Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hipster Singaporean food at Sinpopo Brand - Katong / Joo Chiat.

With dozens of restaurants and cafés popping up around Singapore seemingly almost daily, eateries can sometimes tend to feel a little generic - after all, a burger joint is a burger joint is a burger joint, no? It takes quite a bit of differentiation and something special to get stand out of the crowd - which is what Sinpopo Brand is trying to do with its hipster, retro take on Singapore-Malaysian food favorites!

Sinpopo Brand

There's a bunch of interesting-sounding drinks - for example, Fake Bird's Nest and Longan Slushie - which we skip in favor of a childhood favorite a little closer to our hearts - the Sng Muay Pop ($5). It's essentially kat chai suen mui Mark-II: lime, bits of sour plum frozen in sour ice balls, plopped into sweetened soda water, and is actually pretty damn good.

Sinpopo Brand Sng Muay Pop

The Crab Wantons ($8) were a decent, if less than epiphanic starter. The the house dip was flavourful, and the wantons were nice and crispy, but were just missing a little depth of flavour.

Sinpopo Brand Crab Wantons

For our main course we went with the house special - Nasi Lemak for Two ($25), with free flow sambal (and presumably rice). The rice itself was a little mushy and underwhelming, which disappointed a little; The accompaniments ranged from utterly delicious (har cheong kai wings), so-so-lah (luncheon meat crisps, sambal fishballs, potatoes in curry) to "meh" (rojak slaw). Overall the set was pretty nice, but we weren't so sure if it's something we'd crave for in the future.

Sinpopo Brand Nasi Lemak For Two

With advancement in age comes a reduction in stomach capacity and a shrinking sweet tooth; so we only tried one dessert - the Gula Melaka Cake ($7). The cake has really simple execution - it's just a sponge cake with a layer of gula melaka glazing, but the balance of flavours and textures is sublime. Definitely a nice, sweet and satisfying end to the meal.

Sinpopo Brand Gula Melaka Cake

At just over $25 a person, we thought that the food was pretty reasonably priced (this is a restaurant/cafe after all). Food wasn't perfect, but it was good enough at the price point that we'll certainly come back to try some of the other items on the menu - the Sliced Wagyu Horfun sounds particularly interesting!

Sinpopo Brand is at 458 Joo Chiat Rd, S 427671; reservations not accepted. Non-halal.

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