For as long as I can remember, Beach Road Prawn Noodle House has been such an iconic prawn noodle shop, especially if you’re talking about those within the East.
I’m not even kidding when I say that I’ve been dining here since I was a kid. My primary school is right next door, and my family and I would often visit this famed prawn noodle shop for a bowl of its hearty and utterly satisfying prawn mee.
For those who might be unfamiliar with this renowned shop, it’s actually not located along Beach Road. In fact, it’s found along East Coast Road, and Easties will know it as “The Prawn Mee Place” opposite Caltex.
Beach Road Prawn Noodle House’s history is worth mentioning, especially since it can be dated back to the late 1920s. It all started when Mr Lee Pee Tuan, the grand patriarch of the Lee family, arrived in Singapore from Fujian, China, in the late 1920s and set up a make-shift prawn noodle stall along the five-foot way at Blanco Court.
His son, Mr Lee Seng Hoon, helped out at the stall since he was a mere eight-year-old kid, and eventually went on to set up a stall at North Bridge Road in the 1950s. In the 1970s, the business expanded and they eventually relocated to a coffee shop at Haji Lane along Beach Road, which was where the illustrious eatery gained its name, ‘Beach Road Prawn Noodles’.
The third-generation successor, Mr Lee Chee Wee, took over in 1986 and moved the shop to its current location at East Coast Road, where they introduced tiger prawns and created its signature dish— the Special Big Prawn Noodle.
Now, the fourth generation has taken over the shop, inheriting the near century-old Lee family prawn noodle recipe and continuing its legacy.
This place is always packed with people. Trust me. I’ve dined here on both weekdays and weekends, arriving before the peak lunch crowd, and there always seems to be a queue.
It’s quite impressive, especially considering there’s no MRT station nearby. This means that most diners would have to take a 15 to 20 minute bus ride from either Eunos or Kembangan, or specifically drive here just to enjoy a bowl of prawn noodles.
Don’t be alarmed by the long, snaking queue. It moves pretty fast, even during the weekends, and the waiting time often ranges from 5 to 15 minutes.
What I tried at Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
Beach Road Prawn Noodle House’s dishes are fairly affordable, with the cheapest bowl of Prawn Mee being priced at S$6.50.
My suggestion is to go big or go home and try its signature Special Big Prawn Mee (S$12.50), which comes with big, meaty tiger prawns and is available in both soup and dry versions. It also goes by another name at the shop— Jumbo Prawn Mee.
I decided to get two bowls so that I could try both dry and soup variants.
The dry version came with plenty of tiger prawns, which had been halved for easy eating. It was pretty saucy, making it a breeze for my dining companion to toss without a need to add in any soup.
I absolutely loved this bowl of prawn noodles and slurped it up in an instant. The noodle’s sauce leaned more towards sweet chilli, with a hint of pork lard and smoky spice, but it went perfectly with the briny, rich and full-bodied soup that came in a separate bowl.
By separating the noodles and soup, I could enjoy each element as it was, and I ended up alternating between a mouthful of noodles and a sip of soup for maximum enjoyment. I only have one word to describe the whole experience: shiok.
The tiger prawns were the main highlight, which came complete with the prawn head still attached to the body.
While it took us a good amount of time to wrestle the prawn meat from the shell, it was well worth it. The prawns were meaty and fresh, and biting into it was immensely satisfying.
My personal tip would be to deshell all the prawns first before diving into your bowl of prawn noodles, so that the prawn meat would soak up all the gloriously savoury notes from the sauce.
One thing I really appreciated about Beach Road Prawn Noodle House was how they provided each table with a metal bowl for diners to place their prawn shells. It’s truly the little details like this that elevated my dining experience and made it all the more enjoyable.
I moved on to the Special Big Prawn Mee’s soup variant.
As compared to the soup that came with the dry variant, this was relatively lighter in texture and depth, but thankfully it still retained that characteristic briny sweetness. The end result was an incredibly drinkable soup that had faint alkaline notes from the yellow noodles.
This is what prawn mee should be like— with a sweet and full-bodied soup that isn’t overly briny or salty, such that drinking the whole bowl could potentially leave you thirsty.
For those who’d like to zhng their prawn noodles, I recommend you add a dash of Beach Road Prawn Noodle House’s chilli powder.
Rather than being spicy, it added a salty touch to the soup and gave it a well-needed kick of umami flavours.
No trip to Beach Road Prawn Noodle House is complete without a trip to the Ngoh Hiang stall, which is located right beside the main ordering counter. Just like how you’d order a bowl of yong tau foo, simply pick the items you’d like and the staff will proceed to deep-fry them for you.
A must-try is its titular Ngoh Hiang (S$1.50), which had been deep-fried perfectly.
The skin on the outside remained crisp without being too oily, while the meat on the inside was peppered with crunchy carrots and springy meat. Dipping it into the chilli sauce added that extra tangy oomph.
The Beanskin (S$1.20) and Pumpkin Egg (S$1.70) were our second and third favourite ngoh hiang ingredients, as the Beanskin was delightfully thin yet crispy (almost like a tofu crisps), while the Pumpkin Egg had a satisfying, carrot cake-like texture with mildly nutty notes.
Those familiar with Hokkien ngoh hiang ingredients will recognise the Sausage (S$2.60) on sight thanks to its peculiar pink and white appearance. Also known as pink sausage or “guan chang” in Mandarin, this traditional delicacy is typically made from lean or minced pork meat, which is stuffed into a pig’s intestine with starch and spices.
Even though I’m Hokkien, I’ve got to admit that I’ve rarely tried it. It surprised me with its sweet taste and mildly soft texture. Pair it with the translucent, pink-like sauce for that gooey and candied touch!
Kids will love the Prawn Cracker (S$2) for its addictively crunchy texture, so be sure to try this too.
With a recipe that dates back to the 1920s, it’s really no wonder that Beach Road Prawn Noodle House has established itself as one of the forerunners of the prawn mee scene. It’s fascinating to know that throughout the past century, they’ve only sold prawn noodles with an ever so slight deviation in menu (to include pork ribs, pigs’ tails and tiger prawns)— and I’ve got to say that it definitely shows in their food.
Each bowl of prawn noodles was wonderfully executed. Personally, I preferred the dry version of its Special Big Prawn Noodle for its punch of savoury and briny flavours, while my dining companion preferred the soup variant for its well-rounded flavours. Despite that, both of us were left utterly satiated and happy at the end of our meals.
I’d most definitely recommend Beach Road Prawn Noodle House to anyone who’s yet to try it— I dare say it might be one of the best in Singapore, but of course, that title is a contentious one.
Expected damage: S$6.50 – S$15 per pax
Other articles you might like:
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
370/372 East Coast Road, Singapore 428981
Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
370/372 East Coast Road, Singapore 428981