An Ode to Kaya

I love kaya toast. Did I say that? Yeah, I love kaya toast…specifically Ya Kun Kaya’s toast. Who doesn’t love Singapore’s national breakfast? I am drooling just thinking about the sweetness of the kaya and a serving of a perfectly soft-boiled egg. Here in Manila, I usually get my fix of kaya toast in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 branch of Ya Kun Kaya. When I am flying from NAIA 2, I make sure always drop by Ya Kun Kaya before heading to the boarding gate. Sadly, this year I had less work-related travels (though I am not asking for more) compared to 2017, so less kaya toast for me.

Thoughts about kaya toast always brings back good memories. I recall when and I two friends were in Singapore, being the aliens that we were, we went all the way to Chinatown just to get our kaya toast fix. The Ya Kun Kaya branch we went to did not even have its own stall. It just a had a small counter and several tables and chairs in the food court of a mall. We sat there in the middle of a humid afternoon, sipped our coffee, and spread out a map of Singapore in our table to figure out where to go next. What was so funny was we belatedly realize there was Ya Kun Kaya store just a flew blocks away from our hostel in Bugis.

Just over a month ago, my kaya toast encounter involves our Department’s Big Boss. I was flying to Iloilo and I haven’t had my dinner yet so I dropped by Ya Kun Kaya in NAIA 2. To my surprise, he was there with his Personal Assistant. We were attending the same activity in Iloilo but he was on an earlier flight. He stopped eating and even greeted me first, “Hey! You’re here. What time is your flight?”.

I replied, “At 7:20 PM, Sir. How about you?”.

He then said, “We’re taking the 6:40 PM flight”.

I looked at my watched and noted it was already 6:20 PM so I wondered why we he wasn’t boarding yet. I told him, “Sir, I think I just heard the last call for boarding for your flight.”

Surprised, he replied, “Oh really?! Then I must hurry up!”. He had a big bite of kaya toast, then rushed out of Ya Kun Kaya.

I ordered for myself a serving of kaya toast after that. I opted for an iced tea though instead of the usual coffee since it was already evening. While eating, I could not help but smile. Despite his position, I have always found our Big Boss to very humble, unassuming and approachable. That encounter just reinforced my views of him.

Two weeks ago, I’ve been craving again for kaya toast. I even tweeted twice about it. A friend (Hi Arianne of Fly for Icarus!) coincidentally tweeted she had kaya toast and I was so jealous! She shared that the Ya Kun Kaya branch at SM Jazz Residence might close already. I can’t help but fear for the existence of the branch at NAIA 2.

I’m flying to Tuguegarao in two weeks. Sadly, I will not be boarding from NAIA 2. But I look forward to September because effective August 31, all local flights will now be departing from NAIA 2. This means more chance for me to eat at Ya Kun Kaya. I just pray that the store is still there and will be there to last.

One thought on “An Ode to Kaya

  1. Apparently the owner of the chain in Manila is already a bit in his prime. According to the cashier, they are thinking of closing the two remaining stores. I wish I had the money to buy a franchise hehe. Then we can have our usually coffee meet up there 🙂

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