I first knew Sin Hoe Huat as a kopi-roti stall at Sembawang Hills hawker center since my family often visits there for breakfast and lunch. In fact, it has been around since the 1960s and this family business is now helmed by the third generation of owners, according to what's been written on its website.
It even won the 2008 CityGas Hawker Hunt for the Best Kopi & Roti. But it is only recently that I learnt about its cafe at Jalan Besar where they sell local food like laksa and thus I decided to check it out with my folks on a Sunday evening.
The space is very much like a retro cafe designed with all the elements that bring you back to the 60s or 70s era. There's a section where you can even scoop some complementary old-school cookies like the cream crackers and the colorful jewel icing cookies. Call it hipster but its not overly done. The price range is similar to the those from a food court but the quality is actually pretty good, or at least better than Coffee Hive and Straits Coffee. The main dishes are available from 10am as ala carte or as a set with a drink for $7.90. The Mee Siam ($6.90) came with readily squeezed lime juice that made the dish extra appetizing and tasty. The gravy wasn't too sweet at all and had the right balance of acidity and spiciness. It leans more towards the Malay style rather than the Nyona style as barely any coconut milk was added. My mum and I loved our Mee Siam this way as the flavors are sharper and less jelat. The Laksa ($6.90) was rich and fragrant, especially if you mixed in all the sambal chilli and transformed it into a pool of red. A more generous dose of laksa leaves will definitely enhance the aroma.
It won't be a complete kopi-roti experience without the eggs and I'm totally impressed by the half-boiled eggs here. My wild guess is that they either use super fresh eggs or a premium type of eggs (maybe even both) because the eggs were perfectly cooked to the dot--the whites were not too runny while the yolks had a slight viscous texture that set it a notch above the usual kopitiam eggs or even Onsen eggs. I hope they can maintain this consistency.
Meanwhile, all the three types of toasts I had were excellently toasted with the ideal ratio of butter and Kaya (of course I won't mind more butter and Kaya but theirs were quite sufficient already) If you like something more unique and different, go for the crusty French Baguette or Signature Emperor Bun. I appreciated the fact that the toasts are really toasted to a state where the bread shatters into crumbs; crisp but not tough or hard. Trust me, toasts might sound like so basic but I've encountered stale chewy versions elsewhere that totally destroyed your mood.
Everyone in the family gave the Har Cheong Gai ($9.90/5pcs) full thumbs up because those wings were crispy, piping hot and full of umami goodness. A little pricy for 5 wings but I guessed that's the norm for cafe food these days. This is definitely a must try for all har Cheong Gai fans out there.
The MeePok Madness ($12.90) is Sin Hoe Huat's unique creation with a top secret sauce and a soft boiled egg on top. It looked so deceivingly plain and dull but a quick toss soon revealed its true spicy colors. The egg and sauce mixture coated the noodles strand and created such a pleasant slimy effect that unknowingly encouraged us to slurp on and on. Some might find it a little bland compared to the average Mee Pok but the seasoning was just right for me. The only thing I didn't quite understand was the sheer amount of minced meat that stuck together in clumps.
Good to know that this place opens till late night 1am and even 3am on certain days. Probably won't return since the kopi stall at Sembawang is nearer to my house. But if you are looking for a quick fix or late night supper place in that vicinity, this place is a good option to consider.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays 6am till 1pm
2. 383 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209001
+65 6291 8011
Open daily 7am till 1am