kopitiam in Lafayette
we had lunch at Kopitiam in Lafayette and were surprised at how good it was. The chef is described as from Singapore with much experience.
Rotis are a specialty. Roti Chanai was excellent.
Chicken rice was tasty, and the rice fragrant with the juices.I missed having the bones though!
Curry chicken mee had a tasty sauce, great on steamed rice
Silken cloud looked great, next table over! (next time!)
Chap Chye only dissapointing dish..bland and tasteless
Service beyond friendly and reasonable price.
Next door to Trader Joes. Worth a visit if in the area.
Had another really good meal here this weekend. The three standouts were:
1) the weirdly addictive tofu poppers - deep-fried fresh silken tofu with a dipping sauce that I thought might be sweetened condensed milk mixed with mayo. Good soy flavor from the tofu.
2) the Chai Tow Kuih - yet another version of the Chiu-Chow style radish cake with egg that I didn't know existed 3 years ago, and am now addicted to - aka "carrot cake" in Singapore. The cake has a much stronger radish texture/flavor compared to ones I've had elsewhere - it's much more similar to the radish cake (luo buo gao) you get for dim sum than every other version I've tried (all of which are heavier on the rice flour than the radish, resulting in a smoother, more delicately flavored cake). No dried shrimp or sausage in the cake itself, but I think bits of sausage and/or shrimp were stir-fried into the dish. We ordered it white (without sweet black soy sauce) and spicy. This is my new favorite version of this dish.
3) Char Kway Teow - I forgot to order this one spicy - it was still really good, but I preferred the spicy version I'd had last time. We ordered two versions - one regular, and one without egg and shrimp - surprisingly, the no egg/shrimp version was just as good, despite tasting totally different from the regular version.
Good, but not as great as last time:
1) Hainan chicken rice - I think maybe because it was the end of the day, and the rice wasn't as fresh as the last time - last time, when they took the cover off the rice cooker, the heady smell of ginger and chicken broth and rice that wafted over was intoxicating. This time, the rice was good, but the chicken was the star - last time, the rice was the star (as it should be).
2) Roti prata - actually, I think the roti themselves were a little better - somewhat more substantial - but the curry wasn't as complex as I'd remembered. Still good, though.
We also had the Singapore Rainbow Salad, which was fine (I thought the dressing was a little sweeter than I'd like, but I ate a lot of it anyway) and the Mee Goreng (great chewy noodles - I can't really judge the sauce b/c we asked them to accomodate a shrimp and egg allergy, so the sauce was a little ketchup-y and one-dimensional. I'm pretty sure it would have tasted totally different if we had not handicapped them with our request - I'd like to try it again the way it's meant to be cooked).
I love their Chai Tow Kuih, but haven't had the white version. The black version (and maybe the white too?) has a really nice shrimp paste funkiness that melds perfectly with the radish flavor. If anyone can compare white v black, I'd love to hear. We might have to do a head-to-head next time.
Ate some takeout chap chye ($5.91 after 15% takeout discount) I bought the other day for breakfast this morning. Probably the tastiest stir-fried vegetables and tofu I've ever had. Interesting mix of veg including cauliflower. The jasmine rice ($1.28) that came with it was delilciously spiced with ginger and I don't know what else. I would not bet that either was vegetarian.
re: Robert Lauriston
I have tried a lot of items here on several trips there.
Some stellar dishes that I found:
FRIED TOFU APPETIZER (Silken cloud ?): one of the best tofu dish I had
MEE GORENG: really good
NASI GORENG: pretty good
CHICKEN RICE: not bad but no match to the original in SGP by the Rendezvous Hotel
CHAR KWE TIAUW: decent
SALAD: pretty good
HALF BOILED EGG: delicious and done right.
ROTI PRATA: v good
Tried for the first time this weekend, on the way back to Oakland after hiking Mt. Diablo - I was very, very impressed. Best Singaporean food I've had in the Bay Area by far.
Roti kaya - white buttered toast sandwiching excellent kaya (coconut "jam", really more of a custard). This was great with a cup of Kopi Susu (strong house blended cofee with sweetened condensed milk).
Roti Prata - much thinner, crisper roti than I've had in other places - almost wafer-like. The two styles I usually see are 1) thick and multilayered (most of the places I've been to do this style) and 2) single layer, enormous sheet, in a large crumpled mound (Bayan Tree in Union City). I like all three, but I kind of wished I'd had more surface area to work with, as the curry that came with it was outstanding - far and away the best I've had in the Bay Area. All of the other curries I've had tasted very similar to each other - kind of sweet, a little spicy, coconutty - this one had darker, almost chocolate-y undertones and a remarkable complexity from ingredients I couldn't identify.
Char kway teow (flat rice noodle stir fried with shrimp, fishcake, Chinese sausage, beansprouts, egg) - this also had a complex sauce I couldn't quite dissect, with a satisfying spiciness. Excellent noodle texture, great fish cakes, great dish overall.
Hainan chicken rice - this is the first time I've ever had Hainan chicken rice and actually understoond what it was all about. I tried it once in Singapore (don't know if the place I went to is considered any good or not), and a few times in the Bay Area, and was always underwhelmed. This was great - the texture of the chicken was silky, and the flesh fully permeated with garlic and ginger (without overpowering the excellent flavor of the chicken itself). Excellent rice, flavored with chicken stock and ginger, perfect fluffy texture. Ginger sauce and chili sauce served on the side, also perfect.
Sayur Lodeh - vegetarian curry - this was the only miss. Compared with the deep, complex flavors of the other dishes, this one tasted thin and flat. We mixed in the leftover curry from the roti prata to give it more depth.
Definitely worth the drive from Oakland - planning to go back soon.
The post-picnic partyers made a stop here before dinner. Of note, the Singaporean and the Malaysian in our midst both said they'd gladly return. I enjoyed the tea but it was quite strong and kept me up that night.
Oh, and it's open until 7pm now. Apparently many of the folks ordering dinner pick-ups for 6pm wanted to be able to sit down and eat there.
Marlon, we followed your recommendation for a very light lunch here this late afternoon. How to describe the interior paint job? Diplomatic: explosive lime. The Truth: a virulent green that exists only on tropical birds and fish. But the food and the service, another story. We were greeted at the door by the owner. He was sweetness and light. Helped us to our table and asked if we need some help with a few recommendations. We didn't have much time or tummy room, so we asked for his suggestions but told him that we could not possibly eat anything more than the Roti Prata (4.25) and a salad (from 6.50 to 7.50). I chose the Tofu with mixed greens salad and my companion went with the chicken salad on mixed greens. The Roti Prata was excellent and the curry gravy sweet and spicy and with just a hint of fish sauce(?). The tofu salad was delightful. The greens were fresh and the tofu -- toasted on the outside and silken on the inside. The greens were topped with lovely crunchy things and the dressing was sweet but not cloying. The chicken salad was blessed with the same greens, and the chicken was mighty flavorful, but slightly dry.
On our way out we noticed the Chicken with rice (which the owner had recommended). It looked delicious-- with the chicken swimming in rice and a curry sauce. I hope this place makes it.
We've had a couple of threads on Kopitiam already.
Singaporean Chicken Rice is supposed to have boneless chicken pieces.
The chef is not only experienced, he owned and operated a famous hawker stall that was a favorite provider of chicken rice to Singaporeans. We're actually quite lucky here to have access to his food.
3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549