Friday, 26 December 2008

Malaysia Kopi Tiam


Take away dinner of fried chicken wings at £3.00 and Char Kway Teow at £5.00. The latter was commendable.

Came back here on the back of Su-lin's visit.
Faux 'al fresco lunch' (pollution filled Charing Cross Road) but thankfully MKT lived up to its well above average billing.

Yong Tau Foo at £2.80

Hakka Mee at £6.50

Dinner with Loveless George.

Chicken Feet and Mushrooms on the side- £3.00 Cheap, considering the ingredients. Good.

Hokkien Mee- Hokkien Fried Noodles or Black Noodles. Nigh on authentic. Recommended.

Cantonese Fried Ho Fun- or to be literally precise, Slippery Egg Fried Ho Fun. Pretty decent as well.

The mains have certainly diminished in size but the taste is all there. Thank you Mr Kikunae Ikeda.


All credit to samantha_tan for her review in Trusted Places.

‘Kopi tiam’ is the Hokkien dialect for coffee shop and an important part of Chinese Malaysian culture where it’s the perfect rendezvous for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Malaysia Kopi Tiam (MKT) has stalled and started twice before, first at Wardour Street and then at Dean Street. Now third time lucky, I hope this new home of theirs is more permanent for the sake of the diners and of course MKT’s own ephemeral reputation. The new premises is located in perhaps the worst of all arcades (ironically for MKT as most of the past tenants here have been evidently short lived) ever designed in London or perhaps the world, it’s grim and totally loveless.

There’s absolutely nothing chic about the dining room and the prefabricated ambience must have been included as part of the deal from Restaurants "R" Us. In line with most Malaysian eateries, you can expect a fair bit of acknowledgement and at least a smile from the waiting staff.

Iced Soy Milk

Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk

I’ve been here twice and also glad to report that the food here is indeed authentic and extremely good.

The Curry Laksa (I’m au fait with the gravy being rich and thick) was to date the best I’ve had in London and it was also good to see that it came with proper chicken pieces on the bone and none of that bleached white and synthetic tasting breast meat.

The noodle dish of Hokkien Mee (main components being thick yellow noodles fried and braised in thick dark soy sauce (and preferably loads of lard!)) is notoriously difficult to recreate, thankfully MKT has done a respectable job with this delicious offering from Kuala Lumpur.

Nasi Lemak was another dish that made the mark, no obvious shortcuts, perfect chicken curry and proper coconut rice were duly observed.

Yong Tau Foo

Deep Fried Fish Tofu

Other suggestions like Yong tau foo (Stuffed beancurd and veg), Kangkung (Water Convolvulus) fried in Belachan and Pig skin soup are not to be missed. Perusing the rest of menu is enough to make me feel hungry.

Generous portions and good value all-round. MKT is currently the best non-halal Malaysian in London.

NB For some strange reason MKT bill themselves as serving both Malaysian and Thai (!) cuisine, so it goes without saying; ignore the latter altogether and stick to the former.

67 Charing Cross Road
London WC2


Anonymous said...

I remember trying it at its first location...but I think I ordered badly at the time. Gonna give it a go again!

bellaphon said...

They have a much more extensive choice of affordable sides on the menu. However I find the ambience at Rasa Sayang more my cup of tea.

PS Take note of the staff, they're getting more and more juvenile by the day!

Unknown said...

The first and only time I went to Malaysia Kopi Tiam was in March. I sat upstairs, and they had Backstreet Boys on the KTV. I felt like banging my head against the wall by the time the third song started up.

I can't remember what I ate now, but I think my friend liked the hakka fried rice or noodles that he ordered, given one doesn't usually see hakka cuisine on Chinese menus.

bellaphon said...

Hey LMR, tortured by the noise that’s the Backstreet Boys; not surprising really as I hate to admit that the waiting staff all looked under nineteen to me. Hakka food is hard to place, I think they sort of gave up when they accepted that Cantonese (next door to them) cooking was impossible to better.