Good Chance Popiah Opens In Jalan Besar – Traditional Hokkien Dishes At Its Best!
Through Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014, I got to know more hawkers and we eventually became friends. One of them is definitely Ah Boy from Good Chance Popiah (好彩薄饼). Good Chance Popiah is founded by Mr. Hou Shen Hu in 1977. Since then, it established a reputable brand for itself which is highly recommended by both local and overseas patrons. Mr. Hou was born in Long Xi, Fu Jian Province. His culinary skill was passed down from his parent, a tradition in the family. After his retirement, second generation Mr Boon Kaichun (also known as Ah Boy) began running Good Chance Popiah Eating House. Besides the main branch in Silat Ave, they have recently opened their second branch in Jalan Besar!
An excellent roll of popiah is characterized by its thin skin and rich ingredients. According to the Hokkiens, this practice is akin to wrapping gold and silver, which is a symbol of good luck. It used to be only prepared during major festivals but now you can taste it anytime anywhere. It was said that Popiah started in the Ming Dynasty when an imperial officer was too busy writing his offical documents. His wife chopped up some ingredients, wrapped it in a flour skin and gave it to her husband. Almost all Hokkien family would know how to make popiah, just like how most households in Beijing knows how to make dumpling.
Good Chance Popiah Eating House brings back the joy of wrapping Popiah yourself. With condiments such as including ribbons of omelette, beansprouts, lettuce, coriander, chopped peanuts, sweet soy sauce, and garlic and chilli paste, wrapping popiah in brings back much nostalgia. I added some prawns and crab meat and dig in. These spring rolls offer a rich combination of textures and flavours wrapped up in the soft chewy skin. What impressed me that day was the well braised turnip where 7 different ingredients were used and it gives the popiah that sweet and savour flavour. Note that they do not sell one popiah. Instead, the minimum is 4 popiahs, which is good for sharing.
Crispy Fish Skin with Salted Egg Sauce is a great appetizer and it is so difficult to stop at just one. There is a hint of spiciness from the chilli padi and each skin still maintains its crunch. For me, I hope I have more salted egg yolk please. Yes, give me more!
For the fried items, a must-try is their Special Tofu. So how special is it? When you bite into the super soft beancurd, it gives you a familiar taste but just can’t figure out what it is until Ah Boy revealed that the tofu is made with turnip gravy and egg mixture and then deep fried to golden brown. Oh….. no wonder it is much more flavourful than the usual tofu but still retaining its smooth and silky texture.
Other items including the Prawn Paste Chicken which was deep fried a la minute. The skin is crispy with an obvious shrimp paste, but the meat was a little on the dry side that night. Perhaps the Prawn Rolls will please our better. Filled with fresh prawns, minced meat and chestnut, it is quite addictive especially with crunch chestnuts.
Whenever I visit Good Chance Popiah, two dishes will definitely appear in my ordering list. The first is definitely the popiah, while the other is this traditional bowl of Hokkien Fish Head Yam Soup. Yam is a favourite ingredient among the Hokkiens – as evident here or even in my home. The Fish Head broth is simmered over slow fire to extract the natural essence. Fresh napa cabbage and sweet yam are added in as well, which is a comforting and hearty soup especially during rainy days.
If Salted Egg Yolk Fried Fish Skin is not enough to satisfy your craving, how about having a plate of Salted Egg Yolk Lobster? This dish has lots more oomph than the previous time when I had it in Silat Ave. Each huge and juicy lobster meat is coated with salted egg yolk. The batter is crisp thin and the salted egg yolk added richness to the lobster. They meld together beautifully, sweet and savoury playing off each other.
Another must-have dish when you are in a Hokkien restaurant is the Stewed Pork with steamed buns (kong ba pao) with glistening slices of pork belly. The meat has been braised for hours to create that melt-in-your-mouth textures. Every meat has a good proportions of lean and fat meats which render every bite soft yet still retaining the meaty depth of texture. The braised yam was a good addition to the belly pork.
We ended the night with Braised Pork Trotter Beehoon that is homely and simple, but with great flavour and taste. The rice noodles are braised in pig’s trotter broth that fully absorb the flavours. Good Chance is definitely a place to bring my family here for gathering.
Good Chance Popiah (好彩薄饼)
Address: New World Centre, 1 Jalan Berseh #01-15, Singapore 209037
Tel: 9622 9445
Opening Hours: 1130am to 930pm daily
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