Heap Seng Leong @ North Bridge Road

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When I was covering the food stalls at Golden Mile Food Centre recently, I have walked past Heap Seng Leong numerous times while making my way to the food centre.

Despite its dingy-looking facade, the coffee shop is popular for its kopi guyu (butter coffee) which is not very common nowadays due to people getting increasingly health conscious. 

I told myself I will make this my pit stop after I'm done with Golden Mile but the opportunity was not there as I would often be too full for anything else after each visit to the food centre.

I have currently moved on to covering Haig Road Food Centre (still in progress) and I thought I will not be visiting Golden Mile anytime soon. 

Honestly, I am quite tired of the walking journey from Lavender MRT Station towards Golden Mile as this is by far, my most repeated trip to any food centre no thanks to Mr Baguette

However, as fate would have it, my pre-ordered comic book has arrived thus I had to go pick it up from the comic shop at the nearby Kitchener Complex. Since I will be in the area anyway, I thought I might as well make the trip to the coffee shop.

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Heap Seng Leong have been operating at their current location since the 1970s and is managed by a father and son team. 

As I stepped into the premises, I am overwhelmed by a sense of nostalgia. Everything from the tiled walls to the marble top table spells nothing but old school.

That countertop with its rows of jars reminded me of my aunt's coffee shops at Selegie Road and Jalan Rumah Tinggi a long, long time ago.

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Whenever we visited her at her coffee shop, we, the kids, would ransack help ourselves to the sweets and biscuits in those large, glass jars.

My favorite would be the peanut biscuit that resembled carrom coins. Oh, and the joy of mixing all the different flavors from the soda dispenser! I call it the 掺掺 (mix mix) drink.

How I missed my aunt's coffee shop!

Anyway, I digress! Haha!

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I ordered the set comprising of kopi guyu, toast and soft-boiled eggs. My kopi came first, without the guyu (butter). I reminded the junior towkay about it and he went to grab a slab of butter from the fridge and drop it into my beverage with a tooth-pick.

The toast came next but my soft-boiled eggs were no where to be seen. The "family portrait" could not be completed without the eggs!

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While waiting for my eggs to come, the slab of butter in my kopi has already melted, forming a layer of grease on top.

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My eggs came! Like finally!

I could feel all eyes on me as I began taking a gazillion shots in various angles. By the time I am done with the photos, the food has already turned cold.

Once again, I attribute it to the camera-eat-first (相机先吃) syndrome. 

LOL!

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So how did the food fare?

Well, foremost, the toast.

The bread is toasted over a charcoal pit just like how it's done in the past. Nowadays, modern coffee shops toast their bread with a toaster out of convenience.

I think we can all agree that bread toasted over a charcoal pit versus bread toasted with a toaster tastes very differently and deep down inside, we know which one will win the votes.

Anyway, after being taken off the grill, the burnt bits are scrapped off with the lid of a condensed milk can - a rare sight to behold in modern days.

Slathered with a thin layer of kaya, the square toast is then sliced in the middle with each halves containing a slab of chilled butter.

I find the kaya not really that impressive, having come out of a can. However, what I find delight in is, when the chilled butter oozes from the sides of the toast under the pressure of my bite.

Although toasted, the toast here is still soft and fluffy; nothing like the thin and crispy one from the famous chain that cracks at a touch (but not saying that one not nice lah).

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Next, the soft-boiled eggs. The eggs were cracked for you so you don't have to do it yourself.

I love soft-boiled eggs but I hate dealing with the chalaza.

Chala-what?

Did you notice that when you eat soft-boiled eggs sometimes, you will feel something on your tongue and when you pull it out, there is that transparent, stringy thingy?  

Ya, THAT one. That's the chalaza.

THAT thing has a name? My reaction was the same as you when I found out but we learn something new everyday, don't we?

Fortunately, my tongue did not pick up that annoying chalaza in the eggs here.

With some dashes of pepper and a few drops of soy, I gulp down the eggs straight from the saucer. Such satisfaction to feel the eggs gulu gulu down my throat!

As for the kopi guyu, it is aromatic yet not too sweet from the condensed milk. The addition of the guyu gave the kopi a slight savory note as well as some silkiness.

This is true artisanal coffee at its best. I will pick this coffee over the one made by a thousand dollars espresso machine anytime.

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The senior towkay is still going strong despite his age. He actually reminds me very much of my own late grandfather because that is how he dresses too - in a white singlet with blue pyjamas pants.

With hipster coffee joints opening everywhere, can traditional coffee shops like Heap Seng Leong stand the test of time?

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HEAP SENG LEONG 協勝隆
Blk 10 North Bridge Road
#01-5109
Singapore 190010

Business Hours
Mon - Sun: 4am - 8pm

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/99npngdHCgr


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