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The Origin of Old Town White Coffee Outlets - Nam Heong in Ipoh
Ask any Ipohan, or any Malaysian for that matter, whether they've heard of Ipoh Old Town White Coffee, and guaranteed almost 100% of the time, they would've patronized any of the many outlets all over Malaysia, successfully bringing the kopitiam concept a little mainstream, and upmarket even.

But one may wonder, with so many outlets (more than 100!) mushrooming all over Malaysia, where's the root of the menace?

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, The spark that ignited the mass appeal of Ipoh's white coffee
The spark that ignited the mass appeal of Ipoh's white coffee

Nam Heong Coffee Shop in ... where else? Old Town of Ipoh, of course! Although with all due respect, the origin of white coffee dated way before Nam Heong started operation, at a rival coffee shop within the vicinity.

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, In the process of baking egg tarts, a perfect complement to a hot cup of white coffee
In the process of baking egg tarts, a perfect complement to a hot cup of white coffee

Just as people are divided over their preference for the best laksa, the best Char Kuey Teow, or at a smaller scale (yet more relevant), the competition amongst Ipoh Tauge Chicken restaurants, Ipohans have their say on his/her own favourite white coffee brew, commonly served in most coffee shops and restaurants everywhere nowadays.

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, Fresh from the oven, hot & flaky, life doesn't get better than this
Fresh from the oven, hot & flaky, life doesn't get better than this

Nam Heong houses a few stalls, selling various hawker fare for breakfast, lunch and tea time. It's not opened at night for dinner though. One of the perennial favourites of sorts for most is the egg tart, freshly baked from the oven, and various pastries from the same stall. The rich, almost creamy egg custard is usually hot when served, and the flaky pastry renders the tart almost irresistible. Paired with a cup of hot, frothy white coffee, or 'Cham' (mixed concoction of coffee and tea), the combination is perfect for a satisfying tea break.

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, Hakka Noodles with Yong Tau Foo (Stuffed Beancurd)
Hakka Noodles with Yong Tau Foo (Stuffed Beancurd)

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, Char Kuey Teow - Penang Style, served on a banana leaf
Char Kuey Teow - Penang Style, served on a banana leaf

Other options for heavier meal include noodles with Yong Tau foo, and another crowd-pleaser, the Char Kuey Teow, with ingredients such as prawns, cockles, and/or eggs. The portions aren't too stingy either, sufficient to fill that stomach for a good few hours.

Nam Heong Coffee Shop, And the main attraction - the 'legendary' white coffee
And the main attraction - the 'legendary' white coffee

Sip on the perfect blend of white coffee, watching the world goes by. That is, if the shop ain't too crowded (ie : weekends, public holidays), else risk plentiful of glares directed at your table. The term white coffee was coined not because of the colour of the coffee, but instead the process of roasting the beans with margarine (mostly), not to the point of being burnt hence the lighter colour of the beverage.

As they proudly claim in their advertisements, Old Town ... Take Your Time .....

Nam Heong Coffee Shop
No. 2, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 605 243 7177
article and photo by Motormouth From Ipoh  |  Permalink
The opinion mentioned in the article above is solely based on reviewers' (individually or collectively) taste buds and observation. It may vary for other individuals and does not reflect FoodStreet's opinion.
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