Kopitiam Cafe and Restaurant, Tanon Thalang, Phuket

Restaurants in Phuket

Kopitiam looks like it has been around for years but in fact it has only recently opened. When I first arrived in Phuket Tanon Thalang was not the place it is today. The centre of Phuket's Old Town had been forgotten, ignored and only a few people would think of it as a tourist attraction, except people like me who love old architecture and photography. Now this has changed and the street has become an important part of Phuket's tourist industry. Wiring was pinned to the buildings, telegraph poles removed, the old buildings started getting renovated and suddenly the old Town was in the tourist books! It really looks great now and seems to be improving every year.

Now with all this going on many buildings were sold and the new owners started to make galleries and souvenir shops, but some of the original families remained and in turn saw an opportunity to follow the tourist trail. All said a lot of the shop houses are still running family businesses as they always have been. The herb shop, the printers and the supermarket, Sin and lee are all well know by history addicts but there are also lots of normal everyday fabric shops, furniture shops that the local will go to get a bargain. I have been buying deckchairs and tablecloth fabric there for the last 15 years!

Restaurants in Phuket

Wilai Restaurant has been around and already known as a restaurant for many years so when the family opened Kopiteam they were sure to do well! (Kopi means 'Coffee' in Malay and Tiam means 'Shop' in Hokkien) Khun Wilai's daughter Wiwan runs the restaurant on a daily basis and the staff are friendly and helpful.With the family's collection of old photos and knowledge of Phuket's past it was the ideal recipe for a fascinating restaurant. They have done it well too! Kopitiam has a great atmosphere accompanied by inexpensive food that draws not only tourists but local people as well. A good portion of food comes at around 70 baht a plate (you would pay 4 times that much in a tourist restaurant), their specialities are Mee Sua, Mee Hokkien (both noodle dishes, but there are rice dishes as well, and it is possible just to sit and take a drink. Having ordered your food there is plenty to look at, lots of old photos of Phuket cover the walls and they have a collection of old household objects that tell the story of life in Phuket at the turn of the century. As the family have lived in Phuket for several generations the food is made using authentic Phuket recipes, so you can be sure that a visit to Kopitiam will be a complete Phuket experience!

Restaurants in Phuket

The other thing about this restaurant is that it still has a feeling that it is a traditional shop-house style building, and the wooden roof, electric fans and open shuttered front entrance retain the feeling that you are on the roadside. The high ceilings of these traditional buildings help to keep the house cool and ventilated so don't expect an air-conditioned glass fronted room here!

Restaurants in Phuket

To see a video of Kopiteam visit: http://youtu.be/koGqpE92sRo (Thai only)

A kopitiam or kopi tiam is a traditional coffee shop found in Southeast Asia, patronised for meals and beverages. The word kopi isMalay for coffee (as borrowed and altered from the Portuguese) and tiam is the Hokkien dialect word for shop (店). Menus typically feature simple offerings: a variety of foods based on egg, toast, and kaya, plus coffee, tea, and Milo, a malted chocolate drink which is extremely popular in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia and Riau Islands (Indonesia).
kopi oh = hot black coffee (sweetened)
kopi oh peng = iced black coffee (sweetened)
kopi oh kosong = hot black coffee (unsweetened)
kopi oh kosong peng = iced black coffee (unsweetened)
kopi = Coffee with condensed milk (sweetened)
kopi peng - iced White coffee (sweetened)
kopi 'c' - hot coffee with evaporated milk (sweetened)
kopi 'c' kosong - hot coffee with evaporated milk (unsweetened)
kopi 'c' peng - iced coffee with evaporated milk (sweetened)
teh oh = hot tea (without milk, sweetened)
teh oh peng = iced tea (without milk, sweetened)
teh oh kosong = hot tea (without milk, unsweetened)
teh oh kosong peng = iced tea (without milk, unsweetened)
teh = Tea with condensed milk (sweetened)
teh peng - iced milk tea (sweetened)
teh 'c' - hot tea with evaporated milk (sweetened)
teh 'c' kosong - hot tea with evaporated milk (unsweetened)
teh 'c' peng - iced tea with evaporated milk (sweetened)
tiao hee or tiao her - Chinese tea
Thanks to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_tiam


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