An authentic Malaysian breakfast spot serving up kaya toast, Singaporean laksa and warming cups of kopi.
Updated 12/6/19: This article previously incorrectly stated that Kopitiam is owned by the team behind Taste of Home.
Many claim breakfast to be the most important meal of the day, and we're inclined to agree. The beauty of breakfast is that it comes in so many shapes and forms around the world, and fortunately there's a new spot on Vivian Street treating Wellingtonians to an authentic Malaysian breakfast.
Kopitiam (which translates to "coffee shop") is a compact little outfit that packs a lot of character. There's only a small handful of tables on offer, so make sure you get in nice and early for a sit-down meal.
We couldn't come here and not get the traditional Malaysian breakfast set ($10), which comprises the classic three-piece combo of kaya toast, soft boiled eggs and either kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). Simple, quick and cheap, it's an ideal way to start the day, especially on a typically chilly Wellington morning such as the one on which we visited.
At first glance, the plain-looking kaya toast resembles something you'd find in a Kiwi kid's lunch box, but it's so much more: generous slatherings of coconut jam hold the thick slabs of butter in place, all combining with the crusty toast for a sweet, filling snack. This is nicely balanced by the eggs, which you crack into a small, shallow bowl and season with soy sauce and white pepper before spooning and slurping it up.
For those unfamiliar with Malaysian kopi, the best way to get introduced to it is to simply try it out — and Kopitiam serves up an incredibly good kopi. Margarine roasted beans are used to imbue the coffee with a deep, strong bodied flavour, and kopi is traditionally served with condensed milk. The result is an incredibly flavoursome brew that is guaranteed to jolt you awake.
Curry noodles might not be the first breakfast choice for a weekday, but after glimpsing the photos, we simply had to try Kopitiam's Singaporean laksa ($11.90). Don't be alarmed when it comes without chopsticks, as it's designed to be consumed entirely with a spoon. The thick vermicelli noodles are cut into smaller strands to allow this, and the rich, creamy coconut broth adds an incredible amount of flavour to the noodles, prawns, fish cakes, bean sprouts and fried tofu.
Despite its small size, Kopitiam truly offers something for everyone, whether you're after a light breakfast with a difference or hearty Asian noodles to warm your lunch break. With this little shop garnering a fast-growing following, Wellingtonians are about to get very acquainted with the joys of kaya toast.