Chin Mee Chin's Custard Puffs

Having lived in the Eastern part of Singapore all my life, I grew up eating Kaya (Coconut Jam) and Custard Puffs from Chin Mee Chin. I remember buying Kaya on my way home from school. The lady behind the counter is a perpetual grouch so over the years, I've come to think of her as the Kaya Nazi. She once brushed some of my church mates and I off when we walked in for a break during a photoshoot of the vicinity, with cameras in hand. We had to agree not to take any pictures in or of the cafe before she would sell us any coffee.

Chin Mee Chin's Box

My favourite items from this bakery are the Kaya, Raisin Buns with Kaya and Custard Puffs.

If you're keen to eat the Raisin Buns or Custard Puffs, you have to go early especially on weekends. Even on a weekday, I'd visited once and discovered that the Raisin Buns had been sold out by 1pm! The Raisin Buns are served piping hot with a slab of salted butter that melted into the bun and a swipe of rich Kaya. They're best consumed on location as I've bought them to takeaway before and found that the butter had mostly been absorbed by the white paper bags instead of the bun. In recent years, I've found the Kaya to be sweeter and less fragrant than before. Slathered on a warm raisin bun, it was still acceptable and the salted butter helped to mitigate the sweetness.

My box of 10 Custard Puffs
Custard Puffs @ S$0.90 each

The Custard Puffs are usually sold out by 10.30am on Sundays as many of the parishioners from Church of the Holy Family (located next to the cafe) are regular customers. The cafe is very small (seats about 25 people) and there's always a line on Sunday mornings (no points for guessing why). Thus, I would usually buy at least 10 pieces if I happen to go to church early enough.

Cross-Section of CMC's Custard Puffs

They're best when warm but are decent even when cold. I like the airily light, savoury choux pastry and the rich custard that filled it. The ones that I bought on my most recent visit were a little disappointing as the pastry was harder and the custard was quite a bit sweeter than usual. I hope this is a one-off event though the standard has gradually deteriorated over the years (could this be a sign of the Chinese Sifu Syndrome at work ie. where a recipe is passed down sans a few key elements?). Do try this ole skool style custard puff before they deteriorate further.

If you happen to be there when they're freshly baked, wait for them to cool a little before eating. Early one Sunday morning, I was lucky to get a table with a few church mates and was thrilled to see a freshly-baked tray of Custard Buns being carried past us to the display cabinet. I bought some to takeaway and 2 more for my breakfast. The puffs were hot (but manageable) and the aroma of freshly baked choux pastry was making me hungrier. Forgetting that freshly baked custard fillings can be very hot and runny, I bit into one and soon found the fingers on my right hand coated (till mid finger) with hot custard. I think it's a good thing that I cook once in a while because though I wasn't burnt by the custard, it was hot enough to feel like a paraffin wax for my finger tips. By the way, I'm not advocating that you try this in place of a paraffin wax but merely citing it as a reference point. :P

The Raisin Buns and Custard Puffs here are worth a try if you're in the vicinity. Avoid Sunday mornings as far as possible because the area is usually jammed due to church traffic, parking and finding a table will be near impossible.

Chin Mee Chin
(next to Church of the Holy Family)
204 East Coast Road,
Singapore 428903
Telephone: +65 6345-0419

Operating Hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays: 8.30am to 4.00 pm (They're open by 8.15am on Sundays)

PS: Their Hot Cross Buns are excellent and are available close to Easter. I hope they stay delicious.