13 Heavenly Fish Head Curries That Will Make You S-curry Back For More!
For one reason or another, Singaporeans just love to add curry to everything we eat. Unique to Singapore and Malaysia, Curry Fish head is an iconic dish made from stewing a red snapper (angkoli) head in a fragrant pot of curry with assorted vegetables. So, we have uncovered 13 curry fish heads that will make you swoon.
Hooked On Heads
As the name suggests, Hooked on heads will literally get you hooked on their curry fish head. The decade-old restaurant’s signature dish is their assam curry fish head which is the reason why people patronize the restaurant. If you decide to walk in to get a table on week nights, you’ll be disappointed. Unless you call in or go before dinner time, I hear its quite impossible to get a table. Owing to the lavish use of coconut milk, the curry was creamy without being too oily. The curry carries a heat that doesn’t overwhelm but instead enhances the flavors of the curry. I’m not into sour food but this curry is really something else. The rich curry boasts a robustness that complements a distinct sourness – really impressive. The angkoli fish (red garoupa) was fresh and sweet. This is probably my favorite out of the list and I sincerely recommend it if you haven’t tried it yet. Remember to call ahead to avoid disappointment.
Hooked on Heads
Address: 6 Sin Ming Road, Tower 2 Sin Ming Tower #01-01, Singapore 575585
Phone: 6455 4948
Opening Hours: 11am to 930pm daily.
Xin Yuan Ji
Another noteworthy assam fish head can be found at Xin Yuan Ji, which is conveniently located near Bugis MRT. The bubbling curry is served in a claypot, so remember to get your camera out! I liked the generous servings of tau pok (bean curd) and vegetables. The fragrant curry is thick and well balanced, nothing too overwhelming. I liked that the curry wasn’t too spicy and that it leaves a pleasantly sweet aftertaste in your mouth. I would’ve preferred a more distinct sourness from the assam and more generous serving of fish. The angkoli fish wasn’t as fresh as it should be, though. The fish also carries a slightly stronger fishy taste which can be quite offputting for some. Nonetheless, the essence of fish head curry is still captured well in the dish and you can see it from the incessant queue. I hear that their fish soup bee hoon is one of the more popular dishes. Also note that they only take NETS for orders above $30.
Xin Yuan Ji
Address: 31 Tan Quee Lan Street, #01-01, Singapore 188117
Phone: 6334 4086
Opening Hours: 1130am to 1130pm on weekdays and 1130am to 12mn on weekeend.
Yu Cun Fish Head Curry
This one is for the east-siders. Yu Cun Curry Fish Head offers an attractive curry fish head with some delectable tze char dishes to go along with. Unlike the usual fish head curries, they choose to use the head of a sea bream instead of the regular red garoupa. You can also choose your spiciness level so that you can enjoy the curry just the way you liked it. We picked the normal level but felt that we could handle more. The curry was thick and creamy which makes for an excellent pairing with rice! I felt that the generous serving of vegetables and tau pok made the dish worth every penny. If you intend to visit, remember to give other dishes like the Chicken with Radish ($10.80) a try!
Yu Cun Fish Head Curry
Address: 147 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534849
Phone: 11am to 11pm daily.
Opening Hours: 6286 0491
Soon Ho Eating House
While they are not Halal certified, Soon Ho Eating House’s curry fish head is made without any pork or lard. They feature a Singaporean-style fish head curry instead of the more popular assam fish head curry. The main difference is the lack of assam (tamarind) which eliminates the sourness from the curry. You can probably tell from the pictures that this curry is significantly oilier than the rest. I liked that the curry wasn’t too thin and had a good mouthfeel. The curry, however, has a more watery consistency as opposed to a thick creamy base, probably due to the lack of coconut milk. The fish was notably larger, and is good for about 4 people. I would say that the serving is more generous, as compared to that of other stalls, for approximately the same price. They also sell other seafood dishes such as Chilli Crayfish and Assam Snapper Fish Meat!
Soon Ho Eating House
Address: Block 803 King George’s Ave, Singapore #01-180 Singapore 200803
Phone: 9834 3333
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: 630am to 930pm daily. Closed on Sundays.
Zai Shun Fish Head Curry
Recently awarded the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand 2017, Zai Shun Curry Fish Head offers an assam-styled fish with a distinct tanginess. I prefer the assam-styled version fish curry because of its sour character which I find refreshing. The curry is light, yet full-bodied, and goes well with the red snapper fish, which was fresh and sweet. For $26, you’ll be able to satisfy yourself and 2 more so don’t forget to call your friends for this one. There’s nothing much to not like about this curry fish head but I just prefer the one from Hooked On Heads.
Zai Shun Fish Head Curry
Address: Blk 253 Jurong East Street 24 #01-205, Singapore 600253
Opening Hours: 7am to 3pm daily. Closed on Wednesdays.
Nana’s Homemade Fish Head Curry
Spice-kings and spice-queens rejoice, because this one is for you. Most curries probably aren’t that spicy but this is may just be enough to give you a kick. Nana Homemade Fish Head Curry offers a thick and spicy curry fish head that appeals to many Singaporeans. What stands out is their use of yam, which has been cooked till soft, in the curry. The interesting combination was surprisingly well thought out and worked really well. We also noted that the fish was fresh. Depending on the market rate, the price of the curry fish head can vary from time to time. Overall, it was pretty well executed which allowed the essence of fish head curry to shine, despite the fiery spice. If you love spice and curry, then you can’t afford to miss this.
Nana’s Homemade Fish Head Curry (Marina South)
Address: Blk 115 Bukit Merah View, Bukit Merah Hawker Centre, Singapore 151115
Mobile: 9004 8227
Opening Hours: 11am to 8pm daily. Closed on Sundays.
Gu Ma Jia
Inspired to create a cozy place intended for family gatherings, Gu Ma Jia stands out as yet another contender in this fish head curry race. If you do a google search, you’ll see tons of praises for the curry fish head here, and it does live up to its reputation. While the recipe of the fish head curry is top-secret, we know that they use 13 different spices to create the flavorful curry that many have fallen head over heels in love with. It’s also worth noting that they make the assam curry themselves daily, and also get their fish daily from the market (no supplier) to guarantee the superior quality that they’re known for. The rich curry is fragrant and carries a slight heat. The generous use of okras and tomatoes make this dish even tastier! The tanginess is distinct and addictive. The fresh fish adds an appetizing sweetness to the dish. Whether you enjoy assam curry, or not, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this.
Gu Ma Jia,
Address: 45 Tai Thong Crescent, Sennett Estate, Singapore 347866
Phone: 6285 2023
Started in 1969, Muthu’s Curry offers a spicier take on the popular fish head curry that we all love. They specialize in curry and are famous for their authentic and flavourful curry. Their signature fish head curry comes in 3 sizes. Although a little oily, the curry is thick and flavorful. The addition of tamarind results in a unique sourness and the incorporation of pineapple adds a nice touch of acidity. Excellent service, great food, and a pleasant interior. We approve.
Address: 138 Race Course Road, #01-01 Singapore 218591
Opening Hours: 1030am to 1030pm daily.
Ocean Fish Head Curry
Standing as the most expensive fish head curry in the list, Ocean Fish Head Curry is taking the game to a whole new level. Ocean Fish Head Curry delivers the quality that you will expect from an upscale restaurant. They use only authentic Peranakan ingredients to craft their mouth-watering curry. To say that the serving of fish head was generous is an understatement. The fish which was of superior quality was simply amazing. The quality of the ingredients, especially that of the the fish, justifies the price ($40). However, I think that there are other places that give Ocean Fish Head Curry a good run for the money. While the curry is unique, I think you can get curry fish heads that are just as good (dare I say better) for a fraction of the price elsewhere.
