DIY Popiah: Best 3 Places to Wrap the this Pleasure
By Thammika Songkaeo - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014
DIY food in Singapore seems to be trending, with DIY sushi, DIY cakes, and DIY salads becoming more and more common. But there is one traditional item, the long-standing and well-loved Popiah. Places such as Kway Guan Huat, Good Chance Popiah and Fortune Food, have been offering DIY-style Popiah for decades now. Popiah often provides a common light and fast meal, but the above vendors have figured out that it can also be a more communal experience for customers by providing a DIY set. They simply give customers all the ingredients, laid out separately, so the customers make a good or make a mess in making their own Popiah- which is part of the fun and bonding. Each place offer slightly differing versions.
Fortune Food (outlet: click here) prides themselves on the Popiah skin, which is handmade and they have both delivery and self-pickup options (free delivery is available only for orders above $70, but there are multiple self-pickup locations across Singapore.) Their set ($24 for 15 rolls) has egg yolks as the main source of protein. The vegetables include coriander, cooked turnip, with carrots and cucumbers and the condiments are ginger, chili sambal and, of course, the sweet sauce that serves as the base. Although they started as a hawker stall in Geylang Bahru, they are now suppliers to other Popiah stalls in hawker centres (those stalls also serve as self-pick up locations). The ordering process is very easy, but it has to be well-planned, since a phone order must be placed at least one day in advance and an online order at least three days – not even during peak seasons, like Chinese New Year, which might require double or triple the number of advance order days. Fortune Food has expanded to include kueh pie ti ($28 for 50 pieces), ayam koro bun (braised chicken thighs in steamed buns) ($32 for 15 pieces), muah chee ($28 for 50 servings), and even laksa ($43 for 18-20 bowls)..
Kway Guan Huat (95 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427389. Operating Hours: 9AM TO 2PM daily) also makes their own Popiah skin. It’s an institution that has been around since 1938, and it still insists on hand-making the Popiah skin, following the ways of the patriarch. Business hours are officially 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and the website advertises Popiah skin cooking demonstrations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., call to be sure when they’ll still be open because the hours aren’t necessarily as advised online. Kway Guan has two kinds of DIY Popiah sets: “standard” and “pure vegetarian.” The latter means that the crispy fritters (where fish paste can be used) in the standard set are replaced by peanuts.
Good Chance Popiah (Blk 149 Silat ave #01-58, Singapore 160149, Operating Hours: 11 AM – 2.30 PM, 6 PM – 9.30 PM) has a different set, which includes a lot of bean sprouts. The restaurant has been around for over thirty years and the current head is a third-generation owner. Here, customers often have their DIY Popiah in the restaurant, but they also do catering. They are also a full menu restaurant, you can make supplement orders for items such as lap cheong (Chinese sausage), if you like your Popiah with certain ingredients, including seafood.
Those are just a small handful of DIY Popiah places that lets you feel more engaged with your food and your friends and family. Whether it’s at home or on location, the local Popiah can become a party and bonding item, too.