Invented during the 1970s as a way to use up unwanted fish heads, today fish head curry is one of the most beloved dishes in Singapore, and Malaysia. As its name suggests, the dish consists of a fish head cooked in a spicy and tangy curry sauce, along with various vegetables such as okra, eggplant, tomatoes, long beans and spices. Here in Singapore, there are no shortages of restaurants and stalls serving delicious fish head curry. We’ve rounded up some of the popular places that are known for serving some of the best fish head curry in Singapore!
A Michelin Bib Gourmand stall, Zai Shun Curry Fish Head serves an assam-styled fish head curry with a mouthwatering tanginess. The sauce is a guarded family recipe that’s made to bring out the natural sweetness and clean flavours of the fish. Made using only the freshest wild-caught red snapper, it is steamed at a very high temperature so that the meat cooks quickly and it remains tender and smooth.
Address: 253 Jurong East St 24, #01-205, Singapore 600253
Opening Hours: 7 am–3 pm Thurs to Tues. Closed on Wed
Unlike most other establishments on this list, Ocean Curry Fish Head is not a tze char stall or a restaurant dedicated to fish head. Instead, they sell cai png, with the option for customers to add on traditional tze char dishes. This includes their Nyonya-style fish head curry that’s made with authentic Peranakan ingredients. And unlike other stalls that steam the fish head before placing it into the claypot, it’s cooked with the curry straight to ensure maximum absorption of flavours.
Address: Multiple outlets
Another Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, NaNa Curry is known for their thick and fiery fish head curry. Run by Grandma Khim and her eldest son, the curry paste is fully homemade sticking to the original recipe from way back in their Marina South days. Apart from pieces of boiled potatoes, what also stands out is their use of yam in the curry. Cooked until it is soft, the unorthodox addition actually goes really well with the curry,
Address: Multiple outlets
A Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, find South Indian-style fish head curry to go with fluffy pieces of naan at Muthu’s Curry. The dish here features sea bream, sea bass or red snapper depending on the catch of the season, and the flavourful rich gravy is made with a secret combination of aromatic spices. Complemented by generous portions of tomatoes, brinjal, okra and pineapple chunks, this is a seriously addictive fish head curry.
Address: 138 Race Course Rd, #01-01, Singapore 218591
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–10:30 pm daily
Xin Yuan Ji in Bugis is best known for their fish soup and fish head steamboat, but their fish head curry is not to be overlooked! The dish includes an assortment of cabbage, long beans, brinjal and even tau pok, which soaks up the curry nicely. The fish is also fresh, chunky, tender with flaky meat.
Address: 31 Tan Quee Lan St, #01-01, Singapore 188117
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–11 pm daily
It’s hard to miss Yu Cun with their giant white and red signboard. Over here, you can choose your spiciness level too! The claypot is served with the head of a Gold Band Snapper, along with vegetables like ladyfingers, eggplant, long bean, tomato, as well as a generous amount of bean curd skin that soaks up the curry!
Address: 147 Upper Paya Lebar Rd, Singapore 534849
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–10 pm daily
Serving South Indian dishes, the most popular item here is the fish head curry. In fact, Samy’s Curry Restaurant was one of the pioneers in Singapore to sell fish head curry! Served in a piping hot claypot, the fish head is cooked with more than a dozen spices, herbs and vegetables, which includes a special blend of chilli powder. Addictively smoky, fragrant and piquant, the Red Snapper meat is also incredibly tender and comes off the bone with just the slightest pressure.
Address: 25 Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249670
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 pm, 6–10 pm Wed to Mon
As the name suggests, The Banana Leaf Apolo serves up its North & South Indian dishes on freshly cut banana leaves. The Apolo Fish Head Curry is a crowd favourite here – think a small but sumptuous fish head swimming in a thick, spice-laden gravy. The tamarind and pineapple in the gravy adds a flavour kick, and is every foodie’s dream come true when paired with the restaurant’s signature biryani.
Address: Multiple outlets
The Curry Wok is a family-run eatery, well known for its home-cooked traditional Teochew Nyonya food from recipes passed down from previous generations. The Curry Fish Head is delivered fresh from the market daily and steamed only when your order is placed. The spicy curry also comes packed with okra, tomato, and brinjal for a hearty and balanced meal!
Address: 5 Coronation Road, Coronation Arcade #01-04, Singapore 269406
Opening Hours: 11 am–9 pm Wed to Mon. Closed on Tues
A cosy place intended for family gatherings, Gu Ma Jia is yet another contender for the best curry fish head in Singapore. The award-winning Assam Fish Head is made with a top-secret recipe that includes 13 spices. The curry is made fresh daily, and they also handpick the fish head from the market everyday to ensure the freshest quality they can find. The result is a wonderfully tangy curry with a slight heat that complements the sweetness of the fish, along with generous helpings of okra and tomatoes!
Address: 45 Tai Thong Cres, Sennett Estate, Singapore 347866
Opening Hours: 1 am–2:15 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm Tues to Fri, 11 am–9:30 pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Mon
Tucked away in Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, Jia Yi Curry Fish Head Eatery serves up a variety of tze char dishes to satisfy all your cravings. The signature Assam Curry Fish Head is packed with a generous amount of vegetables and it’s what you should definitely order when you’re here!
Address: 756 Upper Serangoon Rd, #03-18, Singapore 534626
Opening Hours: 7:30 am–3:30 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun
IVINS Peranakan Restaurant is a household name when it comes to quality Nyonya cuisine. IVINS’ Garam Assam Fishhead is well worth the venture. The half red snapper is dished up in generous portions, and comes swimming in a marvellous, creamy, spicy-sour tamarind gravy. If you like your curry a tad sweeter, go for the equally succulent Nyonya Curry Fishhead featuring coconut milk gravy!
Address: 21 Binjai Park, Singapore 589827
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 pm, 5–9 pm Fri to Wed. Closed on Thurs
Soon Ho Eating House serves a Singaporean-style fish head curry, made without tamarind so it doesn’t have the sourness of Assam curries. The curry here is flavourful, but it is oilier and has a more watery consistency as opposed to a thick creamy base, probably due to the lack of coconut milk. That doesn’t mean it’s any less yummy, it’s still extremely satisfying with a bowl of rice. It all depends on your taste preference!
Address: 802 French Rd, Singapore 200802
Opening Hours: 11 am–10 pm daily
The Fish Head Curry at Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant is well balanced and not too piquant. The curry is made from a traditional blend of spices imported directly from India, which gives it its bright red hue. Its fish head is also highly praised for its meatiness, and it’s best to come in a group to share! Make it a set where you get free-flow white rice, papadum and vegetables.
Address: 808/810 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 678144
Opening Hours: 10:30 am–10 pm Tues to Sun. Closed on Mon
A family-run business in Sembawang, fans of fish head curry should definitely give Chye Lye’s Assam Fish Head a try. The fish is really fresh and the piquant curry has a distinct and appetising tartness. If you’re a fan of assam-style curry fish head, be sure to check them out. But make sure to come earlier to avoid disappointment!
Address: 579B Sembawang Pl, Singapore 758429
Openings Hours: 11 am–8 pm
Owned by an ex-Marriott chef, Canton Delicacies in Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre offers a large selection of soups and Cantonese-style dishes. The Signature Claypot Curry Fish Head is made with Cantonese techniques of steaming the fish before it’s simmered with the curry. The gravy itself is well-balanced with the spice and tanginess of the assam!
Address: 69 Geylang Bahru, #01-27, Singapore 330069
Opening Hours: 12–9 pm Fri to Wed. Closed on Thurs
Seamlessly combining the creamy flavour of coconut, subtle sweetness from pineapple chunks, and distinct spices from chillies into a flavoursome gravy, Chng Kee’s curry fish head is sold out everyday! Great for a family gathering, there are also other yummy tze char items on the menu such as Imperial Pork Ribs and Prawn Paste Chicken.
Address: 3 Yung Sheng Rd, Singapore 618499
Opening Hours: 4–9 pm Mon to Fri. Closed Sat & Sun
We’re no stranger to Violet Oon and her perfect sampling of Singaporean-Peranakan fare, with Indian, Malay and Hainanese influences. The Fish Head Curry is one of them, featuring half an ikan merah (redfish) head and vegetables such as okra, eggplant and tomato in a thick curry. The gravy is not too rich and is slightly tart from a good balance of tamarind and coconut milk. Whether it’s spooned over rice or straight from the pot, it is simply delicious.
Address: 1 St Andrew's Rd, #02–01, Singapore 178957
Opening Hours: 12–5 pm, 6–10:30 pm daily
Jurong West Claypot Curry Fish Head has been serving up its Curry Fish Head for over 40 years now, and you’ll be won over by the succulent and fresh fish, the spicy and piquant curry that was 'just right' – not overwhelming or too jelak, neither was it too watery or mild. Totally worth travelling to the West for!
Address: 496 Jurong West Street 41, Singapore 640496
Opening Hours: 12–2 pm, 5–9 pm daily
A halal-certified establishment, West Coz Café offers both traditional and assam-style curry fish head. The fish head is meaty and fresh, and pairs really well with the full-bodied and lemak curry, and it is also spicier than other establishments here! Other than the fish head, the bubbling claypot also includes dried tofu puffs, long beans, brinjal, and okra.
Address: Multiple outlets