Ask any Singaporean what their favourite breakfast dish is and chances are, most will scream, “Roti Prata”. Well, roti prata, roti canai, or whatever it is you call the doughy ghee rings, is the perfect dish to start your day with (paired with curry, of course). If you love your prata with sugar, please stop reading.
I like my prata crispy, and trust me when I say, amid the influx of mamak stalls in Singapore, crispy pratas are a definite rarity. I mean, if you’re not going to order your prata garing, you best bet you’re going to end up with a sad, floppy piece of dough. Granted, not everyone is an expert in prata-making (I know I’m not), but it’ll be nice to get a crispy kosong once in a while.
So I put on my best Sherlock Holmes outfit and decided to hit the streets. Where could I find the crispiest roti prata in Singapore? Feedback was aplenty, but these three names: Mr & Mrs Mohgan Prata, Springleaf Prata Place and Casuarina Curry, stood out from the rest. Did I use my findings to my advantage? Yes.
It took me close to three weeks to strategically plan my visits to the three outlets, and all I can say is that… IT WAS WORTH EVERY BITE.
For fairness, I will be basing this showdown on the crispiness of one kosong prata along with how it holds up when submerged in gravy. So, sit back, relax, and get salivating as I present to you… the Crispy Roti Prata Showdown!
Mr & Mrs Mohgan Prata
I’ll start off by saying I’m super suay when it comes to coffee shop stalls; I either make my way down to find out a stall is closed, or that the dish I’m about to review is sold out. In this case, I was greeted by the former. Of course, poor Sonia was misled by the confusing operating hours that were listed on Google. However, that minor setback didn’t deter me from heading down to Mr & Mrs Mohgan Prata on a different day. A day when I knew they would be open. Hurrah!
On my second visit, I was excited to find them open and pushing out countless doughy ghee discs by the minute. I hurriedly placed my order, received my queue number, and started counting down. What felt like an eternity later, I received my plate of freshly-made Kosong Prata (S$1) with a side of thick and aromatic dalcha. Of course, I couldn’t satisfy my tummy with one sad piece of prata and had to add an Egg Prata (S$1.50) to the mix.
Hungry I was, I held up my fork and spoon, and proceeded to tear a bite-sized piece for myself. What happened next sent me to ASMR heaven. It was like the incessant chatter of those around me had drained out, and the crunch from my Kosong Prata got amplified. It’s times like this I wish I could insert audio into my article.
Moving on, I took a bite of the prata sans the curry. And boy, did it taste eerily similar to the ones the late Mr Mohgan used to churn out. Light and airy, and extremely crispy. I fully submerged my second bite-sized piece into the decadent dalcha, and it still retained its crispiness. Colour me impressed, I sure wasn’t ready for the experience to end.
Alas, every good thing comes to an end, and I was down to my last bite. Given how I was savouring every moment of my prata-eating experience, I loved how the prata over here almost didn’t go soft.
Springleaf Prata Place
Another favourite of the masses is Springleaf Prata Place. They have established themselves as one of the more innovative and experimental prata places in Singapore, but would they come forth as having the crispiest prata? I was about to find out.
Unique prata concoctions aside, I ordered the classic combination of one Kosong Prata (S$1.40) and one Egg Prata (S$2.50). They were on the pricier side, but I didn’t let that come in the way of my comparison. Immediately I saw that they were on the oilier side, and proceeded to tear a bite-sized piece. The Kosong Prata tore off with ease, leaving behind a faint crunch with each tear.
When eaten sans the curry, it was light and oily, and lacked the crunch factor that I was hoping for. I always remember the pratas at Springleaf being incredibly crunchy, akin to that of a poppadom. However, the one I got wasn’t. Which was a shame because their fish curry was piquant and had the right amount of heat. Personally, I was disappointed when I submerged a bite-sized piece into the curry and ended up with a soggy surprise.
If this was a fish curry showdown, Springleaf’s curry would’ve made the cut.
And the last contender is Casuarina Curry. Like Springleaf, they have many outlets across the island. They are also dubbed as one of the better prata shops around. As you can see, I take my prata seriously. I was coming in with high expectations for this place and unlike my usual combination order, I decided to throw caution to the wind and ordered myself a piece of Kosong Prata (S$1.90).
What I saw before me was a crispy, cushiony, and fragrant paper-thin Kosong Prata. I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Like the previous two places, I did the “crunch test” and left my utensils to do the work for me. Texture-wise, it was a tad bit doughy for me, however, it had a crunch to it.
I took my first bite, and although it wasn’t as flaky as I remembered it to be, it retained its paper-thin consistency paired with a subtle crunch with each bite. When submerged in fish curry, the spices from the curry elevated the simple-looking prata, making each bite flavourful but semi-chewy.
I can see why these three outlets made the cut. Although all three establishments served up a mean plate of prata, I had to remind myself that this was a Crispy Prata Showdown. And now it’s time for me to reveal who is worthy enough to receive the title. Without further ado, the winner is… Mr & Mrs Mohgan Prata! Before prata fans come at me, please understand that this review is based on my personal experience. For me, what sealed the deal was when I noticed the prata at Mr & Mrs Mohgan Prata managed to retain its crispiness after being submerged in the pool of dalcha; that— to me— set the bar high.
That being said, I’d still go back to Springleaf or Casuarina if I was around the area as they did serve up tasty pratas too. Either way, I had a fantastic time having the doughy ghee rings for breakfast on three separate occasions!
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