If you think there’s nothing you love more than Singaporean local food, Sinpopo Brand‘s inventive dishes might do wonders for your soul. Over two visits, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their eclectic and extensive menu, and have been served by really fun and genuinely interested staff.
Photo via Sinpopo
The mod vintage coffee shophouse along East Coast Road does an incredible job at elevating those same well-loved flavours in novel forms.
Take for example their Kopi Macchiato ($7), which is Kopi Gao (concentrated) with a dollop of condensed milk cream. Refreshing and reminiscent of the Hainanese style, this coffee is creamy, balancing bitter perfectly with sweet.
The Crispy Muah Chee Salad ($12) is revolutionary and the easiest salad option available. That’s because it’s indulgent. Battered muah chee (glutinous rice balls) tossed with sesame, shimeji tops and nori, and plenty of frisée lettuce with garlic hollandaise sauce.
It’s absolutely scrummy, and while it’s also carby, it can’t be the most diet-unfriendly salad there’s been. Here’s looking at the bacon and fried chicken salads tossed with mayo and ranch. WHAT DIET?
Baked Salmon ($16) was what I recommended to my pescatarian friend on second visit. This one’s for fermented bean (otherwise called “dao jio”) lovers, seared salmon lovers, “Q” noodle lovers – that makes pretty much all of us.
Pink in the middle, the large salmon’s tender and crusted with the savoury punch of fermented bean, nested on twirled glass noodles with earthy shimeji mushroom. So good and so clean!
Photo via Sinpopo
The staff tend to recommend Nasi Lemak for two ($25). It’s an extremely generous selection of their signature side dishes, free flow sambal and of course, traditional Nasi Lemak. Good for when you’re hungry and can’t decide what sides to try.
I remember the Pork Chop and Wedges with Curry being exceptionally tasty. Also the Ma Ling Luncheon Crisps are fried to brittle pieces, as opposed to chunky SPAM fries you’d find elsewhere.
I would really like the Nonya Kiam Chye Arg! ($16) if the broth wasn’t so salty… we’d been warned since kiam chye is essentially salted vegetable, but that took some getting used to. Nevertheless, the duck confit was crisp on the outside and so tender it fell off the bone.
After wiping out the comforting noodle dish, we had to have desserts. As the same culinary team who brought us Awfully Chocolate, Sinpopo naturally has some adventurous sweets in line.
Their bestseller Gula Melaka Cake ($7) is a triple stack of fluffy, moist cake flanking gula melaka (palm sugar) icing and burnished with a gula melaka glaze. The icing was a little like kaya, which went great with the caramelised bittersweetness of the glaze. Would be perfect with a Long Black imo.
Then there was Chilled Pandan Soufflé ($9) torched and served with almond streusel, a sesame dentelle and milk froth. Once again very strong contrasting sweet-savoury flavors and mix-and-match textures.
That pretty much sums up a good long meal in the charming Katong vicinity that’s inherently both new and old, busy and quiet. If you’re in the east, be sure to hit up Sinpopo Brand sometime!
458 Joo Chiat Road
Fri-Sat & Eve of PH: 12pm-12am
Closed on Mondays