Hubby held a potluck gathering at home for office colleagues yesterday. It was a popiah and pizza party on our part. Initially we wanted to get the DIY popiah supplies from the famed Kway Guan Huat at Joo Chiat. But we were a bit stunned by the exhorbitant price of S$37 per set (8-12 rolls, and some people only get 6-8 rolls out of it as they roll too thickly, says the shoplady). We'd need 3-4 sets for our purposes (S$111-S$148). Hmm, that's some premium popiah, considering S$40 can buy you Peking Duck already.
With that in perspective, I started hunting for alternatives. I saw a recommendation from renowned foodie umami for Benny of 968 Popiah at Balestier. She says he is the best there is. I also saw a good review at HungryGoWhere. A much more reasonable $30 for 25 rolls with two days advance notice. We put in an order for 40 rolls to be safe. He doesn't do delivery but neither does Kway Guan Huat which also oddly requested us to bring our own large pot for the turnip filling.
Turns out Benny is very generous with his portions! The popiah is not too bad, quite tasty. The turnip filling is fresh and very sweet, and the crispy fried fish batter is a savoury alternative to the usual crushed peanuts. Chinese sausage is not included in the package but we added our own. Beware the killer sambal chili - it really does pack in a lot of heat!
For the pizza, we went with Rite Pizza because they really give a lot of cheese. Plus it's halal (we had one Muslim guest).
Unfortunately, this time round the pizzas we chose seemed less impressive. Yes, lots of toppings and ingredients drowned in cheese but everything tasted a bit bland somehow.
Anyway, I think we had too much food in the end - pizzas were huge and popiahs probably enough for over 60 rolls, even using double skins. It was popiah for breakfast, lunch and dinner today, and there's still MORE we don't know what to do with! But you know what, I'm still not sick of it. If it wasn't so filling, I would eat more.
Lam Cheong Eating House
312 Balestier Road
Contact Benny at tel: 9648-9350
RITE PIZZA (see earlier post for contact details)