The moment we stepped into Sinpopo for lunch, M exclaimed that she remembered the place and she remembered it from the 1960s. In 1960s, Sinpopo used to be a bar, a very (in)famous bar. However, the Sinpopo today is a local fusion cafe run by the people of Awfully Chocolate. M actually asked one of the (young) staff if the cafe today was associated with the Sinpopo of the 1960s to which he replied, “No”. Haha. Wonder if he knew what she was actually referring to.
Local delights given a fusion and modern twist is the theme of the cafe. The menu is in the format of a school attendance book (props for design!) and the staff were quite eager to make recommendations, which was very helpful since it was our first time here.
Sng Muay Pop drink ($5) – Made with sprite, fresh lime and sour plum ice balls. I ordered this just because the idea of sour plum frozen into ice balls seemed like a really cool concept. I think that was half the fun of drinking it, waiting for the ice to melt to ‘release’ the sour plum.
The House Special: Nasi Lemak for two ($25) – Nasi Lemak with the following sides: Rojak Slaw, Sambal Fishball, Roast Potato Curry, Pork chop, Luncheon meat chips, prawn paste chicken and sambal.
I think that if you choose to get the Nasi Lemak for two, you don’t need to order most of the appetizers nor the chargrilled pork chop main since the ingredients found here will be pretty similar. M commented that the sambal here was really good, the kind she liked – with more dried prawn flavour rather than just plain chilli. In comparison to Selera’s sambal, she preferred the taste of this one. Thankfully, Sinpopo sells jars of sambal for $7 if their version meets your taste buds approval.
Beef Shortrib Hor Fun ($16) – Sinpopo fries the hor fun noodle to get this slightly crunchy texture before mixing it with the hor fun gravy. Unlike most hor fun dishes, the gravy is not very thick which makes the dish quite an interesting concept. Usually, hor fun has soft noodles and a thick gravy. Sinpopo’s version offers crispier noodles and a less starchy gravy. The highlight of the dish for me, however, was the shortrib, which was just cooked to perfection. Really tender and flavourful. I wished that I had more than the 2 pieces given…
Chilled Pandan Souffle ($9) and Gula Melaka Jelly ($8) – Despite not being a dessert person, I was really keen to try the pandan souffle. The souffle came with almond crunch and a sesame cracker. It was pretty essential to eat the souffle with the almond and/or the sesame cracker as I found the souffle to be really sweet on its own. Flavours were really good though, a good combination of local ingredients.
The gula melaka jelly was pretty tasteless and was meant to be eaten with a glob/pearl of gula melaka. So having the dessert was like a taste of bland followed by a jolt of sugar. Repeat multiple times. Not really a fan of the extremes, not something I would probably order again.
I think Sinpopo is a fun cafe to consider for lunch outings. It offers local food which is familiar to oldies but with a little modern/fusion twist that yuppies/adventurous eaters would find it interesting as well.
Add: 458 Joo Chiat Road