Cheap & Good

Hai Nan Hometown Curry adds spice to Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

Hai Nan's chicken curry is mildly spicy and the vegetable curry has a natural sweetness.
Hai Nan's chicken curry is mildly spicy and the vegetable curry has a natural sweetness. ST PHOTO: REBECCA LYNNE TAN

Curry is one of those dishes that transcends cultural differences in Singapore. Ethnic groups here - Malay and Indian to Chinese and Eurasian - have their own versions.

There is also differentiation and variation in the types of curry within each ethnic group too.

Let's not forget that in Singapore's multicultural society, Thai, Burmese and Indonesian curries also spice up the scene.

At Ghim Moh food centre, there are no fewer than five stalls offering curried dishes, including chicken curry and pork rib curry, curry bee hoon and noodles, and yong tau foo in curry gravy.

Previously, to the best of my knowledge, there were no shops specialising in curry at this food centre, which reopened in March this year after a 1 1/2-year renovation.

  • HAI NAN HOMETOWN CURRY

    Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre, Block 20 Ghim Moh Road, 01-49

    Open: 9.30am to about 8.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday

    Rating: 3/5 stars

Hai Nan Hometown Curry, which relocated to Ghim Moh from Jurong West, serves Hainanese-style chicken curry ($4.50). Other offerings at this stall include a pork rib curry ($5), mutton curry ($6), assam stingray curry ($6), pork chop and chicken cutlet curry ($5 each) and vegetable curry ($3).

Have your curry with a fluffy bun ($1) or steamed rice (50 cents).

The Hainanese chicken curry here is mildly spicy and the flavours are quite subtle.

Stall owners William Wong, 60, and his wife, Suzanne, 55, who started their stall 30 years ago at an industrial canteen in Woodlands, also go easy on the salt and I like that.

This is a curry that I can enjoy without having to down a glass of water after every few mouthfuls to quell the overwhelming levels of salt. However, some diners might find it a little bland.

Compared to many other Hainanese curry rice stalls, the chicken curry gravy is thicker and gloopier - all the better to slather over my rice.

A $4.50 bowl of chicken curry comes with one drumstick, one wing, a piece of breast meat and pieces of potato.

For an extra $1, you can add a bowl of vegetable curry to your meal. The vegetable curry is appetising and aromatic.

The vegetables are just soft enough and I like that the curry has a natural sweetness to it, thanks to slices of carrot and radish.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 24, 2016, with the headline 'Curry adds spice to Ghim Moh'. Print Edition | Subscribe