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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice – Part 4 of 15
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice – Part 4 of 15
By Alfred September 26, 2009
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice – Part 4 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:
Whampoa Drive 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

Have you ever wondered how did curry, something that is obviously from India, settled in a shiokadodo Hainanese form in Singapore?

Many moons ago during the age of colonization, Portugese and British went to India and so they brought the Indian spices or “caree” back home. If you go to UK today, you can see that Indian food are actually sold everywhere and they’re mostly in takeaway forms like the case for Chinese food over there. The British are one of those few Westerners who really enjoy eating curries and the fact is as early as mid 1800s, the British had already began to incorporate different variations of curries into some of their meals. And for those who are familiar with Chicken Tikka Masala, this was actually invented in UK!

Unlike other Chinese dialect groups, Hainanese were not allowed to move out of Hainan to other parts of China and so the only way for them to move out of Hainan is to work for foreigners. Most worked onboard ships as chef or other service type of work. And that’s where they learnt how to make Western food, and curries which they then mix it into Chinese cuisines. Other popular Hainanese food are toast and coffee.

[xrr label=”Hainanese curry rice meal” rating=”7.3/10″ group=”s3″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese curry on rice” rating=”7.5/10″ group=”s3″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese fried meatballs” rating=”8.5/10″ group=”s3″]

Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice is not one of the more popular Hainanese Curry Rice around but the reason why I decided to include it in the Hainanese Curry Rice series is because there’s something from this stall that I thought is one of the better ones around.

Located at Whampoa Food Centre Blk 90, they are obviously facing stiff competition as there is a really good Hainanese Curry Rice opposite at the other market which is Blk 91. For those who are not familiar with the Whampoa area, these 2 food centres are sitting side by side but Blk 90 is famously known as the ‘morning food centre’ while Blk 91 is anything but morning. So If you are coming here in the morning, head to Blk 90 and any other time, Blk 91 is where you should go.

[xrr label=”Hainanese stewed cabbage” rating=”7.5/10″ group=”s3″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese porkchops” rating=”7.5/10″ group=”s3″]

Truth be told, I’ve missed the famous Hainanese Curry Rice at Blk 90 a few times because I kept heading there during lunch time until I was told that they actually open from 6:30am to 11am!

Looking at the food on display at Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice ,there are actually not many sign that says “Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice is a Hainanese version”. But I’ve eaten here a few times and I swear that though they don’t look like one, the flavour here is quite authentically Hainanese.

Stewed cabbage, Hainanese pork chop and Hainanese meatballs were ordered. For those who love the ‘orange color’ pork chops that’s distinct to many Hainanese Curry Rice, you might just be disappointed with the pork chop here because the flavour is slightly different. It’s actually more towards something like the Taiwanese Crispy Chicken or very much like those Chicken Cutlets you get in Western Food stall. Slightly different but nonetheless still good. Slightly crispy, not very thick and though a little on the bland side but quite good to go with the cabbage and curries with rice. Not the best for me but certainly does have a peculiar Hainanese identity there. The stewed cabbage is also quite good and tasted very Hainanese to me. Wasn’t cooked to death and was quite ‘crunchy’ and slightly sweet.

But that’s it for the pork chops and cabbage, they are just good and nothing more. What I’m coming here for is the Hainanese meatballs. There are very few zhap cai peng places that actually do their own version of fried meatballs from scratch. The only 2 that I know just happen to be Hainanese Curry Rice stalls and one of it is Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice.

It is actually difficult for me to describe how the meatballs taste in Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice but I guess it’s very very close to something like Mcdonald’s nuggets(without the batter) deep fried in KFC’s chicken seasoning. There are obviously no 11 herbs and spices here but it can deliver same shiokadodoness for me.

Not having eaten many fried meatballs from many places, I am very reluctant to say this is the best but I seriously like this a lot and it’s good enough to make me travel all the way to Balestier just for it.

For $3, I thought it is a meal with very good value. The rice on the curry is also quite good but I must tell you that I am only there because of the Hainanese fried meatballs so if you are going, just don’t expect this meal to come up tops against those famous ones ok?

Price: $3

Recommendation: Hainanese fried meatballs though others like cabbage and porkchops and chilli sotong are good too.

Conclusion: Only made it into this Hainanese Curry Rice series because of the meatballs. Other Hainanese dishes are good but not comparable to the popular ones around. For $3, it’s a rather cheap Hainanese meal. Just remember to ask them to give you all kinds of sauces on your rice ok?

Likes: Hainanese fried meatballs, other dishes are good too but not good until die die must eat. Curry is good too.

Dislikes: The entire meal wasn’t sweet enough so for me, it loses a little bit on the Hainanese flavour because Hainanese Curry Rice usually has a strong hint of that sweetness that I like.

Address Overall Rating

Jia Xiang Hai Nan Curry Rice
Blk 90 #01-86
Whampoa Food Centre
11am – 9pm

[xrr label=”Food:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Value:” rating=”8/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Authenticity:” rating=”7.5/10″ 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
Derrick says:

You should go to the other market for Hainanese rice. This one I never heard before.

Posted September 27, 2009
Alfred says:

AS I mentioned in the post, been there a few times during lunch time but closed

Posted September 28, 2009
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