Curry is a South-East Asian must. Aromatic spices and coconut milk, a good bit of heat – what’s there not to love? Whether it’s curry fish head or Hainanese curry rice, there’s a curry dish out there that caters to everyone’s tastes.
So without further ado – here are 10 must-try curry dishes you can get in Singapore’s hawker centres.
1. Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice – Curry Rice
There’s nothing better than a hearty plate of piping hot rice drizzled over with thick, aromatic curry – and Loo’s Hainanese Curry does it better than most other places. It’s been operating in Tiong Bahru since 1946, which means they’ve been making curry for a whopping 74 years. No wonder their curry tastes so good – it’s been made with nearly 3 quarters of a decade’s worth of experience! The curry also takes 3 days to prepare, so, y’know, each plate really is painstakingly prepared for your benefit.
The first thing you taste about the curry is the fragrance of the coconut milk, followed by the richness of the spices. The taste of the ginger really shines through as well.
The curry is so good you can eat an entire plate of rice just by mixing it with the roux, but if you want to add some sides to your curry rice, check out their plump sambal prawns (these come in their own delicious prawn curry!), or their signature pork chop.
Address: 71 Seng Poh Rd, #01-49, Singapore 160071
Opening Hours: 8am – 2:45pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun)
Tel: 6225 3762
2. Al Ehsan – Nasi Padang and Lontong
Not only is this stall’s curry amazing, it’s inexpensive as well. Every add-on to the Nasi Lemak or Nasi Padang here costs only 50 cents, including the curry vegetables, egg, bergedil, and beef rendang! No wonder this stall is so popular.
Price point aside, the vegetable curry is absolutely sumptuous – ask for the curry roux to be poured over your rice and you’ll finish the plate in no time.
And if you want something with even more curry, try their lontong, which is priced at only $2. Despite the low price, each bowl is chock full of toppings, including an egg, fried tau kwa, and vegetables. The curry is mildly sweet but thick and flavourful, and you won’t be able to stop eating.
Address: Pasir Panjang Food Centre, Stall 1, 121 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118543
Opening Hours: 5am – 2pm (Mon – Fri)
3. Cantonese Delights – Fried Chicken Cutlet Noodles
Springy egg noodles in a bowl of rich curry gravy, topped off with pieces of fried, crispy chicken – what’s not to love? It’s a little different from your usual bowl of curry chicken noodles, but this curry chicken mee kia is sure to whet your appetite. The curly, al dente texture of the thin noodles catches the curry gravy well, making this dish totally slurpable.
And of course the chicken chunks are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Dip them in the curry gravy – which is not too spicy at all, perfect if you’re not a spicy-food lover but still love curry – to enjoy a perfect meld of rich, savoury flavours.
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-03, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 2pm (Sat – Thu)
4. Ah Hua Assam – Assam Curry
This assam curry is both tangy, spicy and fragrant – like the best of all assam curries. It’s carefully and meticulously prepared fresh every single morning. Mix it into the rice and take a bite, and your tastebuds’ll sing with the flavour.
The assam – pungent and piquant – leaves a lingering fragrance on your tongue, making it supremely satisfying. Like we said, we’d order rice with this, but quite a few of Ah Hua’s customers enjoy the bee hoon as well, which is cut into short pieces to make for easier eating. And if you can, get the chicken drumstick – it’s huge and bursting with flavour.
Address: Chinatown Complex, #02-106, 335 Smith St, 050335
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Tues – Sun)
Tel: 9368 5305
5. Yap’s Noodles – Seafood Roasted Pork Noodles
If you’ve been clicking around the food forums on the Internet for a while, you’ll probably know that this stall is famous for serving only 50 bowls of their curry noodles a day. That’s a testament to the amount of effort and dedication the stall owners put into each serving, as are the long queues you can see for the stall on any given day of the week!
Each piping-hot bowl of noodles comes with both yellow noodles and white bee hoon, all the better to both soak up the curry roux and provide a nice, satisfying bite to every mouthful. Try their seafood roasted pork noodles, which are generously topped off with huge prawns and tender pork belly, or order their equally delicious fishball noodle bowl.
You can also try their classic curry noodles, which you can top with cheese for an additional $1. Curry with cheese? Yes, please!
The curry itself is thick and creamy, and you’re guaranteed satisfaction with every bite.
