452 City Road
South Melbourne VIC 3205
+61 3 9696 6983
Disclaimer: Libby dined as a guest of Mr Loys Puff.
I was in Singapore twice this year and I’ll be back (twice, no less) again next year. Given that Singapore is not my favourite place in the world to visit (sorry lah), it seems kind of strange that I’ve spent considerable time there. One thing I do like about Singapore, however, is the food.
Oh yes, the food.
There’s not a lot of options when it comes to decent Singaporean food in Melbourne, or Australia in general. But I think things are starting to change with places like Mr Loys Puff slowly but surely providing homesick Singaporeans with traditional hawker-style dishes.
The small modest eatery was created by Russell Foo, one such homesick Singaporean. As a kid growing up in Singapore, he used to buy freshly cooked curry puffs from a man named Mr Loy – and as a nice touch, this South Melbourne store is named after him.
I started off with a curry puff; the skin was dense yet flaky while the filling was jam-packed with chicken and potato cubes and a lovely mild curry flavour. Not a bad start to the meal.
Russell gave me two dishes to sample; he wanted to give me full-sized portions for completeness sake but I hate wasting food so I insisted he give me smaller servings instead (which were still generously sized anyway). The Hainanese chicken rice took me back to muggy nights in hawker centres in Singapore – the chicken in particular was well-cooked (soft and tender, and all that jazz) but I felt that the broth was a bit on the one-dimensional side. I guess I would have preferred a more legit dish – i.e. have the chicken poached rather than roasted – but this did the trick.
I was full at this point but alas, I had a chicken curry dish to eat. I honestly didn’t know that Singapore did their own version of a chicken curry but then again, I guess it’s one of those dishes that many cultures make so it shouldn’t surprise me. Plus, Singapore is such a diverse tapestry of cultures (Indian, Malay, Chinese etc) that it makes sense for them to have a curry dish, I guess.
The curry was very mild – I felt no heat – but nourishing and delicious nevertheless. It would definitely hit the spot during those Melbourne winters.
Mr Loys Puff has more authentic Singaporean dishes such as nasi lemak and all that, stuff that I’d like to try the next time I’m down. It may be slightly out of the way for those working in the heart of Melbourne CBD but for those living in Southbank, it’s worth the walk down. Plus, the food is reasonably priced too. While South Melbourne ain’t no legit hawker market, Mr Loys Puff does well to satisfy those who are craving Singaporean food – at least until they can fly back to Singapore to try the real thing.