Tart at Toast

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Toast, like its sister joint Marmalade Pantry, is another one of those dependables that shouldn’t go too wrong if you’re stuck in the Orchard area. A bunch of us went shopping, first just me and G, then we picked up Misa and finally HM. When the troops were assembled, we thought tea would be a good idea and wandered over to the little corner of Taka that’s Toast.

I normally go for the ice lemon tea, it’s quite different from the norm as they blend it with whole pieces of lemon so the zest flavours it nicely and it turns slightly cloudy, almost milky. I like how fresh it tastes, though I’m on the fence on the latest less-sweet formulation.

I liked the lemon meringue tart. For something that’d probably been sitting around all day, the pastry was still quite short, unlike the slightly soggy texture you invariably get with stuff that’s not fresh out of the oven. I’m quite fussy about meringue and am not keen on super high spongy peaks. This version was nicely thick with smaller air bubbles and had lovely burnt tips. It contrasted very well with the sweet-sour lemon curd. A winner.

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Toast
#02-11 Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road
Tel: 6733 8489

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Chin Mee Chin

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Chin Mee Chin is an East Coast institution. I wonder how many generations have run that venerable old coffee shop. You have to eat in at this place, there’s something about the round marble table tops, the dark wood chairs  and the Old School mosaic floor that make the experience so special. Those and the glass  cases filled with all sorts of baked temptations.

What draws me here is the great kaya toast. Here it’s done on a well-toasted bun lovingly slathered on both sides with their signature kaya. It’s thick and very sweet compared to other famous versions. It’s also very very good. I indulge only occasionally because the butter probably bypasses my digestive system and goes straight from throat to  heart. Mmm mmm good!

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The custard tart is one of those cult favourites of the East Coast set. I think it takes growing up eating these to appreciate them. It wasn’t such a big deal to me. The custard was acceptable and the pastry tasty, but it didn’t make my toes curl in bliss.

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Chin Mee Chin Coffeeshop
204 East Coast Road
Tel: 63450419

Klang Valley BKT and more

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Bah kut teh literally translates from Hokkien as meat bone tea. There are many versions throughout Singapore and the Malaysian Peninsula but it is generally pork ribs in clear broth with either Chinese herbs or lots of pepper and garlic, never both together. The chicken version is fittingly known as chick kut teh.

My KL friend was shocked that I’d not tried the famous Klang Valley Bah Kut Teh before. He promised that he’d take me there and give this ignorant Singaporean a taste of the dry version of bah kut teh. When I went up to KL last month, we spent almost an hour driving from KL to Klang. He takes any excuse to trek out there for his BKT fix.

Lai Choon Bah Kut Teh

Lai Choon Bah Kut Teh

We’ll start with the wet version. This one is pretty standard fare, with herbal soup and the option to add more ingredients like taukee (tofu sheets) and taupok (deep fried tofu cubes). I liked the aromatic broth and the ribs were pretty succulent even though I was tricked by a piece of bone masquerading as meaty pork rib.

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The wet version

Next up was the dry version of the bah kut teh. It’s actually described as “stewed meat” on the menu and technically isn’t bah kut teh considering there’s no soup in it. It comes piping hot in the claypot, check out the steam escaping. Thick chunks of belly pork are braised in heaps of dark sweet soy sauce and the killer ingredient, dried squid. Topped off at the last moment with lettuce leaves, the combination of tender savoury meat and squidy goodness makes it totally worth the long drive out. I slurped up every last bit of gravy in the pot.

The famous dry bah kut teh

The famous dry bah kut teh

Even though we were pretty full by then, brunch is brunch, so we had to seek out the breakfast portion of it. We also had the flimsy excuse of getting some kopi to stave off post-food coma for the drive back. Kopi peng (iced local coffee) is really famous at one of the stalls in the area, so we each had one. My friend asked for his to be gao (extra thick). The coffee was rich and strong, sweetened just-so with condensed milk. Reminded me of a toned down version of Vietnamese ca phe sua da. It went down smooth and was just the thing after lunch.

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rich and satisfying kopi peng

Well, you can’t just have kopi and nothing else right? Of course we ordered kaya toast. It’s quite different from the Singapore version. This one comes in a charcoal-toasted bun and has butter spread carefully so that the whole layer melts unctuously into the kaya. And the kaya! It’s more caramel than coconut and has this intense, almost molasses flavour that isn’t over-sweet. It is so excellent I could give up my Ya Kun kaya toast for it.

Best kaya toast in Malaysia

Best kaya toast in Malaysia

Having thoroughly fortified ourselves with Klang delights, we headed back to spend the afternoon playing wii.