Run by the folks behind Awfully Chocolate, Sinpopo Brand is a nostalgic café along Joo Chiat Road and it encompasses everything a good cafe should be – welcoming and cosy, comforting local food with a twist, and exceptionally interesting desserts and drinks. And what Sinpopo impressed us with the most is the attention to details and all its subtle nostalgic touches – evident from the interior and dishes.
Stepping into Sinpopo, their love for all things retro is evident from the design, and it will surely invoke a sense of nostalgia. We were particularly drawn to the menu design too! You will see why when it is your turn to dine there.
Of special name-cards and customised menus modelled after old school attendance books, an old television, songs from the 80′s and 90′s, vintage chairs and tiles, and a kitchen that whets your appetite with comfort fare that we grew up loving, here are some of the things we love so much about Sinpopo Brand.
If you must have your salads, a great choice would be the Frisée Salad with Crispy Muah Chee (S$10). Unlike your usual salads of just greens, Sinpopo has added homemade crispy battered muah chee into a mix for a more badass touch (oops). Well, this can also be thought of as a great choice for vegetarians.
The Crab Wantons (S$8) were filled evenly with creamy crabmeat and served with a side of house dip, reminiscent of our local chilli crab sauce.
For pork lovers, a must-try is the Babi Toast (S$7) which comes with the Thai-style green chilli dip. It will make you forget about staying skinny temporarily.
MAIN COURSES WITH LOCAL TOUCHES
Although Sinpopo offers mains such as Baked Salmon and Char-grilled Pork Chop, they never fail to jazz the dish up with a local element. But when at Sinpopo, we would like to think that the local-style mains should still be in the limelight. We could not sing enough praises of the Bakwan Kepiting (S$16) and Sinpopo Beef Shortrib Horfun (S$16) – comfort food at its finest.
The former is a warm bowl of tasty clear soup broth that comes with three very large meatballs (talk about generous!) and flat rice noodles. A nice little extra gem that comes along with this bowl is an onsen egg, and a side of classic red cut chillies, of course.
The meatballs are springy and packed with pork, crab meat and bamboo shoots. It sounds oddly plain, but having a bowl of the Bakwan Kepiting gives us almost as much gratification as eating Grandma’s cooking.
The Sinpopo Beef Shortrib Horfun is one of their signature dishes and we loved how the execution of this dish is one of a kind. The horfun is first prepared to a crisp texture, before being soaked in a rich and slightly salty beefy broth.
The bowl is topped off with fork-tender short ribs that have been braised for hours, and some fresh cut red chilli, onions and lime.
NASI LEMAK SET FOR 2
If you are visiting Sinpopo with the love of your life, you have to try the house special Nasi Lemak for Two (S$25). Because sharing is caring, and what better way to spend quality time together than enjoying some great local food, right?
For S$25, you get more than your money’s worth with a big variety of ingredients for your nasi. The coconut rice is fragrant and comes with a side of halved onsen egg and caramelised onions; and the rice is free-flow so you can eat to your heart’s content!
The accompanying dishes are, behold – Prawn Paste Chicken (WE LOVE THIS SO DAMN MUCH), Crispy Pork Belly, Ma Ling luncheon chips (a hot seller here and available as an appetizer itself), Rojak Slaw, Sambal Fish Balls, Roasted Potatoes & Curry and Sambal Chilli. So good, you are even encouraged to take a bottle of Sinpopo’s Sambal Chilli home!
DESSERTS WITH A LOCAL TOUCH
Desserts are Sinpopo’s specialty and some of the creations are inspired by their sister company, Awfully Chocolate. All of the sweet treats here at Sinpopo bear very distinct local elements, and there has never been another time when we are so fond of modern desserts with a local twist.
Gula Melaka is a special taste and not many can master the art of preparing it to the right consistency and sweetness. Thankfully, Sinpopo has aced the preparation of Gula Melaka, producing at least 3 different desserts featuring this delightful ingredient.
We leave it to you to decide which to order, but let’s just say the Gula Melaka sells like hotcakes.
Fans of Awfully Chocolate may find the presentation of this cake familiar as the style of layering is similar to the ever-popular Super Stacked Cake from Awfully Chocolate. If you are worried that the Gula Melaka Cake (S$7) might be overwhelmingly sweet, you will be happy to know that this cake sports just the right amount of gula melaka and is fragrant as it can be.
Yes, more gula melaka because we simply cannot get enough of it! Crunchy doughnuts are slathered with gula melaka with a side of kopi affogato. Sinpopo’s Doughtnuts & Gula (S$8) might look like a novelty but it is assuredly enjoyable. If we may, this will get many likes on Instagram.
Where do we even begin? The Orange Kaya Pisang Crème Brûlée (S$7) sounds more than complicated, but it is really a simple twist of the usual rich custard dessert. Using orange kaya as the base flavour, Sinpopo’s take on the classic French dessert comes with a pleasant Singapore twist, and the top note of pisang (banana) married the orange kaya really well.
The Durian Pengat (S$9) is served all year round and you need not wait till it is the durian season to enjoy this dessert! We were stoked when we were first presented this dessert, because the amount of durian used is pretty generous. It is topped off with a refreshing scoop of coconut ice cream and some crisp browned butter croutons.
The Chilled Pandan Soufflé (S$9) was such a stunner and all of us couldn’t contain our excitement. Pandan is infused into the chilled cottony soufflé and served with almond streusel and a sesame dentelle. As the soufflé is chilled, you have to eat it quickly before it “melts”.
Quote ‘Ladyironchef” or flash this post on your mobile for a complimentary Sng Muay Pop (u.p. $5) with every Gorgeous Mains purchased. This promotion is valid until 31 August 2015.
458 Joo Chiat Rd
Tel: +65 6345 5034
Tue to Thu, Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm – 12am
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Dakota
This post is brought to you by Sinpopo Brand.