Finally, it was third time lucky for me.
I came all the way to Pek Kio food centre in Singapore twice before and both times Wah Kee 華記 was closed.
Disappointed, twice before.
So, I was really glad to see this long snaking queue when I arrived at Pek Kio food centre today :D
This means that I am in luck. Wah Kee is open!
Finally, today I had the chance to enjoy Singapore's legendary Wah Kee big prawn noodles 華記大蝦麵.
Before joining the queue, pictures first :D
The lady boss noticed me coyly taking photos of her from a distance. She waved a big fresh prawn at me :D
Taking the friendly cue, I dashed forward and snapped this picture of her and Wah Kee's signature fresh big prawns.
Shy man taking the photo of a famous lady towkay for the first time. So, please pardon the less than perfect composition :P
Our Plan A was to taste the SGD5 dry version and indulge in the SGD10 soup version.
It was noon, and the lady boss told us that the SGD10 version was sold out (as was the SGD3 version).
"You must get the SGD15 version since you took so many pictures", the jovial lady boss said half in jest :D
So today, this poor food blogger had to burst his meagre food budget :P I dare not even mention the SGD20 or SGD35 ultra luxury versions :P
We waited a little over 1 hour for our food :D
Here it is.
The much lauded Wah Kee big sea prawns in robust prawn broth.
The nice round bodied broth had a nice rich deep prawny sweet aroma and flavour.
I like it that Wah Kee's prawn broth has just prawn flavours without porkiness which is common in other prawn mee stalls (as they add pork bones to the broth).
We also did not feel any MSG thirst even though we drank the broth to the very last drop.
One of the three big prawns that came with the SGD15 prawn noodle set.
One of the three prawns that come with the SGD5 set. They were actually very good size prawns and very fresh.
I can live very well with the SGD5 prawns which I think is pretty good value for money :D
This was the yellow noodle and bee hoon which was part of the SGD5 "dry" set.
The bee hoon and yellow noodles were soft and generic but we gladly overlooked this and focused mainly on the flavourful sauce.
I love the sauce's lardy and slightly spicy flavour. The crunchy kang kong and bean sprouts, and lard and fried shallot crackling added further flavour and texture to the bowl of noodles.
The soupy version that came with the SGD15 set. Soft bee hoon and yellow noodles with crunchy kang kong and bean sprouts topped with lard and fried shallot crackling.
The noodle mound was half submerged in the same rich prawny broth which Wah Kee is famous for.
The boss and lady boss were very friendly.
With a 20 deep queue, they paused a moment for photos and a quick word with a camera togging stranger.
"We've sold prawns noodles for 60 years. It was 20 cents a bowl in the beginning", said the boss of Wah Kee.
On speaking with the boss, I recalled that Wah Kee was one of the pioneers, if not The Pioneer, of big prawn noodles in Singapore. Slowly I recalled eating this same Wah Kee at the two storey Farrer Park food centre in the 1980s (long before the days of blogging and social media).
Pardon, a slight digression.
The soccer field at Farrer Park has a special place in my heart.
I remembered in the 1970s, my neighbourhood boys' soccer team walked all the way from Toa Payoh to play a match with the local boys in Farrer Park. I remembered we were completely outclassed and roundly thrashed LOL :D
That early taste of defeat gave us a good dose of humility and resilience for more failures that inevitably come in the years that follow in our lives.
But, we were none the worst for it.
Looking back it was a good life lesson that no textbook can ever teach.
Defeat in the playing field prepared us for achievement in real life.
(Uncle? Why you so "lor sor" long winded?)
Coming back to Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles 華記大蝦麵, do come and try this delicious Singapore food icon when you are in the area.
Many food canons declared Wah Kee as Singapore's best prawn noodles.
Restaurant name: Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles 華記大蝦麵
Address: Pek Kio Market/Food Centre, 41A Cambridge Road #01-15, Singapore
Hours: 7:30am to 2:00pm (Closed on Monday)
Date visited: 1 Jun 2014
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