Ya Kun, Wangz Toast, Good Morning Nanyang. These are probably familiar names for your kopi and roti fix. Few would have heard of Seng Yan Charcoal Traditional Toast @ Sin Ming Road. It's been around since the times when my maternal grandparents started their tailor shop and my parents started their stone shop in the old Lakeview shophouses at Upp Thomson Road. That place was where my aunts, mother and I grew up in and also where Seng Yan used to be located.
There was no signboard in the past and my family members would refer to this kopi stall 江泉(Jiang Quan). The adults knew the uncle who and the uncle knew us. I am not familiar with traditional kopi but my family swears by the kopi here as it is aromatic, well-Brewer and tasty. That's why you should never mention Starbucks or Coffee Bean in front of my family or buy those coffee to my house.
Following the demolishment of Lakeview shophouses in year 2000, the old neighbours from hawker centers went separate ways. Majority like the Hakka shun kueh, prawn Mee stall shifted to Shunfu Mart while the Teochew porridge and Seng Yan Kopi moved to Sin Min Road. It sells the usual traditional toast but my family favourite here is the baguette toast or what we call Jian Tao Roti (尖头面包) I guess no one knew they were called (Asian) French Baguette so they identified it from its pointed-head shape. It doesn't matter that both Kaya and bread are supplied because the standards are there (must be from a very good supplier)
There is 2 servings per order and they are grilled over the charcoal toast long enough till the crust turns extra crispy and fragrant. Some parts are even slightly charred. Of course, other kopitiam still sells it but we felt those were often not toasted long or the heat wasn't strong enough. The 火候 here is strong and the butter melts quickly, fusing with the Kaya and softening the interior. It's crunchy and chewy at the same time; the more I chow, the tastier it gets. Amazing how such a simple toast contains so much 学问. And to think that the French never knew that their baguette could be served in such a delicious way.
Do note that Jian Tao roti is usually delivered to the shop after 3pm. Sometimes you may get it in the morning but I heard those are leftover from the previous day. If you are a fan of this kind of old-school bread, this is a hidden gem that you should know.