Toast Box is a modern take of the coffee shops from the 60s and 70s, where breakfast was a hot coffee, an egg and toasted bread. Today there are more than 30 outlets in Singapore and they serve various local favourites like Curry Chicken.
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"Ok La" place....
For great toast, coffee, tea and cakes, Singaporeans are spoilt for choices. So is Toast Box is any good? in view of the competition... that's where Toast Box ambience seeks to differentiate itself.
In some branches (like the one in Yew Tee Point)...you see the use of old manual leg-powered sewing machine, piano, etc) just to impart a 60s-70s mood. Sweet...but is the coffee and toast, the main items any good ? Let's just say the toast is ok, while the Nanyang coffee is thick & aromatic. Certainly, good for a perk up.
The rest of the offerings...banana cakes, nasi lemak, etc, is acceptable. But my personal favourite would be the Chendol. It's what keep me going for more. The gula melaka use does not give a bitter aftertaste and the coconut is fresh...smooth.
No need to drive to Malacca Jonker street for a quick Chendol fix (^__^)
So if a Toast Box is near and you suffer a caffeine attack...go ahead...have a nostalgic break :)
Traditional dining experience
The traditional ambiance of toast box is an added factor while enjoying their food and drinks. I really admire their concept..from the furnitures, the ceramic wares and of course..the food!
I usually order their creamy and crunchy peanut butter toast combined with hot milk tea..good combination on a rainy day! When I'm craving for laksa, Toast Box is the most accessible as they've got branches everywhere. But sometimes their laksa is more of Tau Pok with only 1 shrimp and the beansprouts are not fresh already..needs improvement on that.
A nice place to reminisce.
Whenever I stepped into any Toast Box outlet, the first 3 things that came to my mind is Milk Tea, Curry Chicken Rice and Traditional Kaya toast. The milk tea brewed there is just nice. Not too sweet, not too "thick". The toast are also heavenly. Warm crunchy toast with a little bit of burnt smell with cold kaya and butter. It is perfect. Here comes the best part - Curry Chicken Rice!
All the different outlets that I went to never once disappoint me about their Curry Chicken. It's always nicely cooked. Curry not too spicy, potatoes soft enough to chew, chickens are fully cooked. Toast box is the best place to reminisce and chill out with your friends or family. The ambience will make you feel that you are in the 90s and do not wish to leave.
Tiny space, many tables.
Outlets of Toast Box are spreading quick across the whole of Singapore. Toast Box serves authentic local cuisine like Nasi Lemak, Mee Siam and the classic soft-boiled eggs with Kaya toast. I've tried their Mee Siam the Heartland mall branch several times. The portion was slightly more than what I can eat. The bee hoon will stick together in a bunch which makes it very messy when I try to pry them apart. The soup would splash onto my clothes and drip onto my hands. Flavour wise, it was mediocre. I've eaten better Mee Siam from Long House.
The classic Kaya toast was alright as well. The spread was generous, often spilling over onto the side of the toast. However, in my opinion, the bread wasn't toasted well. The toast was still soft and it doesn't have the crunch when I bite into it unlike toasts from Ya Kun for example.
I love the white and brown theme of the shop. I think that it creates a nostalgic mood for dinners. The tables are usually cleared relatively quickly. On the other hand, what annoys me the most are the tiny tables and chairs. Once the food are all on the table, there are practically no room to place our beverage, hand phones or wallets. People at the table would always have to make themselves as small as possible to fit everyone at the table. I would always have to hold my valuables with one hand and eat with another. It is definitely not convenient and pleasing at all. On top of that, the tables are placed so near to each other that one can barely walk to the counter without bumping into people seated.
I would not dine at Toast Box unless necessary.
I've had better.
I went into Toast Box just last week, the outlet located at 313 Somerset. I ordered a set of half-boiled eggs and kaya toast. Cliche, I know. But I was in the mood for it!
The first thing that irritated me was when I was placing my order, the cashier was talking to her colleagues and I had to repeat my order a few times before she got it right. I had to wait for my order so I got a seat and was reading my book when out of the blue, a loud and unruly burst of Tagalog and hysterical laughter filled the air! I looked up and found the entire service crew standing around and talking away and worse still, the outlet manager was joining in. Several of the other patrons were also visibly annoyed at this display of unprofessional behaviour.
My order came a full 12 minutes later, and to top off my experience, my toast was barely warm. Overpriced and average-tasting, I certainly endured a miserable experience at Toast Box.
Toast box for the toast.
Other than the banana cake, I've never tried any other food in Toast Box except for their toast.
I mean, it's named toast box for a reason right? You go to toast box to eat toast just like you go pizza hut to eat pizza! Anyway the banana cake was a tad dry. I didn't like it.
