Growing up as a child in Singapore, popiah was one of my staple foods. It’s difficult to find affordable and good tasting ones these days, but I’m going to let you in on my little secret.
Almost everyone has heard of the famous Sin Ming Roti Prata at Jin Fa Kopitiam and flock there over the weekends. Instead of going for prata, the next time you’re there, have popiah for a change.
Located in a corner of Jin Fa Kopitiam is Ann Chin Popiah. The old brand has been around for many years and has since expanded to seven outlets islandwide.
They do online delivery too, so check out their website if you’re too lazy to head out.
The popiah skins here are handmade, fresh every single day. The uncle will start making the very first batch at 11am every morning, and then later in the afternoon after the skins have run out.
I love how he doesn’t make a giant batch to last the entire day. This way, he can truly ensure that the popiah skins remain fresh and moist.
Each popiah skin takes barely seconds to cook, and it is fun watching the entire process. The uncle deals with a very wet, sticky dough that he has to constantly swirl around in his hand before he places it on a hot griddle — it’s like making crepes, Asian-style.
You can also purchase the freshly-made popiah skins, but make sure you pre-order if you are thinking of buying them on a public holiday.
Like most popiah stalls, the Popiah ($1.50) here is also made to order. Each roll comes with homemade sweet sauce, chilli, lettuce, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, fried flour bits, egg and the popiah filling.
Two popiah skins are used here instead of one, so you don’t have to deal with the popiah skin tearing apart, which tends to happen at many other places.
Ann Chin Popiah also sells Kueh Pie Tee ($3), in a set of four, and it’s also made to order.
Although the popiah is relatively cheap at $1.50, it does come in a smaller roll. It’s the perfect size for ladies with small appetites, but bigger eaters might have to order three or four rolls to feel full.
It’s perhaps because of the freshly-made skins that make this one of the best popiahs I’ve had in Singapore. It was well-wrapped and I could eat the entire roll without the skin breaking and the ingredients falling out.
The homemade chilli sauce added an extra kick to the taste of the popiah, pairing very well with the popiah filling. The propotion of skin to filling was also perfect so that I could get everything in one bite.
The kueh pie tee shells were very fresh, without any trace of old oil taste and were still crispy. It kind of feels like you get more filling with every bite in the kueh pie tee because the aunty is not stingy with the filling at all.
Be sure to eat them fast though — you don’t want the popiah filling to turn the shells soggy!
Despite all the upcoming cafes and restaurants, I find myself returning to my roots and my comfort food — hawker food.
Ann Chin Popiah definitely did not disappoint at all and I foresee myself returning for many years to come. There is also a DIY party set delivery available, so those who want to try their hands at popiah-making can give it a shot.
New idea for office bonding guys?
Expected damage: $1.50 – $4.50 per person