Hello Hungry People! Meet our new Makan Kaki, William Seah! He’s the co-owner of The Wine and Gourmet Friends, a new wine bar serving up Asian Tapas and delicious drinks at Bukit Pasoh Road. In this week’s episode, we chat to William about his new F&B venture, his foray into the wine business (can you believe he used to be severely allergic to alcohol?) and of course, we talk about what he likes to eat. After all the Chinese New Year Feasting, Popiah seems like a nice, light respite… unless you like yours the way William does – full of extra Lup Cheong (Chinese Sausage)! Being a Hokkien born & bred, William grew up celebrating Chinese New Year with homemade Popiah, painstakingly made from scratch & with love by his parents. Till this day, they still celebrate the festive period with Popiah, so you could say William KNOWS good Popiah! That’s why he was delighted to discover a renowned Popiah place in Bukit Merah, because theirs tastes just like his family’s Popiah and really activates those childhood taste memories…
- Click to listen/ download podcast of William introducing us to his winebar.
- Click to listen/ download podcast of William’s switch from TCM to the wine business and also how he approaches wine and food.
- Click to listen/ download podcast of Williams’ Popiah recommendation.
William loves the popiah here at Good Chance Popiah because it tastes just like his family’s, authentically Hokkien and a third generation family-run business, whose youngest members have now taken over and are extremely friendly and helpful – be sure to look for brother and sister duo Kai Chun & Kivi who are only too happy to show you how to make the perfect popiah!
Everything comes together so well, thanks to what William believes is the most important ingredient – the veggie filling. Beautifully seasoned and rich in depth of flavour, the bang kwang (jicama) is flavourful and binds everything together. Cabbage, Turnip, Carrot, Bamboo Shoot, Leek, Dried Tofu, French Bean and dried shrimp are used to make their beautifully braised filling. From there, you can add whatever topping you please, in whatever quantities to create a Popiah to suit your tastes.
For William, who is a self-confessed carnivore, his ultimate Popiah is assembled first of all, with a large lettuce leaf on the thin Popiah skin, then sweet sauce is slathered on the lettuce. This is to prevent the skin from being weakened and getting soggy from the sauce, because who wants a Popiah that disintegrates when you pick it up? Next comes the tasty filling, the lots and lots of Chinese Sausage, Prawn, egg and another layer sweet sauce before rolling it up and devouring.
What about garlic and chilli? For William, he’s not terribly fond of spice because it may affect the taste of the wines he says are a must for pairing with Popiah. In his expert advice, don’t put too much chilli or garlic because wines tend to amplify the spiciness of food. Williams recommends enhancing your eating experience by drinking a wine white or light red with just enough fresh and sharp acidity. He likes an Oak Chardonnay from Margaret River in Australia or a Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand.
If Popiah is not enough to satisfy your rumbling bellies, Good Chance also has several other excellent dishes on their menu you don’t want to miss. William enjoys adding Hae Cho (fried prawn rolls), Har Cheong Gai (Prawn Paste Chicken) and Oyster Omelet to his Popiah Feast!
Good Chance Popiah (Bukit Merah Branch)
Blk 49 Silat Ave, #01-58, S(160149)
Open Tues – Sun: 11am-2.30pm; 6pm-9.30pm (Closed Mon)
Tel: +65 62710698