When I was little, I often followed my father to his favourite coffee stall for breakfast on Sundays and I remembered how he’d pour the coffee onto the saucer just so it could cool off quicker and I could drink with the spoon. I never forgotten his favourite was kopi-o siu dai (coffee black with less sugar) though I never quite understood what ‘siu dai’ really meant that time as my grasp of dialects was just rubbish.
Twenty over years later, his hair has now turned white but he still drinks the same. The only thing different when we meet up for breakfast now is that we act like a pair of old friends as we sip our coffees. We talk about the good old days and we gossip about the present. I suddenly realise how much he has aged over the years and I can’t help but wonder how many more years ahead we have left to enjoy each other’s company for breakfast.
Food to me is not just about filling up my tummy or eating to live. It has been a way of life, a journey of adventures, ups and downs, a living book of memories and a lot more. Through our meals, we come to understand everyone on the dining table a little better each time. Sometimes, these meals bring laughter. Sometimes, they end in tears. But if every time when you come across one particular food item or restaurant that evokes memories and makes you think of a special someone, isn’t that already more than enough?
My father is exactly like the kopi-o siu dai he likes. Serious and solemn looking on the outside but is actually bitter-sweet on the inside. You need to slowly savour it to be able to appreciate it.
One day, I accompanied my father to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for his medical check up and as we were early, we decided to have breakfast at NTUC Foodfare and that was when I discovered the very wallet-friendly breakfast set that so many people were queuing up for.
Apparently, it seems like the NTUC Foodfare in other locations are also offering the same breakfast set at the same price. $1.80 is the usual price and if you’re a NTUC Union member, you get 40 cents off i.e. $1.40 only.
For $1.80, I’d already consider this a sumptuous breakfast. 2 slices of toasted white bread with kaya and butter in between (cut into 2 triangles), 2 soft-boiled eggs and a coffee or tea of your choice. Where else can we get the same set at this price in the comfort and ambience of an air-conditioned food court?
I wouldn’t say the toast or coffee was spectacular as it was pretty much like a home-made breakfast (except that I never seem to get my soft-boiled eggs right!). The coffee was gau (strong) and wasn’t overly sweet as I requested. The soft-boiled eggs were perfectly poached and came out warm and runny. The toast had a good, even spread of sweet kaya and butter though I wished the exterior could be toasted longer for a better crisp. At such an affordable price, we really had no complains.
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