The quest for the ultimate prawn noodle continues...with Wah Kee firmly seated at the throne, in my view, many young new challengers arise to take a shot...some fall short, but some, come amazingly close!
This is one of them. Quite amazing, considering that this shop is little over a month old when I was invited to visit.
Straight into the noodles...first up, the big prawn dry noodle.
The broth is made by fresh sea prawns, and boiled with pork bones, ground prawn heads for hours to create the rather thick consistency, and full flavoured broth. The prawns used were quite large, halved in the middle for ease of eating, and were fresh prawns from the wet market which they buy every day.
The taste was rather good. The prawns were fresh, crunchy, with a nice crustacean sweetness. The broth was, as mentioned, thick and quite flavourful. I tasted a hint of sweetness, and indeed some rock sugar was used in the preparation. A little of the powdered chilli elimated this altogether, and in my books a game changer. The broth took on a more savoury persona, full of umami, and very flavourful.
As can be seeen in the pic above, a lot of lard crisps and deep fried shallots were piled on the bowl imparting a wonderful aroma and flavour. Very good in my books.
My lunch companions had the soup variety
They offer also pork ribs and pig tails with the prawns on the noodles. They also offer a chilli paste which is also quite marvellous. A bit akin to XO sauce, but perhaps with less premium ingredients...the paste is made with chilli, belacan and dried prawns (hae bee). This adds a powerful umami kick to the noodles.
For me, the soup is rather nice. But Penang Kia at Compassvale has a more flavourful and tasty soup. And Wah Kee has bigger prawns which are just as fresh, and as great tasting, with a broth which is more reminiscent of French bouillabaisse than any Prawn Noodle soup I have tasted. But Datouxia seem to have captured a nice happy medium in between offering an excellent broth and beautiful, fresh prawns. I highly recommend this Prawn Noodle.
We also sampled the ngor hiang
I thought this plate to be rather average...nothing outstanding. Indeed, when queried, they do not make the ngor hiang but buy from the same supplier who supplies the Beach Road Prawn Noodle shop in East Coast.
The shop is opened by a young fellow, Ah Ann, who learned his craft as a cook doing economy rice, but yearned to venture out to do Prawn Noodles. He was inspired by the Beach Road Prawn Noodle...which he thought had such great potential, with good clientele, but yet, the food falls short of expectation. I agree with this assessment.
He went back to his hometown of Alor Star and to Penang and Johor Bahru to try and learn how to do the prawn noodle, but even when he offered to pay for the recipe and tuition, nobody wanted to teach him. So he drove to the stalls he admired in Singapore at 4am in the morning, and observed how they made their prawn noodle. With some creativity, some tips from friends, and I guess a good palate, he came up with his own recipe. Enterprising indeed. And highly recommended for Prawn Noodle.
I am sad to report that as of 21 September 2014, Datouxia has ceased business. The owners have decided to stop and reconsider the viability of the business. And I do hope they resurface somewhere with a more viable business model.
Datouxia 383 Upper Aljunied Road, Singapore 367868 Phone: +65 90622342 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/Datouxia383 Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 9.30 pm daily