The Lion City may be one of the smallest countries in Asia, but is known for being a melting pot of different cultures, resulting in a cuisine that is a unique blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Western cooking.

If you have been to Singapore, it’s no surprise that you hanker for its fiery flavors, and wish that you are there, lining up at a food stall in hawker center while the uncle or auntie meticulously cooks your favorite hawker meals to satiate your cravings.

But here’s some good news: You don’t need to buy roundtrip tickets to go to Singapore to treat yourself to one of the best gastronomic adventures in the world.

Old Street Coffee and Toast is a hidden gem on Emilio Osmeña St., Andres Abellana Extension in Guadalupe—home to restaurant start-ups—serving local Singaporean street food since September last year.

It all started when the owners got locked down in Cebu due to the pandemic and started to miss their usual meals. At first, they ordered Singaporean food from restaurants, but unfortunately none of them tasted like home.

“There’s always a lack of an ingredient whenever we order,” said one of the owners. She thought that one of the reasons why restaurants offering other cuisine, though claiming to be authentic, lost its authenticity is these restaurants adjust the taste of their dishes for the Filipino palate and preference.

Fact: If you’ve ever been to Singapore, you would know that Singaporeans are very particular about their food. In fact “have you eaten?” is a popular greeting used to express affection there. The flavor of their food is diverse; it includes sweet, sour, spicy and rich citrus flavours. And most of the meals are made by combination of spices from different cultures that result in unique and distinct tasting dishes.

Eventually, the owners decided to recreate some old Singaporean recipes to try to satisfy their cravings. They ordered some spices and ingredients from Singapore in order for them to achieve the authentic taste of Singaporean food that they have been craving for years.

After how many tries, and weeks of experimenting, they have finally perfected the recipes and textures of the dishes they were craving: Singaporean street food like Nasi Goreng, beef rendang, Hainanese chicken, chicken satay, sambal fish, sambal kangkong, chicken rice, prata with curry, and kaya—all made from scratch even its sambal (a chili sauce or paste), kaya (a Malaysian coconut egg jam), peanut sauce, and other special sauces.

And to wash down the food, they also made fresh fruit juices such as lychee, and longans.

“We are proud to say that we made everything from scratch. Even the peanut sauce for our chicken satay is handmade by us,” they shared.

The owners started to share it to their friends and family to try and get positive feedback especially from those who are well-familiar with the distinctly Singaporean cuisine. Those who have tried their home-cooked dishes started ordering which inspired them to launch Old Street Coffee and Toast.

What was initially planned as “take away” service became a fully operational restaurant due to popular demand as some of their customers want to enjoy their orders straight from the kitchen.

As a result, the owners added some tables and chairs outside their “old house,” which they called “old street” because it is where they and their family resided during their college days, to accommodate dine-in orders.

The open-air restaurant, just like in local food stalls or hawker centers in Singapore is nothing fancy, it doesn’t even have Singaporean-themed decors, but it has a spacious space that can accommodate more than 50 people, a homey and cozy ambiance where you can really savor every bite of your order just like when you eat at home, and friendly staff.

As it is “your local Singaporean street food,” Old Street Coffee and Toast is open daily as early as 7 a.m. to serve you Kaya toast and Kopi for breakfast (or anytime between their opening and closing time actually), and closes at 9 p.m. after dinner time.

If you’re up for gastronomic adventure or just simply miss Singapore, Old Street Coffee and Toast is a “die die must try.”