Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chin Mee Chin Confectionary

This coffee shop (confectionary...) needs no further introduction. Most Singaporean foodies would have heard of it or read about it on other blogs. Yet, its relatively inaccessible (except for motorists and people who have lots of time to walk) location makes it difficult for one to actually get there to see what the hype is all about. It is tucked away along a row of shophouses in Katong, right at the corner of the lane. The exterior is unpretentious, with a plain signboard saying "Chin Mee Chin Confectionary" plastered not-so-visibly above the entrance.
Upon entering CMC, you will be greeted with trays and trays of baked goods. Egg tarts, choux puffs, luncheon meat buns, curry pastries and cupcakes are among the many available. Plates and tongs are at your disposal to pick 'em all up to eat then and there, or to take-away.
If you are intending to dine there, you may expect to wait a while before finding a seat. There are in total about five or six tables in the entire shop. Most of the shop's space is devoted to the kitchen, where they bake their breads and make their kaya (a kind of coconut jam) from scratch. I literally saw the uncle stirring a pot of kaya in the kitchen. That's how "fresh" it is.
We snacked on the baked goods while waiting for the eggs and kaya toasts to arrive.
The egg tart shells were very...solid. That's the most apt word I can think of to describe it. The egg custard was flowy (surprisingly). The taste of custard was way too strong though, and it felt as though I were eating a custard tart instead of an egg tart.
The luncheon meat bun was nothing to shout about. The bread was pretty thick and the slice of luncheon meat was, well, just a thin slice. So yeah, not fantastic but not that bad either. (The saving grace being the fresh and fluffy bread)
The choux puff was one of the better baked goodies. Though it wasn't served cold (as I like my sweet puffs to be), that meant that the custard filling would be molten-ish. It tasted almost similar to the filling in the egg tart! The puff itself was soft and gave the lou feng kind of texture, though. :-(
See how solid the egg tart's crust is?!
 Cream horn was essentially a swirly pastry with cream in it. Not very good, unfortunately. The cream just tasted like plain, normal cream and the pastry was thin and too crispy (how ironic).
The curry puff was really delicious! (on the left) The pastry was so flaky and buttery, it was both sinful yet heavenly at the same time. However, the curry filling was not that great. It tasted little like curry and had close to no meat/potato/egg/etc. in it! If you're looking for a good curry puff, just go straight to Old Chang Kee. But if it is a delicious pastry you're game for, this is the one for you.
CMC has to work on its consistency, because their raisin bun (on the right) was a major letdown. There were about three or four pathetic raisins in the entire roll, and the bread was a little hard. I would choose Cedele's raisin brioche roll any time over this, or even Gardenia's raisin roll for that matter. Anything has to be better than this.
ImageThe kaya toast and eggs were really good, that I have to give CMC credit for. The eggs were well-timed and tasted absolutely fresh! It was so so so yummy. The bread is best eaten when burger-ized, meaning that you eat both halves of the roll together. I ate the one without butter, and kind of regret it. I took a bite of the bread (burger?) with butter and it tasted a million times better than mine. :-( Oh well, live and learn. So to all the health freaks out there, just go for the butter! Seriously! Or you'd really just be cheating yourself of the complete CMC experience.
We bought home a small tub of kaya for $3, and it can last up to a month in the refrigerator. (Just thought it would be appropriate to add this statement here LOL)
Overall, I wouldn't say CMC is the best place to go for the Singaporean breakfast as I feel that it is on par with many other coffee shops selling the same thing. However, the kaya toasts here are definitely unique, different from the sliced bread versions sold in most other places. So come here as a form of foodie pilgrimage, if you will, but I wouldn't place it on my die-die-must-try list.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionary
204 East Coast Road

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