The ToastBox, Singapore
There are several businesses in Malaysia and Singapore these days specialising in providing the kaya toast, poached eggs and selected street food like chicken curry laksa - but all at higher price and with a supposedly higher ambiance than those original kopitiams dotted across towns and suburbs in the two nations. I was impressed with the atmosphere and service experienced recently at the ToastBox outlet at Bugis Junction in Singapore. Quick, responsive and friendly, the staff went about their work at this busy and strategically located shop along the main strip. The test was in the signature offering, two fresh soft boiled eggs with an engrossing bread slice smothered with coconut-based kaya preserve and local coffee. (picture above)
Local fare offered by the ToastBox (clockwise from 12 noon in picture above) includes dainty layer cakes, Swiss jam rolls, the traditional nasi lemak (coconut milk steamed rice eaten with condiments of deep fried anchovies, hard boiled eggs, sambal and cucumber slices) packed above in take away triangle folded banana leaves, flat packed glutinous rice accompanied by sweet and savoury shrimp paste, deep fried chicken wings, egg custard and a whole chocolate cake.
Thee are various options available in how you can have your toast and eat them too - please refer to image above. I chose the toast with a spread of otak otak, the fish mousse found in most of South-east Asia from Chiengmai to Bali. (picture below) Other toppings used to spread on their thick toast bread are butter milk, spicy shrimp paste, ice cream, floss and tom yam flavoured garlic. ToastBox as a business has been operating for several years now and is associated with the owners of BreadTalk, another chain specialising in offering freshly baked pastries and tea time snacks. ToastBox also sells Nanyang coffee powder, their bottled kaya preserves ala Hainan style and peanut butter. They have outlets across most of East Asia, from China to Thailand and the Philippines.