The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 18 March 2013

Kaya toast breakfast @ Ya Kun (Bugis Junction), Singapore

A popular breakfast and snack item for both Malaysians and Singaporeans is the kaya toast. Kaya is a sweet and creamy coconut egg jam that is usually enjoyed with bread or cream crackers, and I grew up on this delicious stuff. There are two types of kaya - Nonya kaya is green due to the use of pandan leaves, and whereas Hainanese kaya is orange or brown colour because the sugar is caramalised first. We could get jars of kaya in the oriental shops in Australia, but I had to go without kaya for the four years we were in Japan. Imagine my delight when I found both types of kaya at the supermarkets in Hong Kong shortly after we moved from Japan! Kaya toast is somewhat of a Singaporean cultural icon, and I naturally felt I had to have kaya toast during our few days stay in Singapore recently (never mind the fact that I already eat the stuff at home). Although we had a pretty good breakfast buffet included with our room rate at our hotel, I gave up my breakfast pass one day to my sister's boyfriend, and joined her for a kaya toast breakfast. It worked out well, because he wasn't interested in having kaya toast (his paleo diet also doesn't allow him to have bread), and it was better value for him to have the buffet as he eats a lot of protein and he can eat far more than I. Hubby and son stayed behind for the breakfast buffet, and yes, I did worry a little about what hubby would feed the kid, but it helped that I had eaten the buffet on the first morning and could show hubby what I usually give the boy for brekkie (hubby did a great job, by the way).

A straightforward set-up at Ya Kun Kaya Toast:

Although there are many kopitiam (Malay for "coffee shop") in Singapore serving kaya toast, Ya Kun Kaya Toast is the most accessible with over 30 outlets in Singapore. It was easy to find a Ya Kun store near our hotel, and my sis and I eagerly set out for some local breakfast. The store at Bugis Junction was crowded, but we arrived just as someone was leaving so we got a table quite easily. There were a few varieties of toast to choose from: Kaya Toast with Butter, Kaya Peanut Toast, Butter Sugar Toast, Cheese Toast with Kaya, Cheesy French Toast with Kaya and French Toast with Kaya, which can be ordered a-la-carte or in a value set meal. We both ordered got the Kaya Toast Set (around S$4), which included two soft-boiled eggs and a drink. Ordering was fairly straightforward - we placed our orders and paid at the counter, waited for our trays of eggs and drinks, sat down at our table with the trays while the kaya toast was being prepared, and the kaya toasts were served to our tables. It was a fairly simple meal with relatively high protein and carbs that kept me going until lunch time. Our only complaint was the overly-sweet drinks, which is the standard way to have them here in Malaysia and Singapore, but I don't generally add sugar to my hot drinks. Both my Milo and my sister's Horlicks drinks were too sweet for us to finish, and we agreed that the next time we order these drinks in Singapore, to request for less or no sugar.

The super-sweet Milo drink:

The soft-boiled eggs were more like the Japanese-style onsen tamago (hot spring eggs) where the yolks were firm but retained the colour and texture of uncooked yolk, and the whites were runny:

The Kaya Toast with Butter - two slices of bread, each sliced into half, and slathered with kaya and a slab of butter in between each halves. I don't like butter, so I removed the still-firm butter squares; my sister, who loves her greasy foods and butter, ate hers with the butter but said that it got a bit too rich for her after awhile:

The Kaya Toast Set:

Ya Kun Kaya Toast is popular for a good reason - the sugary-sweet drinks, buttery kaya toast and the soft-boiled eggs gives good sustenance to break an overnight fast, and it is also a tasty snack. Do give the local breakfast a try next time you're in Singapore.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Bugis Junction
230 Victoria Street
Singapore 188024
Tel. +65 6238 8904

No comments:

Post a Comment