Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice – More than a MessJuly 3, 2015 | 2,009 views
A feast of Hainanese curry rice in Singapore; pictured above were dishes ordered at Beach Road Scissor-cut Curry Rice near to Farrer Park – guilt-laden yet deeply gratifying ensemble of curry and braised sauce drenched rice, battered prawn fritters, stewed cabbage, fried pork cutlet and sweet and spicy anchovies with caramelized onions.
Since I have left Singapore (this happened unceremoniously a few days back, and yes folks, I am BACK IN MALAYSIA!), I faced quite a few thought-provoking questions from friends, relatives and random readers alike.
“What do I miss most from Singapore?”
Well, naturally, I would assume that the curious barrage of questions are directed at the FOOD that I miss most, since regrettably, I did not have much time (yeah right) to go around the island much for the other highlights besides eating. I made a long laundry list of activities and stuff that I would like to do within the 12 months, but apparently as fate would have it, work and traveling took up most of my time, while the rest of the days were spent idling away or recuperating and preparing for ….well, the next trip.
Now that I am breathing the Malaysian air again (choking up the haze somewhat, but still glad to be home for a while), seated here in front of my desktop on a breezy Friday evening and scouting for materials to share with you readers (who must be foaming at the sides of the mouth with the gradually infrequent reviews, and even lesser food stories from Ipoh), I thought about sharing another one of those Hainanese curry rice outlet in Singapore (after Loo Hainanese curry rice and Beo Crescent); this famous stall on Beach Road near to Farrer Park/Little India named Beach Road Scissor-cut Curry Rice – the scissor-cut part referring to the use of the utensil to quickly cut the chosen dishes into manageable, bite-sized morsels.
Crumbs-coated pork chop is one of the MUST-order dish whenever you visit any Hainanese curry rice stalls in Singapore; the other formality (so to speak) is to ask for the soft, slightly sweet stewed cabbage and the rice doused in a myriad of gravies.
You might be able to see Scissor Cut Curry Rice stalls in food courts all over the island, most notably at every Food Republic branches in the shopping malls. Then you might wonder where the weird name came from; and it stems from the use of a pair of scissors (since their early days; eight decades back!) to cut the food prior to serving them – stacked pork chop, braised pork, eggs, stewed cabbage, prawn fritters, ngoh hiang (5 spice aka lor bak) and what-have-you; on top of the heap of steamed white rice doused in a gooey mix of curry, dark braised gravy and a spoonful of the sweet, almost umami-tasting broth from the stewed cabbage tray.
To a first-timer, the idea of having an entirely undistinguishable platter of sauces, meat, soft mushy vegetables and rice might seem unpalatable, but the proof is in the pudding.
Or in this case, in the gravy.
Just don’t expect any aesthetically-pleasant plating technique or ultra refined food, but the combustion of flavours assaulting the senses is definitely addictive
Not one to reinvent the wheel, since Beach Road, Loo’s and Beo Crescent have all been in the trade for quite a good many years, you can almost expect the same array of dishes to be served across all the brands. The difference could be minimal; some may whip up an additional dish that’s a surefire winner (eg. Loo’s impressive curry prawns for one, or Beo Crescent’s crispy pork chop), but stick with the same predictable dishes for a fair comparison across the stalls.
Ngoh Hiang (5 spice or lor bak – fried pork rolls) and curry chicken in the background
Beach Road Scissor-Cut Curry Rice has the most ambitious business hours – a grand 16.5 hours daily, right up to the wee hours of the morning (3.30 am curry rice anyone?). The range of dishes are rather limited; same as the other Hainanese curry rice businesses.
The pork chop here is thinner, coated in a light batter that was neither crispy nor too hard. I would still vouch for Beo Crescent’s thinner, crispier version or Loo’s thicker cutlets served in a sweet and sour gravy. However, the other dishes fared better; the crispy anchovies in a sweet, spicy and savoury sauce, the soft stewed cabbage and curry chicken were all notable dishes. The prawn fritters reminded me of grandma’s version, fresh and succulent prawns coated in an airy coat of flour and deep fried.
The prices of the dishes at Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice are relatively low; we rarely paid for anything remotely close to SGD10 per person including drinks, the few times we had our meals here. Compared to the other outlets I mentioned, this stall has the shortest queue, most seats and quite easy to reach by foot via the Farrer Park MRT station.
Yes, readers. If you really need to know what I missed the most from Singapore, Hainanese curry rice could be somewhere in the Top 5. But I did not bother to really recollect my thoughts and perceptions for the past one year, there could be stuff that I have missed and may come up in later posts.
Right now, before the eventual move to Hong Kong, I’ll definitely relish in the moment of staying close to home, searching for good eateries (not new, there are TONNES of new cafes, restaurants and what-nots that I have problem keeping up), and maximising the opportunities to share unwritten food and travel posts with you.
Happy weekend everyone.
Beach Road Scissor-cut Curry Rice
229, Jalan Besar,
Opens from 11 am until 3.30 am daily.
GPS: 1.309504, 103.857813
Exit from MRT Farrer Park (purple line) at City Square, then make your way towards the junction of Kitchener Road and Jalan Besar. You should see this corner shop at the traffic lights.