As exciting and life-changing as Singaporean food has been for me, I also have to admit that after all of the gluttony and decadence it’s been nice to return to my “boring” food like roasted potatoes, black bean salads and flash-fried kale. Also, Oregon cherries in mid-July. But the one dish that I will continue to pine for is Singapore’s iconic fish head curry, which I had to have only in Little India.
I happily ate the steaming, ochre-hued heaps of the poached red snapper surrounded by its halo of spicy tamarind and coriander-spiked broth. Thrown right onto a waxy banana leaf and eaten with fragrant basmati rice, the curry effortlessly managed to stay the centerpiece of the meal despite being crowded by table side competitors chana masala, tandoori chicken, garlic naan, and pickled vegetables. We also got an insane deep-fried fish fillet dish that came wrapped in those banana leap pouches you see above, coddled in a thick tomato paste and ground-up spices and hot peppers, but it was nothing compared to the tender morsel of snapper cheek that completed my meal.