When we gather to chat about food, there is one thing my Makan Kakis, like chef-owner of Wild Rocket, Willin Low, and actor Fir Rahman (of Boo Junfeng’s The Apprentice), can agree on: curry puffs. If you need a midday pick-me-up, you really can’t go wrong with the spicy, crunchy, deep-fried treat. Curry puffs are such a perfect little teatime bite — there’s meat, potatoes and spices for a little heat, all wrapped up in an edible, portable receptacle. Here, my famous makan kakis recommend these two sedap curry puff options.
1. Try This: Fong’s Dee Curry Puff
This little hawker stall in Clementi has been run since 1995 by the Kohs, a friendly husband-and-wife team. Their handmade puff history began in the ’70s, when Mr Koh honed his skills while helping out at his mother’s curry puff stall in Tanglin Halt. The family recipe is still being followed faithfully and the Kohs produce consistently good quality puffs: the filling and dough are made fresh at the stall daily. Admittedly, these puffs aren’t exactly pretty looking, but they more than make up for appearance by way of taste and texture! Each Chicken Curry Puff ($1.20) is generously stuffed, and the pastry is incredibly light and thin, with a lovely, crunchy, hand-crimped edge. The filling is fragrant, with just enough spices in the potato and chicken chunks to give a pleasant kick. For maximum enjoyment, wait for a fresh batch to be cooked up and eat them piping hot, on the spot. You won’t be able to stop at just one!
#01-31, Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre, 448 Clementi Ave 3. S120448. Tel: 9738-6726. Open daily 6am – 6pm.
2. Or That: Sha Zah Confectionery
Sha Zah Confectionary is a a Joo Chiat institution that serves up all sorts of crispy halal snacks in the form of Karipap and Epok-Epok. The latter is crescent-shaped, deep-fried and comes with different fillings like potatoes and sardines. The Karipap features flakier puff pastry-ish dough, and is baked. It comes in two shapes: the triangles are filled with plain potato, chicken, beef or mutton and the large rectangles are packed with goodies like beef rendang and chicken chilli padi, but the most popular one is the Mutton Chilli Padi Karipap ($1.50). You get chunks of curried mutton and potato studded with bits of chilli padi — it makes for a searingly spicy snack. Despite being baked, not fried, the Karipap is still shatteringly crisp and flaky. They come with a spicy-sweet chilli sauce to dunk or douse them in.
105 Joo Chiat Rd, S427398. Tel: 6344-6692. Open daily. Mon-Sat 10am – 8pm; Sun 10am – 6pm.
Denise Tan hosts The Lunchtime Jukebox on Gold 905. Makan Kakis is her weekly good food guide, where her panel of culinary personalities takes you on adventures in glorious gluttony. Tune in to Gold 905 for new episodes every Thursday, from 11am.