805 Hougang Kitchen
Hidden away in a coffeeshop in Hougang Central, 805 Seafood Kitchen is known for their signature curry fish head. They do offer a good selection of tze char dish, as well. For $25, we thought that the portion of fish head wasn’t as generous as others that we’ve tried. However, the generous serving of cabbage and okra was commendable. The traditional-style curry wasn’t too oily and it complemented the fish. I thought that the curry was a little more watered-down than the other curries but I enjoyed that since I’m not really into spicy food. If you prefer your curry spicy, then this probably isn’t for you.
805 Hougang Kitchen
Address: 805 Hougang Central, #01-116, Singapore 530805
Phone: 9187 4068
Opening Hours: 12noon to 10pm daily.
Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant
Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant features a curry fish head that is a little different from the usual curry fish heads because of the use of Indian spices. They offer 3 sizes of curry fish head ($23.50/small, $30/medium, $34.50/ large) but we decided to go for the small one since we weren’t really hungry. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the fish head. Not sure if they serve fish heads this large usually but ours was definitely bigger than expected. The curry lacks the creaminess from the coconut milk as seen by the darker color of the curry. In other words, it’s not as lemak as what you might expect but it offers a more distinct taste of tomatoes. If you get a rice set ($3.20), you’ll get free flow rice, papadum and pickled vegetables. Note that you’ll have to take the elevator from the first floor to get here.
Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant
Address: 896 Dunearn Road, #05-01 Sime Darby Centre, Singapore 589472 (Opposite King Albert Park MRT)
Phone: 6762 7284
Opening Hours: 1030am to 10pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
West Co’z Café
Who says Muslims can’t get to enjoy curry fish head too? Probably the only Halal-certified curry fish head on this list, West Co’z Café offers both traditional and assam-style curry fish head for only $20, making this the cheapest curry fish head on our list. And the best part? The curry fish head is definitely one of the better ones on the list. We got the traditional curry fish head and even dabao-ed the leftovers home when we couldn’t finish it. If you’re looking for an air-conditioned place that serves an impressive selection of Halal-certified Chinese Tze Char dishes, West Co’z is it. If you love spicy food, then this curry is for you. Its significantly fierier than the usual curry fish head (I noticed myself reaching for the iced water more often). The curry was addictive and well-balanced, and the fish was fresh. I have no complaints. Even though I stay on the other side of the island, I’ll definitely be back to try the Assam Curry Fish Head which is also highly raved about.
West Co’z Cafe
Address: 154 West Coast Road, West Coast Plaza, #02-23 Singapore 689578
Phone: 6762 0180
Opening Hours: 1130am to 930pm daily.
Chye Lye Fish Head Restaurant
Last but not least, we have Chye Lye Fish Head Curry Restaurant which also specializes in assam-style curry fish head. I had to visit this restaurant twice since they were sold out the first time I visited them on a Sunday. They open from 5pm to 930pm for dinner and I was there at 730pm, but they were already sold out of curry fish head by then! Although disappointed, I returned on a Saturday at 4pm this time to ensure that I got the first curry fish head that evening. This is an extremely close second favourite, behind Hooked on Heads. The fish was really fresh and the piquant curry has a distinct sourness that was very appetizing. It’s one of those foods that just gets better as you eat it. I finished the whole pot! They could have been more generous with the vegetables though. If you’re craving for some assam-style curry fish head, be sure to check them out! If you’re visiting on a weekend, just remember to come earlier to avoid disappointment.
Chye Lye Restaurant
Address: 1, Jalan Legundi (Off Sembawang Road), Singapore 759263
Phone: 6257 1396
Mobile: 9785 8619
Opening Hours: 11am to 230pm, 5pm to 930pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
Curries made by Chinese, Malays and Indians are all subtly different with varying ingredients and spice levels but they all boast that same great-tasting flavour that we all love. If you have any other recommendations, do share it with us!
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.
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