Just 3 months ago, I mentioned that my review at Old Teochew had me waking up the earliest. Well, my trip to Fei Zai Pork Rib Prawn Noodles (肥仔排骨蝦麺）located in Eng Lock Koo kopitiam at Pasir Panjang takes the cake. I woke up at 6.30am and made the arduous trip to meet my dining partner, Ingrid, who lived nearby.
At first glance, the coffee shop looked like a throwback scene from the 80s. There were yellowish walls, old-school round tables and white fluorescent tube lighting. And indeed it was, having been around since 1954… that’s 69 years of history. Amazing!
The 18-year-old stall is owned by 60-year-old Mr Ang Chor Yong, who arrives at his stall at 3 in the morning to prepare for his opening at 5am.
You’re even allowed to take your pick from the classic trio of noodles: yellow mee, kway teow and bee hoon.
What I tried at Fei Zai Pork Rib Prawn Noodles (肥仔排骨蝦麺）
I kickstarted my sleepy Friday morning with the Prawn Noodle with Pig’s Tail (S$5.50). My bowl of dry kway teow came with 3 half-peeled prawns, braised pig’s tail and a side of homemade sambal chilli.
Ingrid mentioned that she really loves the chilli over there, and I was so looking forward to it.
While tossing the noodles in my bowl, the pale flat strips of kway teow were given a new lease of life with Mr Ang’s colour-inducing sambal. They were instantly transformed to gleaming orangey flat rice noodles that just screamed “eat me!”
Ingrid was right, the sambal chilli was brimming with flavour. Besides packing a significant spicy punch, there were subtle smokey and umami flavours coming from the dried shrimp used.
Bits of crispy pork lard also played supporting roles to enhance the overall taste of the bowl of kway teow, injecting creamy bursts of sinful fattiness in between bites.
The braised pig’s tails were braised to perfection, and every mouthful was soft and gelatinous. The prawns were also fresh and naturally sweet. Overall, this incredible bowl of noodles managed to brighten my morning.
I then moved on to the next dish, the Big Prawn with Pork Rib (S$9.50). I selected a soupy version for this, and chose a combination of bee hoon and yellow mee.
The bowl came with 2 humongous prawns and pork ribs immersed in a light-toned orange broth with a scattering of fried shallots.
They weren’t kidding when they said big prawn, as the sheer size of it was literally half the size of my palm.
I got down and dirty as I peeled the huge crustacean to reveal a plump and luxurious piece of prawn. The meat was a testament to its freshness as it was firm and plump.
The ultra-fine strands of bee hoon were a stark contrast to the broader strips of yellow noodles, which provided a dual textural mouthfeel.
I loved that it managed to soak up the savoury gravy which was jam packed with tons of natural sweetness coming from the robust infusion of prawns.
The pieces of pork ribs were equally impressive; tender, yummy and filled with creamy fatty bits. I enjoyed mincing them up in my mouth until there was nothing left but bone and cartilage.
What started off as a slow morning with bloodshot eyes and plenty of yawning ended off on a high note. Both the dry and soup versions were executed really well and it looked like the long journey and lack of sleep was well worth it.
Be sure to visit Fei Zai Pork Rib Prawn Noodles by 11am as they tend to sell out by that timing— good luck!
Expected damage: S$4 – S$11.50 per pax
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