Thasevi Food Original Jalan Kayu Prata
237/239 Jalan Kayu
+65 6481 1537
The Jalan Kayu area is very well known by locals at THE place for Roti Prata – usually just called Prata by Singaporeans (although some of my friends also swear by the places on Upper Thompson too, especially for the sweeter variants of this dish). In fact, that’s probably all this area is noteable for as the street itself is nothing special without the main shops that sell this particular food, that originates from the Indian Paratha. In the morning, it is a staple of the breakfast meal, and here at Thasevi Prata you can see young teenagers grabbing a snack on their way to school, middle-aged men eating before they head to work, and even seniors who have plenty of time on their hands to enjoy a relaxed morning. Parking is limited to the stalls along the same street, or to a pay parking lot just up the road. For me on this day, it was a stopover for a quick bite, on the way to wake boarding in the Straits of Johor.
The setup is very simple. You go inside, place your order, give them your table number that is painted on your table, and wait to have it delivered to your table. Many of the tables have used cigarette cans, so beware of that if you are adverse to smoke while eating and pick a table more near the centre of the area. As well, don’t expect much for service, as the folks inside are quite busy and generally not a cheery bunch. They have a tendency to make mistakes with orders (as they did again on this day) and they’re not so speedy with rectifying problems. Try not to raise a big stink, as they’ve been known to respond aggressively.
The Roti Prata comes in various types. But for me, the Cheese Prata is my breakfast favorite. A perfectly crisp and thin wafer that has a great chewy texture to it, which is further amplified by the rich cheese flavor. The accompanying curry was excellent as well, and used as a dip by tearing off pieces of the prata. Frankly, you could go either way, as the prata is just as tasty on its own. One of my friends had what was called a Prata Bom, which was infused with more butter and white sugar, making for a very sweet concoction. So as you can see, sweet or savory, you can get what fits your needs.
I find it interesting when a region of a city becomes a concentrated district for a particular cuisine or even dish. I think this brings out the best of each place serving it, with the constant battles for customers and reputation as the “best”. Generally, the places where the food is believed to have originated, become the key battlegrounds. And on my journeys, I always strive to visit such locations as an outsider. For Roti Prata in Singapore, Jalan Kayu is your place to be.