In a time where cafes both new and old are constantly chasing after the hottest new fad in the food scene, Sinpopo Brand is one that has stayed true to its, well, brand in serving customers local inspired food with a modern, hipster twist.
After putting off countless trips over the past years, I finally made a long overdue trip to Sinpopo Brand’ Joo Chiat premises. Stepping into it, I felt as though I was transported to the good ol’ yesteryears, from the vibrant red and blue sign that stood out amongst a row of other shophouse signs, to the old school TV doubling as a menu stand. Everything about this space screamed old-school, including the oldies being played in the background while the weekend brunch crowd ate and chattered away merrily.
As I dropped by pretty late, I decided to go for something light. The Frisée Salad with Crispy Muah Chee ($12++) presented a fusion of local goodies (think sticky, chewy muah chee) peppered with Japanese elements including shimeji tops and nori tossed with frisée lettuce and tomatoes in a garlic hollandaise dressing. An interesting mix of textures and flavours that makes it ideal for sharing (and hitting your daily vegetable quota), although the battered muah chee did come across as slightly doughy in some parts.
Don’t underestimate the Har Jeong Kai Wings ($8++). An unassuming plate of four wings, this was sold to me on the menu as “the original and authentic way it is done”, minus the “fake reddish kind” (ahem McDonald’s ahem). A pretty bold claim by a cafe, but damn do they live up to it!
The wings stayed piping hot long after they arrived at my table (a plus point for many food Instagrammers, I’m sure), and the aroma was so tempting, I’m not sure how anyone can bear to share this. Biting into my first wing, I was greeted with an explosion of flavour that sent me straight to umami heaven! The batter itself was light and crunchy, and went oh so well with the succulent chicken flesh. More har jeong kai wings, please!
Sinpopo’s desserts menu, which are also modern twists on traditional favourites like ondeh ondeh and pulut hitam, will leave you spoilt for choice. As I had a hard time selecting one from all the enticing descriptions on the menu, I asked the waiter for a recommendation. Kueh Sarlat Cake ($8++ a slice, $62 ++ for a whole cake) was the choice, and I was really impressed by how it not only replicated the elements of kueh sarlat, but took it to another level in cake form!
The layers were incredibly moist, and the cream not too heavy going. Judging by how quickly the cake was cleared off the counter, it’s not hard to guess why the Kueh Sarlat Cake is one of the more popular (and photogenic) cakes at Sinpopo Brand!
Good news for those craving their cakes; you can also buy them from their concept store in Paragon, or order them online.
Although service was a tad slow (it took about 10- 15 minutes for the iced water to reach my table), the fantastic flavours and atmosphere was more than enough for me to add Sinpopo Brand to my list of cafes to revisit! Definitely worth the trip to Joo Chiat to experience what the menu has to offer.
Address: 458 Joo Chiat Road
Nearest MRT: Dakota (Take Bus 16 from Exit A)
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm – 10pm
Friday and Saturday: 12pm – 12am
Store: 6345 5034
Online Delivery: 6858 1859
Extra charges: GST and service charge