Nana Curry, which was awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand at their Bukit Merah hawker stall since 2016, is rapidly expanding along with its string of franchisees. They now have 9 outlets at Jurong East, Dover, Thomson Plaza, Bedok, Serangoon, Canberra Plaza and Tiong Bahru. This review was done at the Holland Village outlet, which is conveniently located at the entrance of the MRT.
When I asked my followers on IG for recommendations to eat around Holland Village, the most popular suggestion was New Lucky Claypot Rice and the second, Nana Curry. Their first stall opened at Marina South in 1989. They are most famous for their Peranakan-style curry chicken ($8.90/$14.90) although they also have pork ribs curry and mutton curry.
But here at the restaurant, which is really an aircon cze char restaurant, they want to upsell so they recommend the curry fish head ($28.90 half, $48.90 full). They use fresh ang go li (Goldbanded Jobfish) because it holds its texture well in curry. In effect, the fish meat is very little, so little that I restrained myself from taking the meat for fear that my eating companion didn’t have enough. 我没有过过这种生活。
The curry, however, is excellent. It is quite spicy and people with low tolerance for spice may not be able to take it. But despite its fieriness, it has depth: sweet at first, then mellowed into a pungency, and finally, a burning at the back of the throat. The complexity is wonderful.
The Hokkien ngo hiang ($9.90) is one of their signature dishes and it is great. It came steaming hot, which is how I like my food. The beancurd skin is crispy, and it’s packed full of meat studded with crunchy carrots and chestnut. Eaten with a sweet, sticky dip, the savouriness contrasts the sweetness well.
I order tri-egg spinach in superior stock ($11.90/$14.90) wherever I go so I’m a bit of a connoisseur. Some people like their spinach limp, some like it crispy. I like it somewhere in between, and this version is that. The stalks are still slightly crunchy but the leaves are soft. They dotted the spinach with three types of egg (egg, century egg, salted egg), but some of the egg have dissolved into the soup, which is also how I like it. This is one of the better renditions of the dish compared to other cze char places.
Strangely, there was no queue when we were there around lunchtime. My friend who lives at Holland Village informed me that there is no queue usually. Then someone told me even their Bib Gourmand outlet Bukit Merah had no queue. My sister who ate at the Tiong Bahru outlet commented that the food was bad.
Actually, my experience is that the food was better than average but not magical. I wouldn’t mind eating here again but the pricing is a deterrent. Two of us paid $73.
You may be interested in…
–Yum Sing!, Clarke Quay: Hawker Food by Putien in 60s 新世界 Setting
–George Town Tze Char & Craft Beer, Boat Quay: Affordable Tze Char and Rojak Gin with a Spectacular View
–KEK Seafood 瓊榮記海鲜, Bukit Merah: Not a Fan But Islandwide Delivery Fee at $5
–Quan Ji 權記, Amoy Street Food Centre: Decent Cze Char Best Known for their “Yellow Cloth” Noodles
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.