Ya Kun Kaya Toast
From its humble beginnings as a modest coffee stall in the 1940s, the name of Ya Kun has become synonymous with unparalleled kaya toast and irresistibly fragrant coffee and tea, enjoyed amidst a cosy atmosphere. Today, Ya Kun continues to delight fans and to attract converts.
If you looked around the stall, there will be posters telling customers that they are still using coffee socks. The newer food courts are serving coffee made from coffee machines, no longer needing a specialised person that can make good coffee.
Another new item I saw from the menu is cracker with butter. Remember "so ta pia" with a slice of butter? For the not so well off during our time, butter is a luxury product so this is considered a luxury food. Judging from the price that Ah Kun is selling this item now, it is also considered a luxury food.
Ya Kun Kaya Toast specializes in serving all day local breakfast, which generally consists of a few pieces of toasted bread with kaya and butter sandwiched between them, a plate of soft boiled eggs, and a cup of coffee or tea.
I absolutely adore the kaya toast at Ya Kun, because I don't think any other store does kaya toast as good as Ya Kun. The toast is always crispy on the outside, then soft and sweet on the inside, where kaya and butter goes perfectly with each other to create a tasty combination. I recommend the french toast at Ya Kun as well; Although no where as crispy as Ya Kun's famed kaya toast, the french toast is soft and delicious on its own. Sweet tooths can even dab a bit of kaya on the french toast for a sweeter option.
The tables at Ya Kun can be a little small though, as most Ya Kun stores are hardly spacious, and there can be quite a jostle for seats during breakfast hours or peak hours, so I would recommend arriving a little earlier than the crowd to ensure seats.
Singaporeans tend to like their breakfast fast and on the go, just like any metropolitan city and Ya Kun have managed to do that and more. For those who are packing to go, be amazed at the rare use of take-away coffee cups for an Asian F&B business and its small circular bowl with a lid for its eggs. There is also the emphasis of hiring a slightly older demographics to represent its brand by reflecting on the man behind the business itself and delivers a calm, relaxing, flashback to the past for those who wish to relax over the meal.
I ordered my usual Set A breakfast consisting of 2 half-boiled eggs, Kaya Toast and Milk Coffee. The half-boiled egg when I initially started to eat here was too runny for my taste but I've since adjusted my taste-buds to suit it. Be quite generous with its dark Soya sauce as it is a little too bland for my taste.
The coffee was done to perfection with its aroma brings up the smell of any coffee shop and with its porcelain saucer and cup; it complements the concept of the store.
The kaya toast is exactly how I liked it, a single slice of white Chinese loaf bread sliced in half vertically across the bread, applied generously with kaya and a piece of butter after being charcoal toasted.
This rich indulgence is a good feeling of nostalgia to sink back into once in a while to relax and enjoy the simplicity of life.
Their toasts are crispy on the outside, soft and warm inside. Biting into the toast, the kaya and butter complement each other well. There is an equal and perfect amount of combination of kaya and butter sandwiched between the bread. The toasts are FLAWLESS. The accompanying eggs are always cooked flawlessly and consistently as well. They're always runny to the right extent, just the way I like them but seldom achieve cooking on my own. The warm beverages are also made with love - thick and aromatic, sweet to the appropriate extent.
Service is as warm as their breakfasts. The aunties and uncles there are generally very friendly and nice. An experience at Yakun brings you a taste of tradition with their breakfast sets and a sense of home with their service
This establishment has tried to price itself with the other brands similar to itself, ie, Killiney, and Old Town White Coffee. But instead of trying to do EVERYTHING, in Killiney’s case, and being very inconsistent in its food standards, in Old Town’s case, Ya Kun has managed to stay humble despite its expansion.
They specialize in what they do best. Kaya toasts are prepared on its famous thinly sliced toasts that are roasted in a consistent manner. They are cut into the right portions and stacked nicely in a trademark manner. The default sets that include milk tea, with toast and soft-boil eggs are still its best seller. And this is rightly so. As they has mastered making Hainanese breakfast food in the most careful, dedicated, and trademark fashion. Ya Kun Kaya Toast deserves to be the best in the group of food and beverages chains that are trying to produce “authentic” Singaporean Breakfast food.
A good lesson for those who want to start a similar chain. Find your niche, and make it good.
I will usually order a toast set or a french toast set for my breakfast. A toast set consist of 2 slices of bread with kaya, 2 poached eggs and coffee, while the french toast set as the name implies french toast. The toast is a piece of brown colour bread, toasted to the point of being crispy when you bite into it. The kaya and butter melts together due to the warmth of the toast, and as you bite into it, the melted butter will flow out. It just taste superb. And to make it more superb, dip the toast into the poached eggs and you get a combined taste another with the egg yolk. However, it is too bad that the toast is really too thin and this resulted in the bread being too crispy after being toasted
The french toast is lightly fried with eggs, and a portion of kaya is provided to use as a dip which is very unique. However, i do not eat this a lot as the french toast tends to be pretty oily.
Crispy toasts with a slab of butter and kaya spread in between is what Ya Kun is famous for. It is absolutely different from the toasts we make at home with the toaster. The bread is different, it is thinner and when toasted, it is toasted to a slight golden brown. It tasted perfect with their own kaya and butter back then. However, after they started franchising and many more outlets start to pop up in Singapore, the standard of it has dropped greatly. I guess that is inevitable, but I am quite disappointed though. Last week, I ordered takeaway for a toast set and the toasts were cold and mushy. I think it would be better to eat in the stall itself, along with kopi or teh c. Breakfast sets are available too, with the inclusion of toasts of your choice (kaya with butter, peanut butter, french toast etc.), eggs and beverage of your choice as well.
Ya Kun is a perfect way to start your morning, furthermore, with traditional toasts and cheap breakfast sets at around $3.90. The Ya Kun stalls has a traditional feel to it, with wooden tables and stools decking the place. Thus, eating in Ya Kun stall itself gives you a feel of eating toast in the olden days and allows you to enjoy your hot piping toasts.
Ya Kun remains one of the places that I go to when I am craving some old-school crispy kaya toast. Although prices are rather steep for bread, Ya Kun has the best kaya I’ve tasted so far! So until I find somewhere else comparable, it’s likely I will remain a loyal fan.
The bread is toasted to crispy perfection, sandwiching a thick slab of sinful butter with delicious kaya. Paired with two soft-boiled eggs drenched in black sauce, the toast and egg makes a simple but wonderfully delicious meal.
For Singaporeans, Ya Kun has turned into a household name that has captured the hearts of many, and for good reason too!
By and large they have maintained their standard despite the massive expansion. They have also added new variations to their menu, most notably the steamed kaya bread. Steaming the bread melts the butter within, letting mix with the kaya and soak into the white bread. When
The kaya toast is really well-done, with the bread being toasted till crispy. with a generous portion of kaya and butter slathered on it. Soft boiled eggs are one of my favourite foods ever, and I love eating the ones served by Ya Kun because the eggs are cooked and turn out perfectly, not too raw and not too cooked. Wash it down with a cup of coffee or tea, and this makes the perfect breakfast combination in Singapore.
Ya Kun offers delicious local breakfast fare with a touch of nostalgia, which is probably why it appeals to both the locals and foreigners as well. Ya Kun will always be my top choice for breakfast fare.
Their milo however, is a little pricey. It does taste better than most milos that you get, because it's nice and thick that has the consistency of a milkshake, but $3 is still too much.
The serve time is rather short, but I think that there's still room for improvement. It can get rather crowded in the mornings and you'd have to look around quite a bit for a table, and it's usually not even cleared yet. So the service could definitely do better.
I also love their rustic small chairs and tables that remind me a bit of old coffee shops. However, the only negative point would be that I think the prices of their beverages are getting too expensive. A small cup of coffee now costs $1.60! Hence, I suggest visiting Ya Kun only once in a while, as good coffees and teas can be found at public hawker centres for about $1 only.
Ya Kun has also tried to reinvent itself by coming up with "flashier drinks" like ice-blended varieties but I still strongly recommend staying traditional when you visit. Why go to a traditional place for a 'modern' drink?
Despite it's deep history dating back to the late 1900s, the Ya Kun stalls seems to keep themselves updated while managing to maintain it's roots. The old-ish tables and chairs give the ambience of Singapore in the past, giving me a sense of belonging and home every time I walk in. Talking about being updated, the Ya Kun company constantly comes up with new ideas and recipes to keep it's customers enticed and wanting more. The recent addition of Ice-Blended beverages has been a hit amongst the younger generation, along with the chocolate toast dip and hot cheese toast.
I remember ordering the tall stack of toast and a nice, tall glass of milo. I inhaled the food and drink within minutes, while my parents stared at me in surprise. I didn't eat much then.
From then on, every Sunday after TaeKwonDoe, I would head down to Ya Kun Kaya Toast at Rivervale Mall for some food and drink. It was a time we used to catch up with each other, to talk, and most importantly, to bond as a family. Those times are one I would never forget.
Back in those days, I recall enjoying that unique delicious brown crusty toasted bread, cut expertly thin and spread generously with their signature gorgeous kaya, salted butter with a cup of thick Hainanese coffee... while observing well fed rats scampering along the food centre ceiling trusses. Definitely not Remy, the aspiring Ratatouille those days yet.....
Rats notwithstanding, Ya Kun toasts and coffee were too good to resist. It's the de facto coffee break go to place (at least for me). Even during those days....looking at the constant long queue... you know this coffee joint is bursting at it's seams and is destined for greater heights.
Fast forward to present day...You can enjoy more than toast and coffee at Ya Kun, with it's menu of popular local dishes. Ya Kun is a success story that spread it's wings beyond S'pore shores. It holds it's own against international coffee chains....having it's own loyal supporters, that includes me. It's good the rats are a thing of the past.
Not only are the product offerings affordable, they certainly live up to expectations as well. Yes, Ya Kun has successfully redefined the traditional kopi and kaya to something that teenagers and children adore and appreciate. Try it if you have not, and you’d be pleasantly surprised.
At Ya Kun, you can taste many traditional Singapore breakfast like Kaya, butter toast and soft boiled eggs. Most importantly, I love the fact that despite selling these traditional items, they also offer many modern favorites like French toast and ice blended drinks! I especially love their green tea ice blended and iced Horlicks. No matter what your taste or preference is, Ya Kun can definitely offer something for you.
Overall, it definitely is a great place for you to chill and chit chat with your friends over a cuppa coffee :)