If you have missed the famous Chin Mee Chin Confectionery 真美珍茶室 at East Coast Road, it has made a return with a refurnished look and revamped menu.
Another to add to your East Coast Plan.
The opening date has been pushed back several times (from the original March) due to the “P2HA”, and the team needed additional time for increased research and development of recipes.
They are determined to ensure traditional techniques and tastes are retained, all while working closely with the family behind the business to do so.
It has been more than 2 years that Chin Mee Chin has closed (time flies), and yes, it is back at its original location at 204 East Coast Road.
It has found a new business partner in Ebb & Flow Group, which is behind restaurants such as The Dragon Chamber, Sommer Dining, and 8ASH at Ann Siang Hill, and the popular Tigerlily Patisserie at Joo Chiat.
Residents of Katong and of a certain generation should be familiar with Chin Mee Chin Confectionery, otherwise known as CMC.
This is where you can get a taste of the old-styled coffee and bakes, and to take a step down the memory lane.
The Hainanese coffeeshop 真美珍茶室 along East Coast Road was founded by Mr Tan Hui Dong in 1925.
There was a certain nostalgic charm in this little shop, with mosaic blue and white tiles, marble top tables, a mixture of wooden chairs and ceiling fans.
We went there relatively early during opening day, at 7:30am (the café opens at 8am daily except Mondays), 8th in the queue. But when we received all the food ordered, it was slightly after 9am.
Expect major teething in the operations (similar to Tigerlily Patisserie when it first opened), and would recommend going down say months later when they finally settle down.
It won’t be too exaggerating to say that the average wait could be about 1-2 hours (for now).
Overheard: ”Isn’t it just toast, coffee and ready-bakes?”
We kind of concur that this is nowhere near to Yakun / Killiney / Toast Box speed, but would like to be more understanding to the operations team. Perhaps people were expecting the processes to be more ironed-out after the long delay.
On the breakfast menu are Kaya Toast ($2.20), Eggs ($1.60), or get the set with a drink ($4.90).
Other breads available include Luncheon Meat Bun ($2), Brown Bun ($2), Hae Bee Hiam Bun ($2.20), Otah Bun ($2.20), Sausage Bun ($2).
The Kaya Toast with the thick slab of butter remained my favourite item of the lot, with sweet aromatic kaya hand-made in traditional style on charcoal-roasted bun. In fact, the bun was soft and more delectable than how I remember it to be. Opps.
The soft-boil eggs were unfortunately quite run-of-the-mill average; while the kopi lacked the robust body and aroma you would have expected from a Nanyang-style coffee.
A disappointment was in the Luncheon Meat Bun ($2) which I was looking forward to after seeing photos of thick slab of luncheon meat in another online review.
In reality, it looked like it was half in thickness – either they have decided to scale back, or that was specially prepared only for photos. A pity really, as the buns’ texture was fluffy and tasty.
New additions or updates to previous bakes include pastries of Chocolate Cupcake ($1.80), Cream Horn ($2), Sugee Cake ($2.30), Cheesecake Brownie ($2.6), Gula Melaka Coffee Chiffon Cake ($2.20), and Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart ($2.20).
Many items were “sold out” when we made our orders at 8:30am (really? really.).
My vote would go to the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart ($2.20) which came in an easier-to-consume petite size, satisfying with rich chocolate with tinge of saltiness from the peanut butter.
Regulars would certainly miss that familiar smell of kaya, butter and coffee prominent in the air; and the sight of aunties at the back-kitchen rattle in Hainanese as they prepare the daily fix.
Not quite the same vibes anymore, but at least the charcoal-grilled Kaya Toast was delicious.
Chin Mee Chin
204 East Coast Road, Singapore 428903
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
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