Sunday, July 04, 2010

Food - Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2008

Several big prawn noodle eateries have sprung up in the 6th Division of Sarawak over the last few years. The one that has been getting rave reviews from bloggers is Glory Cafe at Bank Road. To find it, walk past the downtown bus station and Kingswood Hotel towards Rejang River Wharf Terminal 2. It looked like any other corner shop kopitiam (coffee shop) with a kam pua noodle store in front and a kopitiam restaurant at the back.

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010

Yours truly skipped the family home cooked meal to find out what the fuss was all about. What were the secret ingredients? Was it worth the MYR$15? I ordered from the menu on the billboard at the back of the restaurant. Foochow instructions was shouted across the shop by the waitress.

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010

After about 15mins, a piping hot bowl of the tom yam prawn noodles arrived. It looked very appetizing with the big prawn above the noodles and it was garnished with chopped shallots. I was informed by other bloggers to wear dark coloured clothes because eating the prawn can be a messy affair. Yes, it's true.

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010

If you were expecting the sweet and sour spiciness of the famous tom yam soup of Thailand, you would be disappointed because this was a home made version. Nevertheless, the thick broth was fragrant, the local big prawn was fresh and the thick noodles were tangy.

Rating: 7 out of 10. It's delicious but it didn't not have the spicy oomph of the traditional Thailand tom yam soup. The name, tom yam, set an expectation that it could not achieve. Maybe chilli should be added.

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010

Was it worth MYR$15? It's better priced than Sibu's MYR$20-25 for similar dishes but for Sarikei's lower cost of living and lower shop rentals, it appeared to be priced at a restaurant level in a kopitiam ambience. If you can cook, you can create your home version for the whole family at an economical price.

a) Buy a packet of Thai tom yam soup stock from the supermarket at MYR$5-6
b) Buy a kg of big prawns with blue claws (udang galah) from the wet market at MYR$20-30 (seasonal)
c) Buy some yellow Hokkien mee

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010
The aftermath. Leftover of ingredients. 

For your home made version without buying any Thai tom yam paste, try adding
a) some tomatoes
b) a few stalks of lemon grass and onions (no harm adding in garlic)
c) local lime (calamansi)
d) 1-2 dried sour plums from China
e) chopped shallots for garnishing
f) fish sauce (the secret of Thai cooking). You can buy this in a bottle.
g) coconut milk? 

Sarikei Tom Yam Prawn Noodles, 2010
The towkay of Glory Cafe

The cheerful towkay (boss) of Glory Cafe worked in Labuan, Sabah, before coming home to start this cafe business. You have to give him credit for his innovation in creating the Sarikei version of the famous Thai tom yam flavour.

If you have tried his dish, what is your opinion?


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Must come and try this...looks so rich and colourful!!

thammelissa said...

looks nice....i thk i must give it a try during my next trip back to sarikei =)

thanks for recommending

sarikeikia said...

The combination is good, big head prawn cooked with curry is nice. Sea prawn such as white prawn is good to eat steamed, tiger prawn is great too. Big head prawn do not have much meat, the head is bigger than the body and this kind of prawn is found in river where salty water meet fresh water.

Anonymous said...

Hey Daniel,

You mind to provide me with the contact numbers for HungKiew Kee a.k.a Ah Kow Restaurant in Sarikei?

Can't seem to get it anywhere from the web

Thanks Lots!

Daniel Yiek said...


I found this in an old telephone directory. Pls try these and ask for towkay "Ah Cheong"

+6 (084) 65 1480
+6 (084) 65 2419
+6 (084) 65 4264

Tell Ah Cheong to give that blogger from Sarikei Time Capsule a big treat next time. Ha!!!

Anonymous said...

hahahh! Thanks lots Daniel. Sure will convey ur message to Taukey Cheong! :)

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