Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery, located at 204 East Coast Road, is a landmark coffeeshop in Katong. It is popular for its kaya, a kind of custard jam. A contemporary of Hock Ann Coffeeshop and the Red House Bakery, the confectionery delights the residents of the east with its traditional breakfast.
Styled like a typical Chinese confectionery, this Hainanese coffeeshop exudes an old world charm with its ceiling fans and marble-top tables typical of coffeeshops of the 1950s. The baroque interior is accentuated by its defining floor tiles. Affectionately known as CMC by Katong residents, its simple breakfast of kaya toast, soft boiled eggs and coffee are its most famous item on the menu.
Kaya is a kind of custard jam made from coconut milk, egg yolks and sugar, flavoured with pandan, the screwpine leaves. In the confectionery, the kaya is made in huge cauldrons heated over slow burning charcoals, releasing a sweet aroma. Bread toast and kaya, called "kaya toast", is still considered the traditional breakfast of Singaporeans. Other specialities of the confectionery include eggs, coffee, curry puffs, sausage rolls and fruit cakes. The confectionery roasts its own coffee beans and bakes its own bread.
In pre-independent Singapore, it was the Eurasian community that frequently patronised the shop before many migrated to Canada and Australia in the 1950s to 1960s. Today, Chin Mee Chin remains popular, especially on Sundays, when the worshippers of the nearby Church of the Holy Family pop by the shop. Many others beyond the coastline in the East are drawn to this simple shop.
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
James, J. (2000). Feasting on the island everyone loves to hate: Don't criticize Singapore until you've tried the kaya at the Chin Mee Chin. Retrieved September 3, 2003, from www.salon.com/travel/feature/1999/11/30/singapore/index1.html
Koh, D. (2002). Travel Journals. Retrieved September 3, 2003, from www.igougo.com/planning/journalEntryDining.asp?JournalID=6549&EntryID=9123
Kong, L., & Chang, T.C. (2001). Joo Chiat: A living legacy (pp. 86, 102). Singapore: Archipelago Press.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 KON)
Lee, S. (2002, April 12). Kaya is king; Our 10 tasters dipped into four pots of kaya (egg-and- coconut jam) at teatime to bring you the verdict on which kopitiam kaya is the mostest with toast. The Straits Times, Life!
Lum, M. (1997, September 11). Katong landmark church to be redeveloped. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 3.
Heng, M. (2010, January). Keeping the legacy alive. BiblioAsia, 5(4). Retrieved February 11, 2010, from http://www.microsite.nl.sg/PDFs/BiblioAsia/BIBA_0504Jan10.pdf
The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
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