Friday, October 19, 2012


Somewhere in Chinatown, Singapore
October 2012

kopitiam or kopi tiam is a traditional coffee shop or "food court" found in Southeast Asia. The word kopi means "coffee" in Malay and tiam which means "shop" in Hokkien dialect. Kopitiams are widely found in Singapore and trust me when I say widely. They're like mushrooms. It's like a one-stop food shop for people who either don't have time to cook or are just plain lazy. Food found in kopitiams are virtually the same but some koptiams are locally renowned for better taste (some say) or for some other reasons. It is therefore common for locals to drive to the other end of Singapore just to order a plate of famous "chicken-rice" or say "rojak" (a traditional fruit and vege salad dish) or "char kway teow" (stir-fried ricecake strips) or whatever local dish they would want for the day. There's always a particular coffee shop who specialises in a particular dish, or so they say.

Stall crew preparing somesort of char siew pao.

Duck and Char Siew (bbq-ed pork)

Chinese Economy Rice Stall.

Somewhere in Chinatown, September 2012


  1. I just finished watching some clips of street food in southeast Asia, and it briefly mentioned Singapore!mmmm Lots of yummy looking food.
    I had no idea that Indian food was so prevalent in Singapore (which is great for non-meat eating individuals like myself).
    Although, I must say, your pictures have some mighty tasty looking foods in them.
    I would love to try that rojak dish.
    Do you have a favorite dish from one of these Kopitiams?

    1. Oh yes! There're 3 major races in Singapore; Chinese, Malay, Indians. So yeap, Indian food's definitely prevalent:) Rojak is nice too.
      As for my favourite dish, hmmmm...everything? I eat almost anything! haha