Truly Curry Rice – Modern Hainanese Curry Rice By Young Hawkers
Hainanese Curry Rice is such a uniquely Singapore food, one can see some colonial, Chinese and Malay influence. You probably don’t think this anywhere else. Messy and gooey, not photogenic, usually brownish in one aerial – yet tasting all together lip-smacking.
Singapore’s top choices for Hainanese curry rice include Loo’s Hainanese curry rice at Eng Hoon, No Name at Bt Ho Swee Beo Crescent, Feng Kee at Pasir Panjang and Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice at Jalan Besar.
If you are a fan, you should make a trip to 79 Telor Blangah Drive Food Centre. Yes, it is ulu (but can always make a short detour if you are going Vivocity). But you will find not one, but 4 different curry rice stalls!
Truly Curry Rice there 真咖喱饭 was recently much talked about because they are operated by two young twenty-something, Joel and Deniece, who gave up their trading jobs to be hawkers – the job that many Singaporeans will shun due to the longer hours and tough chores.
Deniece took over the stall from her father, and has included recipes from her father, Joel’s grandmother and their own. Thus, you are likely to see some ‘modern’ home-cooked style dishes such as Ngor Hiang and Fried Egg Plant with Hae Bee Hiam.
For a Hainanese curry rice novice, order the most basic classic dishes of Deep Fried Pork Chop, Curry Chicken, Kong Bak (pork belly) and Chap Chye. Other dishes should include Assam Fish, Steamed Meat Balls, Fried Eggs, Sambal Sotong and Deep Fried Prawn Fritters.
My personal top three are the Ngor Hiang (a bit salty but thought to find wholesome handmade minced pork rolls now), Deep Fried Prawn Fritters (taste and look exactly like how my grandmother would have done it), and Chap Chye (prepared daily, cooked for many hours, fresh and lovely sweetish).
I also enjoyed how the overall taste and presentation was ‘clean’. Unlike some stalls, the meal didn’t feel overly messy, greasy or oily.
When I asked Deniece how the regulars reacted to the food since they could be used their father’s style, her answer was short and simple, “The uncles told me they still love it. They support by queuing.”
Yes, I wanted to grab a picture of them but the queue at Truly Curry Rice was so long (but you should get your food within 10 minutes) and I didn’t want to interrupt them.
You can really see their passion in serving and cooking, and I truly wish our two young friends can bring this traditional Singapore dish to greater heights.
Truly Curry Rice 真咖喱饭
Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre, 79 Telok Blangah Drive #01-29 Singapore 100079 (Telok Blangah MRT CC Line)
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 1045am – Sold Out (around 1pm), Sat-Sun: 10am – Sold Out (around 130pm)
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Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh (Tiong Bahru)
Claypot Laksa (Alexandra Village)
Hua Feng Mian Jia (Tiong Bahru)
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