Qiji: Good food, and its halal too!

Hello everyone! Today’s post is special since I’m writing this from the SQ SilverKris Lounge.  I feel like a businesswoman, sitting here amidst the frequent travelers, busy typing on my laptop.

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I had the worst dream ever last night. I dreamt that I was late for my GCE A Level Economics Paper 2, and that for some reason, I forgot EVERYTHING. I was desperately trying to get to the exam hall, but I couldn’t get there. There were so many obstacles along the way, parents delaying, traffic jams, slippery wet floor from the rain. When I finally entered the exam hall, sopping wet for some strange reason, all eyes were on me, and there was this deafening silence. I hurried to my seat, but the examiners refused to give me the paper. I can’t remember what I said, but eventually they relented and passed me the question paper. Well, guess what. Before I even glanced at the questions, my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember any of my syllabus, my hands froze… Not that any of this mattered cause the examiner announced “Pens down, EVERYONE, pens down.” before I even had time to begin. They refused to consider my attendance, since my name was not even written. Do you know what that means? My A level exam would not even be considered, since I had ‘missed’ a paper. I was devastated. All my hard work had gone to waste.

And then I woke up, my heart racing like I had just sprinted across the track or something. I have never felt so freaked out in my life. This is what A levels does to you. :O

Anyway, enough about my dreams, on to the food!

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I’m sure you have heard of the chain, Qiji? They have quite a few outlets around Singapore, unfortunately located in the less central areas. I’ve heard rave reviews about their popiah, so being a huge fan of popiah, I decided to give them a try.

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Just a side note, for those of you who don’t know what popiah is, its a chinese spring roll, that isn’t fried. Similar to a burrito or a wrap, just that the base is a rice-flour skin, and the fillings range from turnips, carrots, prawns, nuts, crispy fried bits, shallots, chinese sausages, eggs and of course, sweet sauce and chili. We like to enjoy our popiah as a family, where you roll your own popiah, adding your choice of fillings from the prepared selection. When ordering popiah outside, you don’t have the choice as to what goes in, but you are often given the option of adding prawns for a slightly higher price. Although it sounds simple, every family or hawker stall has their own secret blend of ingredients which goes into the stock when stewing the vegetable base. Stewed turnips make up the main filling, but loads of other ingredients are added to the stewed vegetables to achieve a flavorful stock. I would say its healthier than a burrito!

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All I can say is that I love love love their popiah. Its longer than most hawker popiahs, and they charge $2 for one popiah, which is very reasonable. What’s even better is that their popiah can be kept for a long time, even up to 5 hours, and it retains it shape! The popiah skin that they use is very sturdy, and remains chewy, but not tough, no matter how long you keep it. I like how their popiah doesn’t fall to pieces when you pick up a piece with chopsticks. I think their secret lies in how they stuff the popiah skin with vegetables, and roll it up really tightly so the vegetables stay compact. The generous amounts of sweet sauce they use also help to act as a layer to prevent the popiah skin from softening from the moisture of the vegetables. There’s a science behind the construction of the perfect popiah. Whatever it is, they know the secret!

Qiji also offers other food, such as Tauhu Goreng, (pictured below), Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam, Mee Rebus, and even snacks like Yam Kueh and Chee Cheong Fun. Considering that they are a chain eatery, I give them two thumbs up for consistent service, and good food. Their food is affordable and quality is guaranteed across the various outlets. Their success lies in the way they have Mcdonald-ized the way the way they run their eatery. One person prepares the popiah, another prepares the rice sets, another focuses on the noodles. Drinks are pre-packed, and are kept in a chiller where you help yourself. Service is efficient, and the food is affordable, honestly, what more can you ask for?

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Qiji is often bustling with life, with customers from all races, since Qiji is halal-certified, so Malays, Chinese, and Indians can all enjoy the yummy local fare. I would definitely recommend that you try Qiji’s popiah, as well as their other dishes of course, but to me, their popiah is a must.

Rating: 7/10

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