Truly Curry Rice @ 79 Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre

A new phenomenon has recently been taking Singapore or rather our hawker stalls by storm. Increasingly fronted by young people below the age of 30, this gutsy new generation of hawkers is possibly saving our disappearing street food culture and heritage with their ambition and drive.

Truly Curry Rice located at 79 Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre too has been ‘saved’ in such a way. The former owner had originally planned to give up his apron and retire when his daughter, Deniece and her business partner Joel decided to take a leap of faith, give up their well-paying trading jobs in the FOREX market and take over the stall.

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Some may call it impulsive and rash but the duo insist that it is a calculated move- one that has been in the works for a while now and the opportunity arose when the stall became available. And now, having taken over the reins fully for the last 6 months, the two have been slowly but surely gaining their foothold in the business.

Waking up in the wee hours of the morning to get the stall ready before it opens is no easy feat and the hours spent after the stall closes prepping ingredients for the next day means a total lifestyle change for them. But both Deniece and Joel have their sights set far and are determined to create their own path and succeed.

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And this tenacity is obvious in the food they serve. While both partners acknowledge that their version of Curry Rice is not authentically Hainanese, with rotating dishes such as Bittergourd Omelette, Ngoh Hiang and Fried Eggplant adding a touch of homely fusion, the distinctive staples of this iconic cuisine remain the main attractions because they are done well- if not excellently.

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Everything- from the sambal chilli sauce to the curry gravy is made from scratch and handmade while the Chap Chye, Ngoh Hiang, Breaded Pork Chop, Sambal SotongBraised Pork Belly etc are all adapted from generation-old family recipes passed down by Joel’s grandmother and Deniece’s father. The two are truly passionate about their food and do not believe in shortcuts, hence nothing is bought and little MSG is added.

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I personally have eaten at Truly Curry Rice for several times now over the past few years for my fix of comforting fare doused in thick spicy curry gravy topped with deep fried pork chop and sweet stewed cabbage. And as a Hainanese who loves a messy and intense complexity of flavours in each mouthful of her Curry Rice, I have to say that this stall satisfies that criteria deliciously well.

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My favourite dishes which I would order over and over again are the Chap Chye stewed till soft and juicy bursting with sweetness, crunchy and fried till crisp Ngoh Hiang with heaps of prawns and chestnuts, succulent and flavourful Lion’s Head Meatball– almost creamy, planks of crispy chunky Pork Chop and Fried Eggplant which packs a punch with its spicy shrimp paste (hae bee hiam) and chewy texture. But the star and highlight of it all has to be that piquant Curry which they are extremely generous in covering your rice with, making the ultimate combination of 酸甜苦辣 (sour, sweet, bitter and spicy)- a winning formula. The final product aint pretty but boy, does it taste good.

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Complimenting their food also, are the physical changes made to the stall. From the installation of a brand new signboard, to rebranding themselves, having a UV light display counter to keep the food warm so that customers can enjoy the food as if it has just been cooked and now extending opening hours to weekends as well, it is evident that both of them are serious about forging their own identity instead of simply preserving tradition.

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And their efforts have not gone unnoticed, with regulars applauding the changes and new customers coming forward to support the two young hawkers running the stall. If you drop by during lunchtime, be prepared to wait in line for your food. Deniece shares that they can hardly stop for a breather during peak hours on weekdays but positive feedback from their customers does make it all worthwhile.

Tip: The best time to come would be between 11 – 11.30am on weekdays or during the weekends to avoid waiting too long!

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Are you hungry yet?

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Blk 79 Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre
#01-29
Singapore 100079

Opening hrs:
Weekdays: 10.45am – sold out (approx 1pm)
Weekends: 10am – sold out (approx 1.30pm)

Singapore

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