The Singapore food version of a burrito or crepe, popiah is a comfort food you can find in most hawker centres. These are the best popiah in Singapore as picked by the team
While the Vietnamese have their spring rolls, the French their crepes, and the Mexicans their burritos, Singapore has its very own popiah. A simple Singapore dish you can find freshly prepared in most hawker centres, a popiah is a flour-skin wrap packed with vegetarian-friendly ingredients such as stewed turnip, fresh cabbage and carrots, ground peanuts (sometimes, with prawns and chopped eggs), and mixed with a sweet chilli sauce. It’s cheap, perfect for sharing, and surprisingly filling – making popiah a comfort food that most locals (and expats, as you’ll find out) love in Singapore. The team shares their fave popiah haunts; here are seven stalls to get you started.
Kate Reynolds – Fortune Food
I’m not a popiah purist, so my choice goes to the chicken wasabi popiah from the Fortune Food stall, located within FoodRepublic at the i12 Katong Mall. It’s just the right mix of crunch and mild spice – delish!
Fortune Food, #04-01 Food Republic, i12 Katong, 112 East Coast Road, Singapore 428802, p. 6243 2118.
Aliff Tee – Ann Chin Popiah
Where else can you find freshly-made skins right in front of your eyes in Singapore? Be mesmerised as you watch the chef skillfully press a big ball of dough onto hot pans. Also, let your taste buds go wild with the well-balanced ingredients, also tightly packed by the “auntie’s” seasoned hands.
Ann Chin Popiah, #02-112 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335.
Lindene Cleary – Lao Chen Carrot Cake, Popiah
The ladies at Tiong Bahru Market do a mean popiah. Maybe I’m just loyal because it was the first one I tried in Singapore (and it’s the first stall you see when you get off the escalator), but it’s still my fave. A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and just so damn tasty.
Lao Chen Carrot Cake, Popiah, #02-83 Tiong Bahru Market, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898.
Kevin Ho – Auntie Rojak
A trip to the sleepy suburb of Siglap normally entails trendy cafes, neighbourhood restaurants and supper-friendly bars, but it also happens to be my go-to hangout for a freshly-rolled popiah. Nestled within the LTN Food Village, Auntie Rojak (doesn’t get more homely than that!) always attracts queues with their signature popiah – packed generously with gravy-soaked turnips, crunchy cabbage and carrots, and ground peanuts. And though I’m weak when it comes to spices, the sweet chilli sauce here is impossible to resist.
Auntie Rojak, LTN 936 Food Village, 936 East Coast Road, Singapore 459129, p. 9237 6650.
Nafeesa Saini – Rojak, Popiah & Cockle
Let me start with this preface: I’m not much of a popiah fan. But on the occasion that I have a severe craving for it, I head to Maxwell Food Centre ’s only popiah stall, which serves up a rather delectable version. Think soft skins and crunchy fillings with an addictive spicy-sweet sauce.
Rojak, Popiah & Cockle, #01-56 Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184.
Hazirah Rahim – Qi Ji
Order the Prawn popiah with chilli! I think what makes this popiah stand out is that potent sambal. The homemade popiah skin is chewy, and not too dry. Every slice you have is packed with crunchy stewed turnips, sweet and spicy sambal, crispy fried bits, and of course, a generous amount of fresh prawns.
Selina Altomonte – Stall #24 at Lau Pa Sat
Some may be horrified, but I really dig the popiah at Lau Pa Sat… from the stall that doubles as a rojak, wings and pizza joint (shush now, food snobs: the prawn sambal pizza is pretty darn good too). The popiah here is fresh, nicely plump, and yes, I go for extra garlic! This hidden find has no name, so just look out for the stall number or the sign that reads “PIZZA”!
Stall #24 Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582.