Been craving for Malaysian/Singaporean food for sometime now and so glad to find Kopitiam!
Dublin is fast becoming a city with a diverse taste. All thanks to the growing numbers of migrants entering the city. But these developments did not happen overnight. My husband often tells me the food scene in Dublin when he arrived more than 10 years ago is nothing compared to what we have right now. And even so, I still feel as if there are certain cuisines I am missing over here!
Of course, certain cuisines such as Chinese are everywhere so I don’t need to crave for those as much. But authentic and rich flavors coming from Malaysian/Singaporean food were something a bit tricky for me to find.
So, just imagine my happiness when we spotted this Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant called Kopitiam on Capel Street in Dublin City Center one weekend!
As if by coincidence (or maybe not?), Kopitiam is the same name used by a chain of famous food courts in Singapore. I remember fond memories eating there at the time I was living in Singapore as an Expat.
A cheerful staff greeted us when we entered. The restaurant was not busy so we chose where we want to sit. After a few more minutes, the staff handed the menu to us and left so we can choose what we want to eat.
I opened it and I could cry tears of joy! I was so happy to see food items I have been craving for the past 5 years I lived here (no joke!) and left me wondering why I only saw Kopitiam just now. It took longer than usual to choose what I want to eat (I want to order EVERYTHING from the menu!). And after a few deliberation with myself and my husband, I finally made up my mind!
To start, we ordered Roti Canai. I was so happy to finally find a restaurant making flaky Rotis instead of the thicker Prathas available in “almost” all Indian restaurants. I also love the curry dipping sauce that comes with it. It was rich and tasty – just the way I remembered having it in Singapore. Yum!
I had difficulty choosing the mains to order. But eventually, I gave into one of the meals I have been craving for too long – Nasi Lemak! I was actually craving badly for a dish called Ayam Penyet. But when I saw Nasi Lemak on the menu, I thought it would make as a great substitute for it.
And, WOW – Kopitiam did not disappoint! It was able to deliver the flavor and spice levels I was hoping it would have. The rendang sauce that came with it was super rich and tasty. Love the crispy chicken skin from my fried chicken and the mild coconut flavor from the rice. I really felt as if I traveled back to Singapore and ordered the food. Except for the price, though!
I had a permanent smile on my face after eating my mains. Shared a small chit chat with the staff and told them how happy I was to find their restaurant! I would’ve wanted to chat with them more but the place started to get busier.
I felt so full but wanted to try the desserts. From experience, Asian desserts ordered in Western/non-Asian countries were often a disappointment because they were often served frozen. But since Kopitiam was a new restaurant for me to try, I gave it a shot.
Aaaand, they didn’t disappoint. I ordered a dessert with palm sugar syrup, pandan sago, and vanilla ice cream (forgot the Malaysian name for it!) and my husband ordered soft tofu with palm sugar syrup. I initially wanted the same thing because I was craving for a similar Filipino snack called taho. But after learning he was planning to order the same thing, I changed mine.
And again, even if my tummy was super full from the rich curries I ate, I still finished my dessert. It was super sweet (maybe something my Italian friends wouldn’t like?) but it was definitely the taste I grew accustomed with.
I truly enjoyed my dining experience at Kopitiam. I am glad that they stayed true to their recipes and delivered food items as close to the real deal as possible instead of “adjusting” it to the palate that suits Western tastes.