Sunday, January 14, 2018

[Media Invite] Curry Times 咖喱食堂 @ Novena Square

Curry Times originated from Old Chang Kee, and as they say, its roots began from a puff. Curry puff that is. This a Singapore brand and one that we are all proud of. How many times have we walked past the white and yellow kiosks, and bought home some snacks like sotong head, fishball or a curry-o? Too many times, at least for me.

Curry Times at Novena Square is one of the popular lunch destinations for people working nearby. Usually, I'd go for the daily set meal as it comes with small side dish (usually vegetable) and a drink. There is usually a queue during peak hours between 12 to 1pm. 

mural in the restaurant
good for groups
Was invited to a recent tasting and got to taste items from Old Chang Kee as well as Curry Times. If you like spicy, then you are in for a treat!

on your mark, get set, go!

From Old Chang Kee, we had Sambal Ikan Bilis Beehoon and Sambal Seafood O Curry Puff. The beehoon is available at the kiosks that sells breakfast. The Sambal Seafood O Curry Puff was rather spicy! Be careful when biting into these spicy packages.

Sambal Ikan Bilis Beehoon @$2.50
Sambal Seafood Curry Puff @$3.50 (for 2)

Next, we sampled the Sambal Sotong Nasi Lemak. A plate of fragrant coconut milk rice, topped with a heart-shaped sunny side-up, and lined with fishcake, peanuts and achar. The sambal sotong is actually similar to sotong heads that's coated with spicy sambal.

Sambal Sotong Nasi Lemak @$10.90 (with free buah longlong drink)
Buah LongLong drink (free with Sambal Sotong Nasi Lemak)

The 'buah long long' drink was too thin a version, unfortunately. Its regular drinks like bandung with basil seeds fared better.

Bandung/Winter Melon with basil seeds @$3 each

If you're dining in groups of 4 to 6, then one could order dishes to share. Let's start with fish maw soup. The soup has fishballs, chicken meat balls and lots of fish maw. Tasty.

Fish Maw Soup @$11.90

For vegetables, we tried the stinky beans (petai). Yes, they have it! Now you know where to go to satisfy that petai cravings. This is one of those that you either love or hate. The rendition at Curry Times was enjoyable.

Sambal Petai @$7.90
Another highly enjoyable dish was the simple steamed tofu with chye poh. The chye poh (菜脯) or preserved turnips' taste was not so pronounced in this dish. Nevertheless, it was sweet savoury and goes well with the tofu.

Steamed tofu with chye poh @$7.50
Now, we seem to have vegetables, tofu and of course, there are meaty dishes on the menu. How about beef rendang? This dish is good for sharing. Chunky beef pieces cooked with rempah that resulted in flavourful meat. Just use the fork to push them into smaller pieces, scoop up some of those aromatic rempah and paired with a spoonful of rice. Yums.

Beef Rendang (rice) @$11.90

Don't take beef? No problem. There's seafood too on the menu. Curry prawn fritter, curry fish or seaweed fish? You choose. The curry prawn fritters would be one of those items that can be enjoyed by the young and old.

Curry prawn firtters (foreground) @$12.90 and Curry Fish Fillet (background) @$9.90

In terms of fish, I liked the seaweed one better. The sauce, while it didn't taste much of the seaweed, it had a somewhat familiar, homecooked taste.

Seaweed Sauce Fish Fillet (rice) @$8.90

Most of the items in Curry Times cater to the individual, yet there's nothing to stop us from sharing. Eating together with family in a round table communal style setting, is what we grew up with. Ok, my home table is not rounded but a square but you get what I mean, right? Hence, for me some of the dishes when eaten communal style, managed to evoke a hint of nostalgia.

Good for a group of 8 pax - let's eat!

And, of course, there are dessert at the end of the meal. Curry Times Coffee Chendol would satisfy both your coffee and chendol cravings, at the same time! Good, order once satisfy both!

Coffee Chendol @$4

If you prefer something warm, there's bubur cha cha. Colourful tapioca jellies, floating in a bowl of off-white coconut milk.

Bubur Cha Cha (warm) @$5

Thank you Jennifer for the invite and Curry Times for hosting the tasting. Local food that gives the feeling of warmth and comfort.


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