Food doesn't have to look good to taste good. This is particularly true of scissor-cut curry rice, which has to be one of the sloppiest looking dishes ever, but also happens to be one of my favourite foods. This dish has both Hainanese and colonial origins, as most cooks who worked for wealthy British families back in the early 1900s were Hainanese, and put an inventive twist on the pork cutlet by pummeling it flat, snipping it up over rice and coating it with curry.
My order the first time round comprised a fried pork cutlet blackened with gravy, a ngoh hiang (five spice pork roll), chup chye (stewed cabbage) and a fried egg. They're cut into bite-sized pieces with a pair of metal scissors, following which gravy from the lor bak (stewed pork) and then curry is ladled over, which renders the individual components of the dish quite unidentifiable.
The layering of the lor bak gravy and curry create a hybrid gravy that's... magic. It's only slightly spicy and possesses a starchy texture, which works as its meant to be drizzled over plain rice. It was the gravy which elevated the individual ingredients from okay to amazing. Honestly I found the ngoh hiang soggy and the blackened pork cutlet to be on the wrong side of salty. Also tried a bit of the lor bak and found it too tough. A fried egg isn't too hard to do, but the chup chye was great. Soft, sweet and distinctly shrimpy. Nothing goes better with curry than perfectly stewed chup chye.
I returned a couple weeks ago and we ordered dishes to share. The only new dish I had was the chicken chop, which was freaking awesome. The sesame seeds it was coated with made it super fragrant and it was snipped into itty bits which made it so moreish with the curry. I declare my second visit a complete win.
In short, stick with the fried egg, chup chye and chicken chop.