Another (not so new) addition to the Tiong Bahru cafe scene has got to be Sin Lee Foods. Unlike the other hipster cafes in Tiong Bahru, Sin Lee Foods is located at a much quieter, less well-known area underneath a HDB flat at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. Yet you will be surprised to find a crowd of people almost filling all the tables indoors, each table bearing their signature items that keep the hipsters visiting.
Not a fan of broccoli at all (I know I know…), so I skipped the Aburi Broccoli Salad ($12) that my friend had. So I’m relating her words over here: “Best broccoli I’ve ever eaten.” With their unique way of preparing this dish – the florets are smoky torched and tossed with white balsamic and papadum – I can somewhat imagine how good it must be for a broccoli lover. It smells nothing like the usual broccoli too.
You might notice that they offer truffle fries on the menu… skip that, and opt for the Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12) instead. As if sweet potato fries aren’t tasty enough on their own already, these are served with their house made salted duck’s egg sauce. The sauce tends to be heavy and on the salty side, but the combination of it with the sweet from the potato fries is fantastic. This is equally, if not more addictive than truffle fries. If only I can have a second helping.
As for my own main course, I had the beautifully plated Beef & Grains ($24) after fighting the dilemma between it and the fried chicken on waffles. Accompanied by a fried and runny sunny side up was no doubt the star of the dish – the 180gm marbled striploin. I was amazed at how it was seared to a nice pink. Texture-wise, it may be a little touch to chew it completely. Underneath the beef and egg was wet orzo “rice”, which is actually a type of pasta shaped like large rice grains. On top of it all is furikake, a dry Japanese seasoning, which is sprinkled all over the dish. I just thought that they may have used too much sauce for the orzo which made it soggy and overly salty.
Overall, the food served here is not without room for improvement but it’s impressive how they handle the fusion of ingredients from various sources such that the dish turns out unique and palatable at the same time. I also liked how the cafe has retained a nostalgic feel – you’ll know it when you see it.
Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
Tues to Fri 10am – 9pm