Food & Drink

Another look at the Malaysian restaurant which has been a big hit in New York City

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Kopitiam, the little Malaysian place with lots of character that is making a name for itself in New York City’s Chinatown, was featured on’s Cooking in America channel last month. We also published a short article about it a few months ago in March.

Host Pelin Keskin visits the venue to speak to the chef, third-generation Nyonya woman Kyo Pang, and to try the Malaysian dishes and drink. This included nasi lemak, kaya butter toast and pulut inti.

These dishes were inspired by Kyo Pang’s father, who is also a chef – here in Malaysia – and we’re sure he’s very proud of his daughter.

Although the article does mistakenly say that Penang is “the region of Malaysia that houses the nation’s capital city”, we’ll let them off because we love that Malaysian food is being promoted in the Big Apple.

Here’s the address for those who plan to visit NYC: 51 Canal St, New York, New York 10002.

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Nicola Tan

Richard Tan have you tried it?

Richard Tan

not yet. Looks like lunch next week!

Karen Soo

Andrew Ng Shelley Wu… Have you both been here?

Andrew Ng

Shelley lives about one block away

Shelley Wu

i prefer the kaya toast

Karen Soo

Shelley Wu we make Kaya when I am in NYC . Must buy coconut cream and also pandan leaves

Shelley Wu

YESSSS I’ll go figure out where we could get it

Lynda ShokMing Chan

Please open a Kopitiam in Los Angeles!!! Your food looks fabulously yummy- I am a hungry Malaysian

Md Lee

Let the Yankees know what it means to enjoy Nasi Lemak, as breakfast!!! Enjoy that with black coffee…

TS Yong

That’s part of the problem “americanizing” the food – the kai fan becomes roasted instead of boiled, and the portion of rice served is sized for my cat

Philip Chan

In Malaysia, most Kai fan also comes with deep fried chicken because most people prefer fried to boiled chicken. I too order fried chicken 99% of the time.

Jackie Oakley

Bit posh for nasi lemak obviously American style

Alan Cole

America by storm? Do you understand how big America is 99.99% of the people would no nothing about this place. Plus as we can see here in the comments, all the people talking about it are Malaysian or Singaporeans. I’ve been here years. Still would never eat it. And if I was in America….

Daniel Har

Still wouldn’t eat what?

Peddy Heah

We had Kopitiam cafe here in Brisbane but closed down a couple of years ago for lack of support!

Muhammad Amir Syazwan

Really? well, i thought they dislike ‘nasi lemak’. I remember that day i saw them eat it for like the very first time and they laughed! anchovies seem an alien to them. anyway, thats a good news.

Alan Li

How is Singapore more marketable?

Nor Akmar Nordin

I know one thing for sure Nasi Lemak has been in NY much longer than this.

Abigail Shin

The sudden hype * rolls eyes*


It’s rice cooked in fat of course it will sell

Alphonse Stanislas

It’s rice cooked with coconut milk and not fat as you describe it…..go check it out coconut milk and coconut oil are the best, health wise.

Gurmit S. Jassal

Boon Hoe Chin is this true…

Boon Hoe Chin

its ok. i mean the owner has a passion for nyonya food and continues on the tradition. in terms of the taste – there’s always room for improvement. For the Americans the media hype and publicity definitely help. Also, for them to transition from a roadside stall to a shop and an amazing feat and Kopitiam definitely has future and finding its way of winning the American heart and bring malaysian food to the hipsters.

Gurmit S. Jassal

Not bad, salute the owner, must make a visit..

Michael Pecot

Be careful of the yummy oily sauces, can be very high in chlestrol if palm oil s used, just suffered astroke here in makaysia. Docs said 30% of Malaysian get v strokes . That’s 1 in 3! Itits an epidemic.ask them if they’re usin palm oil . Very high in Saturated fat!

Eefa Fauzan

I think some palm oil is modified. Depends..i think…

Michael Pecot

Its deadly stuff if earen too often.

Michael Pecot

I definetely overindulged and payed a high price. I didnt know how bad they were til it was too late. So I’m trying to warn everyone now.

Philip Chan

You are wrong, palm oil has 0% cholesterol .

Spain Business

More stuff on expat society please like if you agree

Maya Ayam

Christafurious i wanna go everyday all day ;-;

Maya Ayam

i wanna go for my bday too!

Maya Ayam

cat cafe, afternoon tea, malaysian food. done.

Fitra Fit

Pam Lichtman Rosen Richard Cline try some!

Sharifah N Samad

Lily Wong go & try this restaurant, it’s in the Chinatown NY…

Lily Wong

I will, thank you, hard to find Malaysian taste in Malaysia restaurant.

Sharifah N Samad

Not sure sedap or not.. Worth trying if u rindu nasi lemak ?

Lily Wong

I try , I let you know. I can’t find Malaysian restaurant open by Malay.

Sharifah N Samad

Open by Baba Nyonya also nice one..??

Audrey Tan

Sharon Kon Shermaine Singh

Shermaine Singh

Thanks you! I’ll check it out but usually Singapore/Malaysian food here is so disappointing.

Sharon Kon

I heard about this place from another Malaysian friend in NYC. She said its super good as well. I may have to stop by tonight!!!!

Audrey Tan

Shermaine: It’ll never be the same as the food here of cos!

Audrey Tan

Sharon: Is that tiny place underground in Chinatown with awesome assam laksa still around?

Sharon Kon

Yeah but they changed owners and it’s not great anymore. Kopitiam apparently is very close to the Penang Kopitiam who are the same owners apparently.

Achilles Goh

Jason Tan UK is our first Kopitiam

John Yeow

Good news,we can export more ikan bills , coconut milk etc,etc.

TS Yong

Thanks for the heads up mate. As a matter of fact, there’re a lot of Malaysian restaurants in NYC, but only one that bills itself a Singaporean restaurant, Chomp Chomp. IMO, they’re all not too far apart except for one thing – price. The ones in Chinatown are a quarter of the cost of the ones in the rest of Manhattan

Boon Hoe Chin

Chomp owned and run by Malaysian. Rebranded to “Singaporean” food due to marketing reason. Food wise – still Malaysian recipe from his family. Singapore, Malaysian – same, same but different

Eden Chan Chan

My favourite is Nasi Lemak with Rendang/curry chicken or fried chicken with fried egg..Best breakfast ever..Hot fresh.

Kamal Zainul

Shahrulmiza Zakaria betui ka?

Shahrulmiza Zakaria

IMO, it’s a media hype.. hehehe

Shahrulmiza Zakaria

I’m not denying the popularity of the cafe, just disagree with the caption in this post. It is incorrect and gave distorted connotations.

Shahrulmiza Zakaria

“Nasi lemak is taking America by storm!” is incorrect caption for the article.

Mazlan Basharudin

True! Nasi lemak wt plentiful ikan bilis n kacang…

Mark Grill

Time for a New York trip then !

Elise Schut

Please open one in Amsterdam

Vun-Sin Lim

How come I missed that when in the city?! 🙁

MC Chang

Phoosanisa Thammasophakid Trey Molino

Albert Lye

Are you sure the pic is a nasi lemak dish ? Looks more like mee rebus to me !


Definitely nasi lemak! The rice is hiding underneath the anchovies and nuts 🙂

Hafiz Jumali

Lol, mee rebus? Hahaha

Sorellina Ville

I’ve been there! I agree

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