3 Reasons Why SabX2 Wanton Noodles Doesn’t Deserve the Hype
SabX2 Wanton Noodles needs no introduction to Singaporeans, but if you are a Thai, this is probably the first time you have ever heard about this stall. Made famous to us in 2012, many locals would head there for a bowl of wanton mee whenever they are in Bangkok. Probably because we stay around Platinum Mall during our vacation and this place has air condition, hence it is so convenient to walk over for lunch.
This noodle stall located at Soi Petchuri 19 in Pratunam Bangkok (across Platinum Fashion Mall) has grown in size and crowd over the years via word of mouth. It has even been regarded as THE place to go for wanton mee in Bangkok by many bloggers, newspaper and magazines, with some saying that it is the best. Really?
I have visited this stall for a few times. My first was in 2010 when I started to explore and understand Bangkok. Then subsequently, I have tried a few other wanton mee stall recommended by my friends in Thailand. Just two weeks ago, I went back to SabX2 to make a comparison. Sadly, I was disappointed and this would probably be my last time there.
Before I begin this post, let me first put a disclaimer that I am not affiliated to any wanton mee stalls in Thailand nor Singapore, and none of my family members sell wanton mee.
1. LOUSY SERVICE
Thailand is called the Land of Smiles for the obvious reasons. The country attracts tourists from all over the world not only with its rich culture and stunning beaches, but also first class hospitality, because Thai people are generally gentle, hospitable and open-hearted. In the beautiful Bangkok, you get friendly stall owners no matter where you are, even if they don’t understand you. In Chinese, we call it “人情味” because it is a country full of warm hearted people.
Sadly, it is not the case for SabX2 wanton mee. You can feel the hostility when you enter the shop. Service? No, they don’t have it. For the xx times I have visited, it didn’t get any better. They just want you to eat and pay and go quickly so that they can make more money from tourists. They don’t bother with any extra requests you have on your food. Try asking for something and you will probably get some rude stares or replies. So why bother? And it’s not like they serve super good wanton mee please. This, is probably the main reason why it turns me off.
2. PAY IF YOU WANT SOUP
The only dish to order here is their dry wanton noodles, and you can choose to go with crab meat or not. Don’t waste money on crab meat, I am not very sure if it is frozen but it is tasteless and very little. It comes with two wantons, a couple of slices tender charsiew pork and lots of pork lards. It’s supposed to be crunchy moreish but during my recent trip two weeks ago, it turns out to be less crispy than usual.
The noodles itself didn’t blow us away much because we had better ones. This is the standard egg noodles which you can find around Bangkok. But here, it is overcooked and not as Q as I expected it to be. The lard oil and fish sauce was all I tasted which makes the noodles salty and oily when tossed. Char siew was dry and doesn’t even have the roasted taste (unless you want to ask for super chao da ones). Dumplings are so small, what can you bite? Overrated much.
For those of you who have eaten the wanton mee soup in Sabx2, sad news is, there is NO MORE soup version already. If you want soup, just pay for their wanton soup lor! Just pay more money and you can get your soup.
The pig trotter was the reason for my recent visit because people were raving about it. So I wanted to try for myself to see how good it was. Written at the shop “Ka Moo Ovaltine”, SabX2 has added ovaltine into their pig trotters to make it tastier and the sauce thicker. Yes, I do agree that the trotter melts in your mouth and the meat fell apart. But it is way toooooo salty. You know me, I am a foodie who loves strong and heavy flavours, but I cannot even finish this. Okay if you really want, have rice together with it.
3. VERY EXPENSIVE
For those of you who have travelled to Bangkok frequently, you will know that the price at SabX2 Pratunam Wanton Noodles is not cheap. For a small portion like the above (which can be finished by 2 mouthfuls), it costs 100 baht per bowl, that is about SGD4. For the pig trotters, it costs from 150 baht (SGD 6). Seriously? Visit any roadside stall and you get very good wanton mee that is probably half the price of what you are getting here. And, they are much better than SabX2. No wonder the owner is rich enough to have his own football team and bought so many apartments for rent. What are you paying for? Overhyped noodles with lousy service.
Is SABX2 Wanton Mee in Bangkok related to Soi 19 Wanton Mee in Singapore?
When you visit SabX2, you will see many boards plastered around the shop stating “No branch in Singapore”. No, they are not connected to SabX2 Wanton Noodles. The one in Bangkok is called “Zaap Mee Kun Song”, whereas the one in Singapore is “Soi 19 Wanton Mee”, different name altogether. And the recipes are all different! The owners from Soi 19 (read my post here) learnt the art of Thai wanton mee from his Thai god brother in Bangkok. The smartest thing the owners from Soi 19 wanton mee did, was to name their stall as “Soi 19” (which means street 19), which made their stall flood with wanton mee fans since opening. SABX2 kicked a big fuss in his shop by plastering “No Branch in Singapore” signboard all over his shop. Well, I am glad for the disassociation because I personally think the one in Soi 19 is better, especially in terms of service and portion. Actually, come to think of it, SabX2 should thank Soi 19 for helping to “promote” their business.
Deserve the hype? Sorry, I think it is overrated.
SabX2 Pratunam Wanton Noodles
Address: 4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19, Pratunam, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm Daily