Saturday, 26 November 2011

Poppo Korean & Japanese Restaurant

Poppo Korean & Japanese on Urbanspoon
At the end of a long day of uni, I am STARVING.
At the end of a long lecture at uni, I am STARVING.
Uni food sucks, cost of it sucks, and doesn't fill me up either, which, well, SUCKS!

So it is really natural instinct to want to bolt out of there straightaway and head towards the city, where one of my favourite food joints is situated. Ahh, good old Poppos. I frequented twice in a week so I'd call that just a mild case of addiction. But you've definitely got me hooked and wanting more.

Both of us were starving our ass off and I felt as though I could close my eyes and point to anything on their menu and order it immediately so I didn't have to waste time in battling my indecisiveness. Most of their food is trustworthy enough to actually do something like that.

Vegetable Curry - $8.00
So when I can close my eyes and point to anything in the menu, not everybody else can. Because usually there will exist the one boring, standard, predictable vegetarian dish which is usually uncreative, unexciting and just...BLAH! So I was chuffed that Poppo's offered quite a few (i.e. MORE THAN ONE) variety of dishes that are suitable for those with a meat aversion.
Cause those need some love as well =p

At the end of the day however, it was back to the somewhat standard choice of vegetable curry. Their curry IS good, so why not I guess? Seasonal vegetable curry (being potato, carrot and onion chunks) with rice served with miso soup and pickles side dishes. Poppo's pickles consist of pickled carrot, cabbage and lettuce shreds that hold a slightly sour but refreshing flavour.

Sooooo doesn't look like a tummy filler.

Teriyaki Salmon close-up
I have a very affectionate relationship with salmon. If I see it, I want it really bad. Love it in all forms, shape, size, fat, thin, rare, medium, well done, steam, seared, fried, cooked, uncooked, raw, fresh out the ocean, WHATEVER. But the bigger the better. Dump a slab of it in front of me and it's a bone to a dog. No connotations.

Sorta looks like spam here. Salmon spam. LOVE IT.

Salmon Teriyaki - $11.00
But putting my love for Poppos aside for a moment, and I have to admit that the salmon was not as spectacular as I'd anticipated it to be. It was thick and consequently not as cooked in the middle, but maybe that was intended, which made me even happier. Really moist but a little chewier than I'd expected but ahh, what the heck.

So here is my pan fried salmon with syrupy teriyaki sauce, miso soup, pickled vegetables and that stinking hot thin metal conducts-heat-burns-your-fingers bowl. Damnit I hate that bowl. It ALWAYS burns and makes me want to chuck a sad and throw it across the room or at whoever's eating with me BUT...
it holds rice and I wouldn't want to waste it on unworthy people.

Katsu Chicken Curry close-up

This looks like a cracked sewage pipe.

Say whattt did I just say that?
Chicken Katsu Curry - $10.00
Vivid imagery aside, this is the Chicken Katsu Curry, being chicken cutlets and seasoned vegetable curry on rice served with miso soup and pickled vegetables.
This was very comforting to eat on a cold and wet day, despite looking all gluggy and unattractive and like a shapeless, formless, useless SPLAT.

Only downside being slightly burnt - no, very overcooked crumbed chicken. chicken.
Lolol. Whatevs. Everything looks the same when drowned in curry. Curry turns everything it touches into "slightly burnt" and it sorta makes you not care what you're putting in your mouth anymore.

Dragon Roll - $15.00
So like, everything I said before about salmon before, is exactly how I also feel towards eel. I have a strange but deep yet obsessive feelings towards it but I think people would describe this being the relationship between me and in general, anything edible.

This is a bad angle but you know, I was hungry, my dining companions were hungry, and I wasn't going to come in between that. And I finally realised why it's called a Dragon Roll! Well, not really, I don't see it, not even vaguely.

But WHO CARES, when you've got a massive ... thing in front of you, consisting of cucumber, avocado, crabstick, and omelet rolled in rice and topped with gleaming, shiny, drool-enticing eel. Too little eel. Too little, too gone, too soon.

Dynamite Roll close-up
I gotta admit, with zero boastful implications whatsoever, I am so in lurrrve with this shot. It's not often that I am happy with the mash of colours and textures and intricate details that make up a photograph I take, or the style the food poses with at my eagerly perving camera lens. Sexy and I know it doo doo doo :)

The forever lustful Dynamite Roll is hot stuff. Lightly battered prawn, avocado, cucumber, omelet and crabstick rolled in rice topped with Tobiko (caviar) and special sauce served with miso soup. It has sported a rather fitting name, I mean, look at it. The prawn tails are like fuses and the bright colours are hell BOOM - explosion on the plate and explosion in the mouth. More so in the mouth, actually. The crazy wild artistic swirls on the plate are sweet chilli and a sort of mustard apple-y paint job that tastes of brilliance.

