The final instalment in our 160 Central Special is Fragrance Cafe - an unassuming, family run restaurant located down the arcade on the St Georges side of the food court. We've walked past Fragrance Cafe a few times without paying it much notice. But their advertisement for a $7.50 curry certainly caught our attention.
A curry is a fantastic thing. I know that the weather is starting to heat up, but there are times when you just want something hearty and full of flavour with meat that falls apart on your fork and not have to pay overs for it. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so! Yet sometimes we're left feeling like the only way you can get a decent curry is to go to Chutney Mary's or some place similar and pay $25 for a curry. And don't forget to charge me $3 to $5 a serve for rice or naan, as if you couldn't throw in a serve gratis with your overpriced curry. I know that there is a spectrum of quality when it comes to curry but it is still food that is made in large quantities with the cheaper cuts of meat (at least it should be). Moral of the story: it's an outrage!
Enter: Fragrance Cafe. The store seems to be run by a Singaporean family (generally a good sign). It's fair to say that we were skeptical of the $7.50 curries on offer. Even so, we risked a potentially uncomfortable afternoon, threw caution to the wind and gave it a shot. Fragrance Cafe varies the curries on offer, but today's specials were Beef Vindaloo and Malay Chicken Curry so we took a seat in their large dining area tried both.
First things first: the servings were generous. The beef curry in particular was a real home-style serve and both came with rice (not that hard after all!). Things got better from there, as the beef could be cut with a spoon, packed a spicy punch that you hope for with a Vindaloo and came with a heaping of carrot and potato. The chicken curry was about as authentic as it gets. A simple yet tasty Malaysian curry with two drumsticks and a pile of potatoes. It was something we'd expect a Malaysian Aunty to cook! For the more adventurous, they also had a Tuna Tataki on offer but we let that one go through to the keeper.
A word of warning: the Vindaloo was pretty spicy and should be avoided if you struggle with hot food. Fragrance Cafe, on the other handed, should not be avoided. A seriously large, seriously cheap curry is just the thing on those days you want to be warmed up or just need a good meal. Apparently there is free wi-fi as well.
Where is your favourite curry? Does Fragrance Cafe deserve its poor Urbanspoon rating? Let us know in the comments!
You can find Fragrance Cafe on: