Monday, 14 July 2014

Singapore’s old-style cafes

Singapore’s traditional breakfast of kopi or teh with kaya butter toast and eggs has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with local chain Ya Kun even branching out abroad. If you’d like to get nostalgic and take a step back into Singapore’s culinary past, where should you head?

Local coffee chains include Ya Kun, Killiney, Wang Cafe, Good Morning Nanyang and Toastbox. Seek out the first two on the list if you can, as they’re the oldest. Killiney’s original branch on Killiney Road was established by the Hainanese in 1919, while the original Ya Kun stall was set up in the 1940s near today’s flagship outlet at Far East Square on China Street — and it’s still run by the founding family.

Other cafes like Wang and Toastbox don’t have as huge a reputation, but still serve up a similar style of coffee and toast with kaya and butter. Tradition lives on through the serving of the kopi in a porcelain teacup and saucer — some Singaporeans absolutely detest it if any other type of cup is used — but they also offer a range of other Singaporean specialties such as laksa and Malay favourites like mee siam, mee rebus and nasi lemak.
There’s a Ya Kun almost everywhere

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Almond fingers and butterfly cupcake, washed down with a cup of kopi

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