Which will you have? Dry prawn noodles tossed in a delectable sambal, or prawn noodles in a rich seafood broth that is said to back memories of noodles in the 1960s? I wanted both, to be honest, because I already knew they are equally impressive. Everyone I know who has tried 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles at Tekka Market only has good things to say.
It's wonderful to see young hawkers like Li Rui Fang continuing the legacy of great hawker food. She's the third generation owner and hard-working "head chef" at the 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles. Many of us know her as the economics and finance graduate who found true meaning in crafting insanely delicious prawn noodles than serving corporate interests.
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Her grandfather began as a prawn mee hawker along Balestier Road in the 1920s. Her father continued the business from Whampoa Market, so some of you may find the taste familiar. Rui Fang opened this stall at Tekka Market and starts her day at 3am boiling, peeling, cooking ingredients and preparing the stock. She recently had a baby, so is currently away on maternity leave. But we look forward to having her back soon.
The key here is balance. While the flavours are robust, they don't overwhelm each other; it's almost like a happy co-existence. Rui Fang uses manila clams in the broth for extra depth of flavour, and wild caught prawns for their natural sweetness. The fragrant shallots are freshly fried, and so are the crispy pieces of pork lard garnishing the dish.
The little bowl of soup in the background already gives me a hint of how good the soup noodles will be. It is a little on the sweeter side (probably something that suits the newer generation's palate).
I can see why Rui Fang would not let the family recipe die. We are all grateful too. I'm certainly coming back for more prawn mee.
#01-326 Tekka Food Centre
665 Buffalo Road
6.30am-3pm (Mondays to Fridays)
Closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays