SG Day 1.1: Koi Café, Boon Tong Kee and Ya Kun Kaya Toast

Shall we begin with a vlog?

Yes, we shall!

Please skip if you’d rather avoid randomness and just get on with the food :D.



(because these was SO MUCH food that Day 1 has two parts!)

Note: Cost of food noted is in SG Dollars.

sing_day1.1After some much-needed beauty sleep, Ange and I headed out to hunt down a few items to make SG more accessible for me (i.e. a MRT card).  On the way we passed by a place that I’d been told I should most definitely try while in SG…


My friend, May, pronounced Koi Café much better than any place we had in Melbourne so I decided to give it a go.

Ange suggested I get the original milk tea with the addition of ice-cream – hard to go wrong when there’s ice-cream involved lol!  Given that I wasn’t quite used to the humidity of SG, this drink was a cool relief as we continued the search for an elusive pre-paid sim card (each stall we tried seemed to be sold out!).

Once we got that sorted, it was time for lunch! On the flight from Melb – Darwin, I sat between two lovely girls who were on their way to SG too and when I asked them for food suggestions, they both said to try Boon Tong Kee’s famous chicken rice!  Ange hadn’t tried it before but that became our first proper food destination of Day 1!


The Boon Tong Kee brand has been around in SG for over two decades now and has a number of branches.  We went to the Balestier branch, the first restaurant that opened in 1983.  When we arrived, it wasn’t very crowded yet (the above photo was taken after we’d finished our meal) – I guess 12pm was still quite early for lunch…


The menu was good because it had pictures haha (sorry, didn’t take any photos of the inside of the menu!).  Once we’d placed our order, we were given a plate of salted peanuts to munch on in the meantime.  They were alright but unfortunately, Ange’s suspicions were confirmed – these were not for free lol ($2.00).

17Our tummies were rumbling since we had not eaten breakfast that morning so we were delighted when the main dishes finally made it to the table!

20This probably wasn’t the best angle to take the photo of the chicken from but let me tell you we were very ready to stuff our faces haha.  Ten points for presentation (loved the addition of the purple orchid) but sadly, it rated a bit less in the taste department.  Maybe it was because our expectations had been too high, but I personally felt that the chicken was a bit bland for my liking and didn’t seem quite worth the $10.00 we paid for it.  Perhaps the issue was that we should have chosen not just the chicken but with the special rice cooked in chicken stock that goes with it as well? I felt that the chicken rice I had at Changi airport on the way back seemed much better and value for money ($5.00!) in comparison.

19We decided to get some vegies to go with the chicken and I have to say that this dish actually outshone the main event.  Where the chicken lacked flavour, the stuffed beancurd and eggplant ($18.00) packed the punch.  This was by far the better dish of the day for me.  I loved the sauce that they used and eggplant is a favourite for me, no matter how it is cooked :P.

We also had plain rice to go with the dishes (50 cents each) and Ange had a barley drink ($2.00) and I had a chinese tea ($1.50) to go with it.

Damage done including taxes was $40.30 SG which is currently about $32.57 AUD.  Not too bad but not as cheap as some of the other places we went to afterwards.

Having now looked at their website, I think I would visit Boon Tong Kee again next time I’m in SG and either order a chicken rice combo set (take away) or try one of their other recommended dishes.

See ladyironchef (a pretty prolific and well-known SG food blogger) for further thoughts on Boon Tong Kee’s chicken rice.

Moving on after lunch, I was introduced to Orchard Road and we did a bit retail therapy.  We must have done a fair amount of walking around as soon it was for afternoon tea :P.


Kaya toast was on the list of to-eats so having seen Ya Kun Kaya Toast almost everywhere, this seemed like a good choice.  Established in the 1940s, Ya Kun Kaya Toast has developed a reputation for “unparalleled kaya toast and irresistibly fragrant coffee and tea, enjoyed amidst a cosy atmosphere.” – from their website.


We went for a kaya toast set each consisting of kaya toast, soft boiled eggs and a beverage of our choice.  What was most interesting for me was how thin and brown the toast was!  Since Killiney Kopitiam opened on Lygon St earlier this year, I’ve had their kaya toast at least twice (cheap cheap!) and it looked nothing like this!  Also, I liked how they only had two thin slice of butter between the bread – I always feel slightly grossed out biting into the block of butter that Killiney put on their kaya toast.  Didn’t take notes for exact prices but it was pretty cheap from recollection.  Definitely a good place to stop by if you are after something to carry you over until the next main meal :).

Cool decor, right?
Cool decor, right?

And we made it halfway through Day 1, hooray! :D  Three things ticked off the list!

Coming up: dinner and supper on Day 1 – hawker food and dim sum… mmm.

♥ Ames

Question from vlog: What was your favourite (or perhaps most memorable) gift/moment of this past Christmas season?

8 thoughts on “SG Day 1.1: Koi Café, Boon Tong Kee and Ya Kun Kaya Toast

  1. you should have checked out the hawker centres, that’s where Singaporeans eat and you will find a huge variety of local delicacies!

    1. haha oh I most definitely visited the hawker centres as you’ll see in coming posts – they were the best! Missing the hawker food right now :S

    1. Singapore had definitely changed from when I was there previously about 8 years ago :D You should try to get there, Daisy since you are much closer now than before ;) Best kaya toast I’ve ever had !

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