The ideal afternoon tea for me is crispy kaya toast with a cup of Teh Si (Milk Tea) and best of all the whole meal costs less than a cup of cappuccino at some fancy cafe.
The Hainanese invented the Kaya Toast because they wanted to serve the local population something similar to what the Colonial British were eating but at a fraction of the price. The same idea is still very much alive today, except that Kopi and Kaya Toast is no longer just trying to emulate something else, it quite confidently holds its own place in our little gourmet paradise.
I caught up with the kakis over at Jalan Bersih Food Centre for lunch and we subsequently adjourned for dessert over at Coffee Hut which I blogged back in 2007. At the time, the story was about SCS Butter devouring 8 cups of Kopi because it was so good. Well, the Kopi hasn’t changed. It is just as good as before as attested by some professional looking chaps who caught me taking photos that day. It turned out that they were coffee connoisseurs who would go to the extent of roasting their own beans, not to mention pulling their own espresso by hand.
So what were these professional Kopi Gui (coffee addicts) with cuff links doing in a food centre drinking Kopi? Well, the Kopi is good and the Toast is crispy and it is all for less than $3. Yes, there is a time for a cup of espresso but sometimes nothing beats a cup of Kopi Si with Kaya Toast.
There are many stalls now serving Kopi and Kaya Toast and you can find it virtually in every shopping centre. This is a wonderful development and I like the convenience of being able to sit down for my cup of Kopi or Teh Si at around almost every corner. However, to get that Kopi and Kaya Toast with that extra special touch, you still need to look for a personal Kopi Tau Chiew. (barista) You all already know about liverpool from Good Morning Nanyang Cafe, so today let me introduce you to Roland from Coffee Hut.
This is the kind of place where you rock up and make a big entrance as if you are like an old friend. If he is busy, all you have to do is to give him a nod and wink and he’ll get your order ready. Owner operators like Roland and Liverpool really put in the effort to get you that perfect Kopi and Toast which is what makes their joints special.
This time round at Coffee Hut, I rediscovered just how good their toast, buns and baguette actually are. The toast is light and crispy, the buns are soft and chewy and the baguette has a wonderful crusty crust which shatters when you bite into it. 4.5/5 Roland tells me that he actually picks up the baguette every morning on his way to the stall.
You can get Kopi and Kaya Toast almost anyway nowadays but as Kopi lovers know, its the long term relationship with a Kopi man who takes pride in their craft that makes it special. If you can’t decide on what to try here, may I suggest you go for the baguette because it is not something that you can readily find elsewhere.