Before Gardenia invaded our lives, we bought bread which costs $0.70 a loaf from the local confectionary or sold by an uncle who hawked the same kind of bread in his mini-van.
In primary school, I ate two slices of the deliciously soft bread, spread with generous amounts of margarine and marmalade, for breakfast (plus two soft-boiled eggs which I absolutely hated as a kid) every morning. After a day or so, the bread hardens slightly and that’s when my mother steams the bread in a wok to soften it.
I adore steamed bread. Hot, slathered with melted butter. I fold each slice of bread into quarters and stuff the entire thing into my mouth.
Not many of the kopi chains such as Coffee & Toast or Wang Cafe serves steamed bread as part of their menu. Whenever I ask for steamed bread at these places, they automatically put the bread into the microwave! Steamed bread – over hot, boiling water. Not microwaved bread!
^ Steamed bread at this Blk 58 Lengkok Bahru coffeeshop. It’s super yummy. The coffeeshop is very old and decrepit-looking – the sort that we should be preserving as part of our heritage – and sells basically kaya toast, coffee, tea and noodles.