Those of us who grew up with Bananarama may remember the Warehouse disco along Havelock Road. The building had been thoroughly refurbished and is now a swanky hotel known as The Warehouse Hotel. Po Restaurant is located on the ground floor. I heard a rumour that the popiah there was worth trying and so we made a trip down to the Po Restaurant at Warehouse Hotel to check it out.
The new Warehouse Hotel lobby bar is an attractive place to have a drink or two. The Po Restaurant is at one side of the lobby. It is a small restaurant, tastefully furnished.
Po Restaurant Menu
Here are pictures of some pages from the Po Restaurant Menu. The menu contains familiar local dishes, with nice descriptions and at hotel restaurant prices. The popiah seems to be the signature dish at this restaurant. There is even a 8-step instruction sheet on popiah making. We decided to have the prawn popiah platter ($38) and a Kurobuta char siew ($19).
A complimentary dish of ar char was served after the orders were taken. It was nice – very crunchy and not too sour.
The popiah platter was the next item to be served. The presentation was very well done. The main items were served in three large bamboo baskets – the popiah skins at the bottom, bean sprouts in the middle and the shredded eggs, sauces and other condiments were in the top basket. The main filling of cooked mang kwang (turnip), small prawns, bamboo shoots etc were served in a small claypot. Four large prawns were served, sliced in half lengthwise.
Each platter comes with four popiah skins and the quantity of everything else was calculated to be enough for four rolls of popiah. With the price of $38++, that worked out to be about $10 per piece.
Popiah Making at Po Restaurant
Now I will show you my handiwork. The popiah skins were very good. They were soft yet sufficiently tough to withstand our inept handing without breaking. Which means that the responsibility for the appearance of the final product is entirely mine.
This was how my first creation looked before I started the wrapping.
This is a picture of my first popiah at Po Restaurant. The diameter of popiah looked correct but I was unable to tuck in the ends nicely.
After our first round, we realised that we had under-utilised the ingredients, which meant that the last two popiah skins would have to be stuffed with more filling. In other words we had to make our second roll much bigger. There was no way I could tuck in the two ends.
This was how my second popiah looked like with open ends. It was as long as the diameter of a dinner plate, larger and uglier than the first one. Two popiah per person should be adequate for a light lunch. The taste of the filing was good but not exceptional.
The Kurobuta char siew is another glammed up local dish. We were impressed by this dish. The meat was tender and had a good taste. The surface was nicely charred and had the right balance of sweetness. There were small parts of fat but they were spread out. I would like to experiment with having thin slices of this char siew in the popiah on our next visit.
Overall, even though my Po Restaurant popiah turned out ugly, it was entirely due to my two left hands. $10 is a lot of money to spend on popiah, but it is probably a fair price to have it served so nicely and in a beautiful setting. We like the Po Restaurant popiah, but I cannot say that it was love in the first degree
Which is the best popiah I have eaten? That must be the one that was served at Mdm C’s place a few years ago (read about it here). If she is reading this post, please invite us again soon!
Parking at Warehouse Hotel: There are only a few parking spaces at the side of Warehouse Hotel. A valet is on site to assist with parking. When we were there, there were a few lots still available and parking was free – a rare thing in Singapore these days.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
320 Havelock Road
The Warehouse Hotel
Singapore 169628 Map
Mon-Sun: 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog