Tuesday, 10 June 2014

This restaurant is CLOSED | Sang Har Meen (Big Head Prawn Noodles) in Johor Bahru at Taman Sutera Utama 生蝦麵


Sang Har Meen RM16

Mr. Hui 許, the owner of the newly opened Famous Restaurant 名食轩 in Taman Sutera Utama (just beside Sutera Mall) invited me to try out a few of his signature dishes.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Head-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

Restoran Famous has a simple layout and basic furnishings, and it is clean, air conditioned and comfortable.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Head-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

Before opening Restoran Famous, Mr Hui had been running the staff cafeteria for 6 years at the Seagate plant in Senai, Johor, serving nearly 3,000 workers.

Mr Hui and his team have extensive experience in serving tasty and hygienic meals to large numbers of people. So, this "economic rice" 经济饭菜 line runs along the best practices from Mr Hui's experience at Seagate.

In this post, I want to highlight Mr Hui's signature Sang Har Meen (Big Head Prawn Noodles) 生蝦麵 - something not commonly found in Johor Bahru or Singapore.

Sang Har Meen 生蝦麵 is one of my favourite foods when I was living in Kuala Lumpur.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Head-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

Restoran Famous' Sang Har Meen is a bed of crispy fried wanton noodles, drenched in a soupy gravy and topped with two halves of a large prawn.

Mr Hui told me that these were wild river prawns from Triang (Pahang state) and Bahau (Negeri Sembilan state). These prawns are coveted for the rich creamy roe in their oversize heads, hence the name, Big Head Prawns 大头虾. These prawns are known as udang galah in Malay.

Mr Hui learnt the recipe and technique of making Sang Har Meen from the famously loud Cantonese chefs in London's Chinatown where he worked for three years. Back in London, either Maine or Scottish lobsters are used.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

The crispy yee noodles 伊麵 were made by frying "whole egg" wanton noodles in hot oil. Mr Hui will fry the wanton mee only when there is an order for sang har meen.

The fried wanton mee had a nice crunchy mouth feel. The crispy noodles stayed crunchy from start to end of the meal even though they were soaking in the soupy gravy throughout my lengthy tasting session.

The slimy smooth fried wanton noodles had an eggy flavour complemented by the drippy slurpy savoury gravy. 

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

The wild caught Triang or Bahau Big Head prawns weighed between 180 grams and 200 grams.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Head-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

Of these, about half the weight was in the head, earning them the name, Big Head Prawns 大头虾. Mr Hui said that 50-70% of  the 大头虾 head cavity is filled with roe. During the cooking process, the roe dissolved into the gravy giving it that unique prawny savouriness. The gravy is furthered flavoured with local Bentong ginger slices, onions, fried shallot oil (which Mr Hui personally prepared) and premium Chinese cooking wine. Egg white was added to the gravy to give it a smooth, round body and a slight eggy taste. 

Mr Hui assured me that no MSG was used. It would be a waste, what with all the rich flavours washing out of the Big Head Prawns 大头虾.

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Sang Har Meen 生蝦麵 is one of my favourite dishes and I am glad to be able to eat a good quality one in Johor Bahru at a reasonable price (RM16 a serving).

Highly recommended.

Sang-Har-Meen-Big-Head-Prawn-Noodles-Johor-Bahru-Taman-Sutera-Utama-生蝦麵

Restaurant name: Restoran Famous 名食轩
Address: No 80, Jalan Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, Skudai, Johore
Maphttp://goo.gl/maps/Q98Mc
GPS: 1.516606,103.669744
Hours: 7:00am to 11:00pm (Closed on Weds) (Sang Har Meen available from 12:00 noon onwards)
Non Halal

Date visited: 10 Jun 2014


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18 comments:

  1. RM16 for yee mee with just one big head prawn sliced into 2-halves isnot exactly what i would call
    reasonable? Not exactly an apple to apple comparison but in penang, I have had RM5 char kuey teow with 4 -5 big prawns in many places right in the heart of George town. Makes me wonder why Jb food prices are so damn expensive . Not everyone earn SGD ok! Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I was thinking of Kuala Lumpur where sang har meen costs a lot more, even when I was living there about 10 years ago. Please could you recommend me some places in Penang where char kuey teow with 4-5 big prawns can be had for RM5. If Penang has sang har meen, I hope to try that too. Appreciate it :D

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    2. Tony, maybe the pictures did not do justice to the big head prawns as it appeared to be small in the last picture. I was reading from my smartphone. Anyway, if indeed they serve 180-200 gm Big Head Prawn in each plate of Sang Har Meen to ordinary customers like me who patronise the outlet, and not just specifically to a food blogger, then I could say it is fair price.
      With regard to the Penang char kuey teow with 4-5 big prawns, let me just clarify for the sake of your readers that the big prawns are like those XL size prawns that you buy at Tesco or wet market, in case one may start to imagine them to be "BIG" prawns. In JB, i pay RM 4.50 for a plate of char kuey teow with a few scrawny prawns and hum thrown in. Even in Ipoh, I don't find the same value as I have found in Penang. I happened to chanced upon these 2 char kuey teow stalls last week in Penang. you won't find them in any food blogger blogs but indeed the locals would know. One stall is at the corner kopitiam at the foothill of Kek Lok Si Temple, opposite 7-Eleven, while the other one is along Jalan Penang. Sorry I am not a food blogger so I do not bother to remember the name of the kopitiam or stalls. I just know where to find them the next time i go back to penang. Cheers folks.

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    3. Thanks for your info on the Penang char kuey teow. Appreciate it. Perhaps, you may also give this sang har meen a try and share with us your experience. :D

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  2. can i know this is near at sutera where?beside the shop is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's at the row of shop houses just to the right of Sutera Mall. Just a 50 metres short walk away.

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  3. I'm not the same Anonymous who posted earlier. Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Sang har meen in KL or even Ipoh can cost between RM20 to RM50+ depending on where you go. Just read Motormouth from Ipoh's recent blog on the topic. As for the RM5 kway teow with 4-5 big prawns, it sounds too good to be true. I too would like to know where I can get that...

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  4. RM5 cha koay teow 4 - 5 prawn in penang.. someone is still living in 90 century...

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    Replies
    1. Indeed I was very surprised to find such value for money, but it's a fact. I do not have any slef interest to promote here. Well, anyway, even though I do not appreciate your sarcasm, but let me just correct your bad grammar, for your sake. You either lived in the 90s or the 20th century. No such thing as 90 century, kiddo!!

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  5. Hi there. I am from penang. Can you share with me where you have the fried koay teow cost so cheaper $5 with 4 to 5 big prawn? So curiously & keen to try it out. Appreciate it

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  6. foong tuck lee13 June 2014 at 20:05

    The best sang har meen in kuala lumpur is located in imbi road. The name of d restaurant is famouslly known as Soh Kee where politicians n successful businessmen patronize it nightly. Many years ago, a plate cost rm 30.00. Do no know now. i lived there.

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  7. Dear Tony ,

    thank you very much for the recommendation! i just went there this afternoon with my friends to try out the " sang har mee " and fortunately i met Mr hui as well .Mr hui also recommend me a new set promotion for 4 pax which consist of Red tilapia , kailan Fried kailan , Garlic friend roasted pork + Omelette . Sang har mee was very very smoothing and a special feel was to it when i tried it. At the same time i also enjoy the special 4pax set meal Suggested by Mr hui which only cost RM45 .

    i would also recommend other Johorians to try it too!

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  8. Hi Tony ,

    i am from Vietnam and going to Johor for a trip with my Fiance . May i know is this the same outlet as mention in the post? https://www.facebook.com/RestoranFamousJB Please help me clarify thanks!!


    Dương Bành

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Tony,

    I've just finished dining here in Restoran Famous. I am from KL, so I've definitely tasted KL "Sang Har Mee" before, but the "Sang Har Mee" by this restaurant is indeed special and appropriately priced. Except for the food, I would like to point out that the female owner is very generous and friendly; not only did they give a lot of rice (because usually restaurants would give less than a small bowl of rice), they also served a decent amount of meat per serving. Unfortunately I didn't manage to meet Mr Hui. Their salted egg chicken is highly recommendable!

    I would like to thank Mr. Tony for recommending this restoran and sharing it in the blog; otherwise, we've wouldn't be able to try it out.

    Cheers,

    Keith

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  10. I just tried to visit this place and could not find it. Ended up eating at a nearby place, and upon asking their staff (and showing them the photo of Famous' shop front), was informed that it has closed down. You might want to update your post to reflect this.

    -chriszzz

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Chris for the update. I will update this post. Apologise for trouble.

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  11. You are very welcome Tony. I've been visiting JB (and Yong Peng, Batu Pahat, etc) on weekends trying out your recommendations one by one, and have to say most are indeed delicious. The abundance of "hand-made" food items are also a welcome contrast to Singapore's largely factory-mass-produced fare. And the prices... so much value for money once you factor in the exchange rates(although our Malaysian friends may rant that Singaporeans are exploiting their weak currency). Keep up the great work on your awesome blog.

    If I could suggest 1 minor change to your blog: please move your search box up to the top of the page where it is easy to find and use, instead of being hidden among a wall of text halfway down your posts.

    -chriszzz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chriszz. I have moved the search box to the top right hand corner. Hope it is more accessible now. Thank you for your suggestion. Appreciate much.

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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