It's like I've died on gone to heaven. I've died quite a lot of times now, having ordered this so many times. It's a masterpiece almost too beautiful to be ruined but I guess for me, death by food is sooooo worth it.

Dynamite Roll - $16.00
Here is a better depiction of what hot stuff actually looks like. And I meant it when I said explosion in the mouth, with those many little balls of caviar along with crispy scattered specks of tempura batter going pop, crunch, pop, crunch, pop, pop, crunch pop pop poppety as you savour every bite. It ignites such a sensory delight as you eat it.
Or, maybe...that's just me going overboard with the description and you might be let down. But THIS, is definitely my type of porn ;) Food porn =p

Oh, hellooooooo sexy.

Tofu Bibimbap - $11
This came out looking all pretty and better than I had expected. I should have learnt by now that my impression of vegetarian dishes looking like crap is wrong wrong wrong. I think this has captured my attention enough - more than enough! - to entice me to give it a try next time. I judge based on looks.
Ooooooooh damn I'm shallow :)

Seasoned vegetables, a fried egg and battered tofu served over rice is what makes up the Tofu Bibimbap. This bowl is served with a deep crimson spicy sauce and a bowl of miso soup, from the Korean section of Poppo's menu. Picture came out just a bit fuzzy and was more-than-just-a-bit crap looking, but I've learnt to be considerate and not take my sweet ass time and keep people waiting, just in case they kill me.

Chicken Teriyaki - $8
I'm usually indifferent to teriyaki sauce, I mean, give it to me - give anything to me - I'll put it in my mouth but I wouldn't choose to order it over the countless other Japanese dishes. Soo like, wth I ordered 2 teriyaki dishes on 2 visits here? Whhhaaart? I guess its the pan-fried chicken thigh that lured me in. More of a legs and thigh person. Ho ho ho

It looks like a pretty small portion, cause it was a pretty small portion. (For me anyway) If a restaurant dish can fill me up, it's pretty generous. But very very decent serving for its price, especially compared to other places, and Poppos is always so win. Personally I reckon it would have tasted better minus the sauce, but that just defeats the whole purpose of teriyaki chicken.

Oh and, I don't want to mention this, but I am compelled to mention, there was sorta a caterpilla lodged in between the broccoli stalk. Lol. It was definitely UGH! but you know, shit happens. Bugs are a part of life. Can't escape them.

I'm pretty lucky when it comes to eating insects. Like...avoiding them LOL. Like the time I bit into an apple to meet a worm snuggling inside. Like the time I happened to drop the peanut on the floor that was housing a worm between its two halves. Man...............put me off nuts for a while.......


I cannot recommend this place enough, seriously. I don't know anyone who doesn't take a liking to it so if you don't like it, you're probably one picky little princess =p Merging the two cuisines together allows them to provide an comprehensive menu with so much choice that'll probably make you want to go back to try more dishes. And so you should!

It's a pretty humble little restaurant, pretty dark and dimly lit. Many people notice Taka and go there as a no brainer but not many people notice Poppos, probably. Staff are really friendly and considerate - one even stopped me in my tracks to warn me about the slippery floor on the way to the bathroom :) - and speak with accents, which gives the better impression of the food being real, authentic and honest.

Really casual and simple dining vibe makes it all the more better, along with the complementary barley tea, water and sauces you can spam your meal with. I am somewhat a sauce freak and get really excited over sauces so you know, I go a bit gaga whenever its like, Whaaaat free Japanese mayo?! and tend to just eat sauce on its own for dessert after a meal.
Sorry for grossing you out.

Good location but the downside of being situation in such a central location is the epic traffic, zero parking bays and distance from carpark (which is actually just across the road, but still...). Coming here on a rainy day in peak hour sucked. It was something like,
J: "Omg, I'm going to take a nap. Wake me up when we're there"
M: "Yeah okay go sleep for 30 minutes"
And we were only about 3 traffic lights away.
Zzzzzz indeed.

But whatever. Nothing is perfect and minor problems shouldn't step in the way of true love.
From your forever loyal fan,

Update on the 20th of December, 2012

Dynamite Roll
The thing we can't resist - The Dynamite Roll, with a lot less...dynamite.
There just isn't the same explosion of caviar there once used to be.

Salmon Sushi Roll
The inside out sushi roll, with the perfect light mouthful of fresh raw salmon, cucumber and avocado.

Still your forever loyal fan,


  1. I love Poppo! Totally one of the most authentic Asian food places around. Pretty affordable too! Really important for any international Asian student.

  2. mgw, wouldn't know of a better description :)

    Nicole, exactly right! Really important for ANY person really =p The price just makes the food taste even better :D

  3. the dynamite roll looks very attractive :)


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