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Kopitiam in Lafayette Closing

Melanie Wong Nov 13, 2009 11:35 AM

This announcement of Kopitiam's closing was just forwarded to me.

From: Edward Soon <kopitiamrestaurant@yahoo.com>
To: kopitiamrestaurant@yahoo.com
Sent: Fri, November 13, 2009 10:34:51 AM
Subject: Kopitiam will be closing for good in 2 weeks

Dear friends of Kopitiam,

We would like to Thank you for your support to us. We regret to inform you that Kopitiam will be closing for good before Thanksgiving Nov 26 2009. Please don't hesitate to call if you have any special order request before Thanksgiving.

Thanks again for all of your kind support!

3647 Mt Diablo Blvd

Kopitiam Restaurant
3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Nov 13, 2009 11:42 AM

    Nooooo! Damn.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 13, 2009 11:46 AM

      I'm pretty upset too. When a little spot like this closes, I always feel like I'm too blame for not talking it up more. I'm sorry I won't be able to head over there before closing.

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        K K RE: Melanie Wong Nov 13, 2009 12:13 PM

        Sigh...first Raffles Cafe in Fremont like 7 years ago (remember how great and authentic they were?), and now Kopitiam which I will never get to try :~(.

        Kopitiam Restaurant
        3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

        1. re: K K
          hong_kong_foodie RE: K K Nov 14, 2009 01:57 PM

          It's sad--but also not surprising. This place was always pretty empty, and that area is not one where this type of restaurant will thrive, especially if it seeks to promote "authentic" cuisine. In fact, the locals in that area probably don't even know much about authentic Chinese food, and here they're going for the much more elusive Singapore/Malaysian cuisine? Not a chance.

          1. re: hong_kong_foodie
            Agent 510 RE: hong_kong_foodie Nov 14, 2009 05:54 PM

            So my quick scan of the board suggests there's no truly authentic Singaporean food in the Bay Area, but for someone who just visited there a couple months ago for the first time and just wants to relive some of the hawker center highlights, where's the best place to go now that Kopitiam is gone?

            Old Town Cafe in Dublin, perhaps?

            Kopitiam Restaurant
            3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

            1. re: Agent 510
              chow_eb RE: Agent 510 Nov 14, 2009 09:09 PM

              > This place was always pretty empty

              Correct. I would describe that as people "voting with their dollars". We went there multiple times. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't special. And it was usually empty.

              > locals in that area probably don't even know much about authentic Chinese food

              That's a peculiar thing to say. Because you could say the same thing about almost any ethnic cuisine. Even Italian. What percent of the diners at Postino have been to italy?

              > Old Town Cafe in Dublin, perhaps?

              Exactly. That's our favorite place.

              3565 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

              1. re: chow_eb
                Han RE: chow_eb Apr 24, 2010 10:58 PM

                Their touted Hainam chicken rice was allright but not spectacular. I recently tried the authentic Kopitiam in Singapore (across Rendezvous Hotel) and it is MUCH better. The chicken was moist and succulent. The rice, the sauce over the rice, chili sauce and the vegies are perfect in every way. Compared to the Lafayette, it is no contest.

                Banana Tree in Union City is probably in trouble too. Very few customers. Then they raised the prices and even fewer customers now.

                Is it the chicken in US different than in Singapore ? I will try to experiment on my own

                The owner Edward tries hard to please and very friendly to customers. I wish him the best.

              2. re: Agent 510
                Robert Lauriston RE: Agent 510 Nov 15, 2009 08:38 AM

                Kopitiam's not gone yet.

                Topic on Sinaporean / Malaysian restaurants:


                Kopitiam Restaurant
                3647 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

              3. re: hong_kong_foodie
                recycleit RE: hong_kong_foodie Apr 24, 2010 09:27 AM

                I don' t think it was the food. I think it was the Trader Joe's next door and the *tiny* parking lot. The previous owner of the occupant of the spot, Togo's Sandwiches, told me TJ's killed his business. Lava Pit, of Orinda, is going in there. Construction has been going on for over a month now.

                1. re: recycleit
                  Robert Lauriston RE: recycleit Apr 24, 2010 10:01 AM

                  I never had trouble parking in the lot, and I don't think Trader Joe's was competing with them the way it would with a mostly-takeout sandwich shop.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    hong_kong_foodie RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 24, 2010 09:03 PM

                    The problem really comes down to one thing: the food was just not that good. Sure there were some okay dishes, but the Hainan chicken rice really did not live up to expectations. Of course, people will always compare Asian food in the US with what you find in Asia, and to some degree that never works because Asian food in Asia is just far superior, but the Hainan chicken rice at Kopitiam was so below standard that I was never able to like it even though I tried (and I tried hard).

                    If they had been able to churn out chicken rice that was as good as what you find in Singapore, it wouldn't matter that they were in the middle of nowhere--a ton of Asians would drive out there and keep them in business. But alas, the food was just not that good.

                    Maybe I'll give them another try and see if it's gotten better. I sure hope they improved the rice though and made it much more flavorful.

                    1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                      moto RE: hong_kong_foodie Apr 24, 2010 10:29 PM

                      we haven't eaten Asian food in Asia other than in an airplane or in Indonesia, and we didn't try their Hainan chicken, but we enjoyed the food at Kopitiam very much. our impression: home-style regional Chinese food different enough from our area's usual stuff to make it interesting; the simpler dishes were quite good for a nice brunch, like the roti with house made coconut marmalade. the only occasions we traveled to Lafayette for a meal over the past few years was to eat there. generally, I expect southern coastal Chinese food to be pretty plain and simple in terms of seasonings, so clearly my expectations are much different than a xiang gang ex-pat.

                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                        Robert Lauriston RE: hong_kong_foodie Apr 25, 2010 11:41 AM

                        You can't give them another try, they closed.

                        I'm no expert but my favorite chicken rice around here was at Singapore-Malaysian in SF.

                        Singapore Malaysian Restaurant
                        836 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

          2. Eugene Park RE: Melanie Wong Nov 15, 2009 12:58 PM

            Dang, this is one of the places I was really looking forward to trying out now that I've moved back to Montclair. I'll have to get out there this week to get at least one fix of Hainan chicken before they close....... =-/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Eugene Park
              Robert Lauriston RE: Eugene Park Nov 15, 2009 06:21 PM

              I wasn't very impressed with the chicken. I like that dish and also the roti canai, chow kway teo, and curry mee better at Singapore-Malaysian in SF

            2. m
              Mul RE: Melanie Wong Apr 24, 2010 09:20 AM

              From the facebook post, looks like the chef is now looking for a restaurant to open.



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