Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Han Tiam Coffee Shop, Serpong

Kopitiam restaurants seem to be the new trend in Jakarta now.
Roti bakar srikaya 'Sedap' Siantar ('Sedap' Siantar kaya toast)

I've seen a lot of them, and for some reason I think there will be more coming. After a research, I finally know the definition of the word 'kopitiam' itself. It actually refers to traditional breakfