Popiah or Spring Roll has a long history. Various sources trace the origin of spring rolls to third century China. According to Singapore infopedia, Popiah (meaning “thin pancake” in Teochew) as we know it in Singapore has its roots in Fujian Province where it was eaten during spring (unsurprisingly) when there was an abundance of vegetables. Over time, it has become a tradition to welcome the start of the spring festival by eating spring rolls or chun juan (春卷). In Singapore today, although spring roll is especially popular during Chinese New Year, popiah is eaten throughout the year, since we do not have spring anyway. A place where we can enjoy the traditional Fujian popiah any day of the year is Good Chance Popiah Eating House, a family restaurant with a heirloom recipe passed down the generations.
Foong Kee Coffee Shop at Keong Saik Road is one of the several local food establishments that hold their own against more upmarket and Michelin-starred neighbours in this part of Chinatown Singapore. Their reputation of being a place for the best wanton mee in Singapore means that it is best to visit at an offpeak time of the day.
Bukit Pasoh is a fascinating area between New Bridge Road and Neil Road with conservation shophouses of the Transitional and Art Deco styles. Along Bukit Pasoh Road there is an interesting book shop called 草根書室 Grassroots Book Room, which carries predominantly Chinese titles. At the back of the book shop is a small cafe with an intriguing name. The cafe in a bookstore at Bukit Pasoh is named Katasumi Koohii 一隅珈琲.
Coconut Club moved into new and bigger premises up the road – 28 Ann Siang Road in early August 2019. I think it is still not big enough. Coconut Club is a famous nasi lemak restaurant that caught the attention of Singapore and international foodies when it was reported as the restaurant where PM Lee Hsien Loong hosted visiting Philipines President Duterte for lunch. It is listed as a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the Singapore Michelin Guide 2018.