Before coming to Singapore, I had no idea what kaya was. Kaya is essentially coconut jam, and in Singapore, the place to go for Kaya Toast is Ya Kun. There are 6 Ya Kun locations in Singapore but I was told their original store in Chinatown does it best.
Inside the store, there's a huge poster that explains how to eat kaya and their kaya jams are even sold in stores if you like what you're eating.
We ordered 2 of their Kaya Toast Breakfast sets. Each set comes with 2 hard boiled eggs- an interesting way to eat an egg (I've never eaten it this way before - hard boiled, plain with a runny yolk). Personally, I wasn't a huge fan of it slithering down my throat like this and it was a lot of protein to handle so early in the morning. I could probably take the same amount of eggs scrambled or sunny side up but this was a little like eating 2 raw eggs in the morning.
Each set also comes with a drink. I ordered kopi (Singaporean style coffee) which I quite enjoy, they use sweetened or condensed milk which gives it a sweet flavour without it "diluting" the coffee if milk was used.
This is the kaya toast with butter. The butter overpowers the kaya a bit so it feels more like you're eating butter toast. But the iconic thing about Ya Kun is how thin and crispy their bread is. When you bite into the toast it's almost like you're biting into a cracker with jam and butter in the middle.
This one is regular kaya toast with no butter. You can really taste the kaya in this one. I think in terms of kaya, you either like it or you don't. It kind of has a rough texture and taste to it and to me, I'm not as crazy about this jam as my family is about it. I also prefer my toast a little softer as well- crunchy but still soft on the inside (to which my uncle protested that it's harder to make toast so thin and crunchy).
We came early on a Monday morning and there were a lot of office people here for a quick breakfast as well as tourists with their maps and guidebooks. It's a popular place and another iconic Singapore restaurant to try!
Ya Kun Kaya Toast (Chinatown location)
18 China Street
nearest MRT station: Telok Ayer