Cheap & Good

Cheap & Good: Dreaming of prawn mee in Ghim Moh

ST PHOTO: REBECCA LYNNE TAN

Two weeks ago, I met a gastronome at a food forum. When the forum ended, our foodie conversation continued. It gravitated to what foodies can't help but talk about - where we like to eat and the new eats we have tried.

She told me about a newly found hawker stall in Ghim Moh with a version of prawn noodles so good, she dreams about it.

I knew I had to try it.

And boy, am I glad I did. Prawn Village's version of prawn noodles is one of the better ones out there.

The stall opened at Ghim Moh Food Centre in December, after relocating from Golden Mile Food Centre, where it had been operating for a year.

It serves two versions of prawn noodles - a Penang version ($3), noodles in soup with small shelled prawns and a dollop of sambal; and the usual version ($4), soup or dry, with two medium-sized sea prawns.

  • PRAWN VILLAGE

  • 01-62 Ghim Moh Food Centre, Block 20 Ghim Moh Road; open: 6am to 1.30pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays; go to www.facebook.com/prawnvillage

    Rating: 3.5/5

For $5, you can get pork ribs with your noodles too. The same stock is served with all versions.

Prawn Village's broth is what will keep you coming back. It is heady and spicy, a little salty, but quite umami.

The soup has the potential to be thicker and more robust, I tell its founder and co-owner Anson Loo, 39, a former senior operations manager with a private ambulance service who has a bachelor's degree in nursing.

He says he had to dial back on the richness to suit local taste buds - the feedback was that it was too strongly flavoured.

Still, I slurp up every drop. I like it and I need more. The bowl that comes with the dry version of prawn noodles is far too small to satiate my appetite. I must order a large bowl of soup next time.

Mr Loo, an avid homecook with a passion for cooking, learnt the recipe from a hawker in Penang in 2010.

He runs the Ghim Moh stall with two young university graduate partners - Joanne Heng, 25, and Chan Kheng Yee, 26.

The stock, which is boiled for three hours, is made with a base of pork and chicken bones, as well as a blended paste of dried prawn heads that have been fried with aromatics and sambal.

The prawns are bought fresh daily from Jurong Fishery Port.

These dedicated hawkerpreneurs get to the stall before 3am so they can open in time for customers at 6am. Their business, they say, is a viable one too.

I hope the trio will inspire a new generation of hawkers and foodies to set up shop to keep Singapore's thriving hawker culture alive.

• Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 19, 2018, with the headline 'Dreaming of prawn mee'. Print Edition | Subscribe