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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 5 of 15
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 5 of 15
By Alfred September 27, 2009
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 5 of 15
Fast Facts
The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge
Hainanese Curry Rice
Chinese Cuisine
Hawker Centre
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
6 to 6.9
Food Centre:
Bendemeer Market and Food Centre
Recommended For:
Dinner 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

A lot of food in Singapore are losing their authenticities quickly and some stalls preserve theirs by including a location name in their signboards such as Katong Laksa, Hill Street Char Kway Teow or Tiong Bahru Fishball.

Of course eating at the original stall can mean a lot to some but when we have several stalls sprucing up using the same location name, how do you discern the original ones from those that are just trying to pass off as the real deal? Do you even care about eating from the original stall or do you care more about eating from the stall that is the better one today?

I’ve seen Katong Laksa in a foodcourt in Jakarta that doesn’t look any bit like the Laksa in Katong and I’ve been told by friends that the Ampang Yong Tao Fu in Singapore does not look a wee bit like the Yong Tao Fu in Ampang. But yet I wonder how does our Ampang Yong Tao Fu actually perform when compared to the original one at Ampang. And whether will I prefer our own Ampang Yong Tao Fu or the real Yong Tao Fu from Ampang. I guess it is taste acquisition racing with authenticity, it’ll be interesting to see which one comes up top.

So from that, we should be smart enough to know that authenticity can hardly travel.

The problem with having street names or any commonly used words for that matter in a business name is that there would be a lot of challenges in getting it trademarked and therefore clones are rampant.

Take for instance, this curry rice in Bendemeer which called itself Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice. Ok we all know that Hougang is famous for curry rice but there are so many of them so it’s really hard to tell which one are they referring to.

The truth is I didn’t expect the curry rice at Bendemeer to turn out to be a Hougang brand and so it was quite a let down. I’ve actually eaten quite a few at Hougang(not sure if i was at the right stalls) which didn’t really impress me so I was half expecting this to score quite badly.

I’m not 100% sure here but for those who are familiar with the Kovan Food Centre, this stall looks like a replica of the curry rice stall in that market.

[xrr label=”Hainanese Curry Rice:” rating=”6.8/10″ group=”s1″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese pork chop:” rating=”6.5/10″ group=”s1″]

Pork chops, stewed cabbage and minced pork were ordered. The pork chops here are mildly coated with something that tasted like nothing more than ordinary flour. It was, well anything but delicious and I could hardly make out any Hainanese flavour, if there was any. The cabbage was quite good, though I thought it was slightly salty which is not quite desirable as far the real Hainanese stewed cabbage is concerned. The minced pork was also a little salty though the flavour was pretty unique. I’m just suspecting there was too much of MSG used in the flavouring as my throat was feeling funny half way through the meal.

[xrr label=”Hainanese stewed cabbage:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese minced pork:” rating=”6.5/10″ group=”s1″]

This is a pretty salty meal. Not authentic if you ask me but I’m sure not many in that long queue would agree with me. If you’ve never liked the sweetness in a Hainanese Curry Rice, this might just do it for you, just like how our ‘unauthentic’ Ampang’s Yong Tou Fu can do for me.

Not sure if this is Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice’s definition of authenticity but I didn’t grow up acquiring this taste so I unfortunately cannot resonate with it. If you are one of those that have eaten at this stall and have derived great shiokadodoness from it, can I guess that you also find the sweetness(that I like so much!) in other Hainanese Curry Rice a little strange?

Price: $3.80

Recommendation: Cabbage and minced pork though it’s slightly salty.

Conclusion: Didn’t quite hit it for me though many people like this and the queue is evidence. For $3.80 I thought the price was a little high but the amount was generous. If only they have a shiokadodo pork chop to offset the lack of authencity. It surprisingly came with a free bowl of cabbage soup though there wasn’t much flavour in it.

Likes: Minced pork and cabbage.

Dislikes: Too salty.

Address Overall Rating

Hougang Hainanese Curry Rice
Bendemeer Market and Food Centre
Blk 29 #01-59
Bendemeer Road

[xrr label=”Food:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Value:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Authenticity:” rating=”6/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Service:” rating=”7/10″ 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:]


Readers' Comment(s) : 2
Mike says:

The best one at Hougang is Midnight Curry Rice at Hougang South. Open after 12am only but quite expensive. 3-4 selections can cost you $6-7

Posted September 28, 2009
Alfred says:

What’s the die die must order items there? They open 12am everyday? Weekends any earlier?

Posted September 29, 2009
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