Creative Popiah

Special thanks to Creative Popiah for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Ask any Nibong Tebal townsfolk for hawker food suggestions. You are most likely pointed to a hawker center at Jalan Pintu Sepuluh. As locals can vouch for, popular dishes here are nasi lemak, wan tan mee (云吞面) and more. On weekends especially during lunch hour, the place is crowded with customers. Consider arriving earlier if patience is not your strongest suit.
One of the stalls here is called Creative Popiah (创薄饼). The stall is operated by a young entrepreneur who strives to be creative in the menu. While Nibong Tebal has another popiah hawker elsewhere, Creative Popiah differentiates itself by offering non-conventional popiah recipes.
The Creative Popiah (招牌薄饼, RM4.00 for 2 pieces) is similar to the traditional version in most aspects. However instead of using flour skin, the fillings are wrapped in egg skin. The omelette is made extremely thin so that the egg's texture does not dominate the overall popiah. Although I was skeptical whether egg skin is a good idea, I am totally convinced now. Great creativity!
As for popiah fillings, the recipe sticks to traditional ingredients like jicama (sengkuang), egg and lettuce. Meanwhile, fried onion (炸油葱) helps to improve aromatic appeal. Tomato sauce provides a sense of sweetness and prevents the popiah from being too dry.
The stall also offers the conventional style of Popiah Roll (卷皮薄饼, RM3.00 for 2 pieces). As per tradition, the skin is a thin sheet of pancake that is made from wheat flour. The rolls are topped with shrimp paste (虾膏) and fried onion. For better flavor, customers can request for jicama stock. This however makes the skin quite soggy and easily torn. Well, popiah is meant to have very thin skin, isn't it?
Singapore Popiah (新加坡薄饼, RM3.00 for 5 pieces) is very similar to "pie tee" (小金杯) in Nyonya (Peranakan) cuisine. To keep them crispy, the edible cups are fried every morning and kept in airtight containers. The cups are not kept overnight because they may become rancid. Personally, I feel that the cups' appeal outshines the fillings. This is certainly a treat worth tasting.
Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉, RM2.60 for 2 pieces) is a recent addition to the menu. Rice flour is made into sheets, rolled up to resemble pig intestines, and then steamed. This is the local version of chee cheong fun, not the Hong Kong version.
Chee Cheong Fun is served with sweet sauce (甜酱), shrimp paste, fried onion, crushed peanuts (花生碎) and black sesame seeds (黑芝麻). Chili paste is also provided, but I prefer to leave this out.

Due to lack of manpower, Creative Popiah prepares limited servings of popiah and chee cheong fun every day. Although the stall opens till 5:00pm, some items may be sold out earlier. For large orders, Creative Popiah accepts advance booking by phone or WeChat.

Name: Creative Popiah (创薄饼)
Address: Jalan Pintu Sepuluh, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 014-305-4475
Business hours: 11:00am-5:00pm, closed on Wednesdays
Coordinates: 5.16581 N, 100.47788 E
Directions: From the main road (Jalan Che Ahmad) of Nibong Tebal, turn into Jalan Pintu Sepuluh. The hawker center is located on the left after Nibong Tebal Pai Teik School Alumni Association (高渊培德校友会). Creative Popiah is one of the stalls here. Street parking is available along Jalan Pintu Sepuluh and Jalan Che Ahmad.

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