Chef Jeremy Nguee returns this week with a recommendation for excellent prawn noodles by, to quote their website,
a band of young and passionate individuals determined to keep the Singaporean culture and our heritage alive. Inspired by the flavours of Penang prawn noodles and Japanese ramen broth… One Prawn Noodle is headed by Gwyneth Ang, with more than 10 years under her belt working in established restaurants like Burnt Ends, Tong Le Private Dining and Forlino. Her experience has enabled her to implement great techniques across different cuisines, resulting in every bowl of prawn noodle packed with mouth-watering goodness.
Always the champion of young hawkerpreneurs, Chef Jeremy really admires the grit and effort Gwyneth and her team have put into each delicious, bubbling claypot of prawn noodles. It’s really difficult to make a good, rich prawn stock but at One Prawn & Co, they do it really well.
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s bubbling-hot, rich & robust episode!
Once located at Beach Road, the noodle establishment has moved to a shophouse unit along MacPherson Road and it’s a well-organised eatery, with efficient service and helpful, polite staff. These are all the frills you appreciate, but it’s their signature prawn noodles that speak volumes of their dedication to making customers happy and satisfied.
Wait to be seated, a menu will be brought to you and your order will be taken swiftly. Each table is well set up, with tissues, chopsticks & chilli powder all conveniently displayed, along with a little bin for discarding shells thoughtfully included. The menu is a colourful board with clear instructions on how to order or combine ingredients, which are luxurious and generous options of pork ribs, large & medium prawns, prawn balls, thin slices of pork shabu and lala clams.
Chef Jeremy likes ordering the dry version of noodles (choose from yellow noodles, kway teow, thin bee hoon, thick beehoon or a mix of your faves), which comes with an umami sauce enhanced by aromatic fried shallots and crispy lard bits. If you like more kick, ask for more of their spicy, savoury chilli paste. Copious sprinkles of chilli powder (more aromatic than spicy) adds another layer of earthy, citrusy flavour. And be sure to apply cut red chilli in soy sauce liberally!
I asked the staff for a recommendation and as a first-timer, they suggested the Supreme Prawn Noodles which at $20, comes with EVERYTHING (except the large prawns – regular sized ones were included). Before I knew it, a bubbling claypot of piping-hot soup, packed with ingredients, was served along with my choice of mixed yellow noodles & thick beehoon on the side.
Tossed up to get every strand of noodle coated in sauce, the noodles looked simple, modest even, but were layered with lots of flavour. Bean sprouts & blanched kang kong brought fresh crunch, whilst crispy lard and fried shallots brought fatty flavour & fragrance. Chef Jeremy recognises the labour that goes into making of each bowl of noodles, saying, “If you process 10kg of shallots or lard, at the end of the day you get just 2 kg ‘cos it shrinks down so much.” In other words, trying to achieve the balance of umami, silkiness of the noodles and the caramelised shallots & crispy lard is no small feat. At One Prawn & Co, they do this really well and they are also considerate as to how much people can eat so the portion of noodles is judicious, yet they are very generous with the sauce and crispy bits. So when you get to the bottom of the bowl, you still have lots to go round for your last slurp of noodles.
True to their promise, their take on prawn broth was heady and full-bodied – inspired by Penang prawn noodles and Japanese ramen. Brewed from the shells of prawns for hours to extract maximum flavour, it was robust and deeply prawny, with a subtle sweetness that came through beautifully. The broth had a viscosity that told of its richness and a pleasant sheen of golden-orange oil that brought loads prawn flavour. Trying not to burn myself, I drank down every drop.
As you can see, everything is served in one bubbling claypot, packed with generous portions of lala clams (I counted four), which were sweet & briny with a bouncy texture, along with thin slices of shabu pork (I counted at least 8), which were tender and flavoursome from their little slivers of fat.
Then there were 3 meaty pieces of pork rib, which were extremely tender with a very pleasing fat to meat ratio. Moist and luscious, they also tasted very fresh, without an overpowering porky pungency.
Three good-sized, firm and crunchy-fresh prawns came conveniently de-shelled where it counts. Tails & heads (hello flavour!) were left on, giving access to their plump and juicy mid-sections.
As for the tobiko prawn balls, biting into the spheres of flying fish roe gave off little bursts of crunchy tastiness, which made them really fun to eat.
For groups and big eaters, you can also supplement your prawn noodle meal with a platter of ngoh hiang. I couldn’t resist ordering a taster for 1-2 persons ($8.50).
What I liked was how the crispy-fried textures and seafood flavours of the platter really complemented the prawn noodles. I especially enjoyed the deep-fried fritter disc and the handmade fishcake, dipped in the accompanying sweet and spicy chilli sauce.
Do support these young hawkerpreneurs who are dilligently pursuing excellence and serving up their earnest expression of the best prawn mee they can create. That’s why Chef Jeremy admires their dynamism – One Prawn & Co. has evolved from their Beach Road beginnings, changing things up and constantly improving. This is a prawn noodle worth trying, even though it will cost you a little extra. Wholesome and well-executed, the thought and care that goes into each serving is plain to see and taste!
ONE PRAWN & CO.
458 MacPherson Rd, Singapore 368176
Open Tues – Sun: 11am – 5pm (Closed Mondays)
Tel: +65 98788897