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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Coffee Houses

Wang – Your Local Coffee HouseWang - Rating Meter

1 Martime Square
#01-83 Harbour Front Centre
Singapore 099253

Sitting adjacent to the local Mc Donalds I decided to give this place a try while I was waiting for my company shuttle bus.  An hour and a half to kill and hungry from a very early start to the day I decided to order their standard kaya toast breakfast set.

I’ve often seen a long line snake in and around this place of a morning with commuters eagerly awaiting their caffeine and toast fix for the morning.  What was with the queuing for a local cup of Joe vs. the one being offered by the golden arches?  From first impressions the place itself was cramped, way too many chairs around tables that were located too close together; I think the owners are more concerned with trying to cram as many people into a small-a-place as possible.  I was there after the morning jam and left before the post lunch fix; I can only imagine the hassle of trying to traverse the maze of chairs and oddly placed tables just to get to my chair.

Time to place my order.  I was greeted by a less than enthused cashier to hurriedly took my order, made my way over to the drink collection counter where I waited for my cuppa to be poured and my eggs dished out to me.  The Kopi came and then I saw what they did with my soft boiled eggs; cracked open the egg and poured the contents onto the plate.  What’s wrong with that you may ask?  Well what about the bits of egg white that would have stuck to the inside of the shell?  Disappointed.  Collected my stuff and waited for my toast.

Wang Coffee Kaya Breakfast Set (left to right) – Soft Boiled Egg, Kaya Toast Kopi

Verdict: The soft boiled eggs were extremely watery and runny, I had a hard time trying to scoop the contents into my little spoon; the egg yolks looked a little pale, perhaps they were laid by an albino chicken?  The kaya toast was passable, the texture of the kaya was a little too grainy for my liking and the toast didn’t have the crispiness that I was expecting (maybe it was the huge chunks of butter that made it moist).  The only saving grace was the Kopi which had a nice aroma and that little “Kick” I’ve come to expect from local Kopi.

Apologies for not retaining the receipt; I cannot for the life of me remember how much the set meal was!

Ya Kun – Kaya ToastYa Kun - Rating Meter

301 Upper Thomson Road
#03-45A Thomson Plaza
Singapore 574408

This is grand daddy of all local coffee stall chains in and around Singapore, and there is reason why it’s still around.  The stuff from here is good.  I’ve been in an around Singapore long enough and eaten at all the various chains (Ya Kun, Wang, Toast Box and a few others) and this remains to me at least the pick of the crop.

In comparison to Wang I have to say Ya Kun does a better job of seat and table layout, even at some of their smaller outlets I’ve never felt like I was going to bang into the person next to me while walking back to my table.

The staff who are working there tend to be more of the mature age bracket and they seem to be a little less concerned about ringing in the next sale ASAP, not implying that they are slow, just that they know what they are doing and they do it well.

Unlike @ Wang, the server made sure the inside of the egg shell was clean and all the contents of the egg were on my plate.

Ya KunKaya Toast Set (A) (left to right) – Kaya Toast, Soft Boiled Egg and Teh Si 

Verdict:  The soft boiled eggs were definitely less runny and laid by a non-albino chicken, the kaya toast; heavenly, the kaya was as smooth as silk and the slices of butter melded well with it and the crisp crunchy toast!  The teh si again like it’s local kopi counterpart was flavorful and strong and always a treat to drink.  This is one of the very few things I do miss about Singapore food when I travel overseas!

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