[SG] Kaya toasts of Singapore.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Kaya (malay), coconut jam (english) 咖吔 (chinese) is a type of food spread commonly consumed in the region of south-east asia, with the main ingredients comprising of coconut milk, sugar, eggs and/or pandan leaf.

If you are a fan of kaya toasts, a walk down the popular shopping districts of singapore will leave you wondering which coffee-stall offers the best toast. In order to remain competitive in this hyper-inflated economy, it seems that expanding corporate franchises tip the scale. That being said, we visited the top four most popular coffee-stall chains in singapore, namely 'killiney kopitiam', ya kun', 'toast box' and the most recent entry to the list, 'oldtown'.

'Killiney Kopitiam' 

(+) Well blended freshly brewed coffee.
(+) 'Mellow' coffee, probably full or high roast. Slight bittersweet tang with low acidity.

Kaya Toast

(+) Generous spread of kaya oozes out with every bite.
(+) Rich ingredients used, and can taste the 'beaded' texture of the kaya.
(+) Strong emphasis on eggs and pandan as ingredients.
(+) Crisp toast on the surface and soft on the inside, requiring slight tug with the teeth.
(+) Butter serving size proportionate to kaya spread.
(+) Balanced taste of sweetness and a light tinge of saltiness from the butter.
(+) Butter melts instantly in the mouth.

(-) Serving size of the standard 2pcs toast is small relative to competitors.

Verdict: 8.5/10
Please refer to www.killiney-kopitiam.com/loc_sg.html for more information about location of outlets.

'Ya Kun kaya toast'

(-) Earthy flavour and tasted musty.
(-) Lacks a strong enough body.

Kaya Cream Crackers

(+) Fresh crisp cream crackers, offering different mouth-feel from toast.
(+) Well balanced spread of kaya and the slightly salted butter.
Kaya toast 
(+) Toast is of fine slice and very evenly toast.
(+) Crisp and brittle slice, crumbles with each bite!
(+) Uses brown bread (though not wholemeal) which enhanced aroma of toast.
(+) Every bite is homogeneous for kaya and butter are proportionately spread.
(+) A very balanced taste in general, unlike Killiney's focus on egg as ingredient.

(-) Keep the saucer close for the falling crumbs!

Verdict: 8.5/10

Please refer to www.yakun.com/singapore.aspx for outlets' locations.

'Toast Box'

Kaya toast 
(+) Uses white bread and the toast was crisp on outside, soft on inside.
(+) Good for those who favours brown kaya.

(-) Butter overwhelmed the kaya and you taste more of the former.

(-) The aftertaste (and lips) were buttery and hence oily.
(-) Uneven spread and proportion of butter and kaya.

Verdict: 6.0/10
Please click here for full list of Toast Box outlets.

'Old Town White Coffee' 

White coffee
(-) Rather carbony taste to the coffee, leaving a tinge of burnt charcoal flavour.
(-) Personally I do not fancy anything other than black coffee w/o sugar.

Kaya toast

(+) Fanciful cut of the butter.

(-) Butter was solidified and cold when served and eaten.

(-) Brown kaya spread was thin and lackluster in taste.
(-) Toast was burnt. Each bite leaves you to cringe with a bitter after-taste.

Verdict: 5.0/10
Please refer to www.oldtown.com.my, 'Our Outlets', 'Location', 'Singapore'

So all 4 top kaya toasts have been reviewed upon and my verdict is simple. If you are after good kaya (in the spirit of a glutton who cares about consuming good calories), opt for 'Killiney''. Fancy a balanced bite not too overwhelming, taste out 'Ya Kun'. If you are not overly particular and goes for 'anything-also-can mentality''Toast Box' beckons. 'Old Town' ranks rather low in my taste book, but if you are after a quick fix and do not mind paying a premium over other available choices out there, go for it.

Dollars and cents (Singapore Dollars S$)

(all pricing are for 2pcs toasts)
Killiney kaya toasts  - S$1.90
Ya Kun kaya toasts  - S$2.00
Toast Box kaya toasts  - S$1.40
Old Town kaya toasts - S$2.20 

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