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10 Must-Try Kaya Toast in Singapore


Photo credit: Appetite


History of Kaya Toast


Kaya Toast is a popular Singapore breakfast dish that has been around for generations. It originated from the Hainanese community and was traditionally served with kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). The dish consists of slices of toasted bread with a sweet spread known as Kaya.


The history of Kaya Toast can be traced back to the early 20th century when Hainanese immigrants brought their cooking techniques and recipes to Singapore. More specifically, it’s credited to the founders of Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Kheng Hoe Heng Coffeeshop – the predecessor to Killiney Kopitiam.


Ya Kun, a coffee shop in operation since 1944, famous for its brown bread sandwiches with flavourful kaya and Kheng Hoe Heng, Singapore's oldest Hainanese coffee shop, was founded in 1919, famous for its white bread kaya toast.


Wait… but what is Kaya?


A quintessential breakfast spread in the Singaporean household, Kaya is a traditional jam prepared from coconut, eggs and sugar!


The two most common types are Hainanese kaya and Nyonya kaya. Hainanese kaya is made using caramelised or brown sugar, which gives it a rich caramel colour, whilst Nyonya kaya is pandan-flavoured and has a green tint.


Of course, the one we’ll be discussing today is Hainanese Kaya!


Where & How is it Best Enjoyed


Kaya Toast is best enjoyed as a light breakfast or snack. It is usually served with a cup of hot coffee or tea and a soft-boiled egg. In Singapore, locals usually have Kaya Toast for breakfast or as an afternoon snack, and it is commonly found at hawker centres, coffee shops, and food courts.


One of the best ways to enjoy Kaya Toast as per tradition is to crack the soft-cooked egg into a bowl, adding soy sauce and white pepper to taste. Then generously dipping the kaya toast into it before enjoying it.


The combination of savoury eggs, the crunchy texture of the bread and sweet, creamy Kaya makes this dish ever so satisfying and tasty!


Here are 10 spots you should visit to enjoy some good Kaya Toast!


Talking about Kaya Toast, how can we not mention one of the OGs of Singapore’s Spots…


1. Ya Kun Kaya Toast

Photo credit: Ya Kun Kaya Toast

The go-to Singapore breakfast place that has been serving traditional Kaya Toast with soft-boiled eggs, coffee and tea for over 90 years, Ya Kun dates back to 1944 when Loi Ah Koon opened a coffee stall in the Telok Ayer area.

Now, why does Ya Kun sell one of Singapore’s most popular Kaya Toasts?

The secret lies in its secret recipe Kaya and its unique toast preparation method. Its invention of familiar crispy thin brown toast is what stands out among other kaya toasts. Grilled over a charcoal fire, biting into the toast is like eating crackers and kaya except with an airy crunchy texture. So crispy.

And with cold butter and their secret recipe kaya is creamy and not overly sweet or as we call jelak, it creates a combination of textures that are simple yet highly satisfying. Not forgetting dipping it into savoury and peppery soft-boiled eggs, makes it even better!

Price: $2.60 (Ala Carte, 2 slices Kaya Toast with Butter),

$5.60 (Set A, 2 slices Kaya Toast with Butter, 2 Soft Boiled Eggs & 1 Regular Hot Coffee / Tea)

Address: 71 outlets, islandwide including Far East Square and Raffles City Shopping Center

Opening Hours: Daily, opening hours differ across outlets

2. Toast Box

Photo credit: Toast Box

Founded in October 2005, Toast Box is a Singaporean contemporary coffee chain recreating the famous Nanyang coffee and toast culture in the 1960s and 1970s. Toast Box is built around preserving the culture of people getting together to enjoy a simple but enjoyable breakfast of kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs.

A fan of fluffier and thicker toasts? Toast Box is the one for you!

Made using fluffy white bread, it is lightly toasted with rich and creamy Kaya spread generously between the two slices of toast. The combination of the sweet kaya spread and crispy toast creates a perfect balance of flavours and textures.

Let’s not forget their signature Nanyang coffee, made from an exclusive blend of coffee beans. Brewed and pulled the traditional way using a cloth coffee sock, you definitely don’t want to miss it! Rich, bittery but with the right amount of sweetness, dip your kaya toast into it for a more elevated taste.

