IT'S PART OF OUR HISTORY
WE'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT POPIAH
"The way they (Kway Guan Huat Original Joo Chiat Popiah) make popiah skin is very different. The texture of the popiah skin is thin, elastic, and chewy. The feeling – after eating it is great satisfaction. And the popiah fillings are very complete"
– Mark Lee Guo Huang, MediaCorp artiste on Channel 8's documentary on Heritage Hawkers, 2007
"The quality of Kway Guan Huat popiah skin is excellent. The popiah skins are of a consistent thickness and you don't get torn skins. The quality is dependable. That is why we've been using their popiah skins for over 20 years!"
– Owner of Haocai Popiah restaurant
"Every popiah skin is a labour of love"
– Zita Quek, second generation owner of Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie
Keepers of Popiah Making Tradition
POPIAH runs deep in the Quek family who owns the famous Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie shop house restaurant at 95, Joo Chiat Road.
The Quek siblings grew up watching their father wake up as early as dawn to prepare the day's popiah dough. After school, the patriach of the family would teach the boys the skills of making paper-thin popiah skin. Many gruelling lessons and failed attempts later, they finally mastered the techniques of mixing, twisting, and swirling the dough by hand until it was of the right texture and thickness.
The girls, on the other hand, learnt the art of preparing scrumptious Nonya popiah fillings from their Peranakan mother. During the 1940s to 1970s, the entire Quek clan would gather on festival days such as Ching Ming and Chinese New Year, also nicknamed as "popiah days," to prepare their famous handmade popiah. They would then present lusciously wrapped popiah rolls as offerings to their ancestors. No one makes better popiah skin
No other place in Singapore makes popiah skin that is so softy, chewy, resilient, and paper-thin as Kway Guan Huat Original Joo Chiat Popiah.
The family-run popiah skin maker - located in a humble two-storey, pre-war shop house – has been making popiah skin for over 70 years. For older Peranakans and long-time residents of Joo Chiat, Katong and the East Coast - Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah is a name synonymous with the best popiah skin in Singapore.
Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah's rich food heritage is included in the National Heritage Board's historical food trail.
Preserving Singapore's Food Heritage
What sets Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah apart from other popiah skin manufacturers is its commitment to preserve Singapore's food heritage.
This famous Joo Chiat popiah skin maker still uses the same traditional method of making its special popiah dough - and the same closely guarded popiah skin recipe handed down from their forefathers.
Popiah skin masters at Kway Guan Huat continue to mix and churn the popiah dough the old-fashioned way - by hand and with a wooden pole; the way their forefathers did in Anxi, Fujian province. The electric dough mixer is used only when they can't cope with demand.
The craft of making traditional popiah skin is a fast vanishing trade.
Not only is it a difficult skill to master, it is a painstakingly slow, tiring and laborious process.
Be there on weekend mornings to watch the popiah skin masters at Kway Guan Huat make their famous popiah skin - the good old-fashioned way.