Saturday, December 01, 2007

Growing up in Ang Mo Kio: Tip Top Curry Puffs

One of the things that I remember about my growing up years in Ang Mo Kio was that I had enjoyed the occasional treats to Tip Top Curry Puffs. The stall that is located at Block 722 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8. It is quite interesting to take a closer look at how this food establishment has changed over the years. Afterall, Tip Top Curry Puffs stall has withstood the tests of time, and has been operating in Ang Mo Kio for more than two decades.

My mother told me that Tip Top Curry Puffs was already operating in Ang Mo Kio in the early 1980s when my family first moved in to Ang Mo Kio. Back then, one piece of Tip Top Curry Puffs had cost 35 cents. I vaguely remember that when I was at Primary-school-going age, each piece of Tip Top Curry Puffs would cost about 50 cents.

As a child, I was quite delighted to receive occassional treats to the curry puffs. I like the crispy crust of the curry puffs. In addition, each curry puff would have a very generous helping of chicken chunks and a fairly large slice of hard-boiled egg. I am biased (and possibly nostalgic). My tastebuds seem to prefer the Tip Top Curry Puffs that I have eaten when I was a child, than the curry puffs from this same stall that I would get today.

Today, the curry puffs from Tip Top Curry Puffs are halal-certified. In fact, perhaps because of the popularity of the curry puffs, the moment that the curry puffs are made, there would be customers to ready to buy them. As such, customers can get piping-hot curry puffs freshly made at the stall nowadays.

Back in the 1980s, Jubilee Cinema was located very nearby the Tip Top Curry Puffs stall, and one of the favourite stalls for me to ask my parents to bring me to after watching a movie at Jubilee Cinema was Tip Top Curry Puffs. I would also be quite fascinated with watching how the stall-assistants of Tip Top Curry Puffs make the dough, shape the dough, put in the fillings and cook the curry puffs. It was exciting to see how the curry puffs were made by hand, with tender loving care.

By the way, nearby the then Jubilee Cinema and Tip Top Curry Puffs was a playground. If you have guessed it, yes, I was guilty of asking for Tip Top Curry Puffs many of the times when I had played at that playground.

If a resident of Ang Mo Kio wishes to have an appreciation of how the costs of living have increased over the years, one way to do so would be to look at how the price of one piece of Tip Top Curry Puffs have increased from 35 cents in the early 1980s to $1 in the year 2007. Well, the price won't stop me from treating myself to one of its curry puffs occasionally. I still like to enjoy the sense of nostalgia that eating the curry puffs may bring.

Also read Hawkers - Curry Puff (By the ST Foodies Club) for information on where to get good curry puffs in Singapore.


Lam Chun See said...

Yes I too like this type of curry puff. We had a stall in Cuppage Centre selling exactly this type. Those days, my employer the NPB was located at Cuppage Centre. Somehow it became a traditional that anyone who resigns will buy the colleagues a curry puff.

But unfortunately these days have to abstain becos of the high fat content.

oceanskies79 said...

Chun See: Yes, the health-consciousness trend dictates that we should just take these food once in a while.

Lam Chun See said...

Is this the curry puff chain whose owner got into trouble with the IRAS recently? Their puffs must be very good judging from the amount of income tax he had to pay. Maybe the bad news improved the reputation of his puffs even further.

oceanskies79 said...

Yes, Chun See...this is the curry puff stall. The curry puffs here are pretty nice.

Unknown said...

Hmmmmm.... I guess aside from the owner's negligence or indiscretion with the taxmen, the shop is an icon in the AMK area. I recall watching the workers furiously making curry puffs on the side tables and chairs, twisting, kneading and turning at breakneck speed.

oceanskies79 said...

Cool Insider: I find it interesting to watch them make the curry puffs. A few of the personnel from this shop impress me with the dedication that they put in to make nice curry puffs.