This Malaysian Cafe Draws Crowds Three Meals A Day | Line Around The Block

This Malaysian Cafe Draws Crowds Three Meals A Day | Line Around The Block

Customer: All the flavor’s
just exploding in my mouth. Each dish just has this
specific specialty, and the taste that it provides, really, really good. Medha Imam: That’s amazing. Kopitiam has been making headlines as one of the best new
restaurants in the United States. So it’s no wonder that it’s packed morning, noon, and night. We’re in Chinatown headed to Kopitiam. Now, in Malaysian, “kopitiam”
translates to “coffee shop.” But this small restaurant
is so much more than that. It’s serving up traditional
Baba-Nyonyan cuisine that was crafted from family recipes that were handed down from
generation to generation. Now, I’ve never had Malaysian food before, but I’m excited to see how
it’s made and give it a try. In 2015, long before Kopitiam was the midsized bustling
restaurant it is today, it was a small four-seat shop run by one-woman band Kyo Pang that was forced to close in December 2017 because of a rent spike. But with a little help from a new friend, Kopitiam was able to reopen
in the spring of 2018. Kyo Pang: Initially, I just
wanna have a little corner, you know, for myself and
maybe for my friends. Moonlynn Tsai: I met her
about three years ago as a fan at her old location and then found out that,
a little over a year ago, she was gonna close down the other shop. And we decided to talk, we hung out for a little
bit, and then we decided to go into business together
after five days of meeting, and here we are. Medha: So much of the
restaurant is an homage to Kyo’s family back in Malaysia. The plates, bowls, and
trinkets lining the walls were purchased by Kyo’s family in Malaysia and mailed here to New York City. Kyo’s mother grows butterfly pea flowers and mails them to the States, where Kyo uses them for
the dish pulut inti. Even the coffee is personal. Kyo says her family’s restaurant in Malaysia has had exclusive rights to this particular
coffee bean for 50 years. Now, Kopitiam is one
of just two restaurants in the world where you can
get this cup of coffee. It’s made with coffee
beans roasted in margarine, mixed with sweetened condensed milk, and poured back and forth
between two cups by hand. Kyo: My grandfather is a
very, very good coffee maker. He was known for making coffees. Every single thing that’s here, everyone in my family plays a part of it. Medha: Despite their strong connection, Kyo hasn’t seen her family in 11 years. She’s a refugee here in America. After coming here for school in 2008, she chose to seek asylum
from her home country, where it’s illegal to be gay. Kyo: Especially when your parents are, Penang’s such a small island, so everyone kind of know everyone. So, growing up, I could
never be rebellious. I could never do anything
that is not normal. I only came out to my mother when I started the first Kopitiam. You know, finally I tell her
that now it’s really my time to really want to do my
life through cooking. It’s like a process of meditations for me. And, you know, from cooking, I kind of connected to
my family back home. Medha: Each dish on Kopitiam’s menu is handmade with care and authenticity, like the kaya toast, topped with a coconut jam
made with coconut milk, sugar, and pandan leaves, then cooked on low for over an hour, requiring consistent stirring. After running Kopitiam six days a week 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Kyo stays late every night to make a new batch from scratch. When I asked her when
she has time to sleep, the question genuinely confused her. The lack of sleep is one
of the many reasons why, since Kopitiam’s reopening, several publications have listed it as one of the best
restaurants in the country. Moonlynn: Being named one
of the top restaurants, it’s not even just for America, you know, it’s also bringing a lot
of pride to Malaysia. Like, there’s been a lot of write-up in Malaysia because of this. In Malaysia, you can still
get hanged if you’re LGBTQ. So, a Malaysian restaurant ran, I think, by two queer women… it’s also a statement. Everything. Moonlynn: What’s your favorite to eat? Kyo: Everything. Medha: While Kyo might
not have a favorite, mine was this: the nasi lemak. Customer: I used to live in Singapore for three years for work, and we loved the cuisine there. And this is even better
than the hawker food ’cause we know the ingredient is fresh and it’s all fresh made. Customer: It’s really
the anchovies and that, I guess they’re fried, and
they’re not overly fishy. It’s a lot of umami. It’s very flavorful. Medha: Nasi lemak begins
with fried peanuts and a handful of crunchy fried anchovies. Once strained, Kyo adds
housemade chili sauce, then mashes the mixture into a small bowl that’s also used as a mold
and tops it with white rice. The nasi lemak is placed in
its signature rooster bowl, which is another homage
to her family’s heritage. The bowl is lined with eight cucumbers, eight being a lucky number in Mandarin for wealth and prosperity. Then Kyo finishes it off
with a hard-boiled egg. Let’s get to eating. OK. Oh, my God. That’s amazing. It starts off a little bit salty, then you get hit with the spices. And then it’s just a bunch
of different flavors. And you get the real crunchiness
of the peanuts in here. Wow, I’m in love. And I’m actually becoming
a fan of fried anchovies, because they have this little crunch to it. And I’m kind of loving it. If you are unfamiliar with spicy foods or if you’re not a fan, this is not too bad in
terms of spice level. There’s just so much going on in one bite. Let’s have a coffee chat. OK, people? All of the flavors and all
of these different dishes were so good. I’m coming here. No one else can come here. I’m just gonna come here. I think I’ve had too
much coffee this morning ’cause I become a comedian in my mind.

