I still have alot of London Food journeys to upload, a huge backlog; but here maybe it's appropriate to shift the scene to the local food hawker scene. Namely, prawn noodles. Prawn Noodles, being a Hokkien dish, is, in its most basic form, prawns served with noodles in prawn stock, usually with pork, or some pork ribs, added to it. The secret lies in getting a great soup from the prawn stock and the exceptional Prawn Noodles will have great soup, tasty unami soup filled with prawns and all that lovely stock. if not, it would not be worthy to be drunk. The noodles are usually secondary. Great prawns are also a bonus - they should be sweet, not the farmed tiger prawns kind.
So here are the challengers:
1. River South (Hoe Nam) Prawn Noodles
This place was very crowded, but it was really quite good. It wasn't the holy grail i was expecting since everyone gave this place 6 chopsticks and so i thought it must be really super zai but it was only just "very good", not really "wow-inducing" yet. It is the dark Hokkien traditional kind, with the robust taste of pork ribs and prawns simmering in a dark robust prawn stock. I should go back to try it out though. [7.5/10]
2. Adam Road Noo Cheng Prawn Noodles [Adam Road Branch]
Noo Cheng is super inconsistent; some days the soup will be super shiok and some days it will be very bland, barely discernable that i'm drinking prawn noodles soup. Thus it all depends on the day: if you go when it's very crowded, the soup is likely to be better; because they will cook e prawns in the soup so you get better soup, and if they cook more prawns, the soup gets better. and later in the day it tends to be better as well, since there have been all the prawns cooked the day before for the soup.
When the soup is good, it is a [9/10] - it is fully robust, with lots of prawn flavour, and a unami rush.
When the soup is bad, it is only about [6.5/10], yuou probably only taste the MSG.
The dry version is better because the chilli they add to it is really very zingy and flavourful.
3. Adam Road (Noo Cheng) Prawn Noodles - Zion Road Branch [Zion Road, not adam]; This is even better than the Adam Road branch. The soup is very flavourful and will "definitely give you that unami rush" - in the words of ieat; but it is true....the soup was very robust and each mouthful full of prawn flavour and stock (like what you get after you eat steamboat and the soup is left) and gives you the unami rush. Very good. [8.5/10]
4. Wah Kee Cambridge Big Prawn Noodles - Cambridge Road Pek Kio Market.
This is a controversial one. Some people love it, some people don't. My eating partner who swears by adam road doesn't like wah kee at all. But I do. The soup is different; here the soup has that somewhat bitter-sweet bisque taste that is probably from frying the prawn heads and thus the prawn extracts of the head come to the forefront in the taste palette and gives that bisque taste that the other places dont' have. The soup is robust, flavourful, tasty, with the bisque aroma to the forefront, but it also provides depth of flavour and is not too salty like the other places are. Different. The noodles are tossed in a nice savoury chilli sauce which goes with the noodles very well. Very good. [8.5/10]
5. Joo Chiat Prawn Noodles - Joo Chiat Road
Joo Chiat Prawn Noodles is very value for money; the soup is quite robust in itself though probably not as flavbourful as some of the other places; alot of the aroma comes from the onions and shallots that is in it. but it comes with alot of prawns; for 4 bucks there are so many prawns that it just puts noo cheng to shame. however it is too far away for me to go all the way there. a worthy contender if you're in the east. [7/10]