The TradeHub21 vicinity might seem like the last place you’d visit for a comforting meal, but trust me when I say that this industrial area houses an underrated hidden gem: TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery.
You’ll spot TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery when you look out for its iconic purple signboard bearing the store’s name. When I entered the cafe, I was greeted by a cosy, welcoming dining space with gentle lighting and an inviting atmosphere.
TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery, formerly known as TOBY’s The Dessert Asylum, has been in operation for over 10 years. Back then, their menu mainly consisted of Western fare, but after their revamp in 2020, their current menu has expanded to include Asian, local and breakfast selections too.
The cafe makes sure to remind you of their delectable range of colourful cakes from the moment that you walk in, as their cake refrigerator is displayed right at the entrance.
What I tried
The first things I tried were TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s main dishes, starting with the Western-inspired BBQ Baby Ribs (S$10.90), featuring a rack of pork ribs served with a side of seasoned fries and coleslaw.
The ribs were incredibly tender and my knife slid through the meat like butter. The meat fell off the bone easily, which instantly gave me a great impression as I’ve had plenty of tough, dry ribs in the past.
The BBQ sauce coating the ribs was smokey and sweet, and tasted like a tangier, zestier version of ketchup, giving the tender meat a nice flavour.
The fries were crispy and very well seasoned, such that they were flavourful and lightly salty on their own.
Finally, the coleslaw was a delight as it came with large shredded pieces of crunchy cabbage coated in a thin amount of dressing. Compared to other coleslaws I’ve had, this was a lot fresher and crunchier due to the size of the shredded cabbage pieces. The lightness of the dressing also ensured that it was not jelak or too creamy.
Next, I tried one of TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s most popular dishes, the
Pork Cutlet Curry Rice (S$6.90). I was served a giant plate containing a fried pork cutlet cut into pieces, an egg, curry sauce, cabbage and rice.
The standout element of this dish was definitely the pork cutlet. Instead of using typical flour or breadcrumbs to coat the pork cutlet before frying, TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery uses soda crackers in the batter instead. As a result, the pork cutlet was quite crunchy on the surface, more so than other cutlets I’ve had.
The pork meat, on the other hand, was tender and relatively soft, which I was delighted by, as I find that pork typically tends to be too tough for my enjoyment.
The curry was rather average, if I’m being honest. It wasn’t sweet and had a mild coconut milk aroma and light spicy kick, similar to Southeast Asian curry, yet the slightly thicker consistency and bright orange colour was reminiscent of Japanese curry.
While it was a little too salty on its own, I found that once I mixed it in with the rice, the flavours mellowed out a lot more and became less overwhelming.
I enjoyed the fried egg, which was nicely cooked and had a lovely runny yolk. It certainly made the dish a lot more exciting and tied everything together.
The final main dish I had was the Minced Meat in Soya Bean Paste Noodles (S$5.90), which is TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s take on the Taiwanese zha jiang mian.
The noodles are made in-house, where the fresh dough is run through a noodle machine in their kitchen.
I must say that these noodles taste different from most zha jiang mian I’ve had. The vinegar taste in the soya bean paste was a lot lighter and not as salty as other variations. The lightness of the soya bean paste allowed the flavours of the minced pork to shine through more.
The noodles were well-cooked, being soft and not too chewy or tough. They weren’t greasy and they provided the perfect base for the sweet soya bean paste and minced meat.
The bowl of noodles came with a small bowl of fishball soup, which was very clear, light and refreshing. It acted as a great palate cleanser.
I also tried TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s Soft Bun Set (S$4), an old-school breakfast combo consisting of toasted thick buns, two soft boiled eggs and a choice of kopi or teh. For the bun toppings, I got to choose from Egg Mayo, Peanut Butter, Nutella, Kaya Butter and Butter Sugar, in which I settled for Nutella.
The toasted buns were crisp on the surface with a thin layer of Nutella spread on the surface. Personally, I would have liked a more generous amount of Nutella, given the thickness of the buns.
The eggs were incredibly soft and runny, and were super nostalgic. You can’t go wrong with a classic Singaporean breakfast of soft boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper.
Finally, I ended my meal with TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s cakes, available in over 10 variations. Each sliced cake dazzled me with their vibrant colours and large slices.
The most eye-catching cake was Rambo7 (S$7.90), featuring rainbow-coloured cake layers, cream cheese and chocolate ganache.
I was thoroughly impressed by the softness of the cake, which was moist and fluffy. The cream cheese was light and creamy, giving the cake a well-balanced sweetness. Combined with the coating of rich, intense chocolate ganache on top, the flavours of Rambo7 incorporated beautifully into one another.
Orh Nee Cake (S$7.90) was another cake that caught my attention, with its thick layers of lavender-coloured yam filling.
The yam filling tasted very natural and unprocessed, making it really strong in flavour. It did not taste artificially sweetened at all, with most of the sweetness coming from the pure yam itself. Paired with the rest of the soft, fluffy cake, this Orh Nee Cake is most definitely a taro lover’s dream.
The final cake I tried was the Bake of the Day, the Mango Cake (S$7.90), which was personally recommended by TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s staff.
The cake layers had a nice, fruity mango profile, and complemented the light mango-flavoured cream wonderfully. I especially liked the little cubes of fresh mango embedded into the cream, providing the cake with a juicier bite.
All the cakes I tried weren’t too sweet and did not taste artificial. Plus, TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery’s cakes are all made fresh in their store. The whole cakes, priced from S$45, can be ordered three days in advance. With the incredible quality and size of the cakes, this is a steal!
Despite its considerably
ulu location, TOBY’s Kopi Toast Bakery is not to be underestimated. With its variety of dishes, generous portions, quality food and incredibly affordable prices, I could foresee myself dining here everyday if I lived in the area. I will most definitely be back!
Expected damage: S$4 – S$18 per pax
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