Sin Hoi Sai Eating House is one of the few neighbourhood eateries in Singapore that offer kerbside (or curbside) dining and kerbside pickups. It has been around for years and is doing a thriving business catering to ordinary patrons who want to dine out or take prepared food home. For some reasons, it is especially popular among the expat community in the East. Perhaps it is because of the al fresco dining experience or maybe because Sin Hoi Sai Eating House is where you can get food and beer till 3.30 am in Katong.
Sin Hoi Sai Eating House occupies two shophouses along East Coast Road. The row of 4 shop houses are set back so that there is a spacious public arcade in front of the shops. Sin Hoi Sai Eating House makes full use of the arcade in front of their shops – with tables and chairs placed right up to the edge of busy East Coast Road. You can park your car within a metre of your dining table. The proximity to the main road also means that kerbside pickup service is available. You can call Sin Hoi Sai and place your order and drive up to the shop and they will bring the packed cooked food right to your car.
According to a 2011 Straits Times article, Sin Hoi Sai opened in Tiong Bahru in 1978 and the outlet opened in East Coast Road opened three years later. Madam Yap Sor Khim ran the East Coast outlet while her two sisters operated the restaurant in Tiong Bahru. It seemed that the Tiong Bahru restaurant had been taken over the by chef of that restaurant.
Sin Hoi Sai Eating House Menu
The menu of Sin Hoi Sai Eating House offers a wide variety of local zi char dishes and seafood. They update the menu with new dishes every now and then and have introduced popular dishes like salted egg prawns and marmite chicken. Here are photos of a few random pages of their menu.
Dinner at Sin Hoi Sai East Coast
We visited Sin Hoi Sai in East Coast recently for dinner. We ordered the seafood horfun ($6), prawn rolls ($8), pork ribs with black bean sauce ($8) and bean curd ($8). Chinese tea was $1 and a coconut was $4.50. I think they did not charge us for the bowl of plain rice.
The hor fun was very good with the necessary wok hei. The $6 portion was more than enough to be shared by 2 persons.
The fried prawn rolls (hae cho) did not look very good but were delicious. They had thin crispy skins and tasty fillings of minced pork and prawns with crunchy bits. With the sweet dipping sauce, they were thoroughly enjoyable.
The pork ribs with black bean sauce looked even worse than the prawn rolls. It was an interesting dish with complexity – there was a smoky flavour and a mix of savoury and spicy taste with pieces of corns and cauliflowers providing contrasting textures. The ribs were quite enjoyable with some plain steamed rice.
The bean curd was probably the best looking dishes and the taste was not bad either. The dish had a nice wok hei flavour with the bean curd having a browned crust and smooth and soft inside but with sufficiently firm texture.
Dinner at Sin Hoi Sai Eating House was a simple affair. Eating by the roadside is not glamourous and the utensils and plating reiterate the point. However Sin Hoi Sai Eating House serves good food at reasonable prices and the atmosphere is relaxed and convivial. It has a certain unique charm which makes it popular with locals and expats alike. The fact that it is open till the early hours of the morning makes it a favourite with the supper crowd; serving beer certainly helps with its popularity and perhaps the clincher is that you can bring your own wine and they don’t charge corkage.
Food : 4
Service : 3
Value : 4
Atmosphere : 2
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Sin Hoi Sai Eating House
187 East Coast Road
Tel: +65 6440 6956
Opening Hours: 5:30 pm –3:30 am