Breakfast at Killiney rhymes with Breakfast in Tiffany and Killiney Kopitiam is an icon in its own right in Singapore. Breakfast in Tiffany might have become associated with highbrow stuff but in the movie, Breakfast in Tiffany, Audrey Hepburn was merely having a pastry while drinking a cup of coffee out of a paper bag outside Tiffany’s. Killiney Kopitiam has no hint of glamour but toast and coffee you can certainly get at Killiney. This humble coffee shop that is graced by Singaporeans from all walks of life – from your very ordinary patrons to those who hold the highest office in the corporate world and in the country – now offers a wide range of breakfast items as well as substantial dishes throughout the day.
Killeney Kopitiam has many branches in Singapore. We went to the Siglap branch along Upper East Coast Road for breakfast recently. The place is small and many tables are squeezed into the shop. Old coffeshop furniture is used but there are some contemporary decor elements to make the place more cheery. While it would not win any interior decoration prize, the place is generally quite pleasant.
As you can see from the photo of the menu, the breakfast items include toasts, nasi lemak and bee hoon. A wide range of other dishes are also available – such as chicken poridge, mee goreng, lontong, carrot cake and curry chicken. On weekdays they have a good value set meal for $6 where you get a main dish and a cup of coffee or tea.
The system at Killiney Kopitiam Siglap is that you look for an available table and note the number; go to the counter to order and pay. Tell the cashier your table number and the food and beverages will be sent to your table.
We ordered a Breakfast Set ($5), French Toast ($2.50) and Chee Cheong Fun ($1.80). A cup of Teh O was $1.60. No GST or service charge would be added to the bill.
The Breakfast Set consisted of kaya & butter toasts, 2 soft-boiled eggs and a cup of coffee or tea. Killiney Kopitiam uses thick slices of white bread for their toasts. The bread was nicely grilled to leave a thin outer layer that was crispy and a soft layer underneath. The kaya was not excessively sweet and had a delightful egg flavour with a hint of pandan leaves flavouring. The kaya & butter toasts of Killiney Kopitaim remain one of our favourites.
The eggs were served whole in egg bowls to allow us the pleasure of cracking the soft-boiled eggs open ourselves. The eggs, as always, were perfectly cooked to the right consistency, with custard-like whites and runny yolk.
The chee cheong fun was a disappointment. It tasted like frozen factory version heated up in a microwave oven. We would give it a miss next time.
Fortunately, the French toast was of a much better standard and quite enjoyable. The bread toasted after it had been dipped into beaten eggs looked inviting and tasted good too. The slightly savoury egg, which formed a thin layer on the bread as well as being absorbed into the bread, had a nice texture and flavour. The bread was soft and succulent. Kaya and butter were served on the side. The French toast was good on its own but with a little of the delicious kaya on it, it became a real treat.
Don’t expect smiles or pleasant greetings from the service staff but they cope with the morning crowd well. They were very fast and efficient. In a sense, they sort of represent Killiney Kopitaim. Nothing fancy or superfluous – but if you want quick and simple breakfast like in the “good old days”, you can’t go wrong heading to one of Singapore icons – Killiney Kopitiam.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Killiney Kopitiam Siglap
Upper East Coast
11 Upper East Coast Road
Tel: +65 6443 7628
Opening Hours : 7am to 11pm