Operating since 1946, Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice at Tiong Bahru has become an all-time favourite of families generations after generations.
For fans looking for the stall at Seng Poh Road, while it was previously housed in a coffee shop along a row of shop houses, it has moved closely opposite to Tiong Bahru Food Centre.
It occupies two stalls located in between Teck Seng Soya Bean Milk and Skirt & Dirt.
Compared to the previous location, fans still need to queue but not partially under the hot sun as the food centre is shaded, and there won’t be as much challenge finding a table seat.
BUT, the line (and thus wait) can get very, very long.
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 the 1940s 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, Sambal Prawns, 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 sometimes okay to leave out the tomato-based sauce).
I liked how it was 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.
Another ‘discovery’ for me would be the Sambal Prawns, and customers can order by per piece. The prawns were big, fresh and juicy in a spicy-meets-tangy sauce that was pretty addictive.
Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice (Tiong Bahru)
Tiong Bahru Food Centre #02-67/68, 52 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 168716
Tel: +65 6225 3762
Opening Hours: 8am – 2:45pm (Fri – Wed), Closed Thurs