Malaysia Kopi Tiam has shifted locations through central London a few times now and it was only through bellaphon that I learned of its current location. Back when it was at its first spot, a number of years ago, I visited it with my brother but I think I ordered badly – some duck noodle dish that wasn’t that great. I think my brother had char kway teow served up in a hideous mini wok thing. I never returned. Since then, that location went empty and then I heard it opened up elsewhere and then it popped up on bellaphon’s blog and he’s been very keen on the food.
Blai and I found ourselves close to Charing Cross Road one weekend after some work commitments when we thought of having a quick and cheap bite to eat and I took this opportunity to give the place another try. The frontage is a bit messy with advertisements for Malaysian food, Thai food and another huge upright banner advertising Chinese hot pot (but I think this is at another restaurant?!). We entered, were seated and given two menus – one for Malaysian food and the other for Thai. We ignored the latter.
The Malaysian menu is entirely pictorial, which makes for tasty decision making. I also noticed that the duck noodle dish I had before is no longer listed – this is a good thing! Between us, we split a handmade Hakka mee and a nasi goreng. I don’t recall ever having this first noodle dish before but what arrived was pretty good. The dry noodles are tossed with a seasoning mixture involving dark soy and were accompanied by three ways with pork: char siu (Chinese roasted pork), seasoned minced pork, and a bowl of wonton soup…which had a porky filling. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell if the noodles were really hand/homemade as they tasted of just regular egg noodles. The porky things were all tasty enough although the char siu was scarily red.
The nasi goreng was really a nasi goreng istimewa (special fried rice), which I particularly like so I was pleased that it was not just plain fried rice. A fried egg, very delicious and peppery prawn crackers and sliced cucumber accompanied the quite tasty nasi goreng. This really hit the spot as I was craving rice that day!
While the restaurant was empty when we arrived, it was totally packed when we left. Most of the punters were native Malaysians, many of them students who are probably on budgets. And this is definitely a budget place – I think we spent a total of £12 for these two dishes. I’ll definitely be back (especially for the Hokkien prawn mee that’s only available on Sundays and Mondays)!
Malaysia Kopi Tiam
67 Charing Cross Road
London WC2H 0NE