10 Reasons Why Singaporean Breakfast is the Best Breakfast in the World

6 minutes reading time (1109 words)

10 Favourite Singapore Breakfasts

 

Singaporeans are a lucky bunch when it comes to breakfast choices. Before brunch was all the rage, we mostly had our breakfasts at our trusty kopitiams and hawker centres - and we still do.

Here are 10 reasons why Singaporean breakfasts are the best in the world.

 

1. Kaya Toast

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_kaya-toast.jpgSource: On Singapore

What it is: Kaya, a coconut jam flavoured by pandan leaf and sugar, spread between two pieces of toast.

Why we love it: The generous slathering of kaya, slightly charred toasts and the occasional wedge of butter in it... I present you the quintessential Singaporean breakfast item. It can be found in almost every kopitiam on our sunny island. In case you haven't heard, Hugh Jackman dropped by Yakun when he was in Singapore for the premiere of the X-Men: Days of Future Past to try this. Need we say more?

Recommend Places for Kaya Toast:

  1. Yakun - Various outlets. For details, see here.
  2. Killiney Kopitiam - Various outlets. For details, see here.
 

2. Soft boiled eggs

 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_softboileggs.jpgSource: @crystalcheng5

What it is: Eggs which are half-boiled, so that the yolk is still wobbly and the egg white has a curd-like consistency.

Why we love it: They are best paired with kaya toasts for a more complete breakfast. Some Singaporeans have theirs with a lot of soya sauce, others with just a dash of pepper. Some break the yolk and swirl it together, while others slurp the whole egg whole. For a seemingly simple breakfast item, we sure have many ways of eating it.

Recommend Places for Soft Boiled Eggs:

  1. Yakun - Various outlets. For details, see here.
  2. Killiney Kopitiam - Various outlets. For details, see here.
 

3. Roti Prata

 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_rotiprata.jpg
Source: @ann_foodies

What it is: Fried flour-based pancakes cooked over a flat grill.

Why we love it: This dish may have originated in India but it is also steeped in our local food culture. The best thing about roti prata is that it can be a sweet or savoury breakfast, depending on whether you choose to eat it with sugar or curry. More innovative options include choosing from fillings such as cheese and mushrooms in your prata.

Recommend Places for Roti Prata:

  1. Al Ameen Eating House - 4 Cheong Chin Nam Road
  2. The Roti Prata House -  246M Upper Thomson Road
 

4. Carrot Cake

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_chaitowkuay.jpgSource: @woo_alan

What it is: Rice cake fried with white radish. It is usually cooked with eggs and sometimes with soya sauce, depending on how “black” you want it to be.

Why we love it: This Teochew radish cake dish, which is also known as "Chai Tow Kway" among Singaporeans, should not be confused with its sweet Western counterpart. The crisp exterior and the fluffy rice cakes make for a very heaty but satisfying dish.

Recommend Places for Carrot Cake:

  1. Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway - Stall 26, Zion Riverside Food Centre, 70 Zion Road
  2. Lim Hai Sheng Cooked Food - #01-09, 726 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6
 

5. Nasi Lemak

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Nasi-Lemak.jpgSource: @maharajah8

What it is: Fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves and topped with peanuts, fried egg, ikan bilis and cucumbers.

Why we love it: This, to me, is the Malay version of the Chinese Economical Beehoon. The mama shop at my old flat used to sell this for $1.20 per packet and the 9-year-old me thought it was the most value-for-money meal ever. Perhaps it still is.

Recommend Places for Nasi Lemak:

  1. Chong Pang Nasi Lemak - 447 Sembawang Road
  2. Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak - #01-106, Boon Lay Place Market and Food Centre, 221 Boon Lay Place
 

6.  Chwee Kueh

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_chweekueh_20140624-033619_1.jpgSource: @melanie_mak

What it is: Steamed rice cakes served with preserved radish or chye poh

Why we love it: This piping hot dish is usually served on brown waxed papers and eaten with satay sticks. A freshly made dish of chwee kueh definitely be my choice of breakfast on a rainy day.

Recommend Places for Chwee Kueh:

  1. Ghim Moh Chwee Kueh - #01-31, Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, 20 Ghim Moh Road
  2. Jian Bo Shui Kueh - #02-05, Tiong Bahru Market, 30 Seng Poh Road 
 

7. Pau

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_pau.jpgSource: AromaCookery

What it is: Buns with various fillings.

Why we love it: Hot buns on metal trays inside a steaming box - brings back memories, doesn’t it? There are the sweet options like the Lian Rong Pau (filled with Lotus Seed Paste), Dou Sha Pau (filled with Sweet Bean Paste), and also the savoury and meaty options like Char Siew Pau (filled with barbecue flavoured pork). One pau usually costs no more than a dollar. The best on-the-go breakfast option, in my opinion.

Recommend Places for Pau:

  1. Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionary - #01-113, 72 Thomson Road
  2. Teck Kee Pau - Various outlets. For details, see here.
 

8. Milo

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_milo-tin.jpg
Source: The Sourceress

What it is: Chocolate and malt powder which can be mixed in hot or cold water or milk to produce a drink.

Why we love it: Most Singaporean students have fond memories of Milo truck during school events. Singaporeans' perennial favourite beverage is also known as “Tak Kiu” (football in Hokkien) among the older generations, because of the pictures of soccer on the Milo tins. The taste of Milo has been said to be inimitable. 

Where to find Milo: Any kopitiam in Singapore.

 

9. Kopi

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_kopi2.jpgSource: Supermerlion

What it is: Hot and unsweetened coffee. 

Why we love it: Kopi-o kosong (hot and unsweetened black coffee) and its variations are perhaps the most popular drinks in the kopitiam. Before artisanal coffees from hipster cafés were the in thing, this was the caffeine fix. Master the kopitiam lingo and you are good to order your perfect brew. This guide from Burpple will definitely help you.

Where to find Kopi: Any kopitiam in Singapore.

b2ap3_thumbnail_kopilingo.jpg Source: Burpple

 

10. Teh

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_teh.jpg

Source: Supermerlion

What it is: Hot and unsweetened tea.

Why we love it: Teh (hot tea) is also another popular drink in the kopitiams, with Teh-si probably being the most popular variation. You can find Teh-tarik (literally translated as "pulled tea") at some coffee shops too, where the mixture is poured from a cup to another from a height to ensure the even mixing of the teh and condensed milk, hence the froth on top.

Where to find Teh: Any kopitiam in Singapore. 

 

There you have it!

 

Given our incredibly diverse food culture, this list of breakfasts you can have in Singapore is non-exhaustive. Nevertheless, we think these 10 items provide a great overview of classic kopitiam breakfasts in Singapore.

Let us know if there are other classic Singaporean breakfast items that should be on this list!

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