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Eat Like a Local Food

Eat Like a Local : 8 Dishes you Must Try from Kopitiam

Kopitiam often makes our “first meal” list when visiting Malaysia. The Kopitiam is a traditional Chinese-style coffee shop where patrons can get together over coffees and simple Chinese meals. Over time, Kopitiam has today has developed its own identity and style that reflects on the cultural diversity of Malaysia.  The unique exterior, beautiful food and eating experience that will make you feel like the locals are why a meal at a Kopitiam is a must when you are in Malaysia. Read on to find our top picks on dishes you must try when eating at a Kopitiam.



Kaya Toasts

kopitiam food

The Kaya toasts are toasted fluffy white or brown bread topped with generous spread of Kaya (coconut jam) and thick slices of cold salted butter. This Malaysian staple are often consumed as snacks or part of breakfast. Kaya toasts are best eaten warm. Kayas are often available in ‘Original’ flavour (brown and delicious) or ‘Pandan’ flavour (green , also delicious). Our personal favourite, all we can say about Kaya Toasts is YUM YUM YUM!



Soft boiled Eggs

Soft boiled eggs, together with Kaya toasts are an epitome of the perfect marriage. Nothing beats starting your day with a bowl of beautifully done soft boil eggs, sprinkled with white pepper and a dash of light soy sauce. The eggs are often eaten together with Kaya toasts. The toasts are dunked into the boiled eggs concoctions to create a French toast like effect-  sweet, salty and eggy.



Hainanese White Coffee

kopitiam food

Roasted coffee with generous servings of sweet condensed milk. The coffee taste yummy and caramel like due to the condensed milk and are not as strong as Australian style coffee. You can have the coffee hot or iced. Warning, they are addictive and Moorish.



Curry Mee

kopitiam food

via Rotinrice

Hokkien noodles topped with generous servings of chicken, prawns, fish cakes, bean sprout, eggs and spicy curry gravy. It is deliciously rich and a bowl of curry mee can easily keep you satiated for the whole day.



Hainan Rice Porridge

kopitiam food

If you would like a wholesome but not to heavy meal, the Hainan Chicken Porridge will do the job for you.  Hainanese chicken porridge is a dish loaded with flavours of chicken and ginger. It is a great comfort food and used to often only cooked and eaten when a person is sick (like chicken soup). However, now you can find them easily in most kopitiam.



Chee Cheong Fun


Chee Cheong Fun or Chinese rice noodle rolls is a simple yet yummy dish.  So simple that it is basically rice noodles coated with sauce- that’s it. However, there is something comforting about the combination of texture and taste of this dish. Chee Cheong Fun is coated with a dash of sweet hoisin sauce and toasted sesame seed with a side of mild chilli sauce.



Hainanese Chicken Chop

kopitiam food

Eating Hainanese Chicken Chop is a mind-blowing experience when it is done well. Done wrong, its just a piece of chicken with gravy. Hainanese Chicken Chop is the Asian version of ‘Meat and 3 Veg’s’.  Deboned piece of Chicken Maryland deep fried to perfection, served with hand cut wedges, mixed vegetables and this amazing sweet, salty and tangy sauce you cannot find anywhere else. Heavenly and a definite must try Kopitiam meal.


Soy Milk with Grass Jelly

kopitiam food

via Open Rice

Fondly known by Malaysians as ‘Michael Jackson’. This beverage consists of sweetened soy milk topped with cincau, or black grass jelly. The Soy Milk with Grass Jelly is best to have on a warm afternoon


Hope this will help with the decision making process when eating at your first Kopitiam!


What is your favorite Kopitiam dishes? Let us know in the comment below!


Like this article and would like to know more about Malaysian Food? Check out our article on Why Malaysia has the Best Street Food.

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