Located at the foot of a HDB block in the Bukit Ho Swee estate is Sin Lee Foods. It is one of the newer entrants to the retro indie cafe scene in Singapore. But I’m not complaining. Sin Lee serves up pretty decent cups of coffee and its proximity to home makes it all the merrier.
The coffee, while nothing mind-blowing, is always served with a meticulously done up latte art. Perfect for Instagram. If memory serves, they use blends roasted by Papa Pahleta.
The only dish on the menu that I’ve tried, which I hear was recently revamped, is the Sin Lee Fried Chicken & Waffle. Make no mistake, at S$21.90, it definitely was not cheap.
Before you start thinking, “hey…..deep fried chicken and waffles?”, it’s actually a common American soul dish. That was what I learnt from a Wikipedia article anyway.
Being Sin Lee Food’s signature item on the menu, the dish has all the marks of a stellar cafe-style dish. The chicken was fried to a crisp exterior while its meat retaining its tender texture. The batter was rather pleasant to the taste. A drizzle of the caramel sauce blends both chicken and waffle rather well.
Besides the usual cafe suspects (think: big breakfast sets and egg dishes), a dish that stood out on the menu was beef and grains (S$23) (180gm marbled stripling roasted, served pink on a bed of wet grains “orzo”, fried and runny hen’s egg). For those with a sweet tooth, you are not left alone – one of which piqued by curiosity – Waffle served with chocolate sauce and dark caramel with artisan Italian gelato (S$13)
A quick Google search on the name “Sin Lee” led me to an article that was printed on the Business Times about the rejuvenation of the Havelock estate.
Sin Lee Coffeeshop, a famous lor mee and prawn mee stall whose elderly operators retired in January this year (2014), after a half-century of running the business.
Now, this is a cafe with a history; even if history referred to the name and signboard!
This is one cafe that I will re-visit (and have). This cafe does not charge 10% service charge or GST at its prevailing rates (currently 7%). That said, prices at this cafe seem to be on the high side.
P.S. The owners are quite active on their Instagram feed.
Sin Lee Foods
Block 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
#01-164 (at the corner)
Tel: +65 6377 3170