Tag Archives: Makansutra

Best Kaya Toast in Chinatown

I love coffee and but I was never a huge fan of toast until I tried the kopi, kaya toast and runny eggs combo here in Singapore. It is the quintessential breakfast and a must-try. A good kaya toast breakfast must have a delicious kaya jam with a good balance of kaya to margarine / butter ratio, well toasted bread, perfectly brewed coffee and a pleasant place to eat to enjoy your meal.

Delicious kaya toast on white bread

Now we make it a point to try the various coffee places in Singapore during the weekends and we’re sharing our reviews on what we think about the popular kopi places in town.

Coffee was ok

Almost hard boiled!

I’ve wanted to try the kaya toast at Tong Ah Coffee Shop since it was featured in a Makansutra article in Yahoo. This place is supposed to be popular with international chefs, so we had pretty high expectations when we went there and sad to say we were deeply disappointed. The kaya toast was delicious and I loved the white bread that they used but the coffee was just so-so, the eggs were almost hard boiled and the uncle manning the shop was constantly shouting angrily at this staff. Constantly. Noisily. Shouting. The place is out of the way and the food standard is not even at par with the hawker place near my building. The uncle even went to our table and observed us trying to mash up the almost hard boiled egg when he served our coffee and left without a comment. When we tried to check out the other tables, the eggs that were served were also the same as ours. Tsktsk.

Tong Ah Coffee Shop

  • Address: 35 Keong Siak Road, Singapore 089142
  • Hours: 6:30 am – 10:00 pm
  • Coffee: 2/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 5/5
  • Eggs: 0/5
  • Ambiance: 0/0

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe is a nice place to hang-out in the middle of the tourist strip in Chinatown

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe has a branch near our place and we went there last weekend. The cosy ambiance and made it pleasant to hang out there. It is a place where you can chill with friends on a lazy afternoon. The kaya toast was delicious, the eggs were runny and  the coffee was well brewed. We’re looking forward to going back there to try the other versions of kaya toast that they offer since we only tried the traditional one.

Good coffee and kaya toast

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe

  • Address: 75 Pagoda Street, Singapore, Singapore 059234
  • Hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Coffee: 4/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 4/5
  • Eggs: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 5/5

Our favorite kopi and kaya toast set

Ya Kun is everywhere. When we started going around looking for the best kaya toast, I didn’t expect such a commercialized  coffee place to be my favorite so far. We desperately wanted to vote for the little hole-in-the-wall places and patronize small businesses over such a large chain but the food speaks for itself. I’ve never been dissapointed when we go to have coffee at Ya Kun. The kaya toast is delicious, the eggs are runny and the coffee is great. The only things that the place lacks character.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast

  • Address: People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street, Level 1 Atrium, Singapore 058357
  • Hours: 8:00 am – 8:45 pm
  • Coffee: 4/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 4/5
  • Eggs: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 3/5

Do you have any other places to suggest? Leave a comment below and we will try out your recommendation when we’re in the area.

World Street Food Congress

The World Street Food Congress was held in the F1 Pit last May 31- June 9. We went on June 1 which was a Saturday and we were excited to sample different street food from all over the world. Our overseas guests were the ones who asked us to bring them there.

We were surprised that the wasn’t a huge crowd at the F1 pit.

The first dish we tried was from The People’s Pig is by Chef Cliff Allen from Portland Oregon. The Porchetta is an Italian pulled pork meat which was moist and well seasoned. The arugula with lemon cut the fatty flavor of the pork and fresh ciabatta rolls completed the sandwich. This was our favorite among all the dishes we tried that we had it one more time before we left the venue.

Our favorite Porchetta Sandwich ($9)

The fish tacos from Tacombi by Chef Aaron Sanchez from New York was another favorite. The fish was moist and the breading was crisp.

Perfect Fish Tacos from Tacombi ($10)

The soft shell crab burger by EuroTrash Food Cart from Portland, Oregon was surprisingly good. I was hesitant to try it since I couldn’t image a soft shell crab burger but the spicy mayo yogurt sauce elevated the burger. This dish makes me want to go to Portland to try all the awesome food carts there.

Soft Shell Crab Burger with Zesty Mayo Yogurt Sauce ($12)

The seafood tostada from La Guerrerense by Dona Sabina Bandera Gonzalez from Mexico was nice and refreshing. They brought some ingredients from Mexico and you could choose how spicy you wanted the tostada. Lex was raving about how fresh and delicious the ceviche was. I’m not a fan of ceviche but I appreciated the dish.

