Bread First Everyday: Ex-head chef & friends come together to create hawker stall serving cafe-quality brunch & incredible rosti

It was a cloudy late afternoon as I speed-walked towards Mee-Sek Food Court, anxious to get into the shelter as I was starting to feel the first few drops hit me. I also walked so quickly because it was 2.30pm and I hadn’t eaten anything all day. Pretty late to have brunch I know, but I’d been eager to experience for myself all the good things I’ve heard of the underrated Bread First Everyday’s cafe-inspired, western fare.

Bread First Everyday - food court

When I reached, I did two rounds of the whole food court. It was a small one with only a few hawker stalls— how could I not find it? Slow panic began to set in as I was quite bad with directions and the hunger wasn’t helping either. Suddenly I caught sight of a small bear logo that looked familiar and there it was. I spotted the words “Bread First Everyday” in the smallest font I’ve ever seen an establishment use. Almost like they didn’t want to be found. 

Hidden is an understatement for sure, and the co-founder, Lex Loi, later agreed with me when I posed this question. He told me how they only made around S$50 when they first began because of how no one could ever spot their stall.

Bread First Everyday - the stallLex Loi, 39, and Zen Neo, 34, own Qi Xiang Chicken Pot residing in the same food court, and Qi Xiang Hotpot in Boon Lay. While dinner service was great in their hotpot restaurant, they wanted to also cater to the lunch crowd. So they began whipping up brunch food like rosti and got great feedback. 

Why brunch? It’s what Chua Keng Ling, 34, co-owner and head chef of Bread First Everyday, always dreamt of doing. Affectionately called Bear, he was the ex-head chef of the now-defunct Nara Thai Cuisine. Lex explains how the venture mainly began as a way to help Bear pave his own path. He was exhausted from the F&B industry and they wanted to come together to create something that plays to his strengths. The adorable bear logo is in honour of him. An inspiring story of friendship, if you ask me. 

Bread First Everyday - the logo

They only opened their doors on 1 July 2022. After having told their story to one of their friends and customer, she uploaded a post on the hawker stall that went unexpectedly viral. He explained how the publicity was a double-edged sword. One fine weekend they ended up having more customers than they had ever seen, with their waiting time becoming almost an hour and a half. 

Due to the limited manpower, their customers were left disgruntled. They dropped unsatisfactory reviews which did not reflect the actual potential of the stall. 

Since then, they’ve bounced back from their experience and are doing “good”, as Lex puts it. Weekdays are slow, with the waiting time only being around 10 minutes and weekend mornings are the busiest with around 20-30 minutes of waiting time. 

What I tried at Bread First Everyday

Bread First Everyday - close up of food

As the food arrived, the first thing that popped into my head was how it exuded the 60s diner aesthetic. Definitely ‘gram-worthy. I first tried the Rosti Platter (S$8.90) and the Swiss potato cake blew my mind with how rich it tasted without feeling heavy. It was my favourite and it’s no wonder as that’s what they’re known for. I had it with sour cream and it was a foodgasm indeed. 

Bread First Everyday - close up of food

The scrambled eggs were fluffy, buttery, and went down fast. The sausage was interesting and had a slightly smoky aftertaste unlike any I’ve had before. I feel it’ll fall under either the love-it or hate-it category. The platter also comes with a garden salad that goes well with the sesame sauce. 

I then moved on to the Chicken Cutlet Sandwich (S$6.90) which came with a side of fries. The fries were thick and crispy, and cooked in the way I like where you can still taste the potato. Go at it with the chilli sauce.

Bread First Everyday - close up of food

For the sandwich, the bread was unusually thick and soft, having me do a double take of it. Lex solved the mystery by explaining how they have it specially made according to the recipe of their Taiwanese pastry cook Michelle Tan, 28. The chicken was perfectly fried and had a slight aromatic taste to it; all credit to the addition of rosemary and a few other spices. 

chicken sandwich

If you want to try out the co-owner’s favourite, Lex recommends the Handmade Pork Burger (S$7.90) as it’s been carefully fine-tuned and is a fat one with two patties. He also loves their Smoky Chicken Chop (S$7.90).

cup of coffee at drinks stall

There’s a stall attached to Bread First Everyday that simply has a signboard with Drinks Stall on it because it has no name. Lex manages it solely. I recommend getting the Coffee (S$1.30) from there as it was strong, the right amount of sweet, and goes great with the brunch food. 

Final Thoughts

table full of dishes

The portions here were extremely generous, and one of the items is more than enough to fill you up for a meal. While you can’t go wrong with any of them, make sure there is the rosti in it or add it on as an extra (S$5.90). Their crispy waffles are also quite popular, so you can check out the Chicken Cutlet on Waffle (S$8.90). The food court is a peaceful, underrated spot to eat at and start your day with.

I naturally had to take away most of them. Lex laughed and said this was very common. People have often questioned as to why they don’t limit the portions. “They say why give four waffles when you can give just two, but when I cook a waffle I don’t want to throw away the rest or serve it not fresh to the next customer. We’re not looking to make any great profit margins, just want to create a good brand for Bear”. That tugged at my heartstrings.

Their plans for the future include expanding into a cafe, which makes total sense given their quality of brunch food. With their passion for simple western fare to satisfy the masses, I see them going a long way. Just like I promised them, I’ll be coming back for more.

Expected damage: S$5 – S$30 per pax

Other articles you might like:

D’vine Cafe: New Jalan Besar all-day brunch spot serves picture-perfect lobster crab scramble & cotton candy waffles

Alice Boulangerie: Artisanal cafe’s bi-colour croissants freshly baked in-house daily sell out fast; brunch is also fantastic

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Bread First Everyday

965 Upper Serangoon Road, Mee Sek Food Court, Singapore 534721

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Bread First Everyday

965 Upper Serangoon Road, Mee Sek Food Court, Singapore 534721

Telephone: +65 8808 6730
Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
Telephone: +65 8808 6730

Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
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