Assam fish head curry
My family’s roots are Peranakan, and I am always in search of good nonya food – Straits-Chinese food heavily influenced by Malay cuisine and their wonderful spices.
Blue Ginger has been around in Singapore for many years – I vaguely recall eating there years ago when I was in my mid-20s but in those days, drinking was far more important to me than food. It’s not that alcohol has become less important, it’s just that these days food is of equal (dare I say if not more) importance.
We went recently with my visiting mum, who is ever-wanting yet one of the fiercest critics of Peranakan restaurants, and it passed with flying colours on all counts.
They have a simple menu with classic Nonya dishes, like fish-head curry (in either a rich coconut or more sour tamarind base), Ngo Heong – homemade rolls of minced pork and prawns seasoned with five-spices, wrapped and deep-fried and beef rendang – braised beef in rich coconut milk spiced with ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves till tender
Deep fried eggplant with a fresh chilli paste and sweet soya sauce
There were two standout dishes we had – assam (tamarind) fish head curry and the sambal terong goreng – deep-fried eggplant.
The fish head curry came in a complex broth that was a perfect balance of sweet and sour, with the red snapper steamed to perfect tenderness. Give me just that and a large bowl of rice, and I would be a happy girl.
But a girl’s also got to eat her vegetables, and although not the healthiest dish, the eggplant slices were flash fried so almost crispy on the outside but still juicy and moist inside, and smothered in a luminous fresh chilli paste and sweet soya sauce.
Spicy ? Hell, yeah ! But that’s what it’s all about.
It’s a small restaurant, and not surprisingly, very popular, so if you want to go, either for lunch or dinner, I’d strongly recommend booking ahead.
97 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: +65 6222 3928
Open 7 days
Lunch : 12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner : 6.30pm to 10.30pm