The name of this restaurant Soon Heng @ Hyde Park Cafe may suggest this place is in London, but no, it’s right here in Singapore. It’s a quaint little place, hidden in Prinsep Street (central part of Singapore which is an 8 minute walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station) among the other food outlets housed in pretty refurbished shophouses.
There was just one other customer when we were there. I think not many people know this place exists as it doesn’t advertise itself. It’s one of those places that’s known through word of mouth and I suspect the owners probably own the shophouse and don’t have to pay rent so they are not too worried about drumming up business. Check out the history of the owner at their website. It says that the owner came from China during the 1920’s. He adapted and modified Indian Fish Head Curry to form a special blend that uses less spices, more coconut milk and is sweeter. From the website I garner that they do more catering and take away business and their signature dish is Fish Head Curry. We are not so found of fish head curry and had something else here which we really liked. The rice and curries.
I must say it’s quite nice to eat in a peaceful quiet empty place. I always welcome the quiet. It was also nice to escape the heat as we entered this air-conditioned restaurant. Since I was last here they have spruced up the interior painting the walls cobalt and red which I like.
The food may not look appetising to the unfamiliar eye, but add the curries to rice and its pure heaven to me. My top picks are the fried sambal fish which has the most exquisite sambal and the prawn sambal which is beyond divine. The sambal prawn which is actually curried prawn cooked with loads of coconut milk, is my absolute favourite and I am always left hankering for more. The photos don’t give you an inkling about the taste. The Sayur Lodeh which is sweet boiled cabbage and tofu in a coconut curry goes so well with the other dishes. The chicken curry is a bit weak, but it’s lovely to add this curry as well to the other sauces. We should have just requested for a bowl of chicken or some other curry without the meat.
You will need a drink with your meal as the sambal that comes with the fish is quite spicy. You’re charged 50 cents for a cup of water, but there’s no service charge or GST here.
The bill came up to $27.60 Singapore dollars for two people, but it was worth it. Here is the breakdown:
Sambal Fish (2) S$6.00
Sambal Prawns (2) S$12.00
Chicken Lemak (1) S$4.00
Curry Veg (1) $3.00
Rice (2) $1.20
Water (2) S$1.00
Wet Towels (2) $0.40
Soon Heng @Hyde Park
76 Princep Street
Tel: 6336 0983