This underrated hawker stall in Chinatown sells S$3 oat milk kopi & kaya toast with thick slabs of butter

by Christabel Tan

Zheng Ming Cha Shi may have been operating out of a hawker stall at the bustling Hong Lim Food Centre for literal decades, but they still remain one of the more fairly underrated breakfast spots in the CBD.

Zheng Ming Cha Shi
Photo: Lirene Bay/google images

The stall, run by an elderly couple, is best known for their rendition of Kaya Toast (S$1.80 for a la carte), which may just end up becoming one of your favourites. After all, kaya toast — the quintessential Singaporean breakfast — has seen a resurgence in popularity (even though it was never “unpopular” in the first place).

Photo: JY/google images

Think crisp, well-toasted bread with Hainanese-style kaya (the brown-hued version with extra caramelly notes), a light sprinkling of sugar, and thick cold slabs of salted butter. You get a nice balance of sweet, salty, and crusty all in a single bite.

Zheng Ming Cha Shi
Photo: Ooy/google images

For me, no breakfast of kaya toast is complete without coffee and a side of silky soft-boiled eggs for dipping, so I’d order the Set (from S$4.70) if I were you.

Zheng Ming Cha Shi
Photo: Roy Chiang/google images

But if you’re seeking something that’s not your usual Kopi (from S$1.10), why not go with the “modern” Oat Milk Kopi (S$3) made using one of Singapore’s most popular oat milk brands, Oatside?

Photo: G Wijaya/google images

Instead of the oat lattes typically served at cafes and specialty coffee joints, this is one of the few places where you can enjoy the combination of coffee and creamy oat milk without paying a premium.

There’s also a Teh (S$3) version if that’s your preferred form of caffeine.

Wanna swing by for your fix of kaya toast? Just look out for the yellow signboard with the words 正明茶室 — and come early to avoid disappointment!

Zheng Ming Cha Shi 正明茶室
📍 531A Upper Cross St, #01-46 Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, Singapore 051531
🕒 6am–2pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on Sat & Sun

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