The world of hawker food in Singapore is only getting more and more interesting. Previously, people used to hunt for cheap and good food in hawker centres, but now, the order of business is to look for expensive and good food at eateries. This could just be a sign of the younger generation of hawkers using better quality ingredients and bringing more restaurant-style food into the industry. A stall leading the charge? The famous Sumo Big Prawn Noodle in Ang Mo Kio!
Yeah I know, I am slow to the table, compared to other food bloggers in reviewing this stall, but I have a good reason to be. I wanted to be more precise, accurate and fair, something I am paying extra attention to as my blog enters its third year.
This actually isn’t my first taste of the stall, I have tried their Noodles with Crayfish before. This is thanks to my aunt who lives nearby, she ‘da-pao(ed)’ (bought and took away) a few portions, when me and my family visited her house for a gathering. But, this was the first time I actually went down to the market to visit the stall. It is said that the queue extends to the next row of shops during lunchtime. But, I visited at around 8-9am (yes, they were open!), there were only a few people scattered around, waiting for a bowl of rich, decadent and expensive breakfast.
The menu is pretty small, with big Prawns, Clams, Crayfish and Lobsters (subject to availability) to choose from. As you probably know, the prices won’t exactly get the stall an invitation to join NTUC’s Foodfare. But for me, $8 for a generous portion of big Prawns and Clams Noodle (or Bee Hoon) is not a bad deal, given other stalls can charge around $6. I decided to go for that, with Bee Hoon.
On the other hand, I need to talk about the Lobster, since that is what they got famous for. Lobsters at the stall, like most eateries and upscale restaurants, are subjected to fluctuating prices. From what I understand, the prices come down to what lobsters they have that day. Their “regular” Lobster on the board costs $18.90, and it is from regional waters. When I visited, they apparently had 2 Bamboo Lobsters for whoever that was willing to pay $33.90 for it. But to be honest, if you had visited the stall and queued for over an hour to just try their Lobster Noodle, might as well go all out right?
The backbone to a good Prawn Noodle is the broth, it needs to be strong and flavourful enough to carry the dish (or bowl, in this case). From trying it twice, I can report that the broth is not exactly thick, but it is full of flavour. The broth has a sweet and slightly smoky flavour to it. But, I especially enjoyed it as it wasn’t too salty, unlike so many mediocre Prawn Noodles today. Also, they are especially generous on the carbs, there was a whole lump of Bee Hoon in my bowl… Well, the hungry-me finished it anyway.
On my first try, I had slightly cold Crayfish and Clams compared to piping hot Big Prawns and Clams on the second try. The Clams didn’t disappoint on both tries, well-cooked and only slightly chewy, fresh and sweet. The Crayfish was slightly chewy, and the meat itself was quite bland. That was why my preference is for the simpler, cheaper big Prawns. Extremely fresh and sweet, it was cooked to near-perfection. it was served whole, which protected the delicate meat from the heat, and of course, the head was an absolute treat. The ‘Umami brain’ stuff in the head was creamy and a little bitter.
Well, at its prices, I would suggest you go queue and try it once, as an experience. But, in my opinion, you should skip the expensive Lobster and just go for the Big Prawn and Clams. There are better ways to experience good Lobster at roughly the same prices. How else to judge their Prawn Noodles against others without actually having the Prawn Noodle? For now, the Lobster and Crayfish is just a novelty to me…
Overall Rating: 8/10
Sumo Big Prawn Noodle
Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
Block 628, #01-72