Sinpopo Brand Cafe

July 12, 2014 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Sinpopo Brand Cafe
458 Joo Chiat Road


Nostalgic Cafe With Decadent Desserts

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $14 per person.


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What's in a name? Plenty, if the name is Sinpopo, a notoriously sleazy 1960s night club along Joo Chiat. Although it closed in the 80s, the name has been resurrected and given a squeaky clean makeover with Sinpopo Brand Cafe, a retro cool cafe styled after a 1970s coffee shop. With decor, food, and desserts that have been painstakingly researched and recreated by the people behind Awfully Chocolate, Sinpopo Brand Cafe evokes memories of days past, and is a draw for both young and old alike.

The 1970s nostalgia ambience at Sinpopo Brand Cafe begins with its reto signage and 1970s Sharp brand sliding door television. Retro posters created by in-house designers adorn the walls, old vinyl records and other antiques like a rotary dial telephone are placed around the interior, and even the floor tiles, authentic 1970s doors, enamel and metal cutlery were sourced. The curated items even include period Chinese music which plays in the background! The only sign of modernity... air conditioning which keeps the place cool!

Service at Sinpopo Brand Cafe is semi self-service. Refer to the old-school exercise books for the menu, check off the items you want on a small paper menu chit with a 2B pencil, place orders and make payment at the cashier counter, styled to look like a coffee shop drink stall. The upbeat and friendly staff will serve orders to your table when ready... which is quite fast even during peak periods. Good! But don't expect too much conversation from staff, though they can make recommendations.

Half the menu at Sinpopo Brand Cafe focuses on retro, classic Singaporean food, the other half features classic Singaporean desserts, given a modern twist. I feel the desserts stand out more, because Sinpopo Brand Cafe has taken creative liberties with classic desserts, giving some a surprising twist, or showcasing it in different ways. Their desserts tend towards the sweeter side though. The food is generally tasty and hearty, but with some hits and some misses.

Portions at Sinpopo Brand Cafe are generally quite large, and more then sufficient for one person, although I recommend sharing their dishes. Prices at Sinpopo Brand Cafe are cafe-esque, costing an average of SGD $9 or so per main dish, and SGD $6 or so per dessert. This tends to polarize people, some love the high quality and creative food / desserts, while others complain they can get cheaper versions from elsewhere. Personally, I feel the price is rather justified for the quality of food and the ambience.


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The retro-cool decor is surprisingly comfortable and clean, giving a chill, relaxing vibe. Perfect for groups, couples, or lone diners!

Sinpopo Brand Cafe Exterior


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Interior


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Cashier


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Seating



Antiques from a bygone era, were painstakingly source and curated. The fantastic ambience here attracts an eclectic mix of families, elderly couples, students, hipsters, affluent office workers, tourists, and even beggers! (One actually came into the shop to ask for money)

Sinpopo Brand Cafe Television


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Contact


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Tins


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Posters


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Menu 01


Sinpopo Brand Cafe Menu 02



The Fried Chicken Wings were extremely good, with a tasty, flavouful batter that seems to be seasoned with Chinese 5-spice powder. The chicken meat within is tender and still moist, not dry, and best of all, not oily! Love the satisfying crunch of the batter!

Fried Chicken Wings



The Sambal Fishballs (SGD $5.90) were a bit of a let down for me. The fishballs were properly cooked and still had that bouncy, springy texture. The sambal though, was actually not spicy at all, being more savoury instead, from the usage of anchovies and onions. Found myself wondering why people would want to takeaway bottles of non-spicy sambal.

Sambal Fishballs



The Sng Muay Pop (SGD $3.90) is a refreshing fizzy soda drink made with Sprite, fresh calamansi, and sour plum ice balls which melt to release the slightly sour, tangy flavour into the sweet and sour drink. Loved it!

Sng Muay Pop



The Chin Chow With Attap Chee (SGD $4.90) has chunks of cooling chin chow grass jelly, over a bowl of finely shaved ice. The attap chee / attap seeds are perfectly cooked and soft, lovely to eat. But perhaps the most surprising twist was the addition of lychee jelly balls, which pop in the mouth to release a delicious, fruity burst of flavour which coats everything in its sweetness. Excellent!

Chin Chow With Attap Chee



The Gula Melaka Soft Jelly (SGD $4.90) features gula melaka palm sugar jelly, also known as dodol, cooked till silky soft and smooth, almost like soy beancurd smooth! The addition of coconut milk help to cut through the sweetness of this dessert, but I recommend sharing, because the portion is a lot for 1 person!

Gula Melaka Soft Jelly



The Chendol (SGD $3.90) is done in the Singaporean style, with chendol jelly, red beans, coconut milk, and gula melaka palm sugar syrup over shaved ice. Cooling and refreshing, albeit a little on the sweet side, which lingers in the mouth.

Chendol




Reserve a table now @ Sinpopo Brand Cafe






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