Having been established in 1989, Nana Curry has been serving up delicious and affordable Peranakan-style curries for close to three decades now.
With a total of four outlets today in Bukit Merah, Tanjong Pagar, Jurong East and Bedok, it was the former that clinched the Michelin Bib Gourmand award. So, off to Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre we went.
Arriving at a packed hawker centre at around noon, we were surprised to find no queues at the stall.
It turns out that all the curry is already prepared in the morning and then kept warm throughout the day. As a result, service here is extremely quick.
One of the most affordable options here, you cannot go wrong with the Chicken Drumstick Curry ($3.50). If you prefer leaner white meat such as chicken breast, there’s an option for that at just $3 as well.
Thick, rich and smooth, the chicken curry was the most balanced amongst those that we’ve tried. It accompanied our bowls of rice the best among the four curries.
The chicken thigh was moist and decently soft due to the long hours of slow cooking. The portion was definitely quite filling as well.
On the other hand, the Mutton Curry ($4) had a much stronger flavour profile. Smooth, slightly tangy and very rich with a prominent aftertaste of mutton, it was also very spicy.
Even for a self-proclaimed chilli lover, the spiciness level went beyond the threshold of enjoyment into sheer unpleasantness. For those who are chilli lightweights, I suggest you stay away from this or try it at your own risk.
The mutton cubes were really tough and chewy, which were only made worse by the absence of any fat. Overall, my least favourite bowl of curry here.
Next up was the Curry Pork Rib ($4), which was also the thickest and richest curry of the four that we tried. Comfortingly hearty and spicy (albeit at a manageable shiok level), this fared much better.
This curry went the best with the toasted slices of slightly crispy bread that soaked up the gravy.
The pork ribs were soft and tender as well, making it a breeze to eat. Nobody likes struggling with stubborn scraps of meat still stuck to the bone.
Lastly, we had the Curry Vegetable ($3) which was the mildest among the four. With almost no spiciness to it at all, there was a nice, light and tastebud-soothing lemak flavour to it.
The taupok oozed with curry upon my first bite and the chunks of cabbage were slow-cooked till soft and tender. If you love eating soft cabbage a la sayur lodeh or lontong, you’ll definitely find this enjoyable and comforting.
I recommend having a bowl of this to share because well, you have to eat your veggies, and more importantly, its mildness will provide a much-appreciated respite from the spiciness of the other curries.
Overall, while I still did enjoy my meal at Nana Curry, I’m still not quite convinced it deserves its Bib Gourmand award. Most of the dishes (except the mutton curry) were certainly above average but unfortunately not quite good enough to warrant a revisit.
If you happen to be in the Bukit Merah area, go ahead and try it — the food is affordable and not bad by any means. But if you’re gonna go out of your way just to eat here, I highly doubt your expectations will be sufficiently met.
Expected damage: $4.50 – $6.50 per pax