Come supper time, you might be craving for some comforting zi char dishes, but when you’re tired of visiting the eatery below your block, you’ll want to venture out and try something different. So, here’s a suggestion for you: try Old House located along the row of shophouses at Neil Road.
As its name suggests, it serves traditional home-cooked dishes but with their very own spin on the classic hawker favourites— one such crowd pleaser is the delicious Dinosaur Prawn Noodles that boasts springy yellow noodles hidden underneath succulent pork ribs and massive prawns.
But that’s not all it serves, there are a wide variety of other dishes on the menu as seen plastered across their walls.
If you’re a seafood fanatic, you’d be spoilt for choice by the selection of barbecued dishes with ingredients, including clams, cockles, prawns, squid and even stingray.
The first thing we ordered was, of course, the Singapore Dinosaur Prawn Noodle ($15). Your first reaction might be to scoff at the price, but this isn’t any regular bowl of prawn mee — you’ll be getting your money’s worth with two massive halved prawns and three huge pork ribs to go with the broth and egg noodles.
It’s no wonder the prawns are labelled as “dinosaur”. Each half is so big that it takes up the entire width of the bowl and most certainly can’t be held up with just your chopsticks. But hey, we took more delight in using our hands to tear the meat apart from the shell.
The pork ribs were nothing special compared to the prawns but, they were tender enough and had soft meat that could easily be extracted from the bone.
We couldn’t see the yellow noodles buried underneath the other ingredients until we dished it out of the bowl. While this isn’t usually my noodle of choice, I appreciated the fact that the strands managed to absorb the remnants of the flavourful prawn broth that wasn’t already sucked up by the prawns.
For those that find this to be too overwhelming a bowl, you can always downsize your bowl and opt for the prawn noodles minus the pork ribs. Or perhaps, go for the smaller prawn varieties — why anyone would forgo the larger prawns is beyond me.
Another popular noodle bowl on their menu would be the Thick Soup Noodle ($9 for a medium sized bowl). You can get this at $6 for a small portion or $12 for a large, as well.
Given the starchy consistency of the soup, this seems to be quite reminiscent of lor mee but with a white gravy instead of the brownish hues, you usually see in this dish. The addition of seafood ingredients such as clams, prawns and squids gives it a unique quality too.
I must admit that I’m not the hugest fan of lor mee itself but, the broth was undeniably robust and enticed me to slurp down most of the contents in the bowl. I would attribute this to the seafood ingredients that provided an added brininess to the already savoury soup.
The noodles appeared to be rice vermicelli commonly served in laksa but, they weren’t exactly that either. In fact, they had a texture that resembled ramen noodles more closely and had a notable springiness that served to enhance the dish even further.
Even though we polished the two noodle bowls, we couldn’t leave without ordering at least one barbecued seafood item on the menu. So, we settled for the Stingray ($13 for small portion). If not for the fact that we were nearly stuffed, we would’ve gone for the medium portion at $18.
Drizzle some lime over the mouth-watering sambal chilli sauce and you’re good to go!
Aside from the fact that Old House serves some delicious versions of the classic zi char dishes, there are two other reasons why you should patronise them on your next supper gathering.
For one, they are open until 4am, which means that you can satisfy your hunger pangs in the dead of the night. Second, of all, you can dine in air conditioned comfort without breaking a single sweat while you munch away with your kakis.
Expected Damage: $9 – $18