We stumbled upon San Ming 三民 Penang Prawn Mee in Hengs Hengs kopitiam in Taman Pelangi while searching for the best Penang prawn mee stall in JB.
At first, San Ming 三民 seemed like any other Penang prawn mee stall. Sitting and observing the goings on at San Ming stall, we noticed a constant stream of customers.
The boss MR Loh, a Penangite who had been selling Penang prawn mee for thirty years, was busy cooking and dishing out his Penang prawn mee, non stop.
It was about 1:00pm - seeing MR Loh digging deep into the pot and hearing the clanging of the ladle against the near empty pot, we made a quick decision to order a bowl to try out.
And, we were glad that we did.
San Ming's prawn soup had that delicate balance of savoury prawny sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness. Where San Ming's soup had the edge over the other Penang prawn mee stalls was in the soup's robust body.
While others' Penang prawn mee soup tended to be relatively clear and light, San Ming's soup was murky and had body. The soup was savoury on the taste buds and was slightly grainy yet smooth on the tongue. I liked this "umami" feel in San Ming's prawn mee soup.
San Ming's generously sized shrimps and slices of lean pork were fresh and juicy sweet.
Before the soup ran out, we quickly ordered another bowl, now a "dry" kway teow version to sample.
The sauce of the dry kway teow was good and well balanced but it was still the accompanying soup, the star of the show, that captured all our attention.
The accompanying savoury spicy chili paste on a tiny disposable plastic dish was good enough. With such an excellent soup, the chili too was neglected by us :P
San Ming 三民 Penang Prawn Mee is one of my favourites in JB.
Restaurant name: San Ming 三民 Penang Prawn Mee (stall inside Hengs Hengs kopitiam)
Address: Near the junction of Jalan Perang and Jalan Kuning, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
Hours: 7:00am to 2:00pm daily (no off day)
Date visited: 4 Sep 2012