Malay street food : Kaya puffs & white coffee, Ipoh.


We previously got acquainted with kaya in Singapore, eating kaya toast for breakfast and we have to say, were pleased to find it in abundance in Ipoh.

Ipoh, in general did everything it could to help increase our waistlines and we really enjoyed the food experiences here.

Kaya, as we’ve previously posted is a kind of coconut spread, which is thickened and emulsified with egg to give it a more custardy texture. It’s gloopy and creamy and pretty indulgent. The lady half can’t get enough of it and I’m quite pleased when I hear her kaya squeal, too.

six bites of joy

six bites of joy

The puff is a really quite a decadent little treat, the pastry is buttery and sweet, but with plenty of flake and a golden eggwash. The Kaya paste filling is rich, thick and creamy, not too sweet but enough so, to know you’re contented after chomping through one.
The sweet snack is famous in Ipoh, perhaps even revered and bakers are craftsmen – one local and well known shop continues to make them by hand every day the same way they have for over fifty years.

The perfect mid-afternoon treat for us, was a kaya puff and a Ipoh white coffee. In Ipoh, they  make their coffee slightly differently; by roasting the beans in a palm oil margarine and serving (like most of Malaysia) with condensed milk. The resulting taste is a bit lighter on the palate and a bit perhaps a bit nutty? It’s one of those things where you know it’s different but you can’t quite work out how.
From reading online it seems coffee in other parts of Malaysia is roasted with caramel and wheat whereas in Ipoh style no additional sugars are added.

Pastry is seemingly everywhere in Ipoh’s Chinatown, it’s really quite hard not to find kaya puffs or mooncakes & lor por peng, known as wife biscuits and at around one ringgit a piece,  Kaya puffs are fast becoming favourites.

Phrases worth knowing 

Satu – One
Dua – Two
Tiga – Three
Hello  – Hello
Apa kabar – are you well/ how are you?
salamat pagi – good morning
Salamt tingal – goodbye
sila (see luh) – please
Terima kasih –  Thank you (people will often respond with ‘sama sama’ which means’ you’re welcome)
berapa harga – how much?
tidak pedas – no chilli
bungkus – Take away
Tidak – No
Ya – yes
Maaf – sorry


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