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Melanie Wong | Jul 18, 201908:27 PM    

In early March I dropped by the then two-month old Golden Prawn for a solo lunch. It's an offshoot of Fremont's popular Kyain Kyain. Cash only at the time, the ornate wedding stage of the previous occupant was still in place, making for a stark contrast to the otherwise modest interior and suburban strip mall surroundings. There were only two other customers besides one small table that appeared to the host's friends.

Typically I go with mohinga or ono kauk swe (Fish noodle soup, $6.99 and Coconut noodle soup, $6.99, respectively on the menu) for an initial visit to a Burmese eatery. But at Golden Prawn, the specialty is Kyay oh noodle, $10.99, one of Burma's iconic noodle preps that I've not seen elsewhere. It's related to Cambodian kuy teav https://www.chowhound.com/post/nyum-b... or the Vietnamese version, hu tieu nam vang https://www.chowhound.com/post/dry-no... , which in turn is descended from Teochew Chinese noodles.

Ordered dry (soup on the side) for a buck more with mixed noodles (vermicelli and dry flat rice noodles), this was pleasant enough with clumps of ground pork, chitlins, dry and tough pieces of pig liver, fish balls, soft-cooked quail eggs (a highlight!), mustard green hearts, Chinese chives, cubes of tofu and lots of fried garlic. The soup on the side was light and mostly tasted of MSG. i've no objection to MSG as a flavor enhancer that can round out and complete the circle of taste, but this broth lacked a primary flavor. The money here turned out to be the chili condiment made with chopped green bird chiles, minced garlic and a little lemon juice that perked things up. A generous serving, enough was leftover for dinner. Yet, I kind of wish I'd ordered the mohinga instead. Reading more about kyay oh later, this version was missing the savory-sweet saucing that could have lifted it out of the bland rut.

The host came by with a complimentary dessert, aquamarine colored jelly and thanked me for coming in. This was very firm, similar to agar-agar.

Anyone else tried Golden Prawn?

Golden Prawn
39698 Cedar Blvd
Newark, CA 94560
(510) 979-9600
Closed Mondays

Recipes and more about Kyay Oh:
http://www.limeandcilantro.com/2018/1...
https://yangonlife.com.mm/en/article/...

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