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Home / Chinese Cuisine / The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 1 of 15
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 1 of 15
By Alfred September 23, 2009
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The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge: Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice – Part 1 of 15
Fast Facts
The Hainanese Curry Rice Challenge
Hainanese Curry Rice
Chinese Cuisine
Coffee Shop
Price Range:
S$1 - S$5
Rating Range:
7 to 7.9
Tiong Bahru
Food Centre:
Recommended For:
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

Back in the old days, most Hainanese would know where is Seah street. It was where most Hainanese would hang out and the very first Hainanese clan association in Singapore, Nam Li was housed there. So not surprisingly, this is also the street where the popularity of Hainanese coffee and Hainanese chicken rice took effect.

My dad used to take us to Sin Swee Kee at Seah street for our chicken rice when I was young. It was a pretty run down kopitiam in those days and for me, the only difference that I can tell from other chicken rice is that, it comes with some kind of Hainanese pickles and sweet/thick dark soy sauce. Most tables would also order some kind of barley drink that came in a bottle(not sure if it’s a hainanese thing though).

That’s the furthest adventure of my Hainanese chicken rice. I’m not a fan of boiled chicken skin so you can be sure that in a hawker center, Hainanese chicken rice is one of those Hainanese food that I this Hainanese won’t buy.

Hainanese curry is actually quite similar to Japanese curry in the sense that it is very viscid. And it’s one of the few Hainanese food that you actually cannot find in Hainan. Hainanese in Hainan must be feeling the anguish that something the place is famous for, they don’t even know how it taste!

There are actually many authentic Hainanese dishes such as mutton stew which is very delicious but somehow didn’t make it into the hawker scene. When I was younger, my relatives also used to cook Hainanese mutton and beef curry, which somehow lost it’s appeal and identity along the years.

So for those who need a Hainanese Curry Rice fix, where do you go for it? I grew up eating Scissors Cut at Jalan Besar, so that’s where I usually go. And that is my definition of Hainanese Curry Rice and I frown upon some that I’ve eaten elsewhere because it tasted very different from what I’ve been programmed to know.

I guess as with all food, Hainanese Curry Rice flavour evolves from stall to stall and therefore it can be very different eating Hainanese Curry Rice in Jurong or in Tampines.

So this is what prompted me to set out on this mission to try and eat at some stalls(those popular one of course), and find out where actually is the best curry, best pork chop, best stew cabbage, best Hainanese lor bak, etcetera.

Newspaper articles

Loos Hainanese Curry Rice has been around for 53 years. It is a stall that’s well hidden in a quite run down coffeeshop diagonally opposite the Tiong Bahru market. Whenever I’m at Tiong Bahru market, I will glance at this corner and there were always queues and it always left me very curious about how good actually is this curry rice though my parents have tried it and didn’t quite like it themselves.

Unfortunately when I was there, they’ve sold out the stew cabbage and lor bak. So I had to order other things Hainanese food are famous for, like ‘ko lo yuk’ which is the sweet and sour pork, pork chop and stir fried long bean.

[xrr label=”Hainanese curry on rice” rating=”5/10″ group=”s2″]

[xrr label=”Hainanese pork chop” rating=”7/10″ group=”s2″]

The pork chop was well, just breadcrumbed pork, nothing much to rave about it and can barely hit my umami. Was a little bland actually and definitely not the best I’ve eaten. The ko lo yuk was quite good but can be better if the sauce is reduced in sweetness and thickness. The meat was quite tough but that’s how a ko lo yuk meat should be. The long bean with beancurd cubes was also quite good but I thought it was not distinctive enough. It tasted very much like one of those you can find in any chap chai peng stall. But it was still ok up to that point, what I really couldn’t resonate with is the curry that came on the rice. It is very very different from what I know of Hainanese curry. It seems to have a hint of a strange flavour that tasted somewhere between lemon grass and ginger. A very mild ‘Tom Yum'(without the sourness) curry was on my rice!

[xrr label=”Hainanese ko lo yuk” rating=”7.5/10″ group=”s2″]

[xrr label=”Long bean with tofu” rating=”7/10″ group=”s2″]

Ok, Loos Hainanese Curry Rice though has a rich heritage that stretches back to the mid 1940s, it unfortunately couldn’t do for me what my favourite Hainanese Curry Rice stall can. Definitely needs a little bit of getting used to for the curry. This stall has showed me how vast the flavour of Hainanese curry can be in this little red dot.

Price: $4

Recommendation: Ko lo yuk and pork chop.

Conclusion: The dishes are ok though not exactly fantastic. The curry is not ‘Hainanese’ enough for me. Maybe this is the definition of Hainanese Curry Rice around Tiong Bahru area but it’s rather different from the taste that I had acquired.

Likes: Ko lo yuk sauce is good though a little too sweet.

Dislikes: Flavour not distinctive enough. Flavour of the curry is a little strange for me.

Address Overall Rating

Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice
Blk 57 Eng Hoon Street
#01-88 Tai Kwang Huat Coffee Shop
8am to 2pm
Off: Alternate Thurs

[xrr label=”Food:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Value:” rating=”7/10″ group=”s1″]
[xrr label=”Authenticity:” rating=”7/10″ 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) : 7
Rim says:

Do they know the meaning of the word loo before they decide to name themself that lol

Posted September 23, 2009
XsenseX says:


Posted September 23, 2009
Ben says:

Tried this before, not really like also. The Lau Di Fang’s curry rice better.

Posted September 23, 2009
Cynnie says:

You ordered the wrong things. The sambal brinjal and sotong is the thing to order. Also the bak wan.

Posted September 23, 2009
Alfred says:

Lau Di Fang is scissors cut right?

Posted September 23, 2009
Alfred says:

I see, thanks.

Posted September 23, 2009
SC says:

Haven’t try this stall. I like the Kong bak at kitchener road stall.

Posted September 25, 2009
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