Unique Nonya style popiah

By Dr Leslie Tay
1 February 2012 2:00 PM Updated 01 Feb 2012

Unique Nonya style popiah

Rating: 4/5

Although popiah originated from China, we have a variant that is unique to us or at least amongst the Peranakans living along the Malayan Straits. When you first eat this version of the popiah at Glory Catering, you might not take to it because it is slightly different from the ones we are used to. For one, they don't use the fried crunchy bits and secondly, they use freshly ground chilli instead of the chilli sauce in a typical Hokkien popiah.

This particular Nonya style popiah has another interesting feature. The skin is not your typical popiah skin which is made by throwing a ball of dough onto a hot plate and retrieving it. This one uses an egg skin that is made from a batter, much like a crepe. Apparently this is an old style of making popiah skin that is all but disappearing. The texture is more tender, like the skin of kueh dah dah and is less dry than the common popiah skin.

Personally, I still prefer the Hokkien one because I like the chewy dry skin as well as lot of crunchy bits in my roll. However, I do know that there are many others out there who would swear by this version. Whatever your preference, this is perhaps one of the most unique popiahs on our island, so I think it is one which you need to try for yourself.

Glory Catering has been around for a long time and besides the popiah, they serve nasi padang style dishes in their restaurant together with a splattering of Nonya or Nonya-inspired dishes. It's family run and it feels like it. We tried some of their other stuff like the cendol. Again, I wasn't overly thrilled with it. When eating cendol, I always look out for the pale green homemade cendol as well as sweetened kidney beans. Both were missing, although the coconut milk and gula melaka were rich and thick.

I don't know of any other places that are still selling this style of popiah. That alone should be enough to lure any popiah lover to try it out. I think it is an acquired taste. If you remember having it as a kid, you probably would love it. If not, you probably would feel like I did.

Glory Catering

139 East Coast Road

Tel: 63441749

Opening hours: 8.30am-8.30pm, off on every Monday except public holidays

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