The best kopitiams used to be confined to the Georgetown area, but in recent years the mainland has turned up some fairly good options too. Taste-wise, expect each set of toast to be full of flavor and very inexpensive – it cements Penang’s reputation as the country’s unofficial food capital. Reaching Malaysia was a pleasant experience. The journey was not at all tiring. I had booked my bus tickets from redbus
Toh Soon Café
A long running favorite in Penang for its flavor-packed milk tea and perfectly grilled toasted bread with kaya and melted butter, Toh Soon Café certainly lives up to its glowing reputation. Set on a narrow alley parallel to Campbell Street, it is a tiny shop with just a few plastic tables and chairs set on the five foot walkway outside. One of the big reasons that the toast is so good here is the fact that the restaurant uses a charcoal stove fashioned from an oil drum to make each set of toast, which adds home grown, crispy taste to each bite. There are also different types of bread combinations available here like the Hainan bread, Coffee Marbel Bread, Wholemeal bread and the famous chocolate bread. Make sure you try out the signature home made dishes here which are the Kaya and Peanut butter.
Ah Wang Café
Found on the mainland, Ah Wang Café makes for a great stopover on your drive into Penang Island, especially if you are getting in at the early afternoon. Set in Tanjung Tokong, they serve the standard array of drinks, but our favorite is the potent iced Hainanese coffee. Strong and stringent in taste, when paired with the kitchen’s toasted bread with homemade kaya, it is simply superb. Meanwhile the toasted bread comes in a variety of choices – pick between white, whole meal, buns and Bengali bread. Dress up your meal with a side order of the always-perfectly-done, half boiled eggs, which rounds it all up to create a sweetly satisfying meal like no other.
Luan Fong Kopitiam
the secret to Luan Fong Kopitiam’s success is the generations-old recipe for making great kaya toast, passed down through the family line since this Chinese coffee shop opened in 1959. The toasted bread is fluffy and airy, allowing the creamy kaya spread to overcome your taste buds with its sweet yet savory flavor. The outlet is currently being run by the second generation of the family. The specialty of this outlet is the egg jam which the Malaysians refer to as kaya. It is a home made dish that is quite popular amongst the locals here. The dish is golden brown in colour and has a texture like a grainy custard. It tastes like a rich egg custard pudding. You can add palm sugar and coconut cream as toppings to it. Additionally, you can pair it with slabs of cold butter that have been sandwiched between toasted Hainanese style of bread toasts. I also witnessed a couple of locals here dipping their toasts in soft boiled eggs. The outlet also has a separate beef noodle stall which caters largely to youngsters.