An Honest Serving

Interview by Stephanie Peh
Photography by Javier HiJovian Lim

At a time when coffee culture in Singapore was young and finding a good brew was a hit-and-miss affair, Kith opened its cosy doors by the river at Robertson Quay. Unintentionally or not, they started building a community of friends, family, acquaintances who have become friends, neighbours, pets—people who enjoy the unbeatable combination of good food over shared conversation.

The atmosphere at Kith echoes Jane’s personality: fun, easy-going, yet uncompromising and deeply passionate, as she continues her hands-on approach together with the team whom she has lovingly trained and refers to as family.

The coffee scene might have exploded today with a new joint at every turn, yet Jane remains effortlessly cool, sticking true to her flair for bringing simple food to the table with heart, together with a consistently perfect cup of coffee that makes for a great start to any day.

Jane Hia kith a honest serving

Kith began as a small outlet at Robertson Quay. What is your core vision for the business?

I believe a good business can be built on three key guiding principles: simplicity, sincerity and honesty. From there, we can nurture good relationships with our customers and within the company. These three guiding principles take us through all elements of our business, be it our menu, service or store design.

I believe that if I run a business with heart, it will attract good people, and all of us can build this business together.

Jane Hia kith a honest serving

Please tell us about Kith’s specialities.

Bacon Toasties (bacon, scrambled eggs and cheddar): What was intended to be a simple sandwich turned out to be quite popular amongst our customers. Everyone’s favourite is still the bacon toastie which incidentally, started out as a favourite snack amongst our staff too.

Bacon Sandwich (two poached eggs, bacon, avocado, fresh tomatoes, Japanese mayonnaise, on foccacia): After serving enough breakfast combinations, we have a good idea of what our customers like, and we basically put it all together to make this sandwich. We always rotate our sandwiches so that customers don’t get bored, but this is one sandwich we have never been successful in taking off the menu.

Kith Macchiato (a cross between a babycino and an espresso macchiato): This is almost like a serious babycino but with a marshmallow on top.

Carbonara: We are not an Italian restaurant, so our carbonara is nothing fancy, and it pretty much bears the same ingredients that go into many other carbonaras out there. But boy, is it addictive. Even after serving and looking at countless carbonaras all day long, it is still a favourite amongst many of us.

So what is the secret behind Kith’s success?

Simplicity, sincerity and honesty. Everything we do, down to which toys to buy and what the staff’s meals should be.

Read more in The U Press N˚1 (Singapore edition).