One of Singaporeans favourite morning breakfast set is our local kopi, kaya toast with half boiled eggs, eating it in our kopitiam with a newspaper to accompany us. While the kopitiams today in Singapore have changed a lot, there were a few rustic and nostalgic kopitiams in Singapore that did not change with the modern times.
Tong Ah Kopitiam, is one of those few rustic and nostalgic kopitiams that is still remaining in Singapore today. I went there a few times, located in the rustic Keong Saik Road, Chinatown area. Although I don’t go there regularly, I loved their kopi and kaya toast, the taste and authenticity of our favourite local kopi, the fragrance and freshness of the kaya toast. The ambience, retro designs, decoration and interior are in an era of olden Singapore that not many of us know about today.
With this post, Tong Ah Kopitiam will not be at its iconic building location anymore, with their last day of operation on 14th July 2013 at 10pm. I got wind of the information/news earlier from a Facebook Group – Old Places, from a posting by Royston Tan, one of Singapore’s film maker, whose works Old Places and Old Romances, inspired me to photograph and document the remaining Old Places in Singapore before they were gone through my Old Places photographs, writing and sharing. While it was a business decision by the landlord to take back the Tong Ah Kopitiam floor space, it must be very heart wrenching for Tong Ah Kopitiam and they were a part of Singapore’s growing up years.
As the curtains draw down on the iconic Tong Ah Kopitiam, it is Singapore’s loss that they have to move out away from that iconic building. However, I am glad that they are still going to continue operating their business at a few units down the road, at 35 Keong Saik Road. Tong Ah Kopitiam is one of our many Hawker Heroes, traditional yet still as charming and attractive for the young and old. Let’s keep our awesome and delicious local food heritage and culture flying high and proud, not just in Singapore, to the rest of the world too!