Address: 51 Yishun Ave 11, Singapore 760355, #01-36
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun)
6. Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff – Original Curry Chicken Puff
That crisp, flaky, buttery exterior is all we want in a chicken curry puff. Look at that golden pastry and tell us you don’t want to take a bite.
Break one of these open and you’ll see that it’s packed with dark curry roux and generous, juicy chicken chunks, as well as soft bits of potato that’ll simply fall apart in your mouth. Take our advice and get these while they’re hot – the steaming combination of curry, chicken and potato will make you close your eyes in bliss as the flavours melt on your tongue.
Address: 51 Old Airport Rd, #01-126, Singapore 390051
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Tues – Sun)
7. Tanglin Halt Roti Prata & Nasi Briyani – Nasi Briyani
Rumour has it that this stall’s roti prata sells out even before noon, so yes, it’s safe to say that the prata here is amazing. But half of what makes that prata so good is the curry – and that’s what keeps people queueing here long after the flatbread is gone.
Their curry rice is especially popular. The curry roux is thick and flavourful, clinging to every grain of rice to culminate in a savoury, almost creamy blend of tastes for every mouthful you take. Side dishes include curry mutton, curry chicken and curry vegetables; the meat is tender and tasty, having been exceedingly well marinated, and the vegetables are soft but not soggy, and their slight sweetness elevates the curry from good to amazing.
Try the briyani at this stall, too – it’s just as delicious.
Address: Blk 49 Tanglin Halt Road #01-365, Peking Room, Singapore 142049
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 3pm (Mon – Sun)
Tel: 9794 3124
8. Gu Ma Jia Zi Char – Assam Fish Head Curry
A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about Gu Ma Jia’s fish head curry – namely, that it’s so, so good. It’s even won awards. Gu Ma Jia is a Zi Char place, of course, with a ton of other wonderful dishes to its name, but people flock here for the curry, and boy do they have a good reason to.
Just a note of warning: this curry is hot. If you can’t take spicy food, you might want to opt for some of their other dishes instead, like their Yam Ring with Pork Ribs or their Seafood Crispy Noodles. But for those of you who order zhong la and above for your mala, you’ll probably enjoy this – the heat is great.
Spice levels aside, this curry is made with 13 secret ingredients that make the broth so flavourful, it’s famous. And the fish is fresh from the market, lending a subtle sweetness to the savoury curry.
The result? Perfection.
Address: 45 Tai Thong Cres, Sennett Estate, Singapore 347866
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 5:30 – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
9. 328 Katong Laksa – Laksa
If you haven’t been living under a rock in Singapore, you’ll know what this stall is – only one of the most famous laksa stalls in our corner of the world. Topped with generous amounts of bean sprouts, fishcake and even a huge heaping spoonful of sambal chilli, this dish looks delectable even before you take a bite.
The fragrance of the spices is perfectly balanced out by the mild creaminess of the coconut milk, resulting in a bowl of curry noodles you can’t stop slurping down. People can tell you it’s a bad idea to finish the curry soup in any given laksa bowl all they want, but this one is definitely worth the calories.
The thick bee hoon is helpfully cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces, so really, all you need is a spoon to enjoy this local delight.
Address: 51 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428770
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Tel: 9732 8163
10. Ah Heng Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee
Last but certainly not least on this list is Ah Heng Chicken Curry Bee Hoon Mee’s – you guessed it – chicken curry bee hoon mee. Look, this bowl literally comes with a Michelin recommendation (it’s listed in the Michelin Plate), we don’t know what higher praise we can give it.
Melty potato chunks, tau pok, fishcake and other ingredients are all simmered together in a huge, steaming curry pot, so you can rest assured every bowl you buy comes fresh and piping hot. Huge slices of Hainanese chicken top each serving, and each piece is succulent, juicy, and bursting with flavour. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
The curry isn’t thick, but it’s immensely flavourful, and many, many diners drink the whole bowl dry. Y’know, if the Michelin rating didn’t convince you, you now know it has the locals’ stamps of approval.
The bowls come in different sizes – prices range from $5 – $7, so order the size that best fits your appetite!
Address: Queen Street Kampong Bugis, Singapore 180269
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun)
Address: Blk 531A, Upper Cross Street #02-57/58, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, Singapore 051531
Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 9pm (Sat – Sun)