REVIEW: Sydney Kopitiam Cafe

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

File this one under: small Malaysian joints with smaller kitchens that miraculously pump out an almost impossibly large amount of dishes (alongside Yang’s Food Truck and hopefully a growing list as we become Sydney’s premier online guide for Malaysian hotspots).

I’ve walked past Kopitiam a good hundred times and never once thought to go inside, the unremarkable shopfront somehow overpowering the incredible smells coming from within. Maybe I knew how overwhelmed I’d be by the menu, a double sided A4 laminate with no less than 60 dishes on offer. One hot and frothy sweet milk tea was all I needed to calm my mind and focus on the dishes that needed to be ordered the most.

There’s probably not a bad dish on the menu, although the cheap price will effect the quality of certain elements – a ten dollar prawn dish will always taste like a ten dollar prawn dish, but a ten dollar pork belly dish can taste at least double that when stewed with taro and served sweet, sticky and decadent. Nasi lemak, nasi goreng and other Malay staples are on point, celebratorily so given the price point.

Kopitiam is a long running, family owned business and the friendly personalities of the owners shine brightly on the walls, amidst hand written menus and photo collages. This might be Sydney’s only proper ‘dive bar’, and they don’t even sell booze.

592-594 Harris Street, Ultimo

Mon-Sun 12-3pm, Tue-Sun 6-9:30pm

How much
$12 a head

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