[Singapore] Retro baked goods from Chin Mee Chin Confectionery, Katong

Opened in 1925, Chin Mee Chin Confectionery was founded by Hainanese bread delivery man, Tan Hui Dong. His son, Tan Joon Ling, bought a Peranakan shophouse in the 1950s that housed the cafe-bakery till today.

Tan Joon Ling passed on in 2009 and his son, William Tan, took over the running of the business until he decided to call it a day in 2018, bringing to a close the nearly century old cafe.

It was popular among Katong residents, especially the Catholic-Eurasian parishioners from the Church of the Holy Family next door, for its kaya, cream horn, Swiss roll and sugee cake.

In 2020, the Ebb & Flow Group revived the cafe, with Maxine Ngooi revamping the offerings, whilst retaining some old favourites for nostalgia’s sake.

We were back here a couple of days ago to re-live some of our childhood memories of coming.

  1. Hainanese coffee with kaya-butter toast and custard puff.

Hainanese-style coffee are slightly sweetened even before brewing: the coffee beans are usually roasted with white sugar, at a ratio of 51%-49%. The caramelized sugar would coat the beans and allowed to cool, before they are broken down into shards to be fed into the coffee-grinding machine.

Toasted bap bread with some of the tastiest kaya spread I’d ever had, topped with cold butter.

Custard puff - seems like the revamped version replaced the old, curd-like custard with a more liquid, creamy filling. I think I rather miss the old version.

Cream horn - very soft, puff pastry and really luscious vanilla-cream filling.

Sugee cake - this is a local Eurasian cake made from semolina. Very dense and rich. I think the version here was too crumbly for my liking, but it went very well with the coffee.

It’s always good to be back at Chin Mee Chin - the new owners did an admirable job retaining the decor - the wall and floor tiles were all the same as before, and also made sure the new menu closely approximated the old one.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
204 East Coast Road, Singapore 428903
Opening hours: 8am to 4pm Tue to Sun. Closed on Mondays.