Most know Golden Mile Food Centre to be the home of Da Po Hainanese Chicken Rice & Curry Chicken and halal-certified Ashes Burnnit, but today, I discovered the most precious hidden gem there might be— Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles, a family-run prawn mee stall that has been around since 1946.
Frankly, if you had told me that Golden Mile Food Centre was home to such a historic prawn mee stall, I wouldn’t believe you.
Out of all the times I’ve been here, this stall never struck an impression and slunk into the background, overshadowed by its famous neighbour. When I mean “neighbour”, I literally mean it— Da Po Hainanese Chicken Rice & Curry Chicken is literally next door.
Seriously, why have I never heard of this stall before?!
Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles has a history that is as rich as the prawn broth it serves.
Run by the Tan brothers, this stall was initially opened by their father in 1946, who used to sell prawn noodles while peddling along the streets of North Bridge Road and Liang Seah Street.
“He did it without wearing any shoes,” Mr Tan Chong Siew recalled in Mandarin. “And he would carry the prawn noodles and broth by a pole, and stop to sell the prawn noodles whenever people wanted to buy from him.”
As Mr Tan’s father’s business improved, the mode of business evolved to a trishaw, and then a coffee shop. Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles has moved around a few times, including China Square Waterloo Street and Tanjong Pagar Complex, with both Tan brothers helping out with the business since they were children.
“Since I was 10, I helped to clean the bean sprouts and vegetables in the morning before going off to school,” shared Mr Tan Chong Siew. “It was so common for me to be late for school and my teacher always scolded me.”
You can catch a glimpse of Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles’ history through the many newspaper clippings that the Tan brothers have plastered all over its storefront.
What I tried at Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles
The menu at Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles is concise but straightforward— there’s your standard Prawn Noodles, Pork Ribs Noodles and Pig Tail noodles, all of which are available in S$5, S$6 and S$8 portions.
Combinations are also available in the form of Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodles (S$6/S$8/S$10), Pig Tail Prawn Noodles (S$6/S$8/S$10) and Pig Tail Pork Ribs Noodles (S$6/S$7/S$8).
As with most prawn noodle stalls, you can choose between dry and soup options and pick what type of noodles you’d like.
The first dish I decided to try was Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles’ Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodles (Dry), and got the S$6 portion with yellow noodles and bee hoon.
For just S$6, I was instantly impressed with the amount I had been given. A large amount of noodles was accompanied by three halves of prawns, a handful of pork ribs, and a bowl of soup on the side.
Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles was generous with the amount of sauce that had been given with the dry noodles. I didn’t need to add any soup while tossing my noodles; it was an effortless process that resulted in deliciously glossy noodles.
This was so delicious that I wolfed down three to four mouthfuls of noodles at one go. This is what I’d imagine a perfect bowl of dry prawn mee to taste like: rich, saucy, and undeniably savoury.
The chilli was wonderfully done— fragrant and light, with just a teasing amount of spice that made it all the more addictive. To top it off, I could taste a hint of shallot oil, which lifted everything up.
What a great bowl of noodles. And I haven’t even gotten to the prawns or pork ribs yet!
These were large prawns that had been halved for easier eating, and I loved how vibrantly red it was, while its flesh was white and firm. Each bite was sweet and meaty, and I especially loved tossing it in the noodles’ chilli sauce for that savoury touch.
Most, if not all, of the pork ribs that I’ve had with prawn noodles usually consist of dry pork meat on bone, but Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles’ was different.
These were tender, whole pieces of pork meat that were soft and meaty, as if they had been braised prior to being added in. In fact, I don’t even think I had a single piece of pork rib that came with the bone— all were pure pieces of pork meat that I could just pop into my mouth like candy.
Already floored by how delicious Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles’ dry prawn mee was, I went straight for its soup and eagerly had a slurp.
This would be what Hokkiens call “tee”— sweet, robust and packed with flavour. I loved how it was full-bodied without being salty, and I could taste the briny sweetness from the prawn heads with every sip.
The lard came in thick cubes. It ticked all the boxes in terms of texture— it was crunchy on the outside while puffy and airy on the inside, but it was a little too smoky for my taste buds.
I moved onto the soup version of the classic Prawn Noodles, and similar to the Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodles, I asked for the S$6 variant with yellow noodles and bee hoon.
While most of the components were similar to its dry counterpart— noodles, prawns and lard— this bowl of noodles was less savoury. Instead, the soup served was lighter and more drinkable, while still remaining fragrant and sweet. I’d reckon this would be great for folks who might not prefer spicy or strong flavours, and would want something comforting and soothing for their meal.
One thing I had noticed was that the taste of the noodles had seeped into the prawn broth, resulting in a slightly more alkaline (or siap) taste, which I didn’t particularly enjoy.
I’d definitely come back for the Prawn & Pork Ribs Noodles (Dry) again. This was such a knock-out dish that I’d highly recommend. The dry chilli sauce was pretty impressive and suffice to say, when paired with the tender and meaty pork ribs, I finished that entire bowl in a single sitting. Plus, ordering it dry allows you to enjoy the full force of its briny prawn broth on its own, without the noodles affecting its taste.
With the cheapest bowl of Prawn Noodles going for as low as S$5, you’re really getting your money’s worth here at Liang Seah Street Prawn Noodles. And trust me, the Tan brothers don’t scrimp on their ingredients.
What an impressive feat for a prawn mee legacy that goes back all the way to 1946!
Expected damage: S$5 – S$8 per pax
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