Seafood Tostada ($10)

I couldn’t imagine why there wasn’t a huge crowd at the venue since the dishes we tried were amazing. The only drawback from our point of view is that the serving size is too small for the price that they charge. We do hope that there is another World Street Food Congress next year since we’ve become huge fans.

What to Eat at Chinatown: Chinatown Complex Smith Street Food Centre

If there is one thing I tell our guests when they come to Singapore is that they must try the food at the hawker centers. You can find cheap and delicious local food at these food courts and most of the time the quality of the dishes in hawker centers even surpass those in restaurants. Just look for the hawker stall with a long line and most likely this place sells the best food in the area.

We’ve moved to Chinatown and I must say that I love it here. Everything we need is only a few blocks away. The best thing about moving to a developed estate is having tons of food options. We decided to create a series of posts about what to eat when you’re in this area. We’re foodies but our palates are not as sophisticated as compared to Singaporeans in judging local cuisine. These are just the dishes we prefer over those we’ve tried. Take our advice with a grain of salt.

Note: We will updating this post whenever we find other dishes we like at the Smith Street Hawker Centre

Where: Chinatown Food Centre ( Block 355 Smith Street )

There is a huge hawker centre right beside the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple at Sago Lane. The Chinatown Complex Smith Street Food Centre has over 100 hawker stalls.

Entry 2:  May 6

Terry Katong Laksa (Stall #02-004 )

Is this the best laksa in Singapore?

This place is supposed to sell the best laksa in Singapore since they use coconut milk and not evaporated milk. There is even an article on display comparing their laksa and those sold by other famous laksa places and theirs is hailed as the best.

Laksa with Coconut Milk ($3)

Well we’d hate to disagree but we don’t think so. Their laksa is great but not the best. The broth is favourful but it is too thin for our liking. We were talking about the laksa during our entire meal and we’ve compared it with those we’ve had in the Katong area and we still think that the Famous 49 Katong Laksa is the best because the broth was so creamy and the flavourful was very roboust.

Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum (Stall #02-135 )

Take a queue number and wait for it to be called so they will get your order

So I guess it is pretty obvious that we are dim sum fans. Since we were craving dimsum and our favorite xiao long bao place was closed we decided to try this stall.

Siew Mai (3 pcs for $2.30) and Prawn Har Gao (3 pcs for $2.30)

The siew mai was ok. It tastes slightly better than most siew mais sold in Singapore. We loved the prawn har gao since it was cooked well, tasted fresh and the prawn was succulent.

Prawn Chee Cheong Fun ($2.30)

I’ve always loved Chee Cheong Fun and Lex doesn’t really like them which is odd since he’s not a picky eater like I am. The prawn were cooked well and the black sauce was delicious. This shop really knows how to cook prawn. He did love the this version of the dish and even mentioned he would love to have it again.

Char Siew Buns (3 pcs for $2.30)

We’ve tried so many char siew buns and most are disappointing since they look good but taste so bland. We were so glad that we tried their char siew buns. The filling was dark and savoury while the dough was fluffy. This now our go to char siew buns place.


Entry 1:  April 16

Zhong Guo La Mian Steamed Mini-Buns (Stall #02-135 ) – closed on Mondays

Made fresh daily

We were so happy to find that my favorite Xiao Long Bao or Steamed Mini-Buns stall at Alexandra Food Centre had a branch here. We actually go to Alexandra Food Centre from Ang Mo Kio just to get our dumpling fix every month or so. Honestly I prefer their soupy dumplings over those at Din Tai Fung.

Soupy Dumplings with Chinese Black Vinegar (10 pcs for $5)

The broth of the dumplings and the filling is tasty and the skin is not too thick. Most xiao long bao in hawker centers are pretty bland but this one hits the spot. The price is another plus. You get 10 dumplings for $5. Be careful when biting into the dumpling as the soup has the tendency to drip or squirt out of the dumpling. This is served with black vinegar and shredded ginger which compliments this dish well.  We also recommend their Pan Fried Dumpling and the Szechuan Spicy Wonton.

Shi Xiang Satay (Stall #02-079) – closed on Wednesdays & Thursdays

Our favorite pork satay stall

This Chinese Satay stall comes highly recommended by Makansutra. This stall is try to find since it is located in a secluded area in the hawker center. Just look for the sign that says “More Stalls”. The lady who sells the satay didn’t speak English and a customer was kind enough to translate my order. She only sells one pressed rice cake every $5 order and she usually runs out of rice at around 7 pm.

10 pieces of Pork Satay for $5

The stall sold pork and chicken satay but we only ordered pork. The satay itself is very flavourful and the accompanying peanut sauce is tasty but I must say that I had better sauce elsewhere. That said, the satay is still a must try because of how well seasoned and marinated the satay is.