100 thoughts on “This Malaysian Cafe Draws Crowds Three Meals A Day | Line Around The Block

  1. Im cringing watching them eating nasi lemak with chopstick. Its a big no no no. We as Malaysian, we use spoon for Nasi lemak.

  2. Wtf insider. Stick about the food. U really got to put about being lgbt and twist about it. I lost respect to kyo pang for stupid enough to even relate her being gay seems like she can't do anything in her home country. Malaysia is Muslim majority and her being is none of most of the malaysian.

  3. Great video but just to point out that no one has ever been hanged in Malaysia for being gay. Some people might get fined if they're caught but it's almost entirely only involves Muslims. The non-Muslims in Malaysia in fact has greater freedom in terms of this LGBT issue. The video is quite misleading and I'm just hoping that you might need to do a little more research on this.

  4. No, we Malaysian do NOT use chopsticks to eat Nasi Lemak, but we are represented so that’s something to be proud about.

  5. One lady says it has Umami, then this other girl is eating nasi lemak with chopsticks. And who gives 8 pieces of cucumbers on that dish? Such a confusing video.

  6. People should always try new recipes 😀 .. i like to try wierd and unique recipes and with that experience i create my own mug meals.
    thanks for such wonderful videos. Keeps us going and hunger strikes

  7. There’s plenty of openly lgbtqia community in malaysia. Some even became celebrity. So,uh ..yeah ..the law is mostly applied for muslim. So when your saying you’re refugee, let’s be honest,your from penang and you’re running from your family and relatives.not from the law. Also,no one eats nasi lemak using chopsticks. If you’re gonna use Malaysia name, DO 👏 IT 👏 RIGHT 👏

  8. Malaysian although a muslim
    Majority, we don’t really care about LGBT. There’s a lot pondan living here just less than Thailand.

  9. I thought eating nasi lemak with chopsticks was some marketing gimmick to piss off malaysians created by old town white coffee in australia & can anybody tell me where can i get nasi lemak in bowl in seremban. Next time, insider discovers rendang isn't curry.

  10. For all those butthurt with the fact hanged to death , she said its in the LAW!!!! . It doesn't matter if someone has been hanged, but the fact that it's in the law means it's a possibility to occur since legally it's fine.

  11. I am from Singapore, the neighbouring country of Malaysia. I am very sure Malaysia's law DO NOT hang anyone from the LGBTQ community. And why is there a need to state that in the video when one could just celebrate Asian cuisine without any such farce?

  12. Since when lgbt can't live in Malaysia? You choose to be a refugee because you want to be free to stay there. That is why. What a liar. Open your eyes and see how many lgbt in Malaysia who are live freely, successful and rich at the same time.

  13. Food Insider u need to check the fact before u publishing something bold about other country's law…
    Theres no such thing LGBTQ get hang in Malaysia… That law is not exist… and I can tell u that thin girl is not Malaysian

  14. I live around the block from this place. Never once in my life have I ever seen a line in front of this cafe. How much they paying for this ad?

  15. LOL about the coffee, its a Malaysian staple found in most kopitiams littering the country roasted by dozens of companies.

    The sambal she/he is serving is east coast style.

    OMG, the LGBTQ is strong and healthy in KL and Penang. We have lawyers doing pro bono work in this sector.

    Congrats by the way but stop slamming Malaysia and taking credit where there is none.

  16. cantiknya nasi lemak dia..bangga anak2 Malaysia dapat perkenalkan makanan Malaysia dan di anugerah antara restoran terbaik oleh media di sana. so proud of you guys

  17. Ah, the blasphemy to the nasi lemak I can't stand! This is wat we call 'ngak gwailo' (bluff unsuspecting white ppl). First, u dun serve nasi lemak in a bowl. Second, you dun use chopsticks. Third, the cucumbers and egg are overkill. D anchovies sambal (assumingly) are dry AF and I can't understand wats appealing bout it.

  18. we dont eat nasi lemak with chopsticks and the way they put the condiments is just irritating.who tf eat nasi lemak in a BOWL??!!???

  19. Coronavirus cases confirmed in Malaysia.
    Malaysian: nah, relax it's totally fineeee.

    Matsalleh eat nasi lemak with chopsticks
    Malaysian: apa jaychauuuuuu!!!

  20. Bruh…that’s not “Malaysian” food…that’s INDONESIAN food…like come on bruh. That Nasi Lemak, it’s just ikan teri dengan kacang tanah, disajikan dengan nasi uduk. For reals…

  21. If you do a PROPER research, you'll find NO ONE is ever getting hanged for being gay in Malaysia.

    If you want to know the truth,
    ask the honest one.

    If you want to know the right thing,
    Ask the one who knows.

    Got no problem with the girls but she's wrong about the law. Thats the facts. Btw, I LOVE THE FOOD 🤩

  22. We don't really use chopsticks for Nasi Lemak.

    But if she really wants to use chopsticks, can someone teach the host how to use chopsticks before it goes on air?

    FFS, knowing they are on a food channel, they don't bother to learn how to hold chopsticks? From Tempura to Pho to La Mian and everything in between is eaten with chopsticks. Come on, get with it.

  23. No one will be hanged for being LGBTQ here in Malaysia, unless you're Muslim…but no harsh punishment..only warning…

  24. Saying you will get hang for being LGBTQ in Malaysia is totally wrong!! The person just tricked the US government in order for her to become a US citizen. Shameful. Have a lot of gays and lesbians friends and so far they are doing well regardless if they are Muslims or not. I have lived in the US during my childhood years. A great country with great people. What to be a US citizen, do it right. Don't cheat the system!!

  25. Looking at some of the comments here which are written rather repulsive, it seems Malaysians of different ethnicity just hate each other! This in contrast to their neighbours from Singapore, Indonesia and even Thailand where societies are more cohesive

  26. lol chopsticks

    well people dont even know anyway. in origin country, white rice as breakfast also called nasi lemak. no coconut milk ingredient or even banana leaf

  27. Oooh maan!!
    Seriously you should taste that!
    As an Indonesian, "nasi lemak" called "nasi uduk" here is so so yummy!!,
    Because you know ….
    That coconut milk + rice , anchovies + peanuts, omelette, and mighty "sambal"
    Oooh soo muccch heaven 🥰

    Almost everyday I eat that for breakfast 🥰

  28. What do you mean people gets hanged in Malaysia for lgbt?! How come i still see LGBT enjoying their freedom on the streets of Malaysia? In fact i have a few friends who are openly gay. So should i report them to the police??Because as you say LGBT people gets hanged in Malaysia
    Goodness! have a little gratitude to at least get the facts right. This is a country that you make money out of its food heritage and culture.

  29. People here bragging about how she ate nasi lemak with a chopstick and me here, a Malaysian, wondering is it halal? Because I may have chances to go to NYC one day and try the foods there

  30. I know there's already a lot of comments mention about this, but idc, i'm gonna say it again… NO ONE eats Nasi Lemak with chopstick !!!

  31. I thought this channel focuses more on food,not something like being lgbtq or not. That thing is NOT NEEDED imo. And fyi,there are so many kopitiam in Malaysia and what makes you choose this kopitiam?is it to create controversy because the fact that the owner is someone lgbtq? Shame on you.

  32. So FYI people there is spoons, forks is available it’s blurred in the background, it is possible they cater to the community they are which is predominantly Chinese.

  33. Malaysian Law didn’t do hang by punishment if you are LGBTQ. Sajat, a celebrity one of the good example of Transgender in Malaysia as she is flourishing becoming one of the richest trans Muslim in Malaysia. Malaysia do inherit British Law for men to men sex only, same goes to Singapore. But the law rarely prosecuted.

  34. Singapore claims all the food originated from Singapore but its accually Malaysias. Even Singapore was a part of Malaysia.

  35. Great channel and delicious food! I also liked the video of that chocolate cake with no oven or eggs needed! Vegans can now eat real cakes, need to watch

  36. Even though running by the Chinese couple but it still represents Malaysia name you know.. especially in New york.. kudos to you guys.. and we dont eat nasi lemak with chopstick 😂

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