The Occasional Epicure

Occasional updates on my eating and cooking adventures...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Singapore - Breakfast

Last August RJ and I visited Singapore for my friends' wedding. It was way before I had ever even set eyes upon a food blog. But because food is one of my favourite things about Singapore, I ended up taking some photos of things we ate.

Just down the street from our hotel was a Kopitiam food court. The word "kopitiam" means "coffee shop" but this particular capital "K" Kopitiam is part of a chain of modernised hawker centres. Not exactly the most authentic Singapore dining experience, but it was air conditioned and just around the corner, so it was the logical place for us to eat breakfast.

Having lived in Singapore for 12 months I always felt like I'd really missed out on something special because I'd never eaten the famous breakfast dish kaya toast. I'd eaten kaya on bread before - it's a delicious coconut, egg and pandan flavoured jam - but I'd never tried the toast. It was time to rectify this terrible inadequacy in my Singapore food repertoire!

Now this isn't just any ordinary spread on toast! The bread is toasted on a little grill and then each slice is cut in half (not the normal way you'd cut a piece of toast in half but through the bread to make two very thin slices), spread with butter and kaya and put back together again.

Kaya toast and lime drink

The sweetness of the kaya and the saltiness of the butter made the toast delicious. I could have eaten a big pile!

To drink I ordered an old Singapore favourite - the sweet, cordial-like lime drink. I love the picture of the quintessential Kopitiam uncle on the cup. So cute!

I believe the really "right" way to eat kaya toast is with soft boiled eggs and a cup of coffee, but i didn't really feel like eating eggs that day. I also need to leave some things on my Singapore Food To Eat list so that I've got an excuse to go back in the future!

By the way, in the background of this photo you can see RJ's breakfast - noodles with char siu and a bowl of soup. Yum!


  • At 5:36 pm, Blogger Little fish said…

    there really isn't a right way. but having soft-boiled eggs with a hot cup of coffee (the kopitiam type, not your regular starbucks brew) is ,de rigueur.

    try a Killiney or Ya Kun branch next time you are here. although some may say these two coffeshop chains have "sold out" by opening up so many branches.

  • At 10:51 am, Anonymous augustusgloop said…

    Ooh I went through a phase of eating kaya jam on bread but I've become increasingly curious about kaya toast proper Singapore style.

    I think it's so cool you lived in Singapore for 12mths. I've love to hear more about your experiences there!

  • At 1:49 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hi Little Fish, thanks for dropping by. I will make sure I have some eggs and coffee next time I'm visiting S'pore!

    I remember that kopitiam coffee - the sock kind! :) My roommate used to have a glass mug of the stuff every morning in Canteen 3 at NTU.

    Hi AG, oh I could go on about my time in Singapore forever! I had the best of both worlds - six months living on campus as an exchange student, and six months working for a company there.

    It was only during my time working that I really experienced "local" life with my colleagues determined to have me try lots of new dishes and teaching me more about the culture and traditions. (They liked taking me to lunch because I would try anything; the only other ang moh in the office - a South African - was much more interested in finding a nice sandwich for lunch.)

    Too bad blogs didn't exist in those days - I would have had a lot of funny experiences to write about!

  • At 7:29 pm, Blogger Venitha said…

    Aha! I'm so glad to have kaya etiquette explained to me! There was a big bowl of it at my hotel's breakfast buffet in Melaka. The wonder bread and the greasy foods weren't overly tempting, so I just stirred some of the kaya into a bowl of rice - sedap! Hopefully the kaya gods will forgive me.

  • At 10:21 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hi Venitha, thanks for visiting! I've been really enjoying your blog. It's funny that you mixed some kaya with rice - as long as it tastes good I think you should do whatever you please!

    Do try out the kaya toast sometime though - it's really very nice!

  • At 11:04 pm, Anonymous augustusgloop said…

    You have plenty of stories for the grandkids though. And us, of course!

  • At 9:29 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hey AG, here's my great plan for making the (way-in-the-future) grandkids shut up and listen to my ramblings... I'll stuff them full of delicious baked goodies so that they can't interrupt! :)

  • At 9:15 am, Blogger blazing_star_racer said…

    I love your idea to shut the grandkids up...delicious baked goodies always go down well. If I keep interrupting, will you bake delicious goodies to keep me quiet? :)

  • At 9:42 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Hey B_S_R/RJ! Maybe. And maybe I will send you for a jog up to the shops to buy all the ingredients too!


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