Monday, April 1, 2019

Kedai Kopi Malaya, Damansara Uptown

Kedai Kopi Malaya’s heritage echoes back to an era when Malaysia remained Malaya, but its embrace is encouragingly modern, heralding a 21st-century kopitiam for all Malaysians that combines the warm comfort of nostalgia with the cool confidence of a contemporary kitchen.

Step inside and the throwback vibes come vividly alive, from marble-top tables to enamel-shaded lighting to a classic weighing machine and traditional floor tiles, from tin biskut kedai runcit to roti kelapa parut and Nyonya angku that line the counter - even the muffled music in the background evokes a radio playing Whitney Houston and Michael Bolton.

Neon proclamations of 1948 on the wall reflect the year that the grandfather of Kedai Kopi Malaya’s co-founder embarked on the kopitiam trade in Penang; even today, many of his original recipes hold firm at his descendant's eatery. While much has changed in the world three generations later, not always for the better, the signboard at Kedai Kopi Malaya's entrance - emblazoned with multicultural lettering - showcases a spirit of inclusiveness that honours the past and harbours optimism for the future.

Culinary camaraderie infuses the menu - nasi lemak rubs elbows with mee rebus and chee cheong fun, while fish head curry keeps the conversation going with Hainanese chicken rice and Ipoh hor fun.

A back-to-basics plate of nasi lemak starts at RM4.90, sufficient for a familiar, fuss-free lunch, but the fun comes in personalising your order with substantial side dishes, a lauk-pauk cornucopia of possibilities like cencaru goreng sambal sumbat, stuffed with robust-tasting, rich-textured chilli paste (RM8.90), sambal kerang (RM5.90), chicken curry, sambal sotongterung sambal merah and more. Alternatively, order a with-the-works platter such as the nasi lemak ayam berempah, yielding crisp-skinned chicken with flavourful-to-the-bone spices (RM10.90).

This week, Kedai Kopi Malaya introduces a dinner-only dish that's designed to bring a hearty, soulful close to the workday - the kari kepala ikan (RM39.90 for the portion for two pictured here; RM59.90 for a four-person serving) offers a nod to Nyonya inspirations; each spoonful of the claypot's vegetable-loaded curry is sumptuously creamy, complementing the red snapper head's fresh, flaky sweetness, ideally shared and savoured with steamed rice (RM2.90) and Chinese lettuce (RM5.90). Bonus points to Kedai Kopi Malaya for preparing its own spice mixes, sambals and sauces for its recipes.

Other meal options might owe their influence to the night markets that run from George Town to KL, from the assam laksa (RM12.90) of, say, Paya Terubong to the chee cheong fun (RM4.90) of Pudu, though breakfast favourites like roti bakar with butter and house-made kaya are also available, buoyed by crowd favourites like kopi c, teh o limau, cham, sirap bandung and Milo Dinosaur. Snacking and takeaway temptations span the roti man's spicy chicken floss bun to the neighbourhood makcik's kuih seri muka, pulut tai-tai and other cheerful, colourful treats.

With further outposts slated to open next week at Kerinchi's KL Gateway Mall and subsequently in Mid Valley Megamall, as well as near Masjid Negara and even in KLIA later this year, Kedai Kopi Malaya looks poised to become the Klang Valley's new destination for old-school kopitiam fans. Many thanks to the team here for having us.

Kedai Kopi Malaya
97, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, 47400 Selangor. Daily, 8am-9pm.


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14 comments:

  1. Love the evidences of old school - the white tiles on the walls, the mosaic floor, the cream crackers tins and those thick blue and white cups for their hot drinks. - if only they had some old school plates too.

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    1. Suituapui: hey, you're the one who complains about chipped plates for old-school plates, heheh :D but yeah, i think you'd enjoy the visit here :)

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  2. Tried their egg roti thingy the other day, was gooood! Too bad I'm too far away from uptown

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    1. KY: yay! if it wins your approval for the good old-fashioned classics, then it meets the mark! :)

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  3. Oh! Thanks for the detailed review. I spotted this place about 2 weeks ago and it seems to pack the crowds. I'll drop by to check the nasi lemak hee..hee...

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    1. Phong Hong: you're right, the peak lunchtime crowd is quite heavy - but 1:30pm onwards is a breeze! have the nasi lemak with the ayam berempah, heheh :D

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  4. I like that the place opens early for breakfast...and the sambal kerang caught my eye! ^_* The nasi lemak looks good :)

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    1. Contact.ewew: ooo, actually, i'd skip the sambal kerang - it's not quite satisfyingly juicy or fresh-tasting enough! :)

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  5. I love nasi lemak ayam berempah.. the fried chicken here looks good!

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    1. Baby Sumo: i'd happily order another piece of that chicken :D

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  6. The ayam berempah looks exactly like the ones served at Ali Muthu and Ah Hock (my fav!). I'll definitely order that! :D

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    1. Rebecca: i definitely prefer ayam berempah with nasi lemak instead of ayam rendang :)

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  7. Oh that Ayam Berempah looks so inviting and the price for that plate of Nasi Lemak is unbelievable!

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    1. Choi Yen: yes, quite an attractive price since two pieces of chicken could cost us RM10 elsewhere ;)

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