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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 9 of 15
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 9 of 15
By Alfred October 1, 2009
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 9 of 15
Fast Facts
The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge
Hainanese Curry Rice
Chinese Cuisine
Hawker Centre
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Food Centre:
Upper Boon Keng Market and Food Centre
Recommended For:
Breakfast Lunch
Reviewed by:
[This is a multi-part series looking for the best Hainanese Curry Rice around Singapore.]

See other parts:
Part 1: Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice (Tiong Bahru)
Part 2: Traditional Hainanese Curry Rice (Kallang)
Part 3: Tian Tian Hainanese Curry Rice (Bukit Merah)
Part 4: Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice (Whampoa)
Part 5: Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice (Bendemeer)
Part 6: Havelock Hainanese Curry Rice (Sims Place)
Part 7: Hainanese Curry Rice (Beo Crescent)
Part 8: Feng Kee Hainanese Curry Rice (P. Panjang)
Part 9: Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice (B. Keng)
Part 10: Red Hill Curry Rice (Red Hill)
Part 11: Scissors Cut Curry Rice (Jalan Besar)
Part 12: Zhong Guo Jie Jia Li Fan (Maxwell Road)
Part 13: Red Sea Curry Rice (Upper Thomson)
Part 14: Sin Chie Tok Huan (Hougang)
Part 15: Whampoa Market Curry Rice (Whampoa)
Wrap-Up: The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge

So everyone knows that Hainanese Curry Rice is a Singapore’s creation. What if Hainan Island one day decides to ‘hijack’ this piece of our creation? Do you think they can do it successfully?

For those who are wondering what’s the fuss about all these chilli crabs “ownership”, well so do I. I for one can’t be bothered who first created chilli crab and whether it will be recognised as a Malaysian dish or Singaporean dish internationally. One thing is for sure, when we talk about the reputation of a food name, where a food is famous for, the recognition by the world, that kind of things certainly cannot be built over debating. Therefore it is a futile effort, the way I see it, to even attempt to talk about it.

Even if the day comes when Hainan successfully reclaimed the “ownership” over Hainanese Curry Rice, does it even matter? Even if they manage to “hijack” it, can they produce the Hainanese Curry Rice flavour that we know best?

In some remote parts of Bandung(100km of Jakarta), I’ve even seen pepper crab and chili crab being sold so I highly doubt that chilli crab is indeed a Singapore’s creation. But after eating pepper crab in Jakarta, I must say that I still prefer our version of pepper crab.

And if you’ve visited Malaysia and eaten the chilli crab there, you would realise that over there, it has lesser sweetness but with more sambal in the gravy. Same name, different tastes. So what’s the fuss over fighting over the name? It’s all referring to different flavours distinct to different places. But Singapore is famously known for delicious chili crab and that’s because ours taste better, no mistake there. Just like Malaysia is famous for those claypot Bakuteh, who is going to deny them that fame right?

When it comes to food, it’s a fair game. Therefore when Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice also wanted a share of the Hainanese Curry Rice’s pie, nobody is going to deny them that chance.

Probably one of the lesser known Hainanese Curry Rice around town, Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice doesn’t look traditional at first sight. They don’t have 3 pots of gravy at the front and the only thing that really whetted my appetite from the display was the pork chop. Nonetheless I went on to order the Lor bak(pork belly) and cabbage as well.

[xrr label=”Lor Bak:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s3″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese pork chop:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s3″]

Well this is one of the few Hainanese Curry Rice places that doesn’t rely on the gravy to hit your umami. My rice even came without any sauces and I have to ask for it. Well but the curry that I asked for, is not ‘Hainanese’ at all! I felt kind of cheated since the signboard clearly stated that it is a Hainanese Curry Rice.

But I were to find out, they do have enough tricks up their sleeve. The lor bak here is one of the best I’ve eaten. In the past, a good lor bak to me has to be soft enough to melt in my mouth. Now I know that it can be done in another way and here it went a notch higher! This lor bak from Chew Feng Hainanese Curry doesn’t really melt in your mouth but it provides shiokadodoness in another form. It has this terrific marinated flavour that is quite similar to sio bak(roasted pork). Ok I’m talking about the outer parts of the pork which is the sides and the bottom. There are more meat than fats in this lor bak so it doesn’t really require any ‘melting effect’ to feel shiok. Very unique and ‘pang’, definitely something that is worth my money.

[xrr label=”Hainanese cabbage:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s3″]

[xrr label=”Curry on rice:” rating=”6.5/10″ group=”s3″]

The pork chop here is also pretty good. It was sliced very thinly and the goreng had a flavour that’s pretty unique. Well the balance was right, not too sweet, not too salty, thin and crispy. Pretty ‘Hainanese’ if you ask me.

The cabbage here is also quite good though it’s more on the bland side. But the texture and sweetness is done right. I just wish that it’s that little bit saltier, or maybe a little bit of oyster sauce can do the job.

For $3, I thought this was a reasonable meal. Not the best but far from the worst. Lor bak and pork chop is unique enough to make me come back again.

Price: $3

Recommendation: Pork chop and Lor bak.

Conclusion: You’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for authentic Hainanese curry here but certain items are pretty unique. Pork chop and lor bak reminds me of a strong Hainanese culture so maybe they do have a good Hainanese ‘teacher’!

Likes: Unique flavour in some items like lor bak and pork chop.

Dislikes: Cabbage lack punch in flavour, curry not hainanese at all(tasted like coconut curry).

Address Overall Rating

Chew Feng Hainanese Curry Rice
Blk 17 #01-31
Upper Boon Keng Road
Upper Boon Keng Market and Food Centre
8am to 2pm
Off: Wed

[xrr label=”Food:” rating=”7.5/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Value:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Authenticity:” rating=”6.5/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Service:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Ambience:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Cleanliness:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr overall=true group=s1 label=Overall:]


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