Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle, Pek Kio Market
Eight months after someone recommended this place did I finally make it down here today. One has to sort through all of the other competing prawn noodle shops here, but it looked like it was stall #01-15. And it's good that I came here for breakfast, as I actually came down here a few months ago for an early dinner, only to find them closing up shop already.
I was a bit taken aback when I arrived today though, as the lady literally yelled at me for not being able to effectively convey what I wanted in my bowl. I mean, sure there are some grumpy proprietors around, but this one was raising really raising her voice. I mumbled a few expletives to myself after the incident, wondering if the food were really that good.
Fortunately, it was. My first bite into the tender longitudinally cut and peeled shrimp was a good sign...and I got the el cheapo S$3 (US$2) version too. Following up with a bite of the firm noodles only further reinforced that good impression. It didn't even occur to me until later that she had given me the soup version (I guess I can see why she was frustrated if I didn't even make it clear which version I wanted). The little cubes of fried pork lard sitting in the broth instantly got me thinking that the dry version must be even better with that. Even if she were going to verbally abuse me again, that first bowl was encouraging enough that I went back to grab the dry one.
Interestingly, the second time around, she was a completely different person: warm, engaging, and smiling. It was almost as if I had passed her initial hazing ritual and was now initiated into the club. And quickly did she deliver the dry version for me. What seemed to be a rather heavy use of minced garlic here was a bit of a turn off for me at first, but nonetheless the rest of the bowl still worked. Perhaps it was because it was rescued by the radioactively orange soup, which exhibited a touch of sweetness to it that was surprisingly not annoying to me, but instead gave it just the right touch of refinement to make it inspiring. I'm not exactly a prawn noodle expert here, so I am having trouble making a comparison to some others that I've had. But I can see what all the fuss is about and I'm glad that I came.