SIKS MIKAH on Breakfast in Malaysia
I have to travel quite a fair bit for work. Recently, I had to hop over 4 destinations in 4 days. On day one, I had to be in Ipoh, Perak, for a meeting in the afternoon, which meant I had to leave Kuala Lumpur before 12noon.
Knowing that I probably would not have lunch before the meeting I decided to have a good breakfast before setting off. I walked into a cafe in Mont Kiara and ordered what I thought would be the conventional breakfast of eggs and toast.
When the plate of omelette and toast was placed in front of me I raised a brow and thought, “another Gordon Ramsay wannabee. Let’s see if this omelette will come close to the fluffy omelette I see Chef Ramsay tossing about on TV.” And impressed me it did! As my fork cut into the thick pillow of egg it was light on the fork and creamy on the palate. In half an hour with my coffee and omelette tucked comfortably in my tummy I drove off. That breakfast was a great start to a busy day.
Day two, before I left Ipoh, my friend insisted I had a light breakfast before hitting the highway. We went to an old bungalow which was converted into a coffee shop. I thought “oh wow, this is taking gentrification to another level. What an excuse not to invest in renovation. Just move gramps out, put up a sign board in front and start pouring out cups of white coffee!”This building must have seen its heydays in the 60s and today its glory has returned thanks to their patrons who seem to be from the high end judging from cars parked in the crowded compound. Enough sceptical thoughts! Proof of the place is in the breakfast I am about to have.
Every time some locals described the coffee as smooth, I couldn’t quite imagine what they meant. But..when you have had a slurp of the white coffee from Chang Jiang, the name of this coffeeshop, you would know exactly what I mean. Smooth, not so sweet, aromatic complement to the crispy hainan toasted bread with cold butter and fragrant kaya (coconut jam).All the way back to Kuala Lumpur, I couldn’t help thinking about the roti bakar kaya crumbling in my mouth.
Early the next morning, I had to catch the first flight to Sabah and that meant no breakfast till I reached Kota Kinabalu. Soon as I arrived I was informed that we could only have breakfast on the way as the journey to our meeting place in Ranau was long. Just a short ride out of town we stopped at Inanam and we went to a coffee shop named Dat Sing. Apparently, they served the best Tom Yam mee in the whole of Kota Kinabalu.But I decided on a bowl of bitter gourd fish mee hoon with chunks of fresh and succulent fish meat. It was indeed a sufficient bowl of delicious goodness and it costs only RM6.50. Journey was long but it helps when the tummy is full.
It was a long three days and the next day I had to get onto the first flight back to Kuala Lumpur. On arriving home I decided on a simple late breakfast at a mamak (indian muslim) coffeeshop nearby. I managed to put in a last order for the Rava Thosai (rice flour pancake) before they stopped making it in order to serve the lunch menu. The crispy thosai, speckled with spices and carrots, with a hint of fermented rice, was served with dhall. As I put dhall soak yet crispy pieces of Thosai into my mouth and sipping Teh tarik (sweet pulled tea), a sense of gratitude filled me. Grateful for little pleasures that make my days.
Siks Mikah travels frequently & believes that humility opens doors inward and outward.