These days you can find the Scissor-Cut Curry Rice at the mall food-courts (Food Republic) quite easily, but this is the original version and the best. It may look like a mess, but it’s a freakin’ delicious mess. The gooey (thickened with corn starch) curry and sauces are perfect with the rice. This curry is not spicy like Indian curry. It’s more flavourful, savoury and a little sweet, but not as sweet as Japanese curry. The pieces of pork chop are literally cut with a sharp pair of scissors and that’s where the name comes from.
Curry Rice is Hainanese cuisine and was a cheap meal eaten by coolies in the 1960’s. These poor unattached workers waited by the Singapore river for work. They would carry goods from the boat to the dock. They were exceptionally strong. Curry rice was cheap and the starch gave them strength. Back then, it was just rice, curry and cabbage with no meat. It probably cost just a few cents, which is all the workers could afford.
The Hainanese who came to Singapore were mostly chefs and they created this cuisine from Indian influences. There was also influence from the British colonial masters – breaded pork chop which they enhanced with Ngor Hiang (5 spices) powder. You won’t find this curry dish in Hainan in China. It’s a totally Singaporean dish.
The meal only cost about S$11.80 which more than satisfies two people.
Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice
Corner of Jalan Besar and Kitchener Road
11am to 3.30am