Fish Head Curry

How sad am I? I’ve been planning this holiday for months now and all I’ve been looking forward to is getting back to Banana Leaf Apolo. It’s a large restuarant in Singapore’s Little India and serves both North and South Indian dishes. None of the flock wallpaper that I’m used to; this is place is fairly austere and canteen-like, but the food is superb.


My first visit to this restuarant was in 2005 and I vowed to return if I visited Singapore again. The drill goes like this: No plates. Your friendly waiter spreads large banana leaves on the table and ladles sauces, condiments etc. directly onto the banana leaf. I very much approve.


So here I am. This time I was determined to try a local specialty: “Fish Head Curry”. Not the most appetising sounding dish, I grant you. We also ordered a chicken masala, a naan and a couple of mango lassis. While we were waiting for our dishes to arrive, our waiter brought poppadoms and spooned various pickles and chutneys onto our banana leaves. By the time the fish head arrived, we were starting to feel a little full! But, brave soldier that I am, I tackled the fish head with gusto.


It’s not the most attractive of dishes admittedly, but it was absolutely delicious. The fish head was “meatier” than you’d expect, the sauce was spicy, fragrant and sour with tamarind. The curry also contained lots of okra; not a vegetable I’m particularly fond of, but it went well with the fish head.

I felt it necessary to apologise to our very friendly waiter about the amount of food we left uneaten. We ordered a lot of dishes, just to sample them, but we were quite simply stuffed.

Banana Leaf Apolo is popular with locals and tourists alike and you’ll find it highly recommended in the various guide books. I told the doorman at our hotel that we were going to Banana Leaf Apolo and he nodded with approval and said “Fish head curry, very good!“. We asked our Chinese taxi driver to take us to Race Course Road and he replied “ahh … Banana Leaf Apolo!“. It’s famous, and for very good reason. Check it out.

Banana Leaf Apolo, 54-58 Race Course Rd., Little India, Singapore.


3 Responses to “Fish Head Curry”

  1. 1 Sarah Gostrangely June 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Mmm. Little India. I was living there when you were over there…Dosa is one thing I definitely miss!

  2. 2 adel November 26, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Ah! You tried it, man, can’t wait to try the fish head curry myself!

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