Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

Singapore – what to have for breakfast

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With its many cultures, there are many breakfast options available in Singapore. I made it my duty to try several. You can choose from traditional savoury Chinese dishes, western food or curious fusions in between, such as bread and toast with Asian flavours.

One day I had great chai tow kway or carrot cake (top), a Singaporean dish of chopped up radish and rice cake fried into something like an omelette with fresh egg and sambal (chilli) and a scattering of spring onion on top for SG$3 from a stall (above) at the Broadway hawker food centre (below) near my hotel in the Lavender neighborhood.

Melbourne people familiar with Breadtop would be comfortable with the buns available at Breadtalk and numerous independent Hainanese style bakeries in Singapore. They offer savoury buns like the pork floss, satay chicken and hotdog and sweet buns with red bean or danish style fruit fillings (apple, blueberry). I enjoyed a satay chicken bun with cheese on top and a sambal chicken bun from the bakery (below) opposite the Lavender MRT station near where I was staying.

Having had a matcha (green tea) cake at Kappaya in Collingwood recently, I knew what this cake would taste like. With cherries inside, this one was even more delicious. There were two chain cafes at the entrance to the City Hall MRT station / Raffles City shopping centre. One was Starbucks, which I refuse to patronise, and the other was Spinelli coffee company, which was a chain, albeit not one I have seen in Australia.

Spinelli had normal coffees on the menu and some excellent looking cakes (including this one), so I had breakfast there one day and went back each day for their more than acceptable double espresso (I avoided milk when in Singapore though most places had signs in their windows stating that their milk products were from Malaysia or Australia, not China).

Visitors to Singapore should try the popular local breakfast kaya (coconut jam) toast (below). The kaya has a texture similar to creamed honey and a delicate flavour.

I tried it at the biggest chain in the city, Ya Kun Kaya Toast (in the food court at the Cathay shopping centre below).

The toast is usually served as a sandwich spread thickly with kaya and with a slice of cold butter in the middle that softens and melts from the heat of the toast as you eat it. Kaya toast is a sweet companion to a strong Singaporean kopi (see this article on Singaporean coffee culture from the Boston Globe), and I had an iced coffee (below), which is very popular due to the heat.

I also tried kaya toast at the kopi tiam in the Pedang area of the Grand Prix track, and went back several times for their excellent and cheap (SG$3) iced coffee, which kept me cool and focused on the action on the track.

One comment

  1. Ahh…Ya Kun Kaya is one of my favourites! Mmm…I just love that crisp toasted bread with lashings of butter and coconutty kaya. And soft boiled eggs, served in a bowl with soy sauce! I so wanted to bring home some of their Kaya, but there is the little thing of Customs and egg products which gets in the way :-(

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