We visited Chin Mee Chin Confectionary some time ago, but Pugs was supposed to review it… I’ve decided that waiting for Pugs will take far too long because Pugs doesn’t like writing very much and is doing very much writing for work currently, so I’ve decided to take over writing (Pugs’ role now largely is to eat with me and to take photos… he does, however, have two more Peranakan places to blog about because he has a more refined… description of food which we feel is more suited to the Peranakan places, so wait up for those! [and then i begin to see why he didn’t keep up with his old blog hurhur.])
Anyway, so we headed to Chin Mee Chin Confectionary along East Coast Road, very very luckily managed to find parking along the street (with a kind old uncle at the coffeeshop helping us navigate into the parallel parking lot)…
and was greeted by this… queue.
Most confused, we decided to split up – Pugs went in to try and find a seat, and I queued outside. Soon after, an equally bewildered lady joined the queue and asked if takeaway and having here were all in the same queue and I told her i truly had no idea. Do we sit, then queue to ordeR? or queue to order then sit? or sit then order at our table and then queue to pay? There was also a display shelf with pastries where people were taking pastries from and queueing up to pay, but I couldn’t leave my queue, i didn’t know whether i could still order those pastries at the counter when it got to my turn, or whether Pugs, after having found a seat, could order those pastries. In short, we were confused.
About 15 minutes later, while I was still in the queue, Pugs found a table. He then tried to find out whether I should stay in the queue or if he could order. Because the server aunties were clearly lacking in system and manpower, he fumbled around alone confusedly for a bit (while i confusedly continued to stand in line, just in case), and after about 10 minutes of trying to get someone’s attention, he finally determined that someone would take his order. It was too difficult to ask me what i wanted without the auntie running away first, so he decided on two kaya toast sets, before sending me a msg that i could give up my spot in the queue… but… what about the two egg tarts and chocolate tart i was holding? can i just bring them over? do i have to pay for them first? by this time i had given up, and so i left the queue with my pastries and sat down.
now that we ordered, we could sit back and observe the crowd around us hurhur.
the kitchen area. Pugs wondered if they toasted their bread in old oil drums too, like Toh Soon Cafe in Penang. The answer is no.
While waiting for our kaya toast, we had our pastries first, the ones I took from the display cabinet.
a close up view – it turns out that these were custard tarts, not egg tarts – i liked it, the texture was softer and smoother than egg tarts, and this is their famous pastry that runs out quickly everyday. Pugs didn’t quite like it so much though, so i guess it’s personal preference. hum.
the very famous kaya toast. These were good – the kaya particularly. I see why people queue to buy their kaya by the bottles. noms.
half boiled eggs.
my teh c kosong.
and Pugs’ coffee. He said it was good. The uncle making coffee and tea is so old, his hands shake like mad. I felt rather sad for him 😦
Anyway it turns out that the sequence of events is to sit, order at your table, and pick the pastries you want. When they settle the bill, they will check how many pastries you’d had and add it on to your order – the queue at the door is for takeaways. I have a very strong feeling the mess and confusion and long waits is really due to the complete lack of system, and generally that most of the auntie and uncles serving are (a) confused themselves, (b) understaffed, and (c) just generally not as efficient. There was a period when there were fewer takeaways, and the auntie manning the takeaway cashier place went off to toast bread, causing a long queue to form outside again… orders are taken on random slips of paper that are left randomly (if the auntie remembers), and i was very amazed that our food even came in the first place. I later added on two kaya toasts to take home for my mum, and the auntie who took my order got distracted by another table asking for the bill and as i expected (because i observed that the slip of paper with my takeaway order went nowhere…), my food never came. but it was okay, we were not in a hurry and just ordered again…
OM NOM NOm for food, but really, i wouldn’t bother coming back…
once is enough for the old school experience and all… although i might bring tourists…