Kaya Toast In Singapore

It probably would not be a stretch if we posited kaya toast as the most popular breakfast food in Singapore. Think about it: all coffee shops and hawker centres would likely sell kaya toast, usually by the drink stall, as well as multiple reputable chain brands ranging from Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Killiney Kopitiam to Toast Box and Fun Toast.

Essentially toasted bread slathered with butter and kaya made with pandan and coconut milk, kaya toast is accompanied by soft-boiled eggs for protein and coffee or tea for a caffeine kick. Ahead, we spotlight smaller brands selling kaya toast in Singapore, including heritage labels that have been around for decades and newer establishments looking to capture that traditional Nanyang taste.

1. Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery was started by Tan Hui Dong in 1925 and remained around till 2018 under the leadership of third-generation owners. In 2021, F&B company Ebb & Flow Group joined hands with the Hainanese eatery to bring it back to its former glory while retaining the traditional coffee, bakes, and decor. The Kaya Toast Set ($5.40) remains the must-try item on the menu and comes with two soft-boiled eggs and a hot drink. Otherwise, you can tuck into other nostalgic confectionery such as Hae Bee Hiam Bun ($2.40), Cream Horn ($2.20), and Sugee Cake ($2.50).

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery is at 204 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428903. Visit its website for more information.

2. Heap Seng Leong

Before bulletproof coffee became a thing, Heap Seng Leong was already serving its version with Kopi Gu You, where a thin slab of butter is added to local coffee. You can’t find it on the menu, but we reckon you can still order it once you’re there. Heap Seng Leong was started by Shi Pong Shu in 1974 and his son Shi Ting Chow continues to run it. The menu is short and focuses on the core essentials of bread and beverages, with options including Kaya Toast ($1.40), Peanut Butter Toast ($1.40), Butter Sugar Toast ($1.40), and Steamed Bread ($1.40). You can also get the set menu with two eggs and a drink.

Heap Seng Leong is at 10 North Bridge Rd, #01-5109, Singapore 190010.

3. Keng Wah Sung Cafe

Said to be one of the oldest coffee shops in Singapore, Keng Wah Sung Cafe has served traditional local breakfast for over seven decades. The coffee shop is still run by the same family, and you’ll often spot many regulars returning for its coffee and toast, which you can also get in a set ($3.90). Don’t forget to check out the other classic bakes that are available in limited quantities too — think sugar doughnuts, pandan Swiss roll, cream puff, and banana cake.

Keng Wah Sung Cafe is at 783 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389672.

4. Tong Ah Eating House

Keong Saik Road offers a glimpse into Singapore’s past, before it was taken over by towering HDBs and skyscrapers. Along this heritage lane is Tong Ah Eating House. The coffee shop has been around since 1939 and remains a hotspot for fuelling up over its Nanyang-style coffee and toasts. There are four bread options to choose from: Traditional Kaya Toast ($2.60), Crispy Thin Kaya Toast ($3.20), French Toast with Kaya ($4.60), and Steamed Bread with Kaya ($2.60). These are available in set meal format (from $6.20) with eggs and either coffee or tea too.

Tong Ah Eating House is at 35 Keong Saik Rd., Singapore 089142. Visit its Facebook for more information.

5. Sin Hoe Huat Cafe

Fancy some sous vide eggs to go with your kaya toast? Sin Hoe Huat Cafe uses the sous vide cooking method instead of soft boiling, perhaps to ensure the consistent quality of its eggs regardless of the batch. The hawker stall, which has been around since 1968, is currently helmed by third-generation mother-and-son duo Rebecca and Ashton. One of the signatures is the Emperor Bun Set (pictured, $3.10-$3.30), but you can also find the usual favourites such as Peanut Thick Toast, Kaya Butter Toast, and more.

Sin Hoe Huat Cafe is at 590 Upper Thomson Rd, #01-01 Sembawang Hills Food Centre, Singapore 574419. Visit its Facebook for more information.

