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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Fish Head Curry ~ Curry Gardenn

Dish: Fish Head Curry
Price: as at May 2009 is $18 for a Whole Fish

Shop Name: Curry Gardenn (spelt with a double 'n')

Curry Gardenn,
200 Turf Club Road,
#01-58, Singapore 287994

Hp: 8-168-5373, 8-258-7423 (Subhaolh)
Tel: 6-314-4640

Internet & Email: (info from name-card may not be correct)
http://www.currygardenn.com/ (website)
currygardenn@singnet.com.sg (email)
currygardenn@live.com (email)

Business Time: opens from 8.30am to 9pm daily
Tag Line: True Taste Of India

I love the Fish-Head Curry there.

The guy that served us had great PR. His name is Subhaolh (pronounced 'Suboh'). He said, "no like, no pay". He also said "no msg" & "no coconut" in the curry but he would not disclose what they use instead saying only "it's a secret".

{Note: as of 2010Apr22, Subhaolh does not work there anymore and has chosen to go back to India. But the owner, Mr Ravi, is still there, he's a friendly guy so go ahead and enjoy yourselves...}

We liked the Fish-Head Curry so much that it was difficult to avoid paying even if we wanted to. The shop was started in 2006. Below is an article "Curry Garden ~ by Thng Lay Teen" from the Straits Times (Sun, Jul 01, 2007).

Curry Garden ~ by Thng Lay Teen
Sun, Jul 01, 2007, The Straits Times

TAKE your pick of masala chicken briyani or fish head curry and you can't go wrong.

As Mr Udaya Kumar, 36 (in 2007), owner of the one-year-old Curry Garden, proudly assures me, no MSG or coconut milk is used in the food, which is prepared by two chefs from India.

Mr Kumar, a senior IT analyst , leaves the day-to-day running of the restaurant to his brother, Ravi, 30. Both are from Udupi, a town 300km from Bangalore in south India which is well known for its food.

The first time I ate the chicken briyani, it tasted pretty good but was also disappointingly cold. At 1.30pm on a Saturday afternoon, it should have been reasonably warm.

I later learnt that the warmer in the kitchen had broken down that day.

On my second visit the following week at about the same time, the briyani was nice and warm.

At $4 for the briyani set, you get one whole chicken thigh, a choice of vegetables like spinach or cauliflower and curry gravy to go with the rice. If you opt for white rice, the set costs $3.50.

The masala chicken is so tender that it falls off the bone because only the thigh and wings of fresh spring chickens are used.

The curry uses a recipe which Mr Kumar took one year to perfect. It includes seven different spices including - he reluctantly discloses - mustard seeds.

These seeds are usually used only for fish head curry, but he uses them together with other ingredients to make the chicken curry taste different, and it works.

The gravy is thickened with dried nuts and fruit. The chicken itself is marinated with a puree of dried fruit and almonds.

In a month's time, the eatery will have dum briyani ($5 a pot) where the chicken will be cooked together with the rice so that the curry flavours are well absorbed.

You would also do well to try the fish head curry ($16), one of Curry Garden's signature dishes. It comes with a free flow of papadum (Indian crackers). The curry mix is partially cooked the evening before, allowing the flavours to develop, then more spices are added and the fish is cooked only after an order is placed. The fish is done just right and the meat melts in the mouth.

Curry Garden
200 Turf Club Road, 01-58
Opens: 8.30am to 9pm daily
Rating: ***


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