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.
Restoran Famous has a simple layout and basic furnishings, and it is clean, air conditioned and comfortable.
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.
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.
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.
The wild caught Triang or Bahau Big Head prawns weighed between 180 grams and 200 grams.
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.
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).
Restaurant name: Restoran Famous 名食轩
Address: No 80, Jalan Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama, Skudai, Johore
Hours: 7:00am to 11:00pm (Closed on Weds) (Sang Har Meen available from 12:00 noon onwards)
Date visited: 10 Jun 2014
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