Roti canai with curry sauce $3.50
In spite of, or perhaps because of, the queues at Mamak, I still prefer to head to Kopitiam anytime I need a Malaysian fix. It's poky, small and simple in furnishings but that's partly why I like it so much.
There's no spectacle of roti production in the front window like Mamak, but a serve of roti and curry sauce is a steal at $3.50. And whilst the Malaysian flat bread isn't as soft or flaky as that Mamak or Cafe Kasturi, it's hearty enough to quell our growling stomachs whilst we wait for our mains to arrive.
Hokkien noodles $9.00
Saffron noodles fried with seafood, chicken and vegetables
in a sweet soy sauce
Hokkien noodles glisten with the burnished glaze of kecap manis sweet soy sauce. In contrast, the nasi goreng looks decidedly healthy, a mound of rice mixed through with chicken, eggs, prawns, carrots and peas.
Nasi goreng $9.00
Malaysian-style fried rice with spicy prawns, vegetables,
seafood, chicken and egg served with prawn crackers
Char kuay teow $9.00
Flat rice noodles fried with seafood, chicken, egg and bean sprouts
in a special garlic and soy sauce
I've gone for the char kway teow, a huge platter of flat rice noodles stir-fried with slices of fishcake, strips of chicken, ribbons of egg and crunchy bean sprouts. The sauce is reasonably sweet, redolent with garlic and soy, and livened by green onions and the satisfying fatty crunch of pork crackling. The curls of crackling are dangerously good at first, but as I reach halfway, the delights of blistered pork skin become a little too much. It's a rich hearty meal as it should be, originally served to labourers in Malaysia and Singapore.
Malacca chendol with shaved ice $4.00
The other reason I like Kopitiam is its malacca chendol, a sweet and addictive concoction that's a cross between a drink and dessert. Green starch noodles are piled with masses of shaved ice, then drenched with coconut milk and a thick palm sugar syrup of gula malacca (or gula melaka). It's icy cold and deliciously sweet, a caramelised coconut slushee with green worm surprises.
Cheap and satisfying. Like good hawker food.
Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe
594 Harris St, Ultimo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9282 9883
Open 7 days for lunch 12pm-3pm
Open 7 days for dinner 6pm-9.30pm (till 10pm Wed-Sat)
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Kopitiam, Ultimo, April 2007
Kopitiam, Ultimo - April 2006
Malaysian--Makan at Alice's (Feb08) and (Jun07)
Malaysian--Malay Chinese (26 Apr 07) and (3 Apr 07)
Malaysian--Mamak (Nov07) and (Oct07)
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12/03/2008 11:59:00 pm