Scissors Curry Rice-The Poor Gourmet's Saviour

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pictures from left: A hungry man's delight, the famous signboard, and a poor hungry gourmet

It may look like a mess, but one spoonful of the famous Scissors Curry Rice will make you come back for more. This curry rice stall at the corner of Jalan Besar Rd and Kitchener Rd has been around for 40 years. It was originally at the corner of Garden St and Beach Rd, and after moving all over the place, finally settled here. Throughout the years, there have been many imitators, but none have managed to capture the unique flavours of its curry gravy, its pork chops, and its braised belly pork. Its  called scissors curry rice, because they use scissors to snip the pork and the egg. In the old days, they scooped the rice out of a wooden barrel with their bare hands, and pounded the pork chop with a wooden mallet. The boiled cabbage was said to be scraps discarded by the vegetable sellers at the old Beach Rd market, and a plateful like the picture above, cost $1.

Its, not that cheap anymore, but my meal above still cost me only $2.80, and consists of rice, one piece braised belly pork braised in soya sauce, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cloves, and I know not what other secret ingredients. Also, a piece of prokchop that has been breaded with bisquit, some cabbages and an egg. All these topped by that wonderful goo of three types of gravy- a brown soya-sauce based gravy, a curry gravy with coconut, and a chilli oil gravy.

After eating you can proceed to The 'Thieves Market' a stone's throw away at Weld Rd to view the assortment of second hand goods there, anything from electronic parts, to antiques, clothes, hardware and just junk which you wonder why anyone would want to buy. But thousands of foreign workers come here to browse for cheap goods. I asked one of the stallholders where they get their goods from, and he said many were brought by people who wanted to get rid of the belongings of relatives who passed away. Many poorer travellers from the neighbouring countries especially the Riau islands, Cambodia, Myanmar and China, also brought goods to sell to them..

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pictures from left: shoppers at the Thieve's Market, an assortment of junk, and 3 beautiful vases

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