Several Hainanese dishes such as the Chicken Rice and Yong Tau Foo has made it to the pedestal of well-known local dishes, and it is really time for the ‘Scissor Cut Curry Rice’ should be promoted food celebrity status. This rice is almost as ‘Your Singapore’ as it can get.
美芝律剪刀剪咖喱饭 was one of the pioneers of Scissor Cut Curry Rice and the shop was recently renovated and expanded (though still looked very run-down!). It continued to attract queues of people for their dinner and supper hunt.
The rice was gooey, unsightly, and gummy – probably the ugliest looking food around. When it was taken-away and opened, the content looked like a pack of messy orange-brown puke – But it was absolutely sinfully delicious.
The colour came from the combination of Hainanese curry 咖喱汁 and dark sauce 卤汁, secretly concocted with over 20 different ingredients. If you had not tried the curry before, it was unlike any you ever tasted. When dumped on the rice, the sweet-spicy-gummy curry made the drenched rice good enough to be eaten on its own.
The cutting of the meat with the traditional scissors created a ‘click-clack’ sound, and also the signature branding to this popular supper hunt.
The absolute must-tries included the Braised Pork ($1), Crispy Pork Chop ($1), Fried Cabbage ($0.60), Prawn Roll (0.60) and Fried Egg ($0.60). The meal was so cheap that 5-dishes for two persons cost less than $11.
The Braised Pork, sliced into thin rectangular shapes, was meat in its most tender form. It was without the porky taste but instead oozed out the dark sauce that it affectionally absorbed.
The cabbage was cooked till pale green and squashy, but tastefully soft.
I also liked the prawn rolls for its crunchy bits of water chestnut, but was a tad too oily.
You could spot several versions in the food court and they would probably be a lot better looking. But it is this ugly version that proves that taste can only be skin-deep as well. 80 years of history and 3 generations of popularity, somebody should put the scissors rice on our tourism ads!
Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice, 229 Jalan Besar
Opening Hours 11:00am to 3:30am