I found myself in toast box when my friend decided yakun was getting boring. The chairs were too small for my bum and so were the tables. Not a very nice place to sit and chill. A little noisy too! The only upside about toastbox is their peanut butter toast. IT. IS. HEAVENLY.
I love it! The toast is crunchy and toasty, the peanut butter is warm and it coats the walls of your mouth! Somehow the eggs also seem slightly larger than that of yakun's.
The kaya butter toast was disappointing though. Looks like something I can make myself. toasted white bread, normal kaya and a slab of butter. Eugh. The presentation didn't even look good! 2 rectangular pieces of bread. Hm..
Laksa...at Toast Box!
Please, do not be mistaken by its name. Despite being named 'Toast Box', it serves other food products other than toast. I ordered myself a Laksa set meal at a branch at Ngee Ann Polytechnic for about $5 (much cheaper than other outlets). The set meal was supposed to include a bowl of laksa and a glass of barley drink. However, I was quite disappointed when the cashier told me that they were out of barley, and asked me if I wanted lemon tea instead. I said yes, of course, and I sat myself down, waiting for my order.
Now, here comes the really disappointing part. Instead of using thick vermicelli (粗米粉), they used 'silver pin' noodles (or, as some would call it, 'mouse tail noodles') for the laksa instead. Other than that, the laksa came with nothing else other than a few pieces of fishcakes and three prawns. There weren't even beansprouts in it.
It would be much appreciated if Toast Box could actually point out in their advertisement that they serve laksa in this manner, so as to prevent customers from being disappointed.
Quaint and good!
Toast Box is a pretty quaint cafe. Although it is similar to Ya Kun, selling toasts and coffees, both its exterior and interior designs are very cute and inviting. I've recently tried the toast and egg from Toast Box and it was pretty good! The only qualm was that for a set meal, there was only 2 pieces of toast, 2 half-boiled eggs and a drink, which was very little for its price. Also, the toast was not crispy enough as compared to Ya Kun.
I tried the laksa for lunch too and it was delicious! Instead of the usual noodle, the laksa at Toast Box used Mee Tai Mak, and it reminded me of the famed Katong Laksa! The soup base was very tasty, and not oily like some places. It wasn't really spicy too, so people who cannot really take spice can try it. I'd definitely recommend the laksa!
Price-wise, Toast Box is definitely not considered cheap. Despite the fact that it is practically franchised everywhere in Singapore, a set meal comprising a main and a drink can easily go up to $8. The mee siam and laksa set meals are yummy, but it is really costly if you compare it to the ones outside, which on average are priced from $3. However, I'd still say it is worth a try!
Comfort breakfast food
Toast box is a charming place with a western country look. However, given the small space of the shop with the crowd of people (especially placed in oft-visited shopping malls), it is hard to find the ambience relaxing and enjoyable. That said, it is my favourite place, second to Ya Kun, to have my favourite kaya toast set with their equally delectable Iced Milk Tea.
As expected, getting a seat on a weekend can be a pain in the neck. Additionally, the seats and tables (mostly, stools) are rather small given the constraint in space. It definitely is noisy also to have your snack or meals there.
However, given its popularity, it is hard to acknowledge that the prices are reasonably priced for their toasts and pastries (cakes at just $1+). I haven't tried their cooked food however so I cannot comment on that. When I am at Toast Box, I simply just like to have my toast fix and leave immediately to avoid getting annoyed by the noise and crowd.
Local food at expensive prices; not an enjoyable venue for breakfast
There are several components that make up a good eatery: quality, value and ambience. I think Toast Box performs quite poorly on all 3 fronts.
The quality of food is passable. Nothing at all different from what you can find at the nearby hawker centre. Except for the fact that the hawker centre probably has more variety! With such a small menu to choose from, it is certainly not a place I would stop by for breakfast on a regular basis.
Price wise, the food can get rather expensive as well; and I do not see the justification for it. Sure, one can avoid the sweltering Singapore heat and have his/her breakfast in air-conditioned comfort. However, is it worth that much more?
As for the ambience, there is always a very 'rushed' atmosphere at Toast Box, regardless of which outlet i visit. Many outlets provide extremely small tables and chairs, arranged in a very cluttered fashion. Sure, you may say it's meant to portray the authentic style of furniture in the old days. However, it results in an uncomfortable experience. I almost feel like the furniture is designed such that you won't sit for long (which is of course to the stall's advantage). Frankly, this is not a place you would stay for long or have a chat. It would a place where once you're done with your meal, you would just want to move on.
