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Sep 9, 2013 11:31 AM

Singapore - A rare taste of Hainanese cooking at Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice (剪刀剪咖哩飯)

This gritty little stall on Jalan Besar does astoundingly bustling business - offering the hard-to-find Hainanese-style curry rice: a rich, filling plate lunch where steamed rice would be heaped with, usually Hainanese pork chop (flat pork fillets, battered and deep-fried, almost like a Chinese schnitzel), soy-braised pork belly strips, fried egg, and stewed cabbage. The whole concoction would then be slathered with gooey, slimy Hainanese-style chicken curry *and* a dark, salty-sweet, meaty soy-sauce gravy.

The server here snips the Hainanese pork schnitzel into small strips using a pair of scissors, hence giving the stall its "Scissor-cut" moniker.

My fave spot for Hainanese curry rice was the one near the now-demolished block of shophouses near Blanco Court. It also calls itself Beach Road Curry Rice - originating from the time when it operated within the old wet market on Beach Road back in the 1960s/70s. Its renditions seemed tastier, whether the curry or the soy-braised gravy.

Anyway, this Jalan Besar spot is a must-not-miss if one is looking for a taste of traditional Hainanese curry. Just queue up at the servig counter and choose from a variety of cooked items displayed there: fish cakes, curried chicken wings, 5-spiced meat rolls, fried eggs, etc.

*Everything* will be absolutely coated by generous lashings of the sticky, gooey curry sauce and soy gravy. The messy pile of food tasted much better than it looked. I also had a 5-spiced minced pork roll (wrapped in beancurd skin) and couple of crisp-battered prawn fritters to add to my order - sinfully tasty! :-D

Address details
Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice (剪刀剪咖哩飯)
229 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208905

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  1. looks awesome, i havent eaten this in 10 years

    btw you are single handily keeping the China & Southeast Asia board alive. Chowhound should give u an award for being the most frequent and consistent contributor!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Lau

      LOL! I'm chronicling eating options in Singapore, Malaysia and all other parts of Asia - so that fellow Hounds from all over the world can use this as *the* database to look for good eats. It'll be great if there are other active Hounds in this part of the world. But Chowhound can be quite US-centric. I myself started off in the SF Bay Area board years back.

      1. re: klyeoh

        i think its great, i hope chowhound catches on there (i try to do the same in the US). it should actually be great in singapore since most people are fluent in english.

        if i ever move back to asia maybe ill join you in the most frequent and consistent category haha

        1. re: Lau

          Singaporeans (and Malaysians) are into personal food blogs - which makes for a wealth of information, though understandably fragmented. But majority of these reviews are very, very subjective - I got very frustrated when I first moved to KL and used these blogs to search out highly-recommended spots. More often than not, they turned out to be duds. But there are the rare brilliant bloggers, e.g. Motormouth from Ipoh.

          It's easy for me to get background info on Singapore restaurants which I write about here because I grew up here and often knew their history already. Also, at places like Cheng Hoo Tian, I speak to the owners in their own Teochew dialect, and language often opens up these people to share their experiences and colourful history which you cannot read in any media since it was never told previously.

          1. re: klyeoh

            yah you know the blogging culture seems much bigger in asia, i think food media in general in asia is much bigger (like you see shows on the local news showing you the best place for XYZ dish).

            its culturally different in the US vs Asia. in general, i feel like in Asia you can't get away with mediocre food in a very nice setting, but you can in the US bc i think there is a much higher value placed on the setting / service vs the food in the US, so these shows strictly about food or blogs strictly about food seem more popular

            that said it also seems like there is alot more bias in the blogs there where restaurants maybe paying the bloggers in some fashion or another (invite them for free dinner at their opening or whatever)

            btw its great you can speak teochew bc you can get alot more info (and sometimes special dishes) from owners if you can speak their dialect

    2. I love the look of that big bowl of curry beneath the shelves in the 4th photos!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Charles Yu

        Those were the curried chicken wings, Charles. I'm sure you'd enjoy those. Somehow, Hainanese curry has a distinct flavour which distinguished it from Malay, Nyonya or Indian-style curries.

      2. The other good one is Maxwell Road food ctr. Their curry is very nice, tastier and also not sticky like this one.