First thing ev’ry morning…

For me, the first thing every morning would, of course, be…breakfast.

If you check into a hotel and they tell you that you would be getting a complimentary American breakfast or a continental breakfast or even a buffet breakfast, you would know more or less what to expect the following morning.

But if they tell you that they will be serving a Malaysian breakfast, you may not know exactly what would be on the menu. Perhaps, you would get a plate of nasi lemak with coffee or tea or maybe they will give you fried noodles – mamak style but I am pretty sure they will not serve you this…

Malaysian breakfast

…even though it is very popular for breakfast among Malaysians.

You will get a strong brew of coffee…

Coffee

…for the early morning jump-start. This is from Choon Seng, a coffee shop in Sungai Merah here that many claim serves the best coffee in town. I guess hoping for a marble-top table is going a bit overboard but I do wish they would serve the coffee in those thick stone cups and saucers with blue floral prints like in the good old days.

Along with that, you would have your toast with kaya (coconut jam) and margarine…

Kaya toast

Except for some selected places here, most of the others would just use a toaster or an oven toaster to do the job. When I was young, I used to see in a coffee shop beside the stove where they boil water, a small section with a hot plate or wire mesh and burning charcoal underneath. On the plate, there were the pots of coffee and tea that would go on brewing continuously as a result of the heat below. To toast the bread, the barista (that’s the sophisticated name we use today to call the man brewing coffee at those branded coffee joints) would place the slices of bread on the hot plate or wire mesh to toast them while he made the drinks. By the time he got back to the bread, they would be burnt completely black…and using a butter knife, he would scrape off the black part until the toast appeared nicely brownish in colour. Then he would apply margarine and kaya and serve, sandwiched together and hence, the name in Hokkien – loti kiap  (squeezed or clamped together bread) or in Malay, roti kahwin (married bread).

The fad of eating kaya toast came back to the scene some years ago and if I’m not mistaken, there are some franchises that specialise in this. However, the standard breakfast would not be complete without the two half-boiled/cooked eggs to go with the coffee and the toast…

Half-boiled eggs 1

For fine dining at the classier joints, they would serve the egg in an egg cup…and you would be expected to tap the top with your dainty silver teaspoon to break the shell and remove it so that there would be a hole at the top. Then you would have to add salt and pepper and for the uninitiated, the shaker with one hole is the salt and the one with more holes would be the pepper. Finally, with the teaspoon, you would have to scoop out the egg bit by bit and eat it slowly in the most elegant manner.

Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but I certainly do not do it that way. I would just break the eggs into a bowl (or saucer) and add soy sauce and pepper…

Half-boiled eggs 2

…break the yolks and whip everything together…

Half-boiled eggs 3

…and slurp it all down in the most ungracious manner. Ahhhhhhh!!!! Nice! LOL!!!

I’ve seen people dipping the toast in the egg and eating it too…and with the last morsel, they would wipe the saucer or bowl clean and eat it. Now, that’s the way to do it!

So, what is everyone having for breakfast? Kaya toast and half-boiled eggs, anyone? LOL!!!