Price:

$2.30 (Traditional Kaya Toast)

$2.60 (Multigrain Traditional Kaya Toast)

Address: 79 outlets, islandwide including two locations within 313@Somerset mall (B2 & L5, 313 Orchard Road)

Opening Hours: Daily, opening hours differ across outlets


3. Killiney Kopitiam

Photo credit: Flickr / parenthetical.pilgrim

Starting off with his love for traditional charcoal-grilled toast and well-brewed coffee, Mr Woon, a loyal customer brought over a Hainanese Kopitiam, renovated it and renamed it ‘Killiney Kopitiam in 1991’.

With Killiney Kopitiam, what stands out is their kaya. It has a strong-egg flavour with a hint of pandan. Made with the right level of sweetness and abundance of eggs, Killiney Kopitiam’s kaya toast is the go-to option for you egg lovers! The kaya is also chunkier with a much grainier and satisfying mouthfeel in the rich coconut jam.

Also available as a french loaf kaya toast, the loaf is char-grilled to perfection: nice golden brown crust yet soft on the inside. Bite this combination of textures with a generous amount of creamy kaya and cold butter slabs sandwiched between them!

Price:

$3.30 (Butter Kaya Toast)

$2.60 (2 Soft Boiled Eggs)

$6.40 (Butter Kaya Toast Set)

Address: 28 outlets, islandwide including one outlet within Downtown East (1 Pasir Ris Close)

Opening Hours: Daily, opening hours differ across outlets

4. Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

Photo credit: EatBook

Founded by Mr Tan Hui Dong as a humble bread delivery business in 1925, it was settled comfortably within the Katong to serve communities living in the area.

Recently up and running again after closing in 2018, it is better than ever with a revamped menu but the same old taste of sweet and savoury treats!

But today, we’re talking about its kaya toasts. So let's get into it!

Made using soft brioche toasted over a charcoal fire, slathered with their homemade creamy yet velvety kaya and topped with a square of butter. Just amazing.

Don’t forget to order soft-boiled eggs. Cooked to perfection, mix it with some dark soya sauce and pepper before dipping your toast into it!

Price:

$2.20 (Kaya Toast)

$1.60 (2 Soft Boiled Eggs)

$4.90 (Kaya Toast Set with eggs and drink)

Address: 204E East Coast Road

Opening Hours: 8am – 3.30pm daily except Mondays

Nearest MRT Station: Dakota Station (CC8) (Ride Bus 61 to Joo Chiat Complex and walk for a few mins)

Paya Lebar Station (EW8/CC9) (Ride Bus 15 to Joo Chiat Complex and walk for a few mins)


5. YY Kafei Dian

Photo credit: Confirm Good

A retro Hainanese coffee shop with a contemporary design, YY Kafei Dian serves a range of old-school treats at reasonable prices. Known for their in-house freshly baked bread, their Kaya Bun is a must-try and is titled one of the best in Singapore.

Imagine soft and fluffy buns with a slightly crisp exterior, spread with a generous amount of kaya and slab of butter. Doesn’t it sound like a dream? Who. Doesn’t. Like. Soft. Buns.

Elevate your meal and get the set! It comes with an aromatic cup of kopi and two soft-boiled eggs for the ultimate breakfast experience.

Price:

$1.60 (Kaya Butter Bun)

$4.30 (Kaya Butter Bun Set)

Address: 37 Beach Rd, #01-01, Singapore 189678

Opening Hours: 7.30am – 7pm daily, 8am – 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays

Nearest MRT Station: Outram Park (EW16/NE3) (Take Exit H, walk for 5 mins towards New Bridge Road and turn right onto Keong Saik Road)



6. Heap Seng Leong

Photo credit: Ladyironchef

Frozen in time and often described as a museum showcase of a 1950s kopitiam, enter the humble space of Heap Seng Leong.

Prepared to order by the owner, an elderly man, expect slices of traditional white bread toasted on a charcoal stove and browned till perfection. Slathered with copious amounts of their signature orange Hainanese-style kaya and two squares of butter, sandwiched between and cut into triangles. Ooo just so yummy! Pair your meal with a Kopi Gu You, an interesting take of coffee with butter dissolved into the coffee for a nice toffee-like sweetness. Yes, you heard it right. Butter!

