Established in 1938, the original Kluang Rail Coffee in Johor is the stuff of legend. The humble kopitiam (coffee shop) started off as a pitstop for commuters and travelers at the Kluang Railway Station – where they could grab simple but tasty Malaysian breakfast quintessentials like nasi lemak, tea, half boiled eggs, and toast with butter and kaya. (you can read about my previous visit here).
Interstate travel is discouraged in light of the pandemic, so for KL-ites who can’t travel all the way down south, there is a ‘watered down’ alternative – in the form of Kluang Station in 3Damansara. While I am not sure if the Kluang Station franchise (they have a few shops across Peninsular Malaysia and also in Kuching, Sarawak) is affiliated in any way to Kluang Rail Coffee, it definitely draws inspiration from it, from the train station-themed decor to the classic favourites on its menu.
The menu is a hodgepodge of Malaysian street food favourites with some Western offerings like pasta and salads thrown in. For drinks, there’s the usual teh tarik, milo and coffee, but also some less ordinary beverages like the pretty three-layered Sirap Bandung, which has rose cordial, condensed milk and gula melaka (palm sugar) on the bottom.
Was in the mood for pasta, so I ordered a carbonara. It came with bits of fried ham and button mushrooms. The pasta was al dente, but the sauce had an odd, artificial flavour. Won’t be ordering this again. ._.
I also felt like snacking on something, so I got an order of fried chicken. These are lightly battered boneless cubes served with spicy dipping sauce. It was decent but not great. At least the chicken was thoroughly cooked and not dry.
To be completely honest, I was not impressed with the few dishes I ordered – but then again, they are better known for Malaysian dishes so perhaps I got the wrong items? It is a far cry from the simplistic but comforting fare at Kluang Rail Coffee. That being said, they have value for money set lunches and most of their offerings are affordably priced, so its suitable for office workers in the area.
PS: There are 11 Kluang Stations all across Malaysia. I dined at the one at 3Damansara.
Lot G-43, 3 Damansara Shopping Mall, No. 3, Jalan SS20/27, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours: 8AM – 10PM (daily)