I've always thought Old Town White Coffee is like a Malaysian version of Killiney Kopitiam. A primarily kopi place with a smallish warm foods menu centered around the breakfast duo of kaya toast and soft boiled eggs. Turns out, on closer inspection of its menu, the fare served up is really quite extensive, and very much in line with that of Madam Kwan's and Grandma's. Being a Malaysian franchise brought in by the multi-hypenate funnyman Mark Lee, the food is grounded in Malaysian classics like assam laksa, prawn noodles, nasi lemak, and ipoh hor fan. You wouldn't think that a skinny guy like Mark Lee would know much about food, but the food here is pretty awesome. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality, and how incredibly value-for-money the stuff is here.
Take for example, the Signature Dry Ipoh Chicken Hor Fan ($8.90), which is a must-try here. Not least because it's amazingly cheap and generously portioned. The slippery flat rice noodles went down like a dream with the wonderfully fragrant soya sauce. Moist and tasty poached chicken thigh, fresh and sweet prawns and the obligatory parboiled green veggies topped the substantive creation. Definitely one of the better ipoh hor fans I've had in a long while. I would return just for this alone.
Another signature, the Rendang Chicken Rice ($11.50), with fried peanuts and ikan bilis, piquant achar, kickass sambal that was as spicy as it was sweet, a fried egg, pappadom crisps and a mound of aromatic coconut rice, was awesome, and strictly for big eaters. Special mention must be given to the chicken, a hulking chunk of fried chicken thigh coated in that thick rendang rempah. It was juicy and lipsmackingly good. I was left sucking on the bone for every last bit of flavour.
The Paratha ($3.90) may have been of the generic supermarket frozen foods variety, but I appreciated that this was lacking in oil and nicely toasted. Besides, when married with really good curry, who cares about the soaking medium, right?
Have you ever wanted just potatoes in your curry chicken, but had to order the chicken just to get them? Well, at Old Town, you don't have to! There's an option to order just the Curry Potato ($2.90), with 7 large chunks of softly boiled potatoes dunked in a fiery, creamy, albeit oily, curry. This may have been a carb-overload with the prata, but it was just so delicious, I figured I'd just work that extra hour at muay thai class the next day.
Old Town White Coffee
Novena Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
Tel: 6397 7078
Open daily from 8am to 10pm