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The Lion City’s take on toast

Posted Date: 2017-07-31

While Singaporean cuisine may be known for its spicy curries and noodle dishes, it has another, more subtle, staple: toast.

Offering up this side of Singaporean fare is Ya Kun Kaya Toast, a sparkling new restaurant on Street 294 just off Norodom Boulevard that also has a full menu of heartier dishes from the small city-state. Its interior features pictures of Singapore and of the chain’s founder on the walls.

The house specialty is the kaya toast ($1.80), two crisp slices of bread smeared with coconut jam, and a thin piece of butter wedged in between. It comes in a set with soft-boiled eggs and a steaming cup of coffee.

This isn’t Ya Kun’s first time in the Kingdom. A previous iteration of the café chain closed in 2015, due to internal conflict among the shareholders, according to Chenda Chea, 25, a current shareholder and general manager in Cambodia. Since opening, it has attracted a loyal following, especially among young locals and well-to-do families, if the fancy cars in the parking lot are any indication.

“This time, I decided to bring it back myself,” Chea says. “[Because] I still see [that] this market is still short of Singapore taste. We don’t have toast, or Singapore-style coffee, so I still see that this is going to work.”

But the café doesn’t just serve toast and drinks. Different from the outlets in Singapore, Cambodia’s version also offers dishes like laksa ($3.80), which are noodles in spicy soup mixed with prawns and coconut milk.

General Manager Chenda Chea.

It also has nasi lemak ($3.80), a Malay rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, and mee siam ($3.50), a spicy rice vermicelli dish.

“Cambodian people like soup and rice noodles, or soup with rice. So we want to provide them [with that], for more variety,” she says.

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