Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter isn’t all about the bling, for tucked away in this area of the city is a cute café with a menu of Malaysian delights that outshines many a jewel. Known as Kopitiam, which literally translates to ‘coffee shop’, this Birmingham eatery however specifically serves Malaysian Chinese dishes.
The small neighbourhood-hangout style café offers delicious classic dishes such as nasi goreng, an authentic Malay ‘countryside’ style fried rice, which is packed with the fragrant flavour of shrimp paste and served with roast pork, king prawns, dried anchovies and a fried egg. At Kopitiam, you can tuck into comforting bowls packed full of flavour including their range of curry dishes like beef rendang slow cooked in coconut milk and spices; Malaysian curry mee, a rich yellow curry noodle soup with prawns, roast pork and tofu; as well as the classic Malay dish that’s tangy and spicy known as an Assam fish pot.
Emblazoned with a bright yellow sign on its shop front that’s hard to miss, this Jewellery Quarter café also serves an array of noodle dishes like mee goreng- a spicy fried noodle dish, mixed in a sweet, spicy and sticky sauce, topped with a fried egg. Then there is Kopitiam’s assam laksa, a flavourful, tangy, and spicy Malaysian fish based rice noodle soup, served with fish cakes, fresh pineapple, cucumber and mint that’s both refreshing and packs a punch.
The menu is never short of a dish featuring an egg and at Kopitiam the egg is guaranteed to feature a runny yolk, making it perfect for soaking up that rice or creating a bonus sauce for those noodles. To go one step further, the Malaysian café serves up a dish known as ‘moonlight ho fun’- a crowd favourite and popular dish at Malaysian hawker stalls that consists of stir fried rice noodles, served with a raw egg. Other surprisingly tasty dishes include the café’s cereal prawns which are coated in cereal, butter fried and infused in curry leaves and have the added kick of chilli to them.
As well as serving top notch main dishes, Kopitiam is also a great destination for snacks too. If you’re search of a tasty mid-afternoon snack, order their kaya toast which consists of toasted slices of white bread topped with butter and a handmade, preservative-free coconut jam called ‘kaya paste’. Plus, there are desserts like cendol featuring shaved ice, coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, mung beans and pandan jelly.
Plus, every week or so the Kopitiam team bakes and makes a limited quantity of snacks such as spiral curry puffs with a curried potato filling and kuih lapis (steamed colourful layered soft rice flour pudding). The latest drop of homemade delights is announced on Kopitiam’s social media pages and the brilliance of it is you can try something new and exciting every time.
As for drinks, they serve Malaysian pulled tea, a black tea with condensed milk knwon as Malaysian pulled tea and a milky, rose-flavoured ice drink called ‘ais bandung’. And Kopitiam wouldn’t be a kopitiam without serving coffee, which you can enjoy hot or iced.
Kopitiam, 21 Augusta Street, B18 6JA