6. YY Kafei Dian

YY Kafei Dian is a popular nosh spot in Bugis, with lines of locals and tourists queueing up for its Kaya Bun ($1.60), Half-Boiled Eggs ($1.50), and Hainanese-style coffee. Its kaya buns star thick house-made buns slathered with Hainanese kaya and a thick slab of butter.

These breakfast foods aren’t all that they sell, though. YY Kafei Dian also sells more substantial Hainanese dishes such as Chicken Rice and Pork Chop Rice for those who still feel hungry afterward. Don’t miss out on traditional confectionery such as sugar doughnuts and sardine curry puffs, too.

YY Kafei Dian is at 37 Beach Rd, #01-01, Singapore 189678. Visit its Facebook for more information.

7. Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee

Those working in the Central Business District can head to Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee for their morning breakfast of kaya toast and coffee before work. The hawker stall was founded by Wong Lock Seng’s father, who came from Hainan. It is now managed by Wong Lock Seng’s wife and son. Ah, Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee is also one of the few brands that still use charcoal to toast their bread and heat water for coffee or tea. The menu is short and simple — Kaya Toast ($2.40), French Toast ($4), eggs ($1.60), and beverages.

Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee is at 7 Maxwell Rd, #02-95 Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111.

8. Sen Yen Charcoal Traditional Toast

As the name implies, Sen Yen Charcoal Traditional Toast is one of the remaining places that still uses charcoal to impart slight smokiness while grilling the bread. The hawker stall is also one of the few that offers French bread instead of the usual sliced white bread that offers greater crispiness and chew. Get your desired kaya toast with eggs for $3 or add on a drink for upwards of $4.

Sen Yen Charcoal Traditional Toast is at 24 Sin Ming Rd, #01-51 Jin Fa Kopitiam, Singapore 570024.

9. Bao Er Cafe

You have to try two dishes at Bao Er Cafe. The first, of course, is kaya toast ($2.50), and the other is hokkien mee. The Balestier Plaza eatery was started by Jeremy Tan and his Vietnamese wife, Bao Er, who also owns a hokkien mee shop, Prawnography. The velvety kaya is made daily here using fresh coconut milk in a pressure cooker. You can also have the kaya toast in a set with sous vide eggs and a drink for $5.

Bao Er Cafe is at 400 Balestier Rd, #02-01 Balestier Plaza, Singapore 329802.

10. Toast Hut

After cutting his teeth as a part-timer at Ya Kun, Melvin Soh decided to start Toast Hut when he was 23. Toast Hut is known to be less sweet than other brands, making it a healthier option for those who still want to satisfy their kaya toast and coffee or tea cravings. Besides the usual Kaya Butter, Butter Sugar or Peanut Toast ($2), Toast Hut offers other options such as Tuna Sandwich, Ham & Cheese Sandwich, and Ham & Egg Sandwich (all $2.50). There’s also the Giant Bun ($1.60) for those who want to enjoy a fluffier bite. PS: Come early; they often sell out quickly and close at 12.30pm.

Toast Hut is at 51 Old Airport Rd, #01-52 Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051. Visit its Facebook for more information.

11. Great Nanyang Heritage Cafe

Great Nanyang Heritage Cafe is the brainchild of Penang-born Keith Kang, who also started Yang Ming Seafood. The restaurant prides itself on offering traditional and beloved foods from around the region, with notable dishes such as mee siam and nasi lemak. The Traditional Kaya Butter Toast (from $2.70) is not to be missed either, which you can get with thin-cut, thick-sliced, or wholemeal bread with housemade kaya. There are savoury options too, including Tuna Mayo Toast (from $3.80), Curry Chicken Toast ($7.90), and Egg Mayo Toast (from $3.80).

Great Nanyang Heritage Cafe is at 5 Craig Rd, Singapore 089665 and 111 Somerset Rd, #01-09 TripleOne Somerset, Singapore 238164. Visit its Facebook for more information.