The only times I have eaten at Toast Box would be when it's convenient and when i need a quick meal before rushing off somewhere. However, it certainly is not a place I would recommend going out of the way to visit.
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Good for coffee.
I don't consider myself a coffee aficionado or a caffeine addict, so it's funny that one of the main reasons I visit Toast Box is to drink their hot caffeinated beverages - either their Kopi or Yuan Yuang (mix of coffee and tea).
In this aspect, I find their hot beverages to be more fragrant than the average coffeeshop coffee you get for 90 cent, a kind of higher 'tiered' local coffee if such a thing even existed. The flavours here are thicker and fuller which someone like me can really enjoy, and they heat the cup as well (by pouring boiling water over it) to ensure your beverage is hot. That's a good practice that funnily enough isn't practiced by a good number of hawker stalls/food courts today.
Toast Box has hence been the site of many a good catch-up session or a simple coffee drinking session (with less of a focus on the chat). I'm particularly partial towards the ambiance at the outlet at Tampines 1 - it has a very VERY high ceiling (i.e. the Mall's roof) which gives it a very nice open air yet air-conditioned feel. Another Toast Box worthy of mention is the one at MBS which has quite a grand decoration and is honestly a great place to rest your tired feet from (window) shopping at the place. It IS very crowded over there though.
Needless to say, the caffeinated beverages here do not come cheap, but if you find yourself craving good local coffee, maybe you could give Toast Box a try. Maybe you'd become as partial to their coffee as well.
Cheap place for tea and cofee
Toast Box is good value for money when you want a decent place to have coffee, tea and hang out with people. Compared to Ya Kun, the way they make their tea is also more consistent. They also serve rather decent food. I enjoy their curry, mee siam, mee rebus and laksa. Don't like their toasts so much but once awhile, I guess they're okay to have.
But Toast Box have poor service! The staff don't clean up quickly and there are always a shortage of place. Despite that, people seem to queue and wait and they don't mind. I guess it's because they're cheaper than most cafes. Also, the decor is quite nice and pleasant in most of their outlets.
Little variety but good food
Toast Box is always the place I go to when I'm craving for some quality toast. It'll forever be on my to-order-list along with their coffee/tea and if my appetite's up for it, laksa!!
The butter and kaya combination used at toast box just compliment each other so well! And when accompanied with crunchy toast slices, there's no saying my day is made. The eggs served as a set together with your choice of bread is always cooked to perfection. Runny but not quite cooked, it calls for really accurate timings!
Their home-recipe laksa is also pretty good. Tastes authentic, more on the creamy side and not that spicy. The portion is just right for someone who has a small appetite, unfortunately.
However, be sure to avoid the Resort World Sentosa's branch unless you want to be hacked off by touristy prices.
Peanut butter thick toast
I love Toast Box for its thick toasts! When I first tried it, I kept going back for more, peanut butter thick toast and milo thick toast that has drizzled condensed milk on it. I remember how I was quite intrigued by the ‘mountain’ of butter they have on the countertop while they do the toast in the open. Their toasts are crispy outside and soft inside, and their toppings for the thick toast are very generous.
Their breakfast set is quite ok. But some of the outlets have a pretty comfortable décor (white and light brown clean cut furniture with some vintage feel to it) that is quite inviting, though there is usually a crowd in it.
Quaint ambience and decent food
I was craving for my Laksa fix today, so I decided to visit the Toastbox inside the Parkway Parade food court, as there was no other outlet selling it, much to my exasperation.
In terms of variety, there isn't much to choose from. Full meal sets encompass only about five dishes, such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Mee Siam, Mee Goreng and Curry Chicken noodle (that's how small the menu was, I could memorise all their dishes!) For the breakfast types, there seems to be a wider choice, such as Kaya Toast and half-boiled eggs among other things. For my Laksa, I chose the set option, where the entire meal cost me $6.10 plus a glass of barley water.
The actual Laksa itself is not very spicy, however the soup is rich and creamy as it should be, with a small proportion of prawns and taukua (bean curd) The Laksa-lover in me was also slightly disappointed with the use of the 'rice-tail noodles' instead of the traditional white noodles, however, the meal was still relatively enjoyable in any case. The one thing that I didn't enjoy as much would be the barley water. It left a weird sappy coating on the back of my throat and tongue and it didn't feel as refreshing and light as it should be.
Effort has clearly been put into designing the interior, with this particular outlet mixing a 1960s vibe with a nautical twist to it. While I am not a fan of the back-less stools provided, I suppose it does add to the rustic feel of the eatery in general. However, due to the small seating space, most of the tables and chairs were squeezed extremely close to each other. There was one point of time where I was practically rubbing my back against the middle-aged woman seated behind me! While the seating arrangements may prove claustrophobic for some, it did provide some sort of entertainment for me as I happened to be dining alone, where seated next to me, two elderly women engaged in a rousing conversation about some obscure education policy and discounts of beef noodles!
Overall, the food choices were very limited, but the Laksa was pretty decent and filling. The seating arrangement may vary from outlet to outlet but from my experience, most of them are relatively cramped, so get ready to be accidentally prodded in uncomfortable places by surrounding oblivious food patrons!
Once is enough
The first impression toast box gives would always be a good one. They are always beautifully decorated in a 50s-60s theme with a touch of class. Who wouldn't be drawn to a pretty shop selling our local delicacies?
However, though I absolutely adore their curry chicken, it is unfortunately not worth the price you pay.
Firstly, their food comes in such small portions. I'm a girl and I'm hardly full every time i finish the dish I ordered, and this often turns me to their dessert. Which is what they want I guess.
Secondly, their drinks are awful. The milk tea was bland and the barley is not even worth mentioning.
Lastly, though the decor wows me, their seats are kind of uncomfortable. Definitely not somewhere you'll want to seat and chat with your friends for a long period of time.
Overall, if you are thinking of visiting toast box, why not head to a nearby hawker center instead? You get more variety at a cheaper price!
I've eaten at Toastbox a few times, but that was it. It's a convenient place to get a quick bite and get a taste of local food and flavours,but if you're looking for a place that offers better tasting food, I wouldn't turn to Toastbox.
What struck me the most was that nothing particular stands out from this place. They do not have a signature dish that makes people want to come back from more. I remember having their curry chicken rice once but the taste of the dish was average and I didn't feel like my money was well spent. I could get better food at a more affordable price easily from any nearby hawker centre.
Thumbs up for traditional milk tea!
I really relish the thought of Toastbox's thick toast and 'teh si'. The teh si at Toast Box is thick enough and refreshing as well. The milo thick toast and a light and fluffy texture which is enjoyable to eat. It is a bit on the pricey side for serving coffee shop food, but the old-school ambiance makes up for it. It is an enjoyable experience as it is like travelling back into the past and enjoying the vintage furniture as well as the delightful snacks there. I will certainly recommend it to Singaporeans or foreigners looking for slightly affordable local snacks and for a taste of Singapore's heritage.
Revolution for the traditional chinese breakfast
A few months back, Ngee Ann polytechnic brought in toast box and personally, breakfast there is almost a must for me everyday. So where else better than Toastbox? For my usual, I would always order the traditional kaya toast set, which is rather value for money. It comes tgt with 2 slices of kaya butter toast, 2 half boiled eggs and milk tea for me.
The toast are always toasted well enough, with a good standard spread of kaya, and a slice of cold butter made it all come together well enough. I always request for the eggs to be cooked awhile longer, and the service staff are really nice to inform me when the eggs are done. However, the quality of the milk tea varies. I noticed that different staff made the same drink differently. Some days, I would love my milk tea so much, and on some days, I would be disappointed. The taste of the milk can really differ so much that I wouldn't want to drink more than half the cup - yes, it can be too sweet.
The toasts are generally good, but the other dishes are not value for money. I ordered curry chicken once, and the chicken turned out to be uncooked, potatoes were still quite hard, and the only edible part - was the rice. I requested for a change and expected better results, but to my disappointment, the chicken were still uncooked , potatoes were still hard.
Havent ordered the same dish since then. Whatsmore, the serving, taste and quality for the food is considered not value for money compared to other main dishes that are sold in the campus.
Breakfast at ToastBox would be a good for me, but lunch? Maybe not.
I'll stick with Ya Kun
Toast Box always seemed like a better option in terms of old school Singaporean-style cafes as compared to its competitor Ya Kun Kaya Toast - Toast Box offers a wide variety of food, from Laksa to the usual Coffee and Toast to even Cakes and Muffins. The white exterior always projects a warm, homely feel. It's not until I actually went in and try it did I have a completely different impression.
With reference to my title, it is obvious after just a singular experience here that the traditional taste of Singaporean-style breakfast rightfully belongs to Ya Kun. At Toast Box, the bread used was the typical white bread easily available at bakeries. I could replicate the toast in the comforts of my own home perfectly. I tried other flavours such as the Peanut Butter Toast and was also disappointed. The toast was extremely dry and also a tad pricey. The coffee was also average - not particularly fragrant. I commend, however, its use of those traditional kopitiam cups that bring about with it a taste of the 80's.
I love breakfasts, particularly the Soft Boiled Eggs, Toast, Coffee combination I grew up eating. But not here. I can easily find better alternatives.