Price:

$3.60 (Kaya Toast Set)

Address: 10 North Bridge Rd, #01-5109, Singapore 190010

Opening Hours: 5am – 4pm daily

Nearest MRT Station: Tiong Bahru (EW17) (Take Exit B, walk for 10 mins along Seng Poh Road towards Tiong Bahru Road, turn right onto Tiong Bahru Road and then turn left onto Eng Hoon Street)



7. Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee

Photo credit: Burpple / Cassie Ong

A family-run business led by a mother and son duo, continuing the legacy of the late patriarch, they are determined to keep this traditional breakfast legacy alive. They are known for serving one of the best kaya toasts in Singapore, of course, all credit goes to their glorious green kaya.

Popular for its Kaya French Toast, it combines the old-school Singapore style of kaya toast with a strong-tasting eggier toast. Served with double the amount of creamy, pandan-fragrant kaya: between the slices of bread and with a dollop on the side. It definitely screams indulgent and shouldn’t be something you have for breakfast every day!

Instead, you can opt for their Traditional Kaya Toast instead for your daily breakfast things.

Price:

$2.40/2pcs (Kaya Bread Toast)

$4.00/2pcs (Kaya French Toast)

Address: 7 Maxwell Rd, #02-95, Singapore 069111

Opening Hours: 5.30am – 2pm daily except Monday, Tuesday & Sundays

Nearest MRT Station: Outram Park (EW16/NE3) (Walk for 15 mins along Kreta Ayer Road and turn right onto Keong Saik Road)



8. Keng Wah Sung

Photo credit: Miss Tam Chiak

Having daringly dubbed themselves as “perfect toast” on their signboard, Keng Wah Sung is a humble drink stall serving no-frills, simple old-school kaya toast done for those looking for a taste of nostalgia.


The toast is served at an extremely reasonable price (reveal below!) with a generous amount of luscious, homemade Hainanese kaya and a large square of butter on BOTH halves of the sandwich. Definitely underrated for its value for price and taste!


Price:

$0.70 (Kaya Toast for two triangles)

Address: 783 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389672

Opening Hours: 5.30am – 11pm daily, except Sundays

Nearest MRT Station: Aljunied (EW9) (Take Exit B and walk for 15 mins along Guillemard Road until you reach Lorong 37 Geylang. Turn left into Lorong 37 Geylang and keep walking straight)



9. Hill Street Coffee Shop

Photo credit: Avenue One

Recreating the experience that once populated the ​​Bugis area (formerly known as Xiao Po) of Singapore where Hainanese coffee shops started, Hill Street Coffee Shop serves local fares that aim to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Switching things up and try their Steamed Kaya Bread. Sink your teeth into fluffy soft and warm white bread, smothered with generous kaya that has a distinct coconut-y taste. Lastly, it is topped off with chunks of creamy butter, melted over the kaya.

Address: 2 outlets, including Gardens By The Bay & Marina Cove Opening Hours: 7am – 4pm daily, except Saturdays and Sundays

10. Tong Ah Eating House

Photo credit: EatBook

Of course, we can’t miss out on the main attraction of Keong Saik — the legendary Tong Ah Eating House. Previously located in an iconic red and white building, it is a traditional coffee shop that has been around since 1939.


One of the hottest spots for kaya toasts, catch them in action toasting the bread and feel free to request for an extra crispy toast! Tong Ah serves traditional breakfast fares like their Crispy Thin Kaya Toast Set and French Toast with Kaya.

Though appearance may not be its strong point, their kaya has a strong coconut flavour with just the right amount of sweetness that dances around your tongue.

Price:

$5.40 (Thin Kaya Toast Set)

$6.70 (French Toast with Kaya)

Address: 35 Keong Saik Rd., Singapore 089142

Opening Hours: 7am – 10pm daily, 7am – 2pm on Wednesdays

Nearest MRT Station: Aljunied (EW9) (Take Exit H and walk for 5 mins straight ahead towards Keong Saik Road. Turn left onto Keong Saik Road and continue walking, till you see the restaurant on the left)

Can’t get enough of the Kaya spread and want a jar of it as a souvenir or to share with your loved ones? Fret not, you can purchase them at Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Toast Box, Heap Seng Leong and many others after finishing your morning breakfast with them!

With this curated list of 10 Must-Try Kaya Toast Spots in Singapore, go forth and satisfy your sweet tooth with some delicious kaya toast. No more searching high and low for local breakfast in Singapore!

Want to find out more about Singapore's food?

If you would like to learn more about the different food that Singapore offers, do consider checking out our small group tours, possibly booking and customising private tours with us or reading our mega-zine to discover where to visit next or what other interesting foods to try out!

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