Sin Lee’s storefront.
Sin Lee Foods is yet another place that has taken over an old establishment, turning it into a modern cafe. Just like Tian Kee & Co., the place retained the old establishment name & signboard. Both were featured in the Sunday paper a while back, which gave a sudden boost in popularity to both newly opened cafes. Sin Lee used to be an iconic coffee shop, famous for selling prawn noodles & Lor Mee.
Inside the cafe.
Alfresco seating of Sin Lee.
The unique thing about Sin Lee Foods is not only their name, but their locale in Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. Just like Tian Kee & Co., the neighbourhood feels quite nostalgic which make it seem somewhat odd to have such a modern cafe that is geared towards the younger generation here.
The old coffee shop has been transformed into a cafe, with half of the space dedicated to the kitchen & the other half for seats. You’ll be able to find more seats on the outside; a quiet place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the late afternoon or night. Like most “hip” cafes, Sin Lee went with a raw industrial look for it’s interior. The walls & ceiling of the place are more unfinished then usual, with the brick wall exposed & the column stripped of it’s outer layer. Hipsters will probably drool over the raw interior, but unfortunately for me, all I see is an unfinished wall.
The mood lighting & latest Pop/Indie music playing in the cafe does elevate the atmosphere & keep things more for the younger generation which I liked. Of course, all I noticed around the old estate were elderlies. I even saw an elderly gentleman walk pass Sin Lee before stopping to glance inside. I went on a weekday afternoon & the place was quite empty, so best to visit them then.
A large piece of artwork at the back involving washed-out Chinese calendars & mini-figurines.
I didn’t read the description on the side though, so I’m not really sure what this all means.
Food & drinks menu of Sin Lee.
The young chefs/owners of Sin Lee Foods are Sean Lim & Jerraldine Chen, with past experience from famous restaurants such as Guy Savoy & Les Amis. The cafe offers up dishes like the Croissant Benedict, Big B, waffles & starters, like the ever-popular Truffle Fries. They also have Spam Fries, which I was highly tempted to order, until I reminded myself that it was just Spam. Unfortunately, you won’t find any prawn noodles here, and while most people find that disappointing, I didn’t think much of it. (Why would you go to a cafe for prawn noodles anyway?)
Prices for Sin Lee Foods tend to be higher than average. The prices here reminds me of Symmetry, though I do feel that it is definitely a tad too high for a neighbourhood cafe. Mains are all hovering around 16 dollars. Well, at least there isn’t any service fees or GST.
Hot Chocolate ($5.50) As usual, I chose to go with hot chocolate instead of coffee. It was good, nice & thick chocolate taste.
Croissant Benedict ($16.90)
Streaky Bacon, Soft Centered Hen’s Eggs, Lemon Hollandaise, Arugula, Parmesan Salad
The common denominator for every cafe I visit would be Eggs Benedict. I’ll ALWAYS order it whenever it is offered.
I really loved the taste of this dish. Having tried so many Eggs Benedict, I welcome the change to croissants instead. They were really crispy on the outside while soft & flaky on the inside. Just delicious. I found myself scraping up every last crumb.
Umami Brioche ($16.90)
Toasted Brioche, Sauteed Spinach, Mushroom Ragout, Fried Runny Hen’s Egg, Roasted Russet Potatoes
Umami is a Japanese term for “Pleasant, savoury taste” and is usually considered the “Fifth taste”.
On my first bite, it didn’t do much for me. However, I was so very wrong after subsequent bites. Even though this was pretty simple, it was really delicious to my surprise. The brioche tasted good and the Mushroom Ragout had a slight bitterness that gave the dish a really nice kick.
Sin Lee’s Fried Chicken & Waffles ($21.90)
Juicy Boneless Chicken Leg, Cheddar Iron Waffles, House Slaw, Melted Maple Butter
Considered to the “The One & Only”, this is a must-try at Sin Lee. The price is definitely a stunner, but it’s nothing I’ve never seen before. (Check out my review for The Beast)
I was definitely impressed with the size of the chicken when it was served. Overall, it tasted pretty great. My companion mentioned that she would have preferred the waffle to be more fluffy on the inside, but I found it to be just right. She was eating all the elements separately, which I could not comprehend. She also found it odd that there was coleslaw on the waffle. I thought otherwise, I loved the slaw. The maple butter was awesome as well. Obviously, you HAVE to eat all of it together! That’s what makes it so delicious, when you take a bite of the chicken, waffle, slaw & maple butter, all at once. Eat it the right way and you won’t be disappointed.
Mini Doughnuts ($8.90)
With Marshmallow sauce & Apple Jelly Dips
Out of all the reviews that I’ve read for Sin Lee, not one made any mention of their doughnuts. Since I already had a variation of their waffles, I decided to go with their doughnuts for dessert.
It did take some time for it to be prepared, and I was getting slightly impatient…. until it was served & I popped one of the doughnuts into my mouth. It was well WORTH the wait! The doughnuts were freshly fried upon order which explained the waiting time. They were SO soft & delicate. If you held one in-between your fingers, you’ll probably crush it. It was really light & fluffy.
The dips for that day were apple jelly & marshmallow sauce, which tasted fantastic with the doughnuts. Together with the apple jelly, they tasted like warm apple pie. The marshmallow sauce? Addictive.
These little doughnuts were pure Heaven and I felt that whoever visited Sin Lee & didn’t try them, had made a huge mistake. Having been to so many cafes, this pretty much blew me away. Highly highly recommended.
An overall shot of the main dishes.
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
I really like Sin Lee, it’s a great nostalgic cafe with fantastic food. Though the prices for their food is definitely a tad steep, Sin Lee is worth checking out at least once. Hopefully they’ll reduce the prices a little, which would make Sin Lee near perfect. Go during a weekday afternoon as they’re probably crowded on weekends. (I do find it odd that they still do not have a proper Facebook page.) If I ever head back to Sin Lee, I’ll definitely order the Mini Doughnuts again. They’re just way way way too good. (But sadly, horrible for my waistline.)
SIN LEE FOODS
Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-164, Singapore 162004
(Nearest train station: Tiong Bahru)
Tue – Sun: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm