Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kaya Lovin' at Toast Box

This morning I woke up feeling a bit hungry. So, checking what's available in our pantry, I decided to recreate one of my local favorites here -- the famous Kaya Toast with Soft Boiled Egg.

First, the egg. I carefully boiled a good amount of water and when it started to bubble, I put in the medium sized egg. I even set the timer to 5 minutes to make sure it comes out runny and cooked. After 5 minutes, I shocked it in icy water as taught to me by chef friends. Then, the grand moment finally arrived for me to de-shell the egg and to see if I did a good job. Well, let's just say it was a disaster! Paul just took one look at it and shook his head. *sigh* Feeling disheartened by the failed soft-boiled egg. I didn't even bother to make the Kaya toast. I just ate it with Wholemeal crackers. Days like this, I seriously wish I am a cooking diva. Making soft-boiled egg should be one of the easiest things to cook and yet it came out not as good as I wanted it to be. Guess, I just have to rely on the pros to do it.

Lately, I've been craving for Kaya toast. It all started during the Hawker Heritage dinner that Paul and I had a week ago at Shangri-la Singapore where we had one of the best (if not the best) Kaya toast in the land. I'll tell you more about that fun dinner later on. Anyway, to satisfy our craving, we agreed to have dinner at Toast Box the following night. As you all know, kaya toast and soft boiled egg is really popular here in Singapore and there are two cafes that specializes on this. Toast Box is one of them.

Here's what we had that evening:

toast box 2
Mee Siam -- I wanted something more filling than the Kaya Toast so I opted to try this local noodle dish that reminds me a bit of my favourite palabok. The big difference is the sauce. The Mee Siam has a spicy-sour-sweet sauce to coat the thin vermicelli noodles whereas the Palabok was more on the salty-sweet side. It's topped with slices of boiled egg, dried beancurd and beansprouts. I paired it with a glass of cold barley juice and I happily enjoyed my dinner.



toast box 3
Chicken Curry -- Paul has been eyeing this dish since Day 1. No kidding. You see, the Toast Box store is located right across our church and so on our first Sunday here in the Lion City, we saw this after hearing mass and he quickly pointed out that the Chicken Curry looks delicious. Finally, after 8 months, he finally got around to trying the Chicken Curry.

Was it as good as it looked?

Luckily, YES. He was very happy of the rich coconut-y sauce as well as the generous serving of chicken. I got to agree with him after trying a small piece. While it was a bit too spicy for my taste, I can say that Toast Box' Chicken Curry can definitely rival the ones sold in soup kitchens and hawker stalls too. He had this with a cup of hot Milo.

To cap off our meal, of course, we just have to get some Kaya Toast. Before I proceed, it's time for some Kaya 101:

Kaya is a Singaporean coconut jam that's basically a mixture of coconut, eggs and either pandan or sugar. There are two kinds of kaya jams sold locally. The Hainanese Kaya is brown and we're guessing makes use of sugar. Whereas the Nonya Kaya is green and is made with pandan. We personally prefer the Nonya Kaya more as it has a sweeter flavor while the Hainanese tastes a bit flat for me.

toast box 1
A Kaya Toast is a grilled sandwich filled with kaya jam and a thin slice of salted butter. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to try this as I really do not like the idea of biting into butter but you can opt to ask for the server to make the slices smaller that the butter will somehow melt before you taste a bite.

Now, how to enjoy your Kaya Toast? The traditional way is to have it with a soft-boiled egg. Add a dash of ground pepper and sweet Singaporean soy sauce before you mix everything together. Drip your kaya toast into the egg mixture and enjoy!

Going back to Toast Box' Kaya Toast, it was okay but sadly, the one that we had the night before still reigns supreme. I think what makes the difference is that the bread was grilled over charcoal giving it a yummy smokey flavor. Promise, more on that soon.

Will we be back at Toast Box? Definitely! I love the Mee Siam and would love to try the Mee Reebus too.

Click here for the complete list of Toast Box branches around Singapore and in Manila.

2 comments:

  1. Never mind that you can't boil the perfect egg, Franny. Coz your talent lies somewhere else. You are such a good writer. I mean who needs to cook when you can always order in haha. But you WRITE so beautifully. Now tell me, who wouldn't prefer to have such gift! :-* Love you! <3

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  2. Awwww thank you so much Jane!! <3

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