nice cuppa.

Read ieat's review.

Selera Rasa
2 Adam Road
Stall 2 Adam Rd Food Centre
6:30am to 10pm (used to be 24 hours)
Tel: 9843 4509

Photonotes: shot with Canon EOS 300d with kit 18-55mm lens. Colour balanced in PS3.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yuan Wei Deep Sea (Giant Grouper)

organized by Champagne and Mien3 for ieaters

When I got the notice for the makan session, I was intrigued by the Deep Sea Giant Grouper...and to have an entire restaurant devoted to this fish...interesting! Some research led me to discover that the giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) is the largest bony fish in the world, and can grow up to 2.7m and 600kg. It is found in the Austalian and Indo-Pacific waters.

The fish shown above is about 0.8m in length.

The fish is born female, and as they grow, they can turn into male if they reach about 1m in length. Each male usually have a dozen or so smaller females in his harem. From diving reports, the fish is known to be very inquisitive, and will come close to a diver to have a better look.

But according to Yuan Wei's owner - Heng Heng, "the giant Garoupa grows in deep sea, it has for a long time kept away from polluted areas. As it contains rich vitamins and low fat, it is considered the most healthy diet for people of the modern time. According to medical reports, deep-sea giant Garoupa contains rich protein, vitamin D an calcium, which are very beneficial for curbing bloot clot, anti-cancer and brain development. Its skin contains much collagen, which enables ladies to maintain beauty and skin care if taking it regularly." (Taken from his website)

Rather interestingly, after this discourse about the purity of the fish because of deep sea living...Heng also told us that the fish were actually farmed in Malaysia and Indonesia. See this youtube video on harvesting the giant grouper. He only uses live fish, ranging from 15 to 30kg, as it is most tender at this size.

Based on the health giving claims, a rather large group of ieaters went to improve our health.

We started with the deep fried enoki mushrooms and bean curd with salt and pepper.

As a starter, this is perfect. The mushrooms were coated with a thin, crispy batter, and the insides remained juicy and full of flavour. Delicious.

Braised fish livers with spring onion in special sauce.

The taste was like a cross between foie gras and pork liver. The texture and consistency was more akin to the duck brethen but the mouthfeel and taste was similar to pork liver without the porky smell. Quite interesting.

Next up was a dish of stir fried fish lips...this is a huge fish. The live sample still swimming in the aquarium in the shop was a small example, and Heng Heng said it weighed about had lips as large as a human child of perhaps 6 or 7. The one we ate must be was enough to feed almost 18 pax.

The taste of the lips were not different from those found in fish head curry or fish head soup made from grouper of smaller size. But as the fish was larger, the lips had a firmer consistency, and more gummy and borders on being chewy. The sauce was an intriguing taste of salt, and savoury.

The vegetables were next with a serving of mixed mushrooms and vegetarian beancurd.

Very fragrant dish...the mix of 4 or 5 different mushrooms - more fresh enoki, straw, button, and traditional chinese dried mushrooms created good flavour. The braising liquid was nice balances well with the soft tofu.

The fish head and belly was braised and served as the next course.

I rather like the bite sized chunks of fish head...some with gooey parts, some just plain flesh, some with bone, others without. The sauce was similar to the other braised dish we already had - the livers and also tasted similar to the sauce in the mixed mushrooms. Was the chef using the same stock and shortening?

The house speciality beef was next.

The beef was not the super tender variety you find in Prince or other places where the meat is smooth, tender, juicy. This was a rather rougher cut...but full of flavour, and it was tenderised by hammering it with a tenderiser to break up the tough fibres. It was soft and on the palate felt tender, though if one tries, one could discern the sinews. The sauce was a kind of black pepper sauce stir fried with bits of black pepper and capsicum and onions. Very punchy.

Brocoli and fish stomach was next.

The stomach was smothered with a thick sauce, which mildly reminds me of a taste that points to oyster sauce as a base. The bite sized stomach was chewy, and rather tough. The consistency of the stomach was similar to that of boiled pig stomach as used in a soup, but was almost completely without smell. The broccoli was lightly blanched, and mildly provided a crunch, and complemented nicely with the stomach.

