After chronicling a year of blogging, I finally decided to start writing about my conversations with laudable chefs and F&B business owners. My inaugural post is owing to Sean Lim, the young (did I mention that he’s only 25 this year) and talented chef at Sin Lee Foods where he reveals his personal and professional life to me.
About Sin Lee Foods
Sin Lee Foods is a charming neighbourhood cafe converted from an old coffee shop at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. The cafe has been consistently upping its brunch game and menu, offering scrumptious offbeat dishes which are unique and only the one-of-its-kind that will make an impression.
Standout dishes include “the one and only” Sin Lee’s Fried Chicken & Waffles, Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries and the Aburi Broccoli Salad. My favourite dishes here are Beef & Grains, Mentaiko Crab Mantou and the newly introduced Durian Waffle.
About The Owner & Chef – Sean Lim
Why did you decide to enter the culinary world?
It was largely due to self driven passion. I was highly aware of scents, flavours and tastes as a child. I remember being able to guess what was cooking standing outside my gate while my helpers were cooking. I applied for my first job as a cook at 16 but was rejected due to my age. I ended up in a five star hotel doing front of house service. I then enrolled into culinary school at the 17 and never looked back.
How would you describe your culinary style?
I was trained classically in French but my philosophy towards food is “flavour bouncing”. As long as flavours work and textures are contrasting, it constitutes as a good dish for me.
Which was the most difficult dish that you have created and what was your inspiration for this creation?
I never felt more challenged creating vegetable dishes that taste amazing. The Aburi Broccoli Salad at Sin Lee Foods has to be one of my favourite creations. The whole idea came from Tze Char. I love chinese food on my day offs and the wok-hei was a big draw for me. I wanted to incorporate that into a vegetable dish to make it really meaty tasting. And I must say we did it.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring chefs?
Be humble, be open to flavours and always taste with your mind. Keep a flavour bank in your head so you know exactly what will go well together instantaneously. Hours are long, money is better elsewhere but it will pay off in the long run. Be a chef, not a cook. Cultivate self leadership qualities and have high personal standards. Do not serve something you don’t want to be served.
Sin Lee Foods – Must Try Dishes
Coconut Slushie ($9.00)
The Original Durian Waffle ($17.00) – NEW
Sin Lee’s Fried Chicken & Waffles ($21.90)
Skillet Roasted Pork Chop ($24.00) – NEW
Beef and Grains ($25.00)
Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12.00)
Mentaiko Crab Mantou ($23.00)
At Sin Lee Foods, you will not find classic breakfast items like eggs Benedict or fluffy pancakes, but a menu of calories worthy dishes, reflecting the diversity of flavours in ingredients that you think might be out of place, but taste magically under the hands of the chefs here.
See something that you like here, or looking something different? Sin Lee Foods is definitely worth tracking down. The folks recently just refreshed their menu (tasted and tested, they were unusual but pretty good). So if you haven’t been here, you really should make a trip down soon.
SIN LEE FOODS
Address: Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-164 Singapore 162004
Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru Station
Telephone: +65 6377 3170
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11:00am to 9:00pm, Saturday 9:30am to 9:00pm, Sunday 9:30am to 6:00pm
*Cover Photo credit to Sin Lee Foods