Singapore's hawker centres have plenty of cheap and good choices for the first meal of the day. We rose to get to a few stops, including Chinatown Complex Food Centre, before clocking in at work
1 January 0001 12:00 AM
| Updated 26 Feb 2016
By Julia Khoo
Image 1 of 10 | Image credits: Julia Khoo
KAYA TOAST AND SOFT-BOILED EGGS | This is unofficially Singapore’s national breakfast set meal. Not just limited to breakfast hours, people also enjoy kaya toast and eggs throughout the day as a light meal or snack, washed down with a cup of potent Straits-style coffee or tea. A good kaya toast begins with the spread – sweet and fragrant pandan-scented coconut custard. Generously slather it onto slices of traditional local bread that’s that have been toasted till crisp and airy, and slap on slabs of frozen butter for more sinful goodness. Besides toast, some places also have the option of steamed white bread or pillowy buns. Together with runny soft-cooked eggs and thick Hainanese kopi, this is a breakfast that transcends race, language, and age groups. (from $1.20 for two slices of toast, and $1.20 for two eggs at Tong Ah Eating House)
CHWEE KUEH | Chwee kueh stands for "water cakes" (from four for $1 at Bedok Chwee Kueh) in Chinese dialect. This humble dish was created by Teochew immigrants. The components are simple: steamed rice cakes, chye poh (preserved salted radish), and chilli sauce for a spicy kick. The contrast of soft, wobbly cake against crunchy, salted chye poh and piquant chilli makes this deceptively humble dish a delightful myriad of flavours and textures.
Julia Khoo is a passionate foodie, freelance writer, photographer, and mommy of two precocious little girls. She is often guilty of feeding her camera before she feeds her kids – it’s a harmless occupational hazard. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and browsing brick-and-mortar bookstores – where you’ll most probably find her in the Food & Drink section.
To prepare for Singapore's inaugural coffee festival (9-12 June 2016), we caffeinated our way through 10 third wave coffee revolution cafes that roast their own beans, and got the lowdown from the folks who brew up the jittery java