Solutions

Review: We tested 7 kaya (coconut jam) spreads to find the best one

Masterchef Australia Season 2 winner, Adam Liaw, joined Simply Her at the breakfast table to find the best kaya.
 


Killiney Kaya
$4.50 a jar (280g). From Killiney Kopitiam outlets, including 67 Killiney Road, tel: 6734-9648.
The kaya had an overpowering eggy hit, which we didn't enjoy. Although it was sweet, there could have been more pandan and coconut flavours. Best for egg lovers.
Adam weighs in: "Is there salted egg in this one? I'm pretty sure there is! It's reminiscent of a salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao)."


Toast Box Hainanese Kaya with Honey
$4.20 a jar (250g). From Toast Box outlets, including #01-67 Bugis Junction, tel: 6333-4464.
Its coarse and grainy texture made it hard to spread. But we're willing to overlook that because it smelt heavenly thanks to the sweet honey flavour, and it had a nice coconut taste.
Adam weighs in: "This kaya has a thick, almost caramel-like appeal that I love. It isn't too sweet, so I can eat more of it."


Kim Choo Kaya
$2.80 a tub (300g). From Kim Choo Kueh Chang, 60/62 Joo Chiat Place, tel: 6344-0830.
Some liked how light the kaya was, but others thought it bordered on bland. It had barely-there whiffs of pandan and coconut flavours, so what came across was its sweetness.  
Adam weighs in: "A softer, smoother texture than the others, and also the sweetest Ð those with a sweet tooth would like it."


GREAT FIND
Wang Cafe Traditional Kaya

$4.80 a jar (270g). From selected supermarkets, and Wang Cafe outlets, including #01-155 Square 2, tel: 6397-6653.
Creamy and dense, this kaya is rich and sweet. A few testers felt it was a little too sweet for them. It had a light caramel flavour that we enjoyed.
Adam weighs in: "It has a lovely brown colour, and looks most similar to what my grandmother used to make. It's saltier and heavier than the others, and I can make out the caramelised sugar here best - it's my favourite, overall."


Breadtalk Nonya Kaya
$3.80 a jar (200g). From Breadtalk outlets, including #B1-11/12 Paragon, tel: 6733-4434.
The kaya came across as having more of a coconut than pandan flavour; some testers felt it wasn't tasty enough. It could also be less sweet.
Adam weighs in: "Smooth and easy to spread, it's got a good consistency, and a sweet but not-too-heavy flavour."


EDITOR'S RAVE
Bengawan Solo Traditional Kaya

$3.50 a jar (240g). From Bengawan Solo outlets, including #B4-38 Ion Orchard, tel: 6238-2090.
A team favourite, this one had the best balance of flavours. Not too sweet or eggy, each mouthful had a hint of coconut and pandan - yummy! The texture could be better, though - it was slightly watery and lumpy.
Adam weighs in: "It has the strongest pandan and coconut flavours - not bad, but different from what I'm accustomed to, which is a sweeter kaya with more caramelised sugar."


Ya Kun Kaya
$4.80 a jar (290g). From Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets, including #B1-80ÊRaffles City Shopping Centre, tel: 6338-0026.
It had a strong eggy flavour (but less than the Killiney kaya). Its saving grace was its texture - the smoothest of the lot. The sweet pandan kick came through occasionally.
Adam weighs in: "I like the texture of this kaya best. It also has a light pandan flavour that gives it
some sweetness."

This article was originally published in Simply Her August 2015.

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