Sin Lee Foods – Cafe at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee Needs To Find An Edge

   

Many cafes are playing the nostalgia card; some get it, some are putting up an appearance.

Chye Seng Huat is the frontrunner, making almost everyone believing that it is a real name. Dispensary scores in décor, and that’s about it. Tian Kee & Co while lacking in the food component, makes up for it in soul.

Yes, soul. For a café, it’s really not just about coffee, food and service anymore, but marketing and soul – the feel of the place.

Sin Lee Foods was another café which joins the rank, converted from an old coffeeshop, located somewhere in Bt Ho Swee – an area more known for its Teochew restaurant and Hainanese curry rice. The only thing really nostalgic about it, is the estate and the former signboard it retained.

But it still worked to their advantage, now being one of the most popular cafe in the Jalan Bt Ho Sweet district. (But Sin Lee Foods, how come you don’t even have a FaceBook page?)

Finding the café may be tough, at the bottom of Block 4 somewhere near the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board. I see an occasional couple coming in armed navigating with google maps, already broken out in sweat, climbing up a short flight of steps.

Food wise, there is the usual assortment breakfast in the form of Big B ($18.90, scrambled eggs, bacon, mushroom ragout, sausage, russet potatoes, salad, toast), Croissant Benedict ($16.90) and a more interestingly looking Shashuka ($17.90, Moroccan baked eggs with spicy tomato sauce).

Coffee beans used are from Papa Palheta’s Throwback blend. My drink was not bad.

The Umami Brioche ($16.90) turned out to be unexpectedly delicious (had too much ‘blah’ café food of late, that’s why). The egg was runny, restfully positioned on top of creamy mushroom ragout, all on toasted brioche of paper-thin crust with fluffy texture. Bacon could be less burnt.

I did wish the food was a few dollars cheaper, if the café wanted to warrant frequent repeat visits.

Sin Lee called their Fried Chicken & Waffles ($21.90) “The One & Only”. Again, I blinked my eyes a moment, at $21.90.

To be fair, the iron waffle base was so much better than many other cafes which try too hard to push another waffle item on their menu, perhaps because one of the co-owners owns a crepe shop.

This is what I would call “delicious grub food”. The deep fried chicken leg meat laid on top, all tender and moist, could feed two hungry men. If only it was less salty. And fortunately, the house slaw at the side helped ease out the greasiness.

Other recommended items are Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries, Aburi Broccoli Salad, Beef & Grains, Soft Shell Bun, and Banana Beignets.

Service was prompt and chirpy, food and coffee above the average. I just wonder if Sin Lee Foods could do better if they had the right location, more marketing, and more soul.

Sin Lee Foods
Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-164 Singapore 162004
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9pm (Tues-Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat), 9am – 6m (Sun), 11:30am – 6pm (PH), Closed Mon

Other Related Entries
New Cafes in Singapore – 25 More Cafe Hopping Spots!
Le Halo (Jalan Bt Ho Swee)
The Tastemaker Store (Havelock Road)
Tian Kee & Co (Dakota Crescent)
Bread & Hearth (Keong Siak Street)

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19 Responses to “Sin Lee Foods – Cafe at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee Needs To Find An Edge”

  1. July 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    The food is quite expensive considering its location. The coffee machine was out of order when I was there though..

    • admin
      July 28, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

      Coffee machine out of order can’t be helped. Yes, I do feel price can be a few dollars lower, think they can afford to decrease the portions.

  2. Kyrene
    July 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    True that they may not have a facebook page, but the team is doing great on instagram! I’ve seen them comment words of thanks and appreciation on certain pictures posted by their customers which really shows their efforts to reach out to the customers!

    • admin
      July 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      I did check their instagram too – needed to find out opening hours. Not every customer has that patience.

      If they are not for survival/money, it’s fine…. with cafes opening up every other day, just have to work harder on getting brand out there.

  3. Serena
    August 3, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    Go check out The Beast. The chicken with Waffles are awesome! Very authentic southern!

  4. Janna See
    August 13, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    tried this yesterday.. very overpriced.. and the waffle was not even served hot.. for that price at that location, don't think i will be going back..

  5. Jason Wong
    August 15, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    seriously overpriced hipster bullcr*p. Trendy fools will throw their money at places like this though

  6. Val
    September 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    This place used to sell the best Lor Mee and Prawn noodles on Earth .So sad that its gone

  7. Rhapsonia
    January 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    Waffle with Fried Chix is not new. Only in SG perhaps.

  8. kk
    September 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    food a bit pricey. but we loved the salted egg sweet potato n the aburi brocolli salad. it is a small cafe n u need to be slightly patient to get seating but kudos to the waiting staff for their keeness to help customers in that respect.

  9. Jayne
    September 11, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Headed down earlier this week with my girlfriends and I must say this cafe was not worth the hype at all. Location was quite bad, but the price was worse (really overprice for the quality of food).

    Please do not even order the ‘hyped’ salted egg potate fries it was so bad. The waffle didn’t seem to be freshly made (reheat version of leftovers maybe, as it was quite bad). Commented to their staff and they just said it was done fresh out of the kitchen and couldn’t be bothered with me.

    If you posted an instagram photo with location tag and say the food was bad, the owner himself will come and comment -.-

    • admin
      September 11, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      I see. Thank you for the feedback. I wonder if the owner will come and comment here. :)

  10. Terence
    October 29, 2015 at 12:19 am #

    overpriced food at the location they are at right now. and waffle ordered by friend not very nice and not served hot. so i doubt I’ll do a second visit to the place.

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