We then had Fried Fish Hor Fun...

At first look, the hor fun looked like it was Ipoh hor fun, which is boiled/steamed instead of fried. But a quick taste of the pale looking hor fun confirmed that it was indeed fried. It had quite good wok hei, though the pale complexion suggested otherwise, this hor fun spent some time in the ferocious fire of the wok. Unusual. The fish slices that were fried with the hor fun was rather firm - confirming that this was indeed a large fish, but was quite tasty, and hints of sweetness. Heng later describes the fish meat as a kind of "suspension", referring to the springiness of the meat and perhaps the firmness.

And the piece de résistance. A surprise, actually as the restaurant specialises in Giant Grouper, but the salt egg yolk crab is something to be savour.

First glance would be deceiving to a crab connoisseurs...the crab was rather small. But one taste would convert most. The salted egg yolk provided a generous covering for the crab, like a mother smothering a child, as if to protect it. Ijeff conservatively estimated at least 10 salted eggs were sacrificed for this dish. Methinks he is very conservative. The taste was marvellous! The crab meat was moist, juicy and very sweet. And the salted egg yolk sauce, if I may call the paste like stuff completely covering the crab a sauce, was to die for. Complex in taste, it was rich, creamy, savoury, fragrant and had a great mouthfeel. Everybody loved it.

When all was almost done, Edward, being a growing teenager...was still hungry, and we ordered a plate of special (not on the menu) salted egg fried rice.

Each strand of rice stood on its own, coated in egg yolk...great taste. I would have imagined this dish to be salty, but it was not. A great way to finish off with extra carbohydrates (what with steamed rice during the meal and the hor fun if anyone needed more carbs. But none of us were on an Atkins diet, so we whacked).

A plate of mixed fruits signified the conclusion of a great makan session. Great company, good food. I wish I had taken up Mien's suggestion to BYO some wines...perhaps a nice bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and a slightly acidic champagne like Pol Roger might do well with this dinner.

A view of the kitchen. See the 3 or 4 huge power fire stoves used for cooking.

Yuan Wei Deep Sea (Giant Grouper) Porridge and Steamboat
1001 Serangoon Road Singapore 328165
Time: 1700 - 0400 (note opening lunch, and open almost all night)
Owner: Heng Heng
Telephone / Fax: 62977255 Handphone: 91963354

Photo notes: the restaurant was rather dark, lighted with flourescent lighting. All shots were taken handheld, some were blurred by handshake...shooting at ISO800 and at 1/8s at 40mm without IS is not easy. White balance adjusted in PS using reference 50% grey layer using the WB by numbers technique.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beef Hor gold standard: Prince Coffee House

with family

This is an old favourite. Really old, we have been eating here since before my son was born (he is 14 years old now), and at one time almost weekly. I first started to eat at Prince when they were in Shaw Towers...literally downstairs from Prince Cinema, hence the name. Mr Lim, who used to own the restaurant, originally set out as s steak house. They served decent steaks, but as the cooks were Hainanese, as was Mr Lim...they also were able to serve cze char style dishes.

click on image for a larger panorama view

They moved to Coronation Plaza, probably some 15 years ago (reference needed as to when). From steak house, they turned more into a family restaurant. They serve fragrant, jasmine Thai rice, and a decent range of cze char dishes. Our favourites include their Hainanese Pork Chops, Corned Beef with French Beans, Lemon Chicken, Oxtail Stew, (this realy must try...will blog about it in another post), Inchikabin (a Penang style fried chicken, which sadly, they don't do anymore...even becoming rare in Penang) and the subject of today's post - Beef Hor Fun.

Mr Lim retired with his wife, and sold the restaurant to the employees...the cook, the head waiter - Jimmy, and the two waitresses. Curiously, the waitresses always wore a blouse/skirt version of the SIA stewardess dress. Under their stweardship, the food continued to taste excellent, but the theme, if I can describe the decor and mood as a theme, changed from family restaurant, to one catering to school kids. Brilliant move, as there were a couple of schools around - Chinese High, Nanyang Girls, NJC, were a few within walking distance. They started to introduce $6 meals, comprising unlimited soft drinks, a small soup, a main course (western...chicken chop or pork chop). Good value.

Now, Jimmy spends his time mostly in the kitchen these days, though he sometimes pops out to greet old customers. When I was there last Sat, Mrs Lim was visiting, and we chatted a bit, reminiscing old times.

The wide hor fun, a staple made from rice is pre-fried under great heat to impart the wok hei till some bits are slightly charred. This makes the hor fun special. Most other stalls do not fry the hor fun sufficiently. Of course, the hawkers over the causeway in KL take theirs one level further...not only does the hor fun is solidly fried with great wok hei, they serve the hor fun with crispy fried bee hoon...for a concoction they call Kong Fu Chow (Cantonese Fried). This contrasts with the Black Fried Hokkien Mee (another favourite of mine!!) which can only be found in KL...known locally there as Fu Kien Chow (Hokkien Fried).

On receipt of each order, the ingredients are cooked for the gravy - beef, vegetables, rich stock, shortening. And then poured over the noodles and served.

Large slices of air flown beef is used...very tender and full of natural flavour. I think very cleverly seasoned to enhance the flavour, but not so much as to overpower the delicate taste. The meat remains tender, juicy. Delicious! The bits of vegetable provided some bite, as does the deep fried, almost crunchy shallots.

As I gave away in the title, this is my gold standard to judge all other beef hor fun by. And to date it stands as the king.

Read ieatishootipost's verdict on Prince.

587 Bukit Timah Road
#02-15 Coronation Plaza

Photo note: Shot with the Canon EOS 300D with kit lens - EFS18-55. The restaurant was rather dark, but no flash was used. Shot hand hold, in large jpeg. This proved to be a mistake, as white balance was rather difficult to achieve during post processing. The slow-ish shutter speeds with no flash also caused a less than perfect sharpness than the usual 1Dmk3/EF17-40L shots. I am not very happy with the results from the 300D, and may shoot another set later with the 1Dmk3.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wah Kee Big Prawns Noodle. Pek Kio, Singapore

with family for breakfast

The last time I went on a Prawn Mee adventure with Larry, it turned out that I did not manage to eat at Dr. ieat's favourite Prawn Mee.

I wanted to eat this so much, I went back the following Saturday for breakfast, but did not bring a camera...the noodles tasted excellent - let me not beat around the bush, this is my reference standard for prawn noodles. So good, that I had to return and take some pictures for this review.

My mother had the soup version...she refers to it as Hokkien Mee, as prawn noodles is referred to in Penang.

Four rather large prawns (1 large, 3 smaller, but still reasonable sized) adorn the bowl. The prawns were very fresh. Crunchy with each bite, tasty, sweet. Very good. Mom made reference to the fresh prawns; and she is a good cook herself, and not easy to please. If she says its fresh, the only way it could be fresher would mean the prawns were still alive.

Another look at the prawns. Two thumbs up!

The dry version has the 4 prawns in the soup, and the noodles came in a separate bowl in a thick soup gravy. Compared to the Nam Hoe version which was $7, Wah Kee's portion was $5, and proved more value. In terms of taste, I also preferred Wah Kee...more concentrated flavours, better and fresher prawns.

A generous helping of crunchy pork lard provided the flavour and superb taste. The thick soup bursts of crustaceans...wonderful. The soup which accompanies is somewhat thicker and more flavourful than the soup version. This is attention to detail...two different concentration of soup - I know, its probably diluting a bit more for the soup version, but this points to the attention to detail.

We walloped the noodles...plate with the ramains of the prawn shells.

Satisfying. Most satisfying.

We had the Heng Leong Carrot Cake again...richly caramelized, firmish cake. Great plate.

I would like to tribute this post to my senior who first brought me to this very same stall at the Farrer Park Hawker Center long ago...when I was still young. Hats off to you, John.

Wah Kee Prawn Noodles
Blk 41A Cambridge Road Hawker Centre (Pek Kio)
7.30am to 2pm
Closed on Mondays

Photonotes. Taken with 1Dmk3 with 17-40L, raw. Usual raw processing. White balance AWB in camera.

The first pic seemed a bit more orangy than the rest...and looking at the white of the insides of the bowl, it does seem, my white balance is slightly out on the first pic.