Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice, Kovan: Messy S$4 hawker curry rice draws long, snaking queues at hawker centre

At this point, the innate kiasu-ness of Singaporeans is something that locals have come to take pride in. One of the ways that this kiasu-ness manifests itself is through Singaporeans’ love of joining long queues, an activity that I admittedly took part in when I patronised the newly opened Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice.

image of image of kovan scissors cut curry rice's storefront

Located in the bustling Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre, my attention was first caught by Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice’s bright signboard, which stood out like a vibrant streetlight along a dark roadside when compared to the dimmer signboards around it. 

The next thing I noticed was the long, snaking queue that formed in front of the stall, which as every Singaporean knows, is a hallmark of good food. 

When I joined the queue for Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice, there were about 11 people in front of me, and as the queue moved along, more and more people started queueing behind me too. Indeed, the Singaporean need to queue is still well and alive.

Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice has four dishes displayed on its signboard: Curry Chicken Wing with Rice (S$3.50), Brown Sauce Pork Chop with Rice (S$4), Old Taste Braised Pork with Rice (S$4) and Curry Boneless Fish with Rice (S$4)

image of kovan scissors cut curry rice's display case

However, patrons don’t necessarily have to order just those four variations. Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice has a display case full of different ingredients, like ladyfingers, omelette slices, fried fish and luncheon meat.

In that sense, Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice is similar to an economic rice stall, where you can choose your own ingredients. Afterwards, each plate of rice is drizzled generously with curry and a starchy brown sauce before being handed over to the patron.

Despite having 11 people before me in the long queue, the queue moved pretty quickly as the staff members worked efficiently in preparing everyone’s orders. 

Once I found a seat in the crowded food centre, I placed my plates down and before I even started eating, an old auntie came up to my table and asked me where I’d gotten the plates of curry rice from. That’s how you know that you’ve got some good looking dishes in front of you.

What I tried

image of kovan scissors cut curry rice's dishes

I opted to order two dishes on Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice’s signboard: the Brown Sauce Pork Chop with Rice (S$4) and the Curry Chicken Wing with Rice (S$3.50). 

In terms of presentation, both plates of curry rice were pretty messy with ingredients haphazardly strewn all over the place due to how quickly the stall staff were working. The chaotic splotches of curry and sauce decorated the white plate like a Jackson Pollock painting. 

As strange as it is, the messiness and senget-ness of these dishes somehow gave it that old-school Singaporean hawker charm and made it look extra tantalising.

image of kovan scissors cut curry rice's curry chicken wing with rice

First, I tried the Curry Chicken Wing with Rice, which came with a piece of curry chicken wing, a fried egg, cabbage and black fungus, and topped off with a generous amount of curry and brown sauce. 

The curry sauce had a slightly spicy kick that I found quite mild. It had a rich flavour profile and I could taste the milkiness in it. The brown sauce, on the other hand, was thick and starchy with a goopy, gravy-like consistency and a mild sweetness. 

When mixed together, both sauces combine to create a slightly sweet, spicy and salty combination of flavours. I found it to taste like a mix between Singaporean and Japanese curry due to the added sweetness from the brown sauce.

The rice was on the firmer and slightly undercooked side, but it was so well coated in the generous sauce that I easily forgot about its drier texture. 

image of curry chicken wing

The chicken wing in this dish was very tender and flavourful. It had been well cooked in the curry and made for a lovely pairing with the rest of the ingredients. 

image of chicken piece

I wouldn’t say that the chicken wing was very unique though, given that it tasted like most other curry chicken wings I’ve had from other hawker centres.

The fried egg was cooked nicely with crispy egg whites. The yolk was fully cooked, and personally, I wish it had been a runny egg. However, the egg still went well with the other elements of the dish.

image of black fungus in curry rice

The cabbage and black fungus, on the other hand, were pretty neutral tasting, but made for a very classic combination together with the curry. 

image of pork chop rice

Next, I had the Brown Sauce Pork Chop with Rice. I noticed that the ingredients in this dish were essentially identical to the Curry Chicken Wing with Rice, with the only difference being the type of meat.

image of curry pork chop

The scissors cut pork chop pieces were definitely the stand out of this dish. The exterior skin was crispy and flavourful while the meat was really tender. Sometimes I feel sceptical about pork dishes because of how tough they can be, and in this case, Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice did a great job in frying their pork chops. 

However, the downside would be that the pork chop skin lost its crunch and went soggy pretty quickly due to the sauces, so it’s best to eat it fast. 

image of kovan scissors cut curry rice

I find the portions of this dish to be pretty massive for only S$4. Though the size of the pork cutlet was honestly on the smaller side, at such a cheap price, I couldn’t possibly complain about that. 

Between the two dishes, I would definitely lean more towards the Brown Sauce Pork Chop with Rice, given how crispy and tender the pork was. Plus, the scissors cut pork chop is partly the namesake of the stall, making it something a little more special. 

Final thoughts

image of kovan scissors cut curry rice's storefront

With flavourful dishes sold in huge portions at an affordable price, I can understand why people queue for Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice. Throughout my entire time dining at Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre, the queue at the curry rice stall never once dwindled, as patrons continuously flocked there to get a taste. 

Given how the four dishes featured on the sign board are more or less the same except for the meat, I’d recommend just ordering a plate of rice and picking your own ingredients from the display case to get more variety. And of course, the scissors cut pork chop is a must-try!

Expected damage: S$4 to S$6 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice

Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre, 209 Hougang Street 21, #01-20, Singapore 530209

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Kovan Scissors Cut Curry Rice

Kovan 209 Market and Food Centre, 209 Hougang Street 21, #01-20, Singapore 530209

Operating Hours: 9am - 9pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 9am - 9pm (Daily)

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