This post about the 9 best places to eat popiah in Singapore is personal.
My wife and I recently moved back to our previous neighbourhood, and she has been despondent that our regular popiah stall is gone. But her grief has been transformed into a guide that hopefully benefits you.
A dish of Fujian origin, popiah is a wheat wrap that is thin and crepe-like. Similar to a spring roll or burrito, it is used to encase ingredients like braised turnip, beansprouts, crushed peanuts, and shredded omelette. Some hawkers see fit to add prawn, others might include pork lard.
The dish was traditionally eaten around Qingming, a Chinese festival that honours the dead, and is commonly sliced before serving. Today, hawkers around Singapore offer them daily, and some of the island’s top examples have been recognised by the Michelin Guide. Read on for more.
(Hero and featured image credit: Qiji)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore
Where to find the best popiah in Singapore
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Ann Chin Popiah was founded by Lim Kam Chwee, who immigrated from China’s Fujian province to Singapore in the 1940s. He started selling popiah from a pushcart before moving into a stall along Upper Thomson Road in 1958. Now run his second generation with locations across Singapore, the Michelin-recommended brand still makes thin and chewy skin by hand, and stuffs it generously with crunchy and juicy ingredients.
S$2 per popiah
Daily, 8am to 8pm
(Image credit: @crappysotong / Instagram)
Good Chance offers an opportunity to roll your own popiah. The restaurant was started in 1977 by former reporter and Singapore national basketball team coach Hou Shen Hu, who turned to the food trade when he retired. Now run by his grandson, the eatery serves a DIY popiah set in either six or 12 pieces, which comes with all the essentials for a hands-on experience.
S$21.80 for a six-piece popiah set
Tuesdays to Sundays, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Based in a prewar Joo Chiat shophouse, Kway Guan Huat has been making popiah the same way since 1938. It is now run by the founder’s third generation family members, who follow a secret recipe to make the skin paper-thin yet strong. At S$4 per piece, this is one of the more expensive popiah on this list, but it is well-stuffed and hearty. DIY popiah sets are also available to try it at home.
S$4 per popiah
Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 2pm
Old Long House dates back to 1930, and their popiah comes from a secret recipe that does not use MSG, artificial colouring, and preservatives. They also do not add pork, lard, and seafood in the turnip, which they say makes their version healthier. Instead, they spike it with heaping amounts of garlic, which brings a heady aroma to the dish.
S$1.70 to S$2 per popiah
Wednesdays to Sundays, 6.30am to 2.30pm
(Image credit: @thehungrysoulja / Instagram)
Miao Sin was founded by Ong Chin Quay along Upper Boon Keng Road in 1980, before moving to Eminent Plaza in Lavender and then to its current premises on Balestier Road. The skin is gently chewy, but supple enough to hold the juicy stuffing together. The chilli is quite mild, so ask for more if you like yours spicy.
S$2 per popiah
Thursdays to Tuesdays, 11am to 9pm
(Image credit: @singapore.lady / Instagram)
My Cosy Corner is a Peranakan cafe that has been tucked away in Coronation Plaza since 1988. The nook serves up favourites like mee siam and laksa, and many diners also come for their popiah, which bulges with ingredients. They add lard and crunchy bamboo, as well as a potent, fiery sambal.
S$2.80 per popiah
Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 6pm
Sundays, 11am to 4pm
(Image credit: @pengloh / Instagram)
One of the highlights of Sembawang Hills Food Centre, Ping Kee rolls considerable amounts of turnip, beansprouts, peanuts, egg, and dried shrimp between their popiah skins. There’s also a touch of Chinese sausage in there, bringing a sweet-savoury element to the dish.
S$1.70 to S$2 per popiah
Tuesdays to Fridays, 11.15am to 8pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 11.15am to 6pm
(Image credit: @mt_voyage / Instagram)
Qiji is a Halal-certified chain of restaurants that does local favourites including nasi lemak, mee siam, laksa, and lontong. Popiah is another of their signature, and the brand still makes the skin and sauce in-house. The dish comes in two versions, either prawn or premium with chicken.
S$3 to S$4 for two popiah
Multiple locations around Singapore
Serving just three items, this Michelin-recommended stall combines braised turnip, ground peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and julienned carrots. The dark sauce lends a sweet, tangy flavour to the dish, and cabbage brings it a distinct greenness. At S$2.80 for two rolls, it’s one of the more affordable options on this list.
S$2.80 for two popiah
Daily, 11.30am to 8.30pm
(Image credit: @dorisxiaomei / Instagram)