AND THE WINNERS ARE...

No. 3: No Name

(Above) Mother Jamilah Karim's and daughter Aminah Abdul's curry puff recipe has remained the same for more than 20 years.
Mother Jamilah Karim's and daughter Aminah Abdul's curry puff recipe has remained the same for more than 20 years.PHOTO: MIKE LEE FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Where: Meng Hup Eating House, Block 164 Stirling Road, Stall 10, open: 7.30am to 2pm (Sunday to Tuesday), closed on Wednesday. It is closed for Ramadan and will reopen on July 23

Verdict: The judges enjoy the thin and crisp pastry as well as the slightly sweet filling. Wong says: "Unlike some curry puffs, the crimped edges are still crispy. The filling is sweet but not sugary. I wish there was more filling." Tan adds that the curry puff tastes good even when cold.

Score: 69/100

 
 

For Madam Aminah Abdul, 49, the key to the perfect curry puff is all in making the perfect potato curry.

She says: "The potatoes cannot be too hard, but they cannot be cooked too soft. If they are too soft, it will feel like biting into porridge."

And while the recipe has remained the same for more than 20 years, she has had to tweak the cooking time for the potatoes.

She says: "The potatoes are not the same as before. In the past, the potatoes needed to be cooked for just 15 minutes to turn soft. Now they need half an hour. But they still taste nice, just that we have to be careful about the cooking time."

Tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, the nondescript stall also sells kueh, mee rebus and nasi lemak.

Surprised at making it into the top five of Life's blind tasting, the soft-spoken former receptionist says customers have also complimented her on the crisp pastry.

She says: "We make sure it is thin and tasty even when eaten cold."

Credit, says the fourth of seven children, goes to her mother Jamilah Karim, 74, who started the stall 24 years ago at Queensway. She still works at the stall, along with other relatives.

While Madam Aminah has considered retirement, she hopes to keep her mother's business going.

The mother of three sons says: "We have our regular customers so we can survive in the coffee shop even though it can be quite quiet. But I would like to find another stall that has more traffic. Maybe I can then focus on selling just curry puffs."

Retired salesman Abdul Hamid, 65, says: "I like the thin and crispy skin as well as the potato curry filling. Their sardine version is just as good, it has meaty pieces of sardine inside."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 05, 2015, with the headline 'No. 3: No Name'. Print Edition | Subscribe