Posts Tagged ‘Kaya Toast’

Sinpopo Brand

It’s interesting how cafes are falling over themselves trying to come up with the quirkiest and most “non-cafe” kind of names you can think of. The latest to join the bandwagon of wacky names are cafes such as Relational Goods, Penny University (okay this one has grounds) and Sinpopo Brand. And don’t even get me started on Chye Seng Huat Hardware, which has got nothing to do with hardware with the exception of coffee machines!

And what’s weird with Sinpopo Brand did you say? Well, for those of you old enough to know, Sinpopo used to be the name of a notorious nightclub along Tanjong Katong road! According to my father, it probably closed around the late 80s. I can’t remember a thing about Sinpopo but somehow the name sounds familiar. My grandparents used to live around the Geylang area, so they might have mentioned Sinpopo in their conversations previously.

I have to admit, it’s a great name for an old-school themed cafe that Sinpopo Brand is, as the name does evoke thoughts of yesteryear. Name aside, the menu, serving dishes, decor and even the music has been carefully selected to bring us back to days gone by.

Sinpopo Brand (4)

This is the main entrance that greets you, I recall having a TV with sliding doors, already disused by the time I was aware of things, it served as a nice side table! Old school biscuits that are still quite easily available in Singapore if you know where to look. Sinpopo Brand gives these out to kids for free.

Sinpopo Brand (3)

Ice Bor $3.90

This is the reason why I really wanted to visit Sinpopo. I’ve never in my life ever seen an ice ball up until now, and I really wanted to try it. I’ve no idea if this is authentic or not, can someone tell me? According to my mother, the ice ball man will just pass you the ice ball and you eat it off your hands, no paper no plastic no plate! This version from Sinpopo, called ice bor, has some redbeans squashed into the centre, and for some reason, crushed peanuts at the top.

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ToastBox VivoCity

When times are lean and you have to make every penny count, it pays to know where the cheapest deals are. Price doesn’t always have a correlation with quality. Today a few friends and I decided to forgo the $3.50 dessert cafe for ToastBox at VivoCity. It only cost us $2.50 each to enjoy a cuppa each plus buns and toast.

ToastBox Boluo Yao

Boluo Yao – A crunchy top bun with kaya and butter

ToastBox Kaya Toast with Butter (2)ToastBox Kaya Toast with Butter

Kaya Toast with Butter, only 2 slices though. Yakun serves up a bigger portion. I think I still prefer the kaya at Yakun, only problem is, at Yakun, they tend to give you a very thin layer of kaya, whereas I like my toasts to be richly covered with kaya!

ToastBox Thick Toast with Butter and Sugar (2)ToastBox Thick Toast with Butter and Sugar

Thick toast with butter and sugar – ToastBox is still my favourite place to have this after all these years. They are one of the few places that spread the butter evenly on the bread, such that each square of bread tastes good. Other places give you lumps of unmelted butter and expect you to do something with it.

ToastBox Chocolate Cherries CakeToastBox Banana Cake

Chocolate Cherries cake and other sponge cakes. Have never tried them although the price looks very tempting. It’s good to know that we can still enjoy cake for only $1.20 in Singapore.

ToastBox Seating Area

Yakun Kaya Toast

When in Singapore and Malaysia, it is a must to try the national snack – KAYA TOAST. It’s pieces of toasted bread with coconut egg jam. Everyone in Singapore has heard of Yakun. I still recall the 1st time I tried it. I was interning at Citibank and a colleague bought some for breakfast and shared a slice with me. It was the 1st time I had ever eaten bread so crispy, with such a decadent and aromatic spread of kaya in my entire life. In fact, I probably didn’t even realise it was kaya toast because it was nothing like I’d ever tasted. I was literally in bliss for several seconds.

I’ve not turned back since and have had Yakun’s kaya toast countless times. These days, because there are so many branches/franchise shops, standards can be a little inconsistent. I find that in order to guarantee you get a good serving, you have to ask the staff to give you a thick serving of the kaya. If not, in their haste, they sometimes spread the kaya so thinly you can see empty patches on the bread.

Yakun Kaya ToastYakun Kaya Toast (2)Yakun Kaya Toast (3)Yakun Kaya Toast (4)

Mmmmmm, I want some right now!

Yakun Teh C

And of course, you need a cuppa tea or coffee to go with the dry kaya toast. I don’t know what Yakun puts in its tea or milk, but there’s just no mistaking Yakun’s signature Teh /Teh C taste. I know of NO other establishment that has been able to replicate the taste that Yakun offers. And I don’t understand it! If you go to any other coffee shop and order tea, they all pretty much taste the same. Yakun’s tastes different! Can someone tell me what the secret ingredient is?????

YakunYakun (2)

The last 2 photos are of the Yakun outlet at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on separate occasions. The 2nd last photo was taken yesterday at about 11pm. It’s amazing how crowded the airport still was at this hour and actually, even when we left around 11.30pm, it was no less crowded. I love it that Yakun and many of the establishments at the airport operate 24hrs, but just what does this say about our country and people? I suppose this is not necessarily a bad thing because we are still spending time with family and friends.

 

Other Places for Coffee/Tea and Kaya Toast

Killiney Kopitiam

Chin Mee Chin

Y Y Kafei Dian

Old Town White Coffee

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

One of my favourite kaya bun places. These buns are soft and somewhat dense, which I think is a good way to enjoy kaya. I don’t really like the fluffy types because I feel like I am eating air. They are open everyday except Mondays. They often run out of buns on Sunday afternoons because they don’t want to have left over buns which will not be sold on Monday. You still can get the flat square breads (like the Gardenia types) if the buns run out. I prefer the flat ones because they toast them longer.

Apart from kaya buns, Chin Mee Chin offers cream buns, Swiss Rolls, chiffon type cakes and cupcakes. The cupcakes are tiny little things that come in several different flavours:- Chocolate icing, almond, and plain. Other than these, CMC doesn’t offer much else. People still flock here nonetheless because this place is just so old school. It brings back memories of a simpler time. My father has been coming here for more than 30 years and knows the staff well. He was once even interviewed on TV when they happened to be doing a documentary on CMC!Chin Mee Chin Kaya Buns

 

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

204 East Coast Road Singapore

Kluang Railway Station

As part of the Zenxin Organic Farm tour we were on, the tour guide brought us to Kluang Railway Station to sample the national tea-time favourite snack and beverage of Singaporeans and Malaysians. Kopi/Teh Tarik and Kaya Toast!

Having been to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore many times for Nasi Beriyani and Teh Tarik, I can now add Kluang Railway Station to the list of Railway stations I’ve dined at before. The Kluang Railway Station is nowhere as big as the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station because it’s not a terminus nor an interchange. Still, that doesn’t make having a cuppa here less rustic and enjoyable.

I love how laid back the whole place looks. Even though it may be uncomfortable sitting on hard plastic red chairs in the heat of the day, and even though the roads are riddled with potholes containing yesterday’s rain, I want places like these to still exist because they are so full of character and history. Too bad you can hardly find such places in Singapore anymore, but luckily, I now know where to go if I need a dose of nostalgia. Apparently this coffee shop has been in existence since the early 1930s. It seems they now have franchise branches, that serve a larger variety of meals, but this is the original one.

Kluang is about 1.5 hrs drive from the Malaysian Checkpoint. Or you can take the KTM trains. It’s the 4th station from Singapore.

Kluang Railway Station (2)

See from this angle, you can’t even tell it’s a train station.

Kluang Railway Station - Diners

It was crowded when we got there at 3.30pm.

Kluang Railway Station - Diners (2)

No outside food allowed….who brought in those sushi? Wait a minute, those are donuts dressed to look like sushi!

Kluang Railway Station - Kaya Toast (2)

Kaya toast, or Roti Bakar with Butter and Kaya as how they would say it in Malay. Only 1 ringgit. They also have the square toast too.

Kluang Railway Station - Kaya Toast

Teh Susu (Milk tea) RM$1.20 – Tasted quite good. It isn’t as sweet as the ones we get in Singapore, which is not a bad thing considering how much we ate that day.

Kluang Railway Station - Mee Siam and Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak RM0.70 and Mee Siam RM0.70 – These are placed on every table and you just help yourself if you want one. The mee siam here is the dry version. I’ve no idea this version existed until yesterday.

Kluang Railway Station - Kopi Menu (2)

You can also get Coffee Powder, Kaya and even yogurt.

Kluang Railway Station - Kopi Menu

Kluang Railway Station - Indoor Seating

The inner seating area

Kluang Railway Station - Railway  Tracks (3)

Kluang Railway Station - Railway  Tracks

Kluang Railway Station - Railway  Tracks (2)

Commuters waiting for the next train

 

Read about my other Zenxin Organic Farm Tour activities.

 

Kluang Railway Station

Kampung Masjid Lama, 86000 Kluang, Johor, Malaysia

Operating hours: 6.30am-12.30pm, and 2.30pm-6.30pm daily except Tuesdays.

Directions to Kluang Railway Station

Read about my post on Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore

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