Though the Great Wall of China may win the accolades of history, the Great Backscratcher of Malaysia, built to reach any itchy corner across the vast, narrow expanse of the nation, saved more lives than can be counted on a single hand. Feast upon equally ingenious Malay creations with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Malay, Chinese, and Indian food at Malaysia Kopitiam.
Start with po pia rolls, topped with hoisin and chili sauce ($4.50 for two), or satay ($4.95). Noodle-curious types can experiment with the Hawker specials—authentic, ambitiously portioned Malaysian dishes such as the curry laksa , a chicken-noodle-soup equivalent, or char kuih teow, stir-fried rice noodles piled to the stratosphere with shrimp and Chinese sausage ($9.50–$10.95). Entrees include the nyonya chicken, a plate of golden chicken tossed in light vinaigrette and fresh chili dressing. The vegetarian-friendly restaurant features an exhaustive menu, securely stored in Trapper Keepers and complete with pictures to provide an accurate viewing before chewing.
Helmed by a husband and wife duo, the modestly decorated eatery has been churning out authentic eats for the past 30 years. As one half of the tandem greets customers, the other half presides over the kitchen—a model that has led to many an effective marriage. The intimate atmosphere is speckled with cozy round tables, creating a quaint coffee-shop feel but with more substance and less MacBook Pros.
Not valid for happy hour or the carry-out lunch special. Dine-in only.
Malaysia Kopitiam was featured in the Washingtonian's 2007 and 2008 100 Very Best Restaurants. The restaurant has garnered many reviews, including ones from the Washington Post, D.C. Foodies, and Zagat. Washington City Paper readers give it four stars, and more than 100 Yelpers give it an average of 3.5:
- Decorated with leafy half-roofs over its bar and booths, and watched over by waitresses in brightly colored long dresses, the underground dining room at Malaysia Kopitiam always puts me on the other side of the globe, if only for an hour at lunch. – Tom Sietsema, Washington Post
- Imagine pork ribs so tender you could suck the meat right off the bone. Now add curry sauce and rice noodles. – Jason, D.C. Foodies
- Great for all palates. Wonderful staff explains the dishes. – Chefsalad, Zagat member
1827 M St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036Get Directions