Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff: Epok-Epok Made Using Hokkaido Flour With Up to 17 Flavours in Commonwealth

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A pie commonly filled with curry chicken and potatoes, deep-fried or baked in pastry shell;to many of us, this snack is known as curry puff, but today, we are talking about its miniature counterpart, epok-epok. Situated at a corner of Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre, is Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff. Well, the epok-epok sold here are not quite the ordinary humble Malay-style curry puff. They are, in fact, evolved versions merging the likes of traditional Malay flavours with a touch of Japanese influence. 

A musician of 10 years, Hafez, decided to let go of the glitz and glamour of stage life to help his mother sell home-made curry puffs after she stopped working. The business eventually grew into his current shopfront which he has been helming alone since August 2018. 

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With his slick black hair tied neatly into a ponytail, Hafez was assembling the epok-epok when I arrived. As our eyes met, he gave me a warm smile and did what he called was his ‘sales pitch’, introducing the flavours he prepared for the day.

“Unlike other stalls, I use flour imported from Hokkaido for the pastry casing of my curry puffs,” Hafez explained. “I have a Japanese friend, dealing with imported ingredients. He gave me a kilogram of the flour to try and I fell in love with its texture.”

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Flour alone was not the only factor that makes Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff stand out from its peers. With a wide variety of 17 flavours, returning customers will never get bored with the selection of epok-epok sold at the stall. Since it is impossible for Hafez alone to churn out all 17 different flavours a day, he usually sells nine flavours daily with classics like Kari Potato and Sardine being permanent items on the menu. 

With all the talking, I just had to try for myself to see how much a difference the flour will make. Thus, I greedily ordered three classics (S$1.10 per piece, S$2.80 for three)—Kari Potato, Sardine and Cheesy Potato—and three specials (S$1.30 per piece, S$3.50 for three)—Mentaiko, Cinnamon Banana and Chocoreto. 

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As I ate the Kari Potato, I slowly understood Hafez’s decision to use the Hokkaido flour instead of regular ones. The pastry casing of the epok-epok was light and of a smoother texture resulting in a subtle difference that might require a few bites to distinguish. Filled with chunks of curried potatoes—although there was nothing fancy—I appreciated that the potatoes were not overcooked leaving a slight bite which I enjoyed. 

Cheesy Potato was a flavour that remained as a mystery to me till today. As I was eating this particular curry puff, I can’t help but wonder, “Where is the cheese? Did I get the wrong flavour?”. To me, the Cheesy Potato tasted more like a mayonnaise-based mashed potato flavour with no signs of richness and the cheese pull that I expected.

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Amongst the classics, my favourite was definitely Sardine. It has been a long time since I had canned sardines and one bite into the Sardine epok-epok, I felt a sense of familiarity gush through my body. Yes, the sardines might be from a brand that we all know, but its slightly tomato-based sourish note went well with the thin fried crust, making every mouthful a delight. 

With his overseas connections, Hafez was also exposed to several other Japanese ingredients which led to the birth of the Japanese inspired Mentaiko epok-epok. Unlike the others which were fully or decently filled, this curry puff felt a little short of filling. Even though I could clearly see a fair amount of mentaiko, there was no trace of its taste when consumed.

This was probably one of my biggest disappointment since I was looking forward to being blown away by the distinct saltiness and essence of the sea with the addition of these orange balls of goodness. 

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I chose two special dessert epok-epok to end my meal since we rarely come across sweet versions of curry puffs and I was pleasantly surprised by both of them. Although they are two very different snacks, the Cinnamon Banana epok-epok reminded me of a goreng pisang (fried banana). The filling was not overly spiced and had a proper balance of sweet and sourish notes. 

If you are a chocolate lover, Chocoreto is a must-try item. “I have to eat three chocolate epok-epok before I start work every day,” Hafez said proclaiming his love for his creation. “It is so normal, yet so addictive,” he added. Chocolate sauce immediately oozed out when I cut into Chocoreto forming a lovely brown puddle on my plate. Not wanting to waste a single drop, I dipped the fried pastry into the melted pool of chocolate with every mouth I took. Well, I guess I need no further explanation for you to know how good it was as I devoured everything in three bites.

Through our conversations, I sincerely felt Hafez’s passion and love for his job. His eyes glittered with excitement as we spoke about his latest creation—gluten-free curry puff, which he will be introducing for Ramadhan. Not only that, but Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff will also be selling home-made frozen epok-epok for those of you who want to keep a stash of curry puffs to satisfy your cravings any time of the day!

Expected Damage: S$1.10 – S$3.50 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff

31 Commonwealth Crescent, Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre, Singapore 149644

Our Rating 3/5

Milah Hokkaido Curry Puff

31 Commonwealth Crescent, Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre, Singapore 149644

Telephone: +65 8183 5703
Operating Hours: 8.30am - 4pm (Tues to Thurs), 9am - 5pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon & Fri
Telephone: +65 8183 5703

Operating Hours: 8.30am - 4pm (Tues to Thurs), 9am - 5pm (Sat & Sun), Closed on Mon & Fri
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