Cheap & Good

Cheap & Good: Prawn noodles in Yishun pack a punch

The pork ribs big prawn noodles ($5 or $6) comes with shelled and deveined prawns and a fair amount of tender meat.
The pork ribs big prawn noodles ($5 or $6) comes with shelled and deveined prawns and a fair amount of tender meat.ST PHOTO: EUNICE QUEK

Call me old-school, but even though the six-week-old Yishun Park Hawker Centre boasts a selection of hipster stalls, I still gravitate towards more traditional hawker favourites.

It doesn't help that many stalls are not open - or are still busy prepping - when I go before lunchtime, so my options are fairly limited.

And nothing is more tantalising than the lovely aroma of prawn stock wafting through the air from JJ Prawn Noodles.

It offers prawn noodles ($3), pork rib noodles ($4) and pig's tail noodles ($4). Get the best of both worlds with the pork ribs big prawn noodles ($5 or $6).

By default, I order the soup version because I feel it is the soup that completes the dish.

I'm asked if I want to add house-made chilli, to which I agree immediately. There is the usual chilli powder on the side, but in this case, it is not necessary.

  • JJ PRAWN NOODLES

  • 01-21 Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 51 Yishun Avenue 11; open: 7am to 7pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays; go to yishunparkhc.sg

    Rating: 3.5/5

On its own, the broth - made with fresh sea prawns, pork bones, dried prawns and herbs - is robust. I stir in a bit of slightly spicy and tangy chilli and it takes the soup to another level, without masking the sweetness of the prawns.

In my bowl, I get two big prawns that are shelled and deveined, but with the head on. While the pork ribs are in small pieces, there is still a fair amount of tender meat to chomp on.

More vegetables would be good as I get only a few stalks of kang kong and some beansprouts.

And because the chilli is good, I decide to try the dry version as well - good for those who may not want to drink a spicy soup.

The chilli amps up the flavour of the plain noodles and also goes nicely as a dip for the pork ribs and prawns.

I'll certainly return to check out the other stalls in the spacious hawker centre managed by the Timbre Group.

It has a good mix of old and new - hawkers as well as food. Definitely a promising sign for the longevity of hawker centres.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 05, 2017, with the headline 'Prawn noodles pack a punch'. Print Edition | Subscribe