Na Na Homemade Curry – Incredibly Spicy Fish Head Curry in Singapore
When I was just a little kid, my parents brought me kite-flying at Marina South almost every weekend and they will settle for their favourite Na Na Homemade Curry which they nicknamed it “Marina South Fish Head Curry”. This super spicy curry recipe belongs to Grandma Khim. She taught her eldest son, Mr. Yap Hock Kee, how to prepare the dish and in 1989, their first stall opened in Marina South. It made a name for itself fairly quickly and people were willing to travel all the way there just to satisfy their curry cravings. However, a spike in rental rates forced them to relocate.
Today, Na Na Homemade Curry has 4 outlets in Singapore and made it to Michelin Bib Gourmand list. We tried the one at Bukit Merah View, run by Grandma Khim’s third son and his wife, Hui Lan, which started 3 years ago. We’re so glad that these stalls stay true to the authenticity of the original recipe. They even have a manufacturing arm to prepare pre-packed curry paste for distribution and offer catering services for events.
According to Hui Lan, although their stall begins business at 11am, the couple arrives as early as 7.30am to prepare the ingredients and cook the curry. We had the Curry Fish Head, with varying pricing, depending on market price. Hui Lan explained that they usually use Ang Go Li (Goldbanded Jobfish) and Ang Sai (Red Snapper) as they can grow to quite a large size so their heads fit nicely into the large claypot. Due to its large size, their heads also contain a lot more gelatinous bits, which Chinese really enjoy savouring.
Moreover, the meat from these fishes are able to hold its shape yet absorb the curry very well when lifted from the bones and not flake apart. The curry arrived looking fiery hot and we were all enticed by the appetizing fish head. Each bite was filled with fine, tender and juicy meat, with an excellent texture. Na Na Homemade Curry’s Fish Head Curry also consists of chunks of savoury yam, besides the usual potatoes, and the yam has been simmered and soaked in the curry till it melts in your mouth.
Not a fan of fish as you’re too lazy to pick the bones, go for the Curry Chicken ($3) or Curry Chicken Drum Stick ($3.50). You can pair your meat with a bowl of Curry Vegetable ($3), as well as, bread and rice at an additional 50 cents. The chicken meat falls off easily from its bones and it’s so tender. Basically, all the curry dishes are extremely spicy but so well executed that it’s really savoury and delicious. We liked that it doesn’t give you the impression that you’re only eating chilli, unlike some stalls where they believe, “the spicier the better” and compromised the natural flavours of their dishes.
Dining at Na Na Homemade Curry relieved my childhood days and brought back memories of my parents’ nostalgic weekends spent on patronizing the super tasty and spicy fish head curry at Marina South. This is a stall we will always return to whenever our curry craving kicks in.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.