Best kaya toast in Singapore
A basic Singaporean breakfast, kaya toast is a simple delicacy that consists of toasted bread spread with butter and kaya jam (a homemade coconut jam prepared with eggs, sugar, coconut milk, and pandan). Best savoured with a side of soft boiled eggs and a cup of freshly brewed, full-bodied coffee, here are our favourite coffee shops on the island to get your morning fix!
A Bit of History
Back when Singapore was under British colonial rule, many local Hainanese were roped in to work as kitchen hands on British ships. Inspired by the Western jams that were consumed with bread for breakfast, many returned to the island with the idea of whipping up their own sweet jam using local ingredients like coconut milk, pandan leaves, and palm sugar.
Old is Gold
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery (204 East Coast Road) has got to be one of the most iconic kopitiams (traditional coffee shops) on the island, period. Oozing old-world charm, this quaint little space is perennially packed with locals and tourists alike. Their signature is undoubtedly their thick homemade buns and kaya that are carefully prepared over a traditional charcoal fire.
Another famous establishment on the island is Tong Ah Eating House (36 Keong Saik Road) – popular for offering personalised choices like steamed white bread and ultra crispy toasts. Although Tong Ah has moved out of its spot in the iconic 36 Keong Saik Street building, you can find them just a few blocks down the street, still drawing their usual loyal crowds.
As one of the biggest coffee shop franchises in Singapore, Killiney Kopitiam is definitely a crowd favourite. Visit their original outlet along Killiney Road, honoured as the oldest Hainanese coffee shop in Singapore, to try their age-old family recipe for kaya toast. Another ubiquitous franchise is Ya Kun Kaya Toast. You’ll still find the Loi family managing their main store at Far East Square, which has even seen the likes of Hugh Jackman popping in for breakfast!
A strong contender for best kaya toast in the CBD, Good Morning Nanyang Café is a little café tucked away in a corner of Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre. What sets them apart from other coffee shops is their innovative spin on the traditional kaya toast. Besides serving the usual buttered thick toasts, they offer zesty orange ciabatta and regular ciabatta toast too.
If you’re willing to take a trip into the heartlands, hit up Da Zhong Café (Hainanese Village Centre, #02-20, Block 105 Hougang Ave 1). Practically an institution in this part of town, you’ll definitely spot this old establishment from its long, snaking queues. Besides dishing out steamed and toasted kaya breads, their drinks are a stand-out as the owner still retains the tradition of using brass flasks to brew coffees and teas.
Fond of whipping up your own breakfast to kick start the day? Check out our fuss-free kaya toast recipe that you can prepare in under 15 minutes!
Top Image: Killiney Kopitiam
Read more about Singapore’s local cuisine at www.YourSingapore.com.