In the days of chic coffee outlets boasting over-sized armchairs and piped-in jazz, quaint authentic Hainanese coffee shops are hard to come by. While I definitely enjoy a mid-afternoon conversation over a Java Chip Frappuccino, it's nice to settle down at a traditional coffee shop to enjoy a good cup of coffee and some roti kahwin.
If there's one thing that Kemaman is famous for, it's Hai Peng coffee. A lone, proud, structure in the heart of town, it's been a favourite for generations. It's got all the characteristics of a good Hainanese coffee shop - the heavy marble tables, the delicious roti kahwin (bread with butter and kaya), the typical crockery and of course, great coffee.
A visit to the Hai Peng Kopitiam branch in Kuantan with my cousins recently brought back happy memories of kopitiam breakfasts before kindergarten, as they reminisced about half boiled eggs and steamed bread.
Where else can you get do-it-yourself half-boiled eggs? The eggs come in a metal container containing hot water with a plate for a cover. 5 minutes, and you've got half boiled eggs that are delicious with pepper and soy sauce. Dipped into the runny egg mixture - that's the best way to have the roti kahwin.
What I find very amusing about these kopitiams are the fact that they give you a saucer to eat your runny egg from so more often than not, you find yourself simply picking up the saucer and slurping up the egg.
The Hai Peng kopitiam in Kuantan also serves delicious curry puffs, nasi lemak and curry laksa. The branching out to Kuantan has not compromised the coffee in any way and they make a mean iced mocha.
Hai Peng Kopitiam also sells pre-packaged coffee so you can have your very own kopitiam experience at home. It's definitely come a long way - making sure that it keeps up with the changing times but still retaining that cosy kopitiam atmosphere.
Hai Peng Kopitiam, Kemaman
3753 Jalan Sulaiman,
Hai Peng Kopitiam, Kuantan
Jln Haji Abdul Aziz
Pahang Darul Makmur.