Kopitiam at Swissotel

As is fairly obvious by its name, the Kopitiam at the Swissotel the Stamford serves local cuisine in a restaurant coffee shop setting, at restaurant prices (of course!). While I would not usually eat hawker food at a restaurant (hawker food, imho, is best had at hawker centres / coffee shops), we had a voucher to use (as part of our Feed@Raffles Card voucher package), we headed here late one evening. 

We ordered the Nasi Lemak and the Laksa  on our visit, and both were decent renditions of the dish.

The Nasi Lemak (S$15) came with 2 ikan kuning, 2 chicken drumlets and 3 slices of omelette and a heaping portion of coconut scented rice. The chicken drumlets were not battered the traditional way though – this came battered in a grainy sort of batter (like it had been double-dipped in breadcrumbs). For me, the chicken wings / drumlets that are standard issue in a Nasi Lemak dish should usually be coated in a smooth flour batter (something like that which is sold at Adam Road Nasi Lemak, but less oily), crunchy with a marinade that has some ginger juice and tumeric(?) powder. This particular chicken drumlet just wasn’t quite up to the mark.

The Laksa  (S$15.50) was also good, and came with prawns, a medium sized fish cake and plenty of taupok. This was very lemak and the gravy was so thick it resembled a thickened sauce more than a gravy. The laksa came with the standard issue laksa leaves and a sambal that was perfumed with shallots and dried shrimp. Purists would probably complain that the sambal was a little bit on the sweet side – my guess is that all of the dishes at Kopitiam have been tempered to meet the many tourists that visit this place.

As dessert, we had the Ice Kachang (S$6.50) which came with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the top. I loved the vanilla icecream (and I know that this is unorthodox, but more and more hawkers are beginning to offer this), but the ice kachang’s gula melaka flavouring (the brown stuff) lacked that smokey flavour that one usually gets with gula melaka. Toppings wise, there was the usual corn, atap seeds and red bean, but it also had sea coconut. At S$6.50, this was decent value for money because of the ingredients (the dessert easily feeds 2), but is not quite the quintessential ice kachang that one might get outside.

In all, the food at Kopitiam is pretty decent, but at the prices charged, this is not necessarily my first choice, unless I’m using the Feed@Raffles card. While the food is indeed geared at tourists, and therefore spice levels have been accordingly adjusted, they bear some resemblance to the traditional fare that one gets at hawker centres. I should also add that the service staff at Kopitiam is very very attentive – they brought sharing bowls / utensils upon learning that we were sharing our food, and were in general attentive, polite and charming to a T. In all, a decent meal experience with good service to boot.


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