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2,012 fish head curries served at Seafood Mela

This feat was accepted by Guinness World Records as a new record for the most number of fish head curries served at a single sitting. -tabla!

Fri, Jul 20, 2012

THE fish heads had arrived in the early hours of the day and the cooking started at about 3pm. By 7.45pm, the first fish head curry was served and, within 45 minutes, all the fish head curries were served to the guests present - all 2,012 of them!

This feat, accepted by Guinness World Records as a new record for the most number of fish head curries served at a single sitting, was achieved by the Indian Restaurants Association of Singapore (IRAS) which organised this special event on July 14 as part of the month-long food festival in Little India.

IRAS, which had set a world record at last year's food festival by setting up the longest dining table - 120m, with diners served sumptuous north and south Indian food - decided to go even bigger this year... the 2,012 fish head curry dinner.

Five restaurants - The Banana Leaf Apolo, Sakunthala's Food Palace, Gayatri, Muthu's Curry and Anjappar Authentic Chettinad Restaurant- took charge of the cooking of the 2,012 fish head curries whilst a further seven restaurants joined in to add a buffet spread for the guests present.

IRAS president and The Banana Leaf Apolo owner C. Shankar - the mastermind of this fish head Guinness World Record - said: "This huge effort was made possible due to the combined efforts of the many restaurants that pitched in to help and their huge desire to make this world record dream a reality."

But the Guinness record did not come easy. There were stringent checks and verifications throughout the night by the Guinness representative who did not leave a table unturned.

From the weight of the individual fish heads to the way it was presented and served, the time taken to serve the dishes; everything came under scrutiny. The hardest ordeal was for the diners though, as they had to wait patiently till all 2,012 fish heads dishes had been served and counted. And as the counting began, the numbers rose gradually till the magic number eventually arrived, much to the delight and applause of all who were present.

The dinner was attended by people from all walks of life and races, from Singaporeans to foreigners who lapped up one of Singapore's signature dishes.

Mr Hui Tak Oon said: "I love fish head and Indian food. So I decided to buy a table for 10 for my family."

The 64-year-old initially thought each table would get one fish head curry - as is normally the case at restaurants - but when he realised each person was getting one, he was pleasantly surprised. "Wah! How to finish? Never mind, I will take my time," he said, with a large grin.

Diners were also entertained by multicultural, multiracial and multinational performances hosted by local entertainer Sheikh Haikel. The icing on the cake was a special guest performance by local celebrity comedian Kumar.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and second minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, who was the guest of honour for the Seafood Mela, presented the certification by Guinness World Records to Mr Shankar and IRAS. In return, IRAS made a donation of $25,000 to the Singapore Indian Development Association.

The food festival in Little India runs till the end of the month where diners can walk into a specially-built fishing trawler where food and drinks from over 12 restaurants are available at one place.

Tamilavel is a correspondent with Tamil Murasu.

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