The One With Thasevi Food – Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

I have been living in Singapore for ten years and not once had I been to the famous Jalan Kayu Roti Prata. When I exclaimed as much while we were on our way there for breakfast during my recent trip back to Singapore, my friends looked at me in incredulity and wondered what kind of university life I had.

Not much of a life, if you don’t count endless book mugging and computer games, heh!

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

So! Apparently Jalan Kayu Roti Prata is one of those place university students hanged out for late night suppers when the semesters are in session. I don’t know about you, but unless you have four wheels at your command (together, not separately), it is kinda hard to travel all the way out from Boon Lay to Jalan Kayu, and back. The ridiculous taxi fare alone could probably buy you enough roti prata to last you one whole year.

So there we were, sitting in my friend’s car (look ma, no taxi fare wasted!) all excited about having a spot of true Singapore experience. My worries for lack of parking space was ultimately unfounded; a spot was open right in front of Thasevi Food (that’s the stall of choice, folks). We didn’t even have to go far in search for one and then walk miles back to the restaurant.

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Roti telur (egg) with onions.

For a place so famous among the local, it was surprisingly not packed during lunch time. On a Sunday. At a residential area. Families were poring over food and newspaper, bickering in Hokkien as they peruse last night’s soccer scores and argued who’s next to have a go at the Nintendo. In my mind I was picturing tables of rowdy, beer-bellied men shouting at televisions and at each others, smoking away like its their last ciggie on earth.

Okay, this was Singapore afterall. And in broad daylight. Some folks don’t drink until the sun sets, unlike me.

That was a long preamble. Of course I wanted to talk about the food. Just that for a Singapore institution the ambiance is as important as its food. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it justice.

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Curry, curry and more curry!

I love Indian for breakfast. Roti prata is the local name for the flour pancake made Indian style, with ingredients of choice. You can name anything you want – eggs, onions, tunas etc etc. Dipped it in a curry of your choice – I would recommend the fish curry – and tuck in. Not for the weight watchers but the prata is worth its weight in gold.

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Indian rojak.

And of course you’ll need to do the Indian rojak. Basically it’s lots of different food, usually made from some kind of flour or another, then deep fried and then dipped into either peanut sauce or (again!) curry. You get to choose what you want from a wide variety or rojak food available. I recommend beancurds and the stuffed chilli.

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Indian rojak food choices.

Yet another can’t miss is the roti john. To be honest I don’t really know how to describe what this is. Two slabs of bread toasted with minced mutton and butter, layered with onions and sliced chilli. Cut into finger-sized bites and again dipped into curry.

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Roti John.

I realised I just described what a roti john is.

There are of course many other Indian food available for tasting. Go for the mee cintan goreng (fried instant noodle!) and teh tarik (“pulled” milk tea).

Jalan Kayu Roti Prata

Mee cintan goreng (fried instant noodle).

Verdict? An authentic Singapore experience, best experienced with your best (and wheeled!) friends. There are so much curry going about you’ll be excused to smell like one right after.

Thasevi Food – Jalan Kayu Roti Prata
237/239 Jalan Kayu, Singapore
(65) 6481 1537


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