Soon Huat: $3.50 prawn mee that sells out by 12pm, gatekept by Lavender residents
Prawn noodles is a classic dish, whether consumed for a hearty breakfast or light lunch. From the prawn broth to the noodles, every element plays a mighty role. Many folks agree that Soon Huat in North Bridge Market and Food Centre has completely nailed it.
Soon Huat only has 26 Google reviews and even fewer reviews by food publications. Yet, there’s almost always a queue at this prawn mee joint — why so? With enough curiosity (definitely enough to kill the feline), I headed down to discover why.
Soon Huat sells only 2 items — Prawn Mee in Dry or Soup (S$3.50 for small, S$4 for large) and Pork Bone Noodles (S$4.50 for small, S$6 for large). Thanks to the limited selection, folks already know what to go for.
From my observation whilst queueing, the Dry Prawn Mee is the most popular item. I even heard chatter on how the dry version is a must-buy, with some customers deciding to buy a few bowls back home.
Online comments weren’t kidding about the queue! Despite it being late on a Tuesday morning, a winding line snaked past 2 stalls. Of course, the Singaporean custom applied, with many folks joining to see what all the hype was about.
I was not all surprised that the queue at Soon Huat moved slowly, as many people ordered several takeaway boxes. In all honesty, the wise choice would be to only join the queue if you have the time to spare. I heard that the wait could go up to 45 minutes but thankfully, that wasn’t the case this time.
North Bridge Food Centre seems to be on the older side as compared to the recently renovated food centres I’ve seen. It was a genuine surprise that the place was cleaner than expected. I loved that it wasn’t too cramped, allowing for more diners. Looks like finding a table won’t be an issue!
What I tried at Soon Huat
I was amazed by what the dish consisted of, as it didn’t skimp on the amount despite the affordable price. As the only youngster amongst the experienced elders in the queue, I made the very obvious decision to buy a set of Dry Prawn Mee (S$3.50), following the crowd.
Surprisingly, the pork was not of a uniform shape, revealing that it was not store bought. I could tell that the pork was made fresh, even tasting the difference between the lean meat and fat. Pairing each of the few pieces of pork with the noodles truly let me savour the meat.
At first glance, the noodles looked bland. Luckily for me, that was not the case at all. The lard oil and slight spice coated the noodles thoroughly, giving both aromatic and flavourful qualities. I fully appreciated that there had been some prawn broth mixed into the base sauces, which gave the Dry Prawn Mee that classic prawn taste.
The chewiness of the noodles mingled brilliantly with the spicy base. However much I kept reaching out for a sip of beverage, those golden strands remained too tempting to give up. For my fellow spice weaklings, a drink is definitely mandatory!
What surprised me was that the prawns were thinner and smaller than I am used to. One must admit that it is rather odd for a bowl of prawn mee to have small prawns. However, it’s notable that the prawns tasted fresh and had a light sweetness.
My favourite item from the whole meal was the soup. After just one sip, I could instantly tell why this stall was so popular. Full of that hae bee hiam essence, this broth was extremely light, which made for an excellent refresher from the spicy noodles.
My disappointment was practically seeping off me when I gulped the full-bodied soup down. With the sweetness of the prawns as the main star, this stall is a clear winner in my books.
I had a eureka moment with this place, and felt as though I had hit the jackpot. Although North Bridge Market and Food Centre is a distance from my home, I am definitely taking some time out to come here again. For all the folks who wish to try this stall, be sure to reach before noon. Rumours have it that this prawn mee sells out by then (with good reason, of course).
Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$6 per pax
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