I’ll never understand my fellow countrymen’s love for queueing up at eateries.
I mean, I like good food as much as the next Malaysian – but I just don’t find the sense in queueing up for an hour to be seated, going in to the resto tired and grumpy, then having to rush my meal because these crowded establishments will usually have a time limit for dining in, to make space for the next batch of diners.
Oriental Kopi in Bandar Puteri Puchong is one of these places. Opened in late 2021, the hype was so massive initially, the queue stretched from the entrance and past seven adjacent shoplots; almost around the block. Originally from Johor, this is the brand’s first branch in Selangor, promising ‘mouthwatering Nanyang cuisine borne of age-old recipes and traditions’ (Nanyang is a Chinese term referring to the southern region beyond China, ergo, Southeast Asia and its environs).
But lo and behold – when N and I passed by late on a weekday morning, there was no queue.
We figured it would be now or never to try out the place. So we did!
The restaurant is divided into two sections, with the kitchen in between. The decor is cozy and reminiscent of old-school kopitiams, with marble tabletops and wooden rattan furniture.
Oriental Kopi specializes in egg tarts (they hold a Malaysia Book of Records award for most number of egg tarts sold in a day). You can watch the staff in action as they pop trays of these golden, flaky treats out from the oven, and display them behind a glass partition. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the senses, as the air is filled with the aroma of freshly baked pastries.
Oriental Kopi serves typical kopitiam fare, the likes of noodles (Prawn noodles, char kuey teow, curry mee, chicken hor fun, mee siam), rice dishes (nasi lemak), as well as the usual breakfast staples such as toasted/steamed bread with kaya and butter, paired with half boiled eggs. Our orders arrived to our table within minutes, so service is fast and efficient.
Here’s what we ordered! N and I both got the signature iced coffee, served in tall glasses. Kopitiam coffees are distinct from Western coffee; they tend to be high in caffeine, and are served with milk and sugar. They’re also roasted and brewed in such a way that brings out a deep, caramel-like quality. The version at Oriental Kopi is done well – light and frothy on top, but also rich, creamy, and not too sweet.
For mains, I opted for the Chicken Hor Fun (RM15.90). I think they raised the price recently, as another blog post I was reading priced it at RM13.90 in November 2021.
Chicken hor fun (gai see hor fun) is an Ipoh specialty, and is typically not served with beansprouts. Oriental Kopi’s version, however, has beansprouts – which I requested to be left out of my bowl.
The portion was decent, with silky flat noodles swimming in a light orange broth. The broth is made from simmering chicken and shrimp shells/heads for hours, condensing the naturally sweet and savoury flavours into a gentle but flavourful soup. While it’s not the best I’ve had (that still goes to my favourite stall in Meranti Jaya Puchong), this is a pretty good version. The shrimps are sizable too, unlike the tiny ones you get at most hawker places.
The Hubs had curry mee, which he described as “pretty good” and that he could taste the blend of curry more than coconut milk. The noodles came with the usual condiments: yardlong beans, fishcake slices, egg, tofu pok, and shredded chicken.
Last but not least, we got a Honey Polo Bun to share. It was served with two thick slabs of butter on ice to prevent melting, and a small glass of honey. The polo bun is also one of Oriental Kopi’s signatures, and it did not disappoint. The top was flaky and mildly sweet when topped with the honey, and the inside was soft and fluffy.
All in all, we had a good experience at Oriental Kopi – but I wouldn’t call it something worth queueing up for, or something you could have often. Granted, you do get to dine in air conditioned comfort, but prices are steep for what is essentially ordinary kopitiam fare. Expect to pay around RM15 for most of the mains. The beverages are also twice the price of a kopitiam (our iced coffee cost around RM7.50).
ORIENTAL KOPI (BANDAR PUTERI PUCHONG)
69 & 71, Jalan Puteri 2/3, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Open daily: 7.30AM – 9.30PM