Ya Kun is one of those successful Singaporean franchises that has spread its kaya empire as far as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and The Philippines. There are many Ya Kun outlets in Singapore, but I had my breakfast at the flagship outlet at Far East Square. I’m not too sure, but I think this outlet is supposedly located at the original Ya Kun Coffee Stall.
I’ve always found it amazing how a small business can expand into a giant franchise. I’m not against franchises, as long as they are able to maintain the integrity and quality of the original outlet. Sadly, that doesn’t normally workout, and you end up getting differing standards across the outlets. You can always try to reproduce the recipe, but the heart and soul put in by the original cook cannot be transferred, for it’s an ingredient that you can’t just buy from the local market.
At the Far East Square outlet, it is said that the coffee shop is maintained and furnished to look almost like the original one. Indeed, this outlet operates very much like a coffee stall than a fast food chain. The uncles and aunties there shout their orders across the counters, in Hokkien, while the people behind the counters prepare the soft-boiled eggs, toast and hot drinks. There is no air-conditioning, just the hypnotizing spin of the overhead fans. The ceramic cups and saucers are beautifully painted with intricate designs, making it look very antique.
Comparing the food here to the other outlets, I must admit that there are differences. For one, there’s more kaya spread onto the toast haha! Oddly, the egg yolks are smaller! As for the toast, there’s something different about it, perhaps because its more thinly sliced, resulting in a finer crisp when eaten.
Overall, the differences aren’t that big, but I’d love to come to this outlet again, because of the more authentic kopitiam ambience that it has to offer.
Address: 18 China Street, #01-01 Far East Square
Mon–Fri: 7.30am – 7pm
Sat–Sun: 8am – 5pm