Apparently, the Kaya Toast set is quite unique in Singapore and Malaysia. It consists of (i) 1 coffee or tea, (ii) Kaya Toast and (iii) Eggs (half boil/hard boil). I have an interesting story from a colleague who went on board Cruise ship for a short holiday. While doing breakfast in bed, he requested the kitchen to bring him toast and also half boiled eggs. When the room service staff delivered the breakfast set, he took out a small knife and cut the hard boiled egg into half. Then he said to my colleague: "Sir, please enjoy your half boiled egg." Needless to say, my colleague was flabbergasted. He took a long time to try to explain to the non-local room service staff but to no avail. Even the chef in the kitchen came to his room as he wanted to learn more about what is an actual "half boiled egg". My colleague had to ask for hot water and new eggs to demonstrate to the kitchen staff how to prepare "half boiled eggs".
Every weekend, my kids will request Kaya Toast for breakfast. I have thus always been getting 2 sets of Kaya Toast from family cafes such as Ya Kun, Toast Box or Kaffe & Toast. Normally, I will upgrade the drinks to Milo by topping up 20 cents and also change the "half boiled egg" to "hard boiled egg". A typical breakfast set at these classier outlets will cost around S$4.80 to S$5.80 per set.
This morning, I jogged past my neighbourhood HDB Kopi Tiam and saw a banner outside proclaiming "Breakfast Kaya Toast set for only S$3". I decided to give it a try and start ordering from the Kopi Tiam Aunite.
Kopi Tiam Auntie: " What do you want?"
Me: "Auntie, can I have 2 sets of Kaya Toast? Dun wan Coffee or Tea. Please help me change to Milo. Also the eggs I would like hard boiled eggs."
Kopi Tiam Auntie: "Set only has coffee or tea. No Milo with the breakfast set. Also, the eggs are half boiled only. Take home and boil yourself if you want hard boiled egg."
Now, taking home and boil the half boiled eggs will defeat the purpose of ordering outside, right? Deep in my mind, I was wondering whether the Auntie is trying to be funny.
Me: "But Auntie, the cafe I went to can change to Milo by topping up money and also got hard boiled eggs."
Kopi Tiam Auntie: "Then you go back to your cafe to buy lor. Here cannot top up money to buy Milo de."
Sensing the Kopi Tiam Auntie getting pissed off, I decided to maintain my composure (good thing about getting older is one tends to have mellowed down compared to younger days when dealing with obnoxious and unreasonable people.)
Me: "No worries Auntie, no need to be upset. I do not need the eggs then."
Kopi Tiam Auntie: " That will still be S$3 per set without eggs. Total S$6 for 2 sets."
Me:" Auntie, then I do not want set breakfast. Please do ala carte. Milo and Kaya Toast."
Kopi Tiam Auntie:" That will be S$2.70 per Milo and Kaya Toast. Total S$5.40 for 2 sets."
I was simply stunned when I heard that. Initially, the Kopi Tiam Auntie wanted to charge me S$6 for 2 sets even without the eggs and also cannot choose my Milo drink. But if I opted for ala carte instead of set, I got to upgrade to Milo and at an overall cheaper price of S$5.40, which is a 10% savings. I smiled back at the Auntie and paid her S$5.40 for 2 sets. Then I waved goodbye to her after collecting my toasts and Milo. The Kopi Tiam Auntie was surprised by the goodbye wave and smiled back at me and bid me goodbye too. It was a strange morning encounter indeed for both the kaya toast breakfast set seller and the buyer.