Traditional Breakfast at your Local Cafe: Chin Mee Chin

For the longest time, this well-known and nostalgic establishment located far in the east has been sitting quietly on my bucket list. Established in 1925, it is one of the few places in Singapore that has foodies boasting of it's historical value in Singapore's food scene.

I took this photo when I was leaving. Was about 12:30 by then.

When I went arrived there at about 11:00 last Saturday, I was surprised to find that there were still many hungry customers in the shop. One would think that the crowd would have died down by then; but apparently not. 

I'd have to say, there is indeed certain charm oozing from this place, and I definitely didn't feel like I was in present day Singapore. The marble tops and the old-school floor tiles even reminded me of Hong-Kong's many famous Cha Chaan Tengs (Literally Meaning: Tea Restaurant). It's no surprise that I spotted a few tourists while I was there. 🤷‍♀️

1) How to Order
Ps: I was told by some that we were supposed to pay before getting a seat... but in that crowd and all that bustle, it does seem to me that the rules broke down.

Firstly, for those visiting this place for the first time (like I did), do not be deceived by the people sitting around on tables filled with used cutlery. You'd think they have finished their meal, and would be going off? Think again. Very often, these people have just gotten their seats and they probably have an assigned friend/family member in the queue, preparing to buy their food.

In my humble and inexperienced opinion, the best way to get around this - is to divide and conquer. Have some of your friends/family look out for available seats while the others start queuing to make the order and pay. I personally went there with my better half, and I had him queue for the food, while I got us 2 seats. Given the small sitting space, it wasn't too surprising that we had to share our table with another 2 small families (a total of 7 people, including us). 

Finally got into the queue after figuring out the ordering system here. 

After waiting for about 25mins, we finally got to order our food.

I am not too sure if this is the usual practice.. but while we were there, we were made to write our own orders down on a piece of paper, along with our table number. Payment was made upon giving the order to the lady at the counter.

Overall, despite the long wait and the cramped seating, it was actually a meaningful experience - since I ended up conversing with one of the ladies at my table rather than keeping my eyes on the phone. 

2) It's all about the Food

While getting our orders in, we also decided to try some of the traditional-looking pastries sold in the metal cabinets at Chin Mee Chin. We were already mad hungry (See: Hangry) by then, considering that it was already 12:00 and we have yet to have our breakfast.

One Custard Puff, and 3 traditional Cupcakes. Some food to eat while we await our main course.

Here's the "Original" flavored Cupcake.

And the Custard Puff.

As one would have expected, the cupcakes weren't exactly Michelin Café-esque.... but they had a nice comforting flavor and feeling to it. Kinda reminded me of a good old homemade vanilla pound cake. Extra brownie points for being warm when we had them.👍

As for the custard puff, they were a tad disappointing since the puff was soft and deflated. It's saving grace being that it isn't overly sweet.

Breakfast finally! Or should I say, brunch.

Another photo with the eggs cracked.

We ordered 2 kaya toasts ($1 each), 4 eggs ($0.80 each) and 2 drinks for our consumption. It was definitely a nice and comforting meal all in all, and the round bun was a nice puffy change from the typical sliced bread from Killiney or Ya Kun.

After finally striking off this place from my bucket list, one would ask - will I be back?

Well first of all, I live in the west. So if distance isn't a good form of deterrence, I don't know what is. It's also probably the same reason why this place stayed on the list for years, untouched.
As for those who have yet to give this place a go, I'd definitely say, do go for it. Give this place a try, at least once, if not twice. If I were to compare Chin Mee Chin to the regular Kopitiam's toast set, it will definitely be pricier. But I guess, we are all paying a premium for the quaint ambiance.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

Expected Damage: SGD $5+

204 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428903
(Closest Station: Eunos)

Opening Hours:
Tue – Sunday: 8:30 – 16:00
Mon: closed