O'Mama Kopitiam, Karawara

My younger sister Juji was on holiday recently in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. She blogged and tweeted about the food she ate, giving me terrible food envy! One of the meals she enjoyed most was the quinessential Malaysian/Singaporean kopitiam breakfast of soft-boiled eggs and kaya toast.

More Juji food envy, featuring durian-flavoured ice cream "bricks"!
Singapore street food: ice cream wafers Ice cream in rainbow bread More ice cream in rainbow bread

There are a few kopitiams in Perth - I've heard of at Austin's Kopitiam in Mt Hawthorn and Mak's Place in Northbridge, but O'Mama is the first kopitiam in Perth I've been to. We have some wonderful breakfast places in Perth but I'm all for greater diversity in breakfast food. More kopitiams would be a great start! At the end of this post, see my short list of something different for breakfast.

Behold, kaya toast (AU$3.20) and soft-boiled eggs (AU$3.00 per 2 eggs) at O'Mama Kopitiam in Karawara. It's a simple perfect breakfast or snack combination we could easily make at home, but it's fun eating it in a coffee shop.

Yum yum, the kaya toast was good. Butter makes so many things better. Butter and peanut butter, butter and cheese, butter and chocolate spread, butter and kaya. I'd have liked thick slices of butter like Juji was served on her holidays though. :)

I lived in Malaysia until my family moved to Australia when I was ten years old. In Malaysia, my grandma would often make us soft-boiled eggs for breakfast before school. She called it "half-boiled egg". You break the egg into a bowl, holding the hot egg carefully so you don't burn your fingertips, scraping every bit of soft egg from the shell, then add soy sauce and white pepper. I ate mine with a spoon, but my Dad, who likes his soft-boiled eggs cooked even less than "half-boiled", would lift the bowl up and drink his eggs straight from the bowl.

The friendly lady who took our order boiled the eggs in a soft-boiled egg cooker similar to this one featured in a post at A Table for Two: Foolproof Soft Boiled Egg Cooker (her soft-boiled egg cooker wasn't a beautiful bright yellow one though). I want one of these! If I ever visit Malaysia or Singapore I'm totally buying one to bring home with me. The eggs turned out perfect!

If you like gooey eggs and have never eaten Malaysian/Singaporean style soft-boiled egg with soy sauce and white pepper, you have missed out! It's so simple but so delicious.

We shared one serve of kaya toast and eggs so we had room to venture into more serious eating pants country and try O'Mama's nasi lemak too. Let's just say we didn't need lunch that day. :)

The menu was a bit confusing. In retrospect, we should've simply chosen from the AU$4.80 nasi lemak special flyers posted on the window. When we approached the front counter to order, the lady who served us told us to ignore the menu that's hanging up on the wall behind the front counter - it's a leftover from the previous management (to which I say: take it down!). She gave us paper menus instead, and we immediately both chose nasi lemak with chicken curry or beef rendang (AU$10.80), item R3 under "Rice Dishes" - I chose chicken curry; Jac, beef rendang. We were then told with the $10.80 nasi lemak we each were entitled to choose another two chicken dishes from the bain marie, a choice of: fried chicken, lemongrass chicken, tomato chicken, chicken kicap manis and chicken rendang. We thought briefly about downgrading to the $4.80 nasi lemak special (with one chicken dish) but decided to use the opportunity to get a sampler of O'Mama's chicken dishes.

So to go with her nasi lemak and beef rendang, Jac chose tomato chicken and chicken kicap manis (sweet soy chicken).

To go with my nasi lemak and curry chicken, I chose chicken rendang and fried chicken. The curry chicken and chicken rendang were both tasty enough but the fried chicken was the best - crispy and juicy, with no bones. The tomato chicken was my favourite out of Jac's meat dishes. My brother the Chicken Boy would love the chicken-loaded nasi lemak for sure.

The rice was not as lemak as my mum's but it was tasty enough. And I was pleased we each got a whole hard-boiled egg - I always feel cheated when nasi lemak comes with half a boiled egg or a stingy little thin rubbery square of omelette. There was a generous amount of ikan bilis (fried anchovies) with peanuts, just a shame the ikan bilis were not crispy.

If you're not as greedy as us, the AU$4.80 nasi lemak specials (nasi lemak + one chicken dish) will probably suffice! Yes, that's my reflection in the window as I stood taking the photograph.

The interior decor is quirky, with marble-topped tables and wallpaper featuring reindeer, butterfly and bird silhouettes. I wish I'd taken a picture to show you! They use those black buzzers that look like UFOS, that vibrate and flash red when your order is ready.

There's a lot of construction/renovation work going on at Waterford Plaza where O'Mama Kopitiam is located, so it's not really noticeable from the street. The parking lot is a bit of an obstacle course but we parked away from the congestion and made our way to the coffee shop on foot.

While we were there, there was a steady trickle of customers, both dine-in and takeaway. One person ordered the char kway teow and it smelled really good! I need to eat at more kopitiams for comparison, but we enjoyed our meal at O'Mama Kopitiam. I'd like to return to try more of the food, especially the chicken chop rice (AU$12.80). I haven't eaten chicken chop for years! Jac, an offal lover, was most interested to see the pork soup noodles (AU$10.80), with noodles of your choice in a pork broth, with pork pieces, pork liver, pork mince and vegetables. They have cendol, ais kacang and teh tarik too - next time, next time. I only wish that O'Mama opened on Sundays and that they opened earlier - sadly, that's probably because there's just not enough demand in Perth for Malaysian coffee shop breakfasts early in the morning.

What is chicken chop?

O'Mama Kopitiam Shop 23, Waterford Plaza
Corner of Manning Road and Kent St
Karawara WA 6152
Telephone: (08) 9313 2433
Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 8.30pm
Special weekday packed lunch $4.80 (9.30am to 11.30am)

Map of O'Mama Kopitiam - click for larger map
Click for larger map

O'Mama Kopi Tiam on Urbanspoon

Something different for breakfast

Try these:

We're always on the lookout to try something different for breakfast! Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.