Ya Kun Kaya, the ultimate Singaporean kopitiam (coffee shop) focuses on tradition. Through a back window, I spied the old man, effortlessly toasting bread over glowing charcoal. Nuances of woodsy flavor can impregnate bread from the essence of smoke. Next, he slathers on creamy coconut custard. The aroma of pandan and coconut waft through the open window. He adds a generous helping of butter to the warm sandwich before closing it up, halving it, and sending it out to it’s lucky owner.
Crunching down on the sweet sandwich and sipping dense black coffee with condensed milk is almost overstimulation. But ethereally soft poached eggs push me over the edge with a sprinkle of white pepper and dash of dark soy sauce. Dip, crunch, sip....oh what a rhythm.
Since Malaysian coffee is not yet available in the USA you can substitute with either Thai coffee or Vietnamese coffee. While we were testing recipes relentlessly my sous chef Ari discovered the wondrous taste of ginger snap cookies dipped in kaya.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.