Mr Bargain Hunter Says:
First and foremost, let me set the record straight- Singapore’s Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee is not related to the famous SabX2 Thai Wanton Mee in Bangkok. However, they do have some similarities; both serve Thai-style dry Wanton Mee without sauce and are only opened until late afternoons. Their prices are also comparable; a regular bowl of Wanton Mee costs S$3.50 Nett at Soi 19 and 100 baht (about S$4 Nett) at SabX2. I do find this a little odd since I expected Bangkok’s prices to be lower than Singapore’s. But then SabX2 operates in an air-conditioned place and also adds a little crab meat in their Wanton Mee. So which is better? Unfortunately I have yet to try SabX2’s so I can’t comment. What I can tell you is that I do like Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee!
Currently, Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee has two branches, both operating in coffee shops with no air-conditioning. Menu is simple with 3 types of Wanton Mee on offer- Signature Dry Thai Wanton Mee, Black Sauce Dry Thai Wanton Mee and Thai Wanton Mee in Soup. Each bowl of Thai Wanton Mee comes with thin egg noodles cooked al dente, savory BBQ pork, juicy minced pork wantons (fried and boiled), vegetables and crispy pork lard. The dry versions also come with a separate bowl of soup. My recommendation is to go for their Signature Dry Thai Wanton Mee because the Soup and Black Sauce versions are not very different from Wanton Noodles that are sold elsewhere.
The unique thing about Soi 19’s Signature Dry Wanton Mee) is that their thin egg-noodles are served tossed in shallot oil and nothing else. Essentially, it is an Asian Aglio Olio; just imagine capellini pasta replaced with thin egg noodles while garlics and olive oil are replaced with shallot oil. But because shallot oil is heavier than olive oil, this bowl of noodles can be too greasy for some. If you prefer something less oily, you may want to skip the pork lards and ask for less oil with your noodles. For me though, the amount of shallot oil is just right and their crispy pork lard is not something I will give up! In fact, it is part of the draw! Not many noodle places still provide pork lard and amongst those that do, many are not worth your calories. The ones at Soi 19 are however very good- crispy and delicious without any stale taste. Note that Soi 19 no longer place the pork lards at the counter for you to self-serve, but you can still ask for extra servings when ordering and they will be happy to oblige. And as you leave the counter with your yummy noodles, don’t forget to add some of their homemade chilli flakes! These will help your noodles attain an extra dimension, making them tastier. Word of caution though, add them sparingly! Because unlike those generic chilli flakes provided at pizzerias, the ones here pack a punch!
Price wise, a regular bowl of Wanton Mee here costs S$3.50 Nett, a medium bowl with extra noodles will be S$4 Nett and a large bowl with extra noodles & ingredients will set you back by S$5 Nett. Jumbo bowl is also available at S$6 Nett for the ravenous, though I have yet to try. For breakfast, a regular bowl should suffice, but for lunch, I will suggest going for a large bowl. When visiting, be prepared for a queue since this is a popular stall. If possible, I will suggest you to stop by during non-lunch hours to avoid overly long queues.