Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!



We’ve all tried these cheap and tasty snacks found across Singapore – here’s a fact file on them!

#1 What is a curry puff? It’s a small pie consisting of a pastry shell (usually in triangle or semicircle shape) with a filling – chicken and potato curry is the best known – then baked or deep-fried. #2 In Malay, they’re called epok epok, though many foodies will point out that they’re not really the same thing, differing in pastry style, fillings and more. #3 They perhaps have different origins too. Epok epok may have developed from the empanadas that Portuguese settlers in the Malay Peninsula enjoyed. The curry puff, on the other hand, was probably inspired by Cornish pasties, which Brits in the 19th century longed for; Indian chefs of the day then gave it a samosa spin, with the addition of curry. #4 While chicken and potatoes is a traditional filling, other common ingredients include sardine, egg and beef. #5 Curry puff variations are often denoted by a spot of food colouring on one side. #6 There are more exotic fillings too. Durian, red bean, yam and even custard appear in “curry” puffs from time to time. Last month, the popular chain Old Chang Kee was offering a special kids’ edition called a Cheesy Corn’O. #7 Speaking of Old Chang Kee, it started in 1956 and today has dozens of outlets all over Singapore, as well as outposts in Indonesia, Australia and the UK. #8 Maxwell Road vendor J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff is one of 67 F&B places listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand Singapore 2022.



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