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January 15, 2011

Ya Kun Kaya Toast 亞坤

Food / Singapore

An interview with Mr Adrin Loi, the executive chairman of Ya Kun.

Founded in 1944, Ya Kun has revolutionized the eating of kaya toast and runny egg in Singapore.

“About 10 over years ago, kaya toast was not so well-known. Over the last 5 years, everybody knows about kaya toast. It’s something the local must have in every coffee stall they go,” says executive chairman Mr Adrin Loi.

What’s so unique about Ya Kun kaya toast?

First of all, it’s not white bread; brown bread is toasted over real charcoal fire until it’s crisp. The signature kaya is specially formulated egg and coconut jam made from a proprietary recipe with no preservatives, no artificial colourings and flavourings added.

Unlike toast bread from other coffee stalls, Ya Kun put in an extra effort by slicing a piece of toast bread into halves before applying kaya on one half and butter on the other half, and fold them like a sandwich. The thinly sliced toast bread is crisp and the fragrance of its kaya and butter is addictive enough to linger in your olfactory memory.

Try a set of kaya toast that comes with two runny eggs, two slices of kaya toast and a cup of piping hot coffee. The runny egg is synonymous to soft-boiled egg. It requires some skill to cook the runny egg that is served warm and usually eaten with a dash of dark soy sauce and pepper. Eat like a local, dip your toast bread into the runny egg for another delicious bite.

What makes good coffee?

Ya Kun coffee is a blend of two types of coffee beans – Arabica and Robusta.

Mr Loi shares that to make good coffee, there are a few things to bear in mind: the coffee beans must be of certain quality, the water must be hot enough at the right temperature, the coffee powder has to be fresh to retain its aroma and the brewer must be skillfully trained to maintain the consistency of the coffee.

Currently, Ya Kun has 36 outlets sprawled across the city and ventured overseas. The main branch at Far East Square is the most popular branch along the heritage trail. An itinerary not to be missed, tourists from all over the world flock to the coffee stall to experience the local delights that are prepared in a unique way. Unlike the outlets in malls where the use of charcoal fire is not allowed, you get a taste of the traditional charcoal grilled toast bread at the main branch. Besides, the menus are thoughtfully designed in 8 different languages such as Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Chinese as well as English.

Ya Kun signature kaya comes in different gift packs – a single pack of 290g bottle of kaya, glass jar without gift pack and a twin pack of 80g per bottle of kaya. If you are in the mood for cookies, Ya Kun has created a recipe for kaya butter cookies. These heart shaped cookies are soft yet crisp and not too sweet.

Address of Ya Kun Kaya Toast main branch

Far East Square, 18 China Street #01-01 S(049560). Tel : 6438 3638
Business Hrs
Monday to Friday : 7.30am to 7.00pm
Saturday and Sunday : 8.00am to 5.30pm
Public Holiday : Closed
You can also find Ya Kun outlets at various shopping malls.

*This article was then edited and published on Travelog Singapore on Oct 2010.

10 Comments Leave your comment

  • henry said on January 15, 2011 6:01 pm

    ya kun is not even in malaysia yet…. ya kun is 10 times way better than old town white coffee! :D

  • eunice said on January 15, 2011 6:23 pm

    @henry: from what I understand, it’s partly becos of Halal issue, etc. but they are keen to expand Ya Kun into Malaysia.
    ya… the white coffee from Old Town tastes like syrup to me sometimes :S

  • dong ho said on January 16, 2011 9:04 am

    oh wow! finally seeing it in your blog. when one my singaporean colleague was here last year, we dropped by ya kun kaya toast shop at the airport here in manila and he shared me on the background of this shop. very interesting. ive seen more branches of this shops around manila.

  • Bakeling said on January 16, 2011 10:17 pm

    Hi , Wishing you Happy New Year !

    I tasted this before , I like the kaya and the half boiled egg looked so tempting !

    Your icon photos look beautiful !

  • eunice said on January 16, 2011 11:26 pm

    @dongho: ya it’s long overdue. i wonder if the coffee and toast taste the same in Manila! interesting…

    @Bakeling: Happy New Year!
    I like the half boiled egg too! If u mean my profile pic, photoshop one lah, but thanks anyway :P

  • William Tan said on January 18, 2011 11:04 am

    Hi Eunice,
    Lovely and informative travel blog. My wife used to work in SG for two years, and each of my visit to SG will not be completed without Ya Kun coffee. i respect henry’s comment about old town white coffee, simply tastes bad; best bet was the sifu who’s making the coffee is now Bangladesh. I can’t wait to have Ya Kun back here in MY and kick some a**es of old town white coffee.

  • eunice said on February 23, 2011 12:46 am

    @William: Thanks for dropping by!
    Ya.. the brewer is very important! Ya Kun must be happy to read your comment here heheh :)

  • dhale_a said on February 24, 2011 3:25 pm

    hope u can also blog about singapore’s hawker foods.. your recommendations, where to get them, price… I havent been to but i’m visiting soon :)

  • Laurene said on March 19, 2011 10:41 am

    Do you happen to know how much a jar of kaya costs?

  • liezel said on November 25, 2011 10:40 pm

    @ eunice: no..:( unfortunately d taste of toast are way too different frm dat of sg..:( i missed d kaya toast there in singapore..:)

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