10 April 2010

Sydney Kopitiam Cafe ~ Chinese Malaysian - Harris Street Ultimo

A legendary place for Malaysian hawker style dishes, and blue drinks.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

The sign in the window at Sydney Kopitiam Cafe says "Malaysian Hawker Style Cuisine" and that it does, with prices to match. It's Chinese Malaysian, it's cheap and it's good. We've eaten at Kopitiam Cafe a couple of times and plan to make a few more visits to make our way through the menu, and then we'll do it over again.

We are reading the menu and struggling to choose from the many street food classics on offer. A lovely old Chinese auntie appears out of nowhere to tell us in her few words of English that the Hainanese chicken rice is excellent, then goes back to her dining. She is spot on, as old Chinese aunties always are. Hainanese chicken rice is a classic dish I first discovered many years ago in a Singapore hawker centre and I have been addicted ever since. Hainanese chicken rice is chicken boiled in stock served with rice also cooked in the same stock, and some chili sauce on the side, sometimes a little bowl of soup as well.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

Hainanese chicken rice is a simple dish but not every restaurant does it well. It is best from somewhere that does the dish often, the more the stock is used the tastier the chicken. Sydney Kopitiam Cafe only does Hainanese Chicken rice on the weekend and they do it well. The chicken is succulent and they put a little spin on the dish with a drizzle of a soy based sauce. It's delicious and only about $10.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

And the nasi lemak is also excellent, this version comes with a gentle Malaysian style chicken curry, along with the usual googie egg, peanuts, dried fish and a really nice sambal. Most importantly the rice is excellent, lightly fused with coconut and not gluggy. It's a good deal at $9.50.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

As a side we try the tahu bakar sumbat: deep fried bean curd stuffed with cucumber and been sprouts served with chili sauce. It is a plain and refreshing little number, an excellent counter to our main dishes.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

The beverage selection includes a bunch of classics but I'm drawn to the Blue Passion: monin blue Curacao and passionfruit in shaved ice. It's only $4, and it's blue, how could anybody resist a $4 blue drink?

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

Sydney Kopitam Cafe is your standard hole-in-the-wall joint, cheerfully decorated with trinkets, photos and wonderfully tacky holiday posters. I was busting to take a full interior photo as the place was full of lovely old Chinese couples having Saturday lunch, but that's kinda rude, and only fools mess with old Chinese aunties. We'll be back to try more travel food favourites: roti canai (only $4.00 with sauce!), fish head curry, char kuay teow, green beans in spicy prawn paste, water spinach, ice kacang, and I must try their nasi goreng, Malaysians are the masters of fried rice with spice.

Kopitiam Cafe Malaysian Ultimo Sydney

A restaurant has to be doing something right to survive since 1999 on a nowhereville section of a very busy road like Harris Street in Ultimo.

Sydney Kopitiam Cafe is on 594 Harris Street, Ultimo.

Kopitiam Cafe on Urbanspoon

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