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Where traditional meets modern: PJ SS2's Annie Day Coffee delivers with local, Western dishes and caffeinated drinks

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, March 13 — The modern kopitiam is now a familiar face in shopping malls or the streets.

Unlike the traditional kopitiam, sometimes it's more comfort versus quality of the offerings. One cannot blame diners opting for these air conditioned places especially since the heat is unbearable.

I must admit I have not completely bought into this new concept. Somehow the allure of the traditional kopitiam is enough for me since I prioritise taste versus looks.

I made an exception for Annie Day Coffee. The reason was its pedigree. Apparently it's from the folks who operate Annie1 and Inside Ipoh at Damansara Utama (Uptown).

This casual, self-labelled "coffeetiam" has made its home in the busy SS2 area (opposite the market) since September last year.

The menu pushes what they do best: local fare but served without pork.

There's, of course, everyone's favourite nasi lemak and kaya toast. Since Annie1's roots are in Perak, there's chee cheong fun including the classic red sweet sauce and mushroom sauce with minced chicken. I spied a loh mah kai too.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah is a hearty meal but with muted flavours, similar to a Chinese-style 'nasi lemak' (left). For a light snack, opt for the airy Hainan Butter Kaya Toast with a thick, fragrant cup of Ipoh White Coffee (right)
Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah is a hearty meal but with muted flavours, similar to a Chinese-style 'nasi lemak' (left). For a light snack, opt for the airy Hainan Butter Kaya Toast with a thick, fragrant cup of Ipoh White Coffee (right)

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah is a hearty meal but with muted flavours, similar to a Chinese-style 'nasi lemak' (left). For a light snack, opt for the airy Hainan Butter Kaya Toast with a thick, fragrant cup of Ipoh White Coffee (right)

Western meals are also not forgotten. You can get your big breakfast fix here, spaghetti chicken bolognese and sourdough sandwiches. If the kids scream for their chicken nuggets and French fries, you will be safe here too.

What you won't see is the Thai-inspired Mama Mee that was from their opening menu though.

Here the java offerings go beyond local coffee. You have Italian coffee and frappes to beat the heat. And keeping with the trend, there's even oat milk options too.

It's not a tiny kopitiam serving here as the cup is large and generous, making it an attractive deal. The local coffee is also thick and fragrant, making it a good pair with your kaya toast.

Start the day with a big cup of milky, unsweetened Annie's Latte
Start the day with a big cup of milky, unsweetened Annie's Latte

Start the day with a big cup of milky, unsweetened Annie's Latte

The Prawn Soup Wantan Mee sounds unassuming but this bowl with its heart warming chicken and prawn broth is a reminder that the people behind Inside Ipoh conjures up one of the better kai see hor fun in town.

You can see they decided to be different here. Smooth kuey teow is swapped with bouncy egg noodles. It's not a bad idea. Those thin, slightly chewy strands lend interest to the bowl.

Here you get four pieces of prawn wantans. Sadly, it's more skin rather than any taste of prawns inside it.

There's two sizes here: small is a single serving while the regular is actually a single and half portion. It's RM15 for the small portion. Just add RM1 for the regular.

Spicy Chilli Hakka Mee is brilliant. It's actually a spicy pan mee but here, springy strands of Hakka mee are used. It's served with a poached egg, ikan bilis, minced chicken, dried red chillies sambal and the green chilli sauce you get with pan mee.

Mix it all thoroughly with the egg. As the egg white is softer and more liquid, it helps emulsify into a sauce with the egg yolk to coat the noodles.

Spicy Chilli Hakka Mee is a winner with its slightly chewy strands mixed with a poached egg, minced chicken, dried red chillies 'sambal', fried ikan bilis and a spicy green chilli sauce
Spicy Chilli Hakka Mee is a winner with its slightly chewy strands mixed with a poached egg, minced chicken, dried red chillies 'sambal', fried ikan bilis and a spicy green chilli sauce

Spicy Chilli Hakka Mee is a winner with its slightly chewy strands mixed with a poached egg, minced chicken, dried red chillies 'sambal', fried ikan bilis and a spicy green chilli sauce

Like my fellow diner remarked, it's like an Asian carbonara, with the egg being the sauce for the noodles. The balance is just right, as once every thing is tossed together, you get just a hint of spiciness.

It's served with a small bowl of clear broth. I am happy to report it's safe to consume as it's the taste of chicken broth without any additives.

The small portion is RM12.50, while the regular portion is RM13.50.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah (RM14.90) is always a good idea for a hearty meal. While everything is adequately prepared, this version treads lightly with its flavours.

With its comfortable surroundings, the eatery draws a diverse crowd like neighbourhood ladies having their morning cuppa and office workers for lunch time
With its comfortable surroundings, the eatery draws a diverse crowd like neighbourhood ladies having their morning cuppa and office workers for lunch time

With its comfortable surroundings, the eatery draws a diverse crowd like neighbourhood ladies having their morning cuppa and office workers for lunch time

The rice has just a whisper of santan and the sambal is pretty much ground zero spicy with a hint of sweetness. Even the fried chicken seems devoid of any marinade except for one patch with lemongrass.

Nevertheless, it still makes a decent plate with its juicy meat, crunchy fried ikan bilis and whole peanuts.

Since it's a "coffeetiam", one must snack on Hainan Butter Kaya Toast (RM4.50). The Hainan bread is fresh, resulting in an airy toasted texture with bits of butter and the not too sweet kaya spread. Dip it with a cup of fragrant Ipoh White Coffee (RM7.90) for a light breakfast.

As the eatery is relatively new, there's currently no service tax levied on your meal here.

The self-labelled 'coffeetiam' is a good addition to the SS2 neighbourhood
The self-labelled 'coffeetiam' is a good addition to the SS2 neighbourhood

The self-labelled 'coffeetiam' is a good addition to the SS2 neighbourhood

In the late morning, I spied ladies catching up with the gossip. When lunch starts from 12pm, the office crowd fills up the tables as they run a set lunch where you order selected dishes and it's served with a free drink. That day, we had a refreshing cincau.

With its comfortable surroundings, Annie Day Coffee fits well in the SS2 neighbourhood as a good place to chill with a cuppa and enjoy their dishes.

Annie Day Coffee, 38, Jalan SS2/67, Petaling Jaya. Open daily: 8am to 5.30pm. Tel:012-3350559. Facebook: @anniedaymy Instagram: @anniedaycoffee

*This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

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