Last Updated: June 11, 2020
You may have heard about Mian Wang 1971, a family-owned business that has been selling Hokkien mee for a whopping 48 years. They serve up the widely-loved hawker fare with a twist, with one of their specials being the salted egg calamari Hokkien mee.
If Hokkien mee isn’t your thing, then check out Gorilla Curry (previously Lao Cai’s Curry), which is also run by the same family.
Gorilla Curry has changed its location, and is now located at 323 Bukit Batok St 3.
Putting a spin on your usual curry rice, they offer dishes with popular ingredients like salted egg and braised pork.
Being a fan of salted egg, getting their Salted Egg Calamari Curry Rice (S$5.50) was a no-brainer.
A plate comes with a substantial amount of calamari and rice with a side of vegetables and sunny side up.
I took a bite of the salted egg calamari, and found it to be crispy on the outside, and while the squid inside was tender and chewy.
Compared to the salted egg dishes that I’ve had at other hawker stalls, these calamari pieces had a more prominent salty and eggy taste which I enjoyed. What would have made it better was if they drizzled some salted egg yolk sauce over for a creamier flavour.
But what I was really looking forward to was a ton of curry goodness on my plate, like the pictures on their menu. It was a pity that while a good amount of the sauce coated the rice, the dish lacked that oomph I was hoping for.
After getting over the initial disappointment though, I enjoyed the mild spice of the curry, which resembled the kind that you get from cai fan stalls.
The side of potatoes, carrots, cabbage and fungi in each plate were cooked until soft, and helped to balance out the sinfulness from the salted egg and curry.
I’ve probably encountered one too many stingy portions of fried eggs, because I was pleasantly surprised at how large and nicely shaped their sunny side up eggs were. You can call it a cheap thrill, but it’s these little things in life that make your meals so much more worth it.
The salted egg calamari, for me, can either make or break the dish. I’m glad to say that it delivered in terms of flavour and texture, and I wouldn’t mind going back for a second round. I would have enjoyed a bit more curry, but maybe if you request nicely enough, they might give you more!
Despite having been to Taiwan, I have yet to really try Lu Rou Fan. Appalling, I know. That’s why when I saw that Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice (S$5.50) was offered on the menu, I had to get it. It came with plenty of glistening, braised pork goodness, which I was eager to sink my teeth into.
This plate came with a bit more curry, which I really appreciated. I guess the amount of sauce you get depends on your luck.
The braised pork definitely did not disappoint and had a nice amount of meaty and fatty pieces. While some areas of the meat were tender, some had more of a tougher, chewier texture. I especially loved that the fatty parts were melt-in-your-mouth kind of soft.
The braised sauce was rich and flavourful, with an earthy and herbal taste to it.
I also liked how the curry didn’t overwhelm the pork, allowing me to really savour the full flavour of the braised sauce. But since the curry wasn’t very overpowering, I wouldn’t mind having a spoonful of both curry and braised pork.
This dish definitely exceeded my expectations, and for the quality and portion of meat at S$5.50, I would consider it a value-for-money choice.
The staff at Gorilla Curry recommended their Fried Breaded Chicken Curry Rice (S$5.50) as the option customers typically go for, so we ordered a plate. And as expected, there was a decent portion of chicken cutlet.
What I look out for in a good plate of chicken cutlet is the fat to meat ratio. I personally like mine meatier, so these ones had a bit too much fat for me.
But each bite of the chicken was still tender and juicy, while the skin was fried to a nice golden brown with a good crunch.
Unlike the braised pork or salted egg calamari which already have strong flavours on their own, the chicken cutlet only had a slight saltiness to it, and hence paired well with the curry for an additional kick of spiciness.
Overall, I found the Fried Breaded Chicken Curry Rice to be a pretty filling and decent meal to have for S$5.50. But I know that there other places which offer a bigger chicken portion including sides for roughly the same price, so I probably would not get my chicken cutlet fix elsewhere.
Even though I came to Gorilla Curry with my focus on their curry, I feel that the braised pork and salted egg calamari was what made my trip worth it. Not to mention, their portions are filling and cost only S$5.50 even with the use of more premium ingredients.
Do you live in the West? I would recommend giving Gorilla Curry’s Salted Egg Calamari Curry Rice and Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice (S$5.50) a taste.
Expected Damage: S$5.50 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Gorilla Curry (previously Lao Cai's Curry)
323 Bukit Batok Street 33, Singapore 650323
323 Bukit Batok Street 33, Singapore 650323