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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kopitiam Malaysian Cafe, Ultimo

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 Cafe on Urbanspoon
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)
Malaysian--Mc Lucksa
Malaysian--The Malaya
Malaysian--Tan's Malaysian
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/03/2008 11:59:00 pm


  • At 12/04/2008 2:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    mmmmm, I love Chendol. I can never remember the name of it though and always call it green worms. Makes it a bit hard to order. (Although maybe that's a good thing as it's not very good for you.)

  • At 12/04/2008 9:26 am, Blogger Y said…

    Man, I haven't had kway teow in so long! That one looks great too!

  • At 12/04/2008 12:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gotta love Malaysian restaurants. I shall hit this place up and try their Nasi Lemak which is one of my fav dishes!

    Do they make the roti fresh ? Some places used packaged ones :/

  • At 12/04/2008 4:40 pm, Blogger anarcist said…

    Kopitiam is my favourite Malaysian restaurant in Sydney city.

    Their specials are fantastic -- especially the Hakka Style Pork (which I think you've reviewed before) and the Malaysian Curry Fish Head. I still haven't tried their version of Chicken Rice, though, since they only have it on Saturday and Sunday nights.


  • At 12/04/2008 10:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    mmm all those noodles look so good! Even AFTER dinner, those dishes make me hungry! nice post!

  • At 12/04/2008 11:18 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jess - lol. I can just imagine the waiter's face! I consider my chendol a side dessert, and it's something you'd never make at home so um, I'm good at justifying it to myself! :)

    Hi Y - I'm no expert, but I think that's probably the best kway teow I've ever had. Go go!

    Hi Howard - The menu says the roti is "freshly made" but it doesn't looks and taste like it :( Perhaps they mean "freshly re-heated (from a packet)"!

    Hi Adam - I keep wanting to try the Malaysian Curry Fish Head but I can never find someone who'll agree to it! I've also heard good things about their chicken rice but have yet to try it.

    Hi Teresa - It's amazing how fast my salivary glands can stir into action even when my stomach is still groaning from my latest meal. The char kway teow is great. Highly recommended.

  • At 12/05/2008 9:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, the char kway teow looks great, but $3.50 for one piece of roti? In KL, they are maybe one-tenth the price!!! Thanks for your blog.


  • At 12/06/2008 12:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wonder if these are the same people who run a shop in eastwood of the same name!! IS it me or there doesnt feel like there are many malaysian rstaurants in Sydney?


  • At 12/06/2008 3:29 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Stan - I think that most foods in KL are 1/10 of the price here :) Would love to go there and eat the real thing.

    Hi Sydneyguyrojoe - I don't think it's the same, as the Eastwood restaurant is named KopiTiam. I think Malaysian restaurants seem to be growing in popularity - hopefully that'll lead to more restaurants opening :)

  • At 12/07/2008 12:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yummm.. very authentic Malaysian food!

  • At 12/07/2008 11:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi cookinghut - Can't beat authentic food!


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