From Malacca, I made the 90 minute drive alone into Kluang to visit my friend and also to visit the much talked about Railway Station for some authentic Hainanese coffee. Afterall, this canteen like kopitiam has successfully thrust Kluang into the tourism limelight and even gets a mention in wikipedia!
I’m sure many around Klang Valley will be familiar with Kluang Station outlets but they’re not directly affiliated with the famous Kluang Rail Coffee even though the owners of both businesses are of an uncle-nephew relationship. Noticed the difference in names? Subtle yet distinct.
The small, but picturesque Kluang train station. But it does see a throng of visitors daily, esp. those hankering after a hot, robust cuppa.
Kluang Rail Coffee, a rail tradition! Operating since 1938, it’s now in the hands of the 3rd generation. The simplicity of the place boasts of the good ole’ days when kopitiams were not all about franchises and rapid expansion. Being a weekend, the place was packed! Waiting for a table is quite the norm here and I loved how people of all walks and races dined just like how true Malaysians should.
Ordering here during peak hours is a bit of a challenge as one would have to try to catch the eye of the very busy waiters. Finally a chinese uncle took our order and came off as being a bit stand offish to begin with yet warmed up to us later. These kind of quirky traits just added to the experience of being here. Heh.
It was such a busy weekend that all the sliced bread was sold out and it was only 10am! And to think that people always say “Better than Sliced Bread”. Here, sliced bread is the best, judging the rate it sold out!
The friendly and humble boss manning the drinks station. I had quite an informative chat with him and it was somewhat mesmerising seeing him go about making the drinks. And boss, I remember your promise to bring me around makan the next time I’m in Kluang, k? Lol.
I have always loved Hainanese coffee for their aromatic, intense, complex flavour. Indeed a tradition in itself. Just a sip of the rich brew is enough to start the day with a bang.
We also had a portion of the soft boiled eggs but it was a tad overcooked in my opinion. Soft boiled eggs should be all runny etc. But look at that gorgeous yolk! Fresh or what?
Our first toasted bun was a little on the cold side as it didn’t have much of a chance to stay on the charcoal grill due to the crowd. But we ordered another when the crowd slowed down and it was warm enough for the butter to melt nicely to blend with the kaya spread. And yes, it was good! No wonder the roti bakar has also been coined as roti kahwin. The taste of kaya with butter, mhmm.
And to illustrate the generosity of the filling… only one word comes to mind: oozing.
The nasi lemak here is also much talked about and sells off quite quickly. So I was quite excited when we got our hands on one. What surprised me was the size of the pack. I honestly can finish the entire pack in 3 spoonfuls. And apart from a pat of sambal and a couple of peanuts and anchovies, there were naught else. But the sambal does hold its own, with a slightly sweetish but spicy kick. And even though it was simple, it was good. So it’s not always about the frills…
Overall, it’s the experience at dining such a basic yet historical landmark that prevails. I have had cold bread during the very busy moments which didn’t sit too well. But during the slightly slower times, my toasted bun was perfect so I guess there’s such a thing as timing when eating here.
They also have another branch at 3, Jalan Manggis in Kluang. This branch has more food choices, including curry noodles which the boss recommends.
Kluang Rail Coffee
Kluang KTM Station,
Open 7am -12pm, 2:30 – 6pm. Closed Thursdays.