When it comes to the best Hainanese Curry Rice in Singapore, it is typically a toss-up between Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice at Tiong Bahru and No Name Curry Rice at Beo Crescent.
Operating since 1946, Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice has become an all-time favourite of families generations after generations.
The stall is housed in a coffee shop along a row of shop houses at Tiong Bahru opposite the food centre, and you would see a long line forming from 8am in the morning. (With that said, the Bak Chor Mee and Vegetarian Bee Hoon stalls in the same coffeeshop both have their ardent regulars as well.)
Mr Loo Kia Chee took the business from his father and has been running it since then, preserving his traditional Hainanese curry recipe.
The curry recipe is said to be created in 1947 by the founder, who blended the cooking style of Hainanese dishes (where he was from) and Nonya curries.
Each batch of curry is prepared for days, including a couple of days chopping ingredients and a day of machine grinding.
That process makes the curry smooth, creamy, and aromatic. Spice level is mild, and the creamy coconut and refreshing ginger flavours shine through.
Drenched over plain rice, it becomes a messy, hearty indulgence.
It was not the super gooey and sticky type (but I know some would prefer this style), but had an appetising spice aroma.
If you come early enough, you would get to choose from dishes such as Dark Soy Sauce Stewed Pork, Crispy Pork Chop, Sambal Sotong, Curry Chicken, Chap Chye (cabbage) and more.
Many of the popular food items generally get sold out by 1pm or so.
The Crispy Pork Chop is a meat-lover’s dream. Coated with a biscuit crust, it was thin, yet moist and succulent (if order by plate, I think it is actually okay to leave out the tomato-based sauce).
I liked how it is still done the old-school way, coated with pounded Khong Guan biscuit crumbs for deep-frying rather than bread-crumbs.
While some slices lost its crispiness after being drenched in sauces, those parts that weren’t remained crispy and hot.
But for fatty indulgence, go for the thick chunks of Pork Belly with creamy melt-in-your-mouth fat and a rich, smoky braised sauce.
Even the Fried Egg drizzled with some dark soy sauce was tasty, with those crispy edges and almost-soft centre.
Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice (Tiong Bahru)
Tiong Bahru Food Centre #02-67/68, 52 Tiong Bahru Rd, Singapore 168716
Tel: +65 6225 3762
Opening Hours: 8am – 2:45pm (Fri – Wed), Closed Thurs