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Soft Boiled Eggs: A Malaysian Breakfast Staple

Walk into any kopitiam in Malaysia for breakfast, and chances are you’ll see at least one table with a plate of soft-boiled eggs, kaya and butter with toast, and a ceramic cup of teh tarik/kopi o. It’s such a ubiquitous thing for Malaysians that some might not even think of it as special (when foreigners ask what we eat for breakfast, most would probably say “nasi lemak”).

It wasn’t until I brought Hubs to a kopitiam in Melaka and he berated me for not introducing it to him sooner that I realised that this combo is actually quite a unique one.

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Homemade soft boiled eggs with garlic toast

But how did Malaysians start eating soft boiled eggs with toast for breakfast? Well, you might be surprised to find out that it’s a remnant from Malaysia’s colonial days.

Dating back to the 1800s, Eggs and Soldiers is a classic British breakfast dish, featuring – you guessed it – boiled eggs (with shell intact but the top removed) and thin strips of toast. The shape of the bread makes it easy to dip them into the runny eggs. Somehow, this dish must have been brought over to Malaya during the British occupation, but locals tweaked it by adding condiments like soy sauce and pepper. Instead of cutting the bread into strips, locals paired them with butter and kaya (coconut jam), creating a wonderful marriage of sweet and salty flavours.

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There’s an art to making soft boiled eggs, and kopitiams seem to have perfected them. While they’re easy enough to make at home, it’s difficult to get the exact same taste as the ones you find in restos.

Sometimes, when I’m not able to head to my local kopitiam, I make my own. The trick is to use medium-sized eggs and not cook them straight out of the fridge. Instead, run them under water until they’re close to room temperature, then bring a pot to boil. Place the eggs in a container (I use a stainless steel one for soups), pour the boiling water until it they’re completely submerged, then set the timer to six minutes. I find six minutes works best based on the eggs I usually buy, so when I crack them open the eggs are perfect : creamy yolk, runny whites.Then add soy sauce and pepper to your liking, and voila! Give me this over a fancy breakfast buffet any day.

What are some of your favourite breakfast dishes? Share them with me in the comments below!

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Breakfast @ Seven Cafe, Putra Prima

Unlike the commercial centres of Bandar Puteri or Bandar Puchong Jaya, Putra Prima isn’t exactly known for being an ‘atas’ place, being a housing area and all  – so it’s a surprise to find such an Instagrammable cafe nestled within. Enter Seven Cafe, a new spot with pretty chic decor and a decent selection of Western and local fare. This is actually my third attempt to dine here, as on both my first and second visit, the cafe had ‘run out of food’ (this was in the early days, which indicated to me they are inexperienced and couldn’t handle the volume of customers).

Oh well, as they say, third time’s the charm!

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It’s hard to describe the exact ‘style’ or theme of the design here other than being a colourful, quirky mish-mash. There are lots of knick knacks, photos and paintings hanging from the wall, mismatched tables and wooden chairs, dangly bits, and it looks slightly kitsch – kinda  like a grandma had fun sprucing up the space with her art-college-attending granddaughter.

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One of my favourite pieces here is the wall of pink, peach and black paper roses.

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A steel drum (?) bucket converted into a table with a glass table top. Cute drawing within too!

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Breakfast items are pretty basic, such as the Big Breakfast, fried noodles, nasi lemak and the like. I had half boiled eggs and toast. The toast had a good amount of butter and kaya; no frills but tasty. And you can’t go wrong with half boiled eggs – just add a dash of soy sauce and pepper and you’re good to go.

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Since I was dining alone, I couldn’t try a lot of items on the menu, but it’d be nice to come back again for a quiet and relaxing breakfast. Just come on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

SEVEN CAFE 

No. 25, Jalan Putra Prima 2/2, Taman Putra Prima, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 7AM – 9PM (Weds – Mons)