Sapx2 Soi 19 Wanton Mee In Bangkok Still Reminds Patrons They’ve Got “No Branch, In Singapore”
If you spend most of your long weekends flying in and out of Bangkok, this famous hawker will definitely have crossed your radar.
Sabx2 Wanton Mee – aka Soi 19 Bangkok Pratunum Wanton Noodles – located opposite Platinum Shopping Mall is the mecca for Singaporean foodies on the prowl for Thai-style wanton noodles.
On good days, patrons wait for hours in long lines snaking past the stall front, just to taste this much-loved dish.
With so many Singaporean fans, it’s no wonder they’ve hung up a welcome banner greeting Singaporeans when you turn onto the street.
Oh wait, that’s no welcome banner.
Along with their logo and store name is a clear warning emblazoned in all caps, “NO BRANCH, IN SINGAPORE”.
If you thought this was simply part of their quirky decor, think again.
Plastered upon the walls of the stall are more posters proclaiming, “NO BRANCH, IN SINGAPORE”.
The store seems extremely dedicated to bringing across this message, even during your meal within their premises.
Inside you’ll find signs of various sizes gracing every wall, in a multitude of languages, saying the exact same thing.
God forbid that you miss it, even when you reach the payment counter.
What’s the deal?
You’re probably wondering why this wanton mee vendor in Bangkok has dedicated so much resources to remind their customers – especially Singaporeans – that they have no branch in Singapore.
Here’s are a few legitimate reasons for their peculiar choice of store decor.
1. Singapore stall named after Soi 19
In 2013, a Thai-style wanton noodle stall opened locally, cleverly naming themselves Soi 19 — a decision that intertwined the strings of fate between these two outlets forever.
Soi 19’s owners claim they learnt how to make Thai wanton mee from their god brother in Bangkok, inspiring them to open their stall in Singapore.
The OG stall in Bangkok is located along Soi 19 of Pratunam street in Bangkok.
“Soi” refers to “Street” in Thai, which may have initially sent Singaporeans flocking to Soi 19 by association.
2. Thai-style wanton noodles
Both stalls serve up their signature dry wanton noodles in a similar style — dry and tossed in lard oil and fish sauce, with generous amounts of crispy pork lard.
Sapx2 Soi 19 Wanton Noodles
They’re also priced similarly, with a small bowl at Sapx2 costing 100 baht (~$4 SGD). Soi 19 charges the same amount per bowl.
Soi 19 Thai Wanton Mee Singapore
However, Sapx2’s noodles is famously zhng-ed with bits of crab meat. Soi 19 adds cured sausages to their noodles instead, and serves their wantons in a soup on the side.
3. Braised Pork Trotters
The issue escalated in 2015 when Soi 19 in Singapore decided to launch their version of braised pork trotters served with rice.
Coincidentally, yet another signature dish of Sapx2 — melt-in-your-mouth braised pork trotters.
Sapx2’s Ovaltine Braised Pork Trotters
In this case, the recipes used are noticeably different.
Sapx2 claims to add Ovaltine to their broth while stewing the pig trotters, adding to the depth and flavour of the sauce.
On the other hand, Soi 19 claims to do no such thing.
4. Soi 19 opens up third branch in Singapore
From write-ups in the Straits Times, to rave reviews by local food bloggers, Soi 19 has seen much success in Singapore.
How much of this success can be attributed to their choice of name, however, remains debatable.
In all fairness, it is stated on their official Facebook page that they have no affiliation with Sabx2 in Bangkok.
Same same but different?
As to when this 5-year Thai-style wanton mee showdown across borders will end, we can’t say for certain.
But one thing’s for sure, if both outlets continue serving up delicious bowls of Thai-style wanton mee, that’s surely a win-win for all Singaporeans.
Perhaps it’s time to hang up the banners and posters and let bygones be bygones after so many years?
Have you tried the wanton noodles from either of these hawkers? Let us know in the comments which version you think is the most legit.
Featured image from MustShareNews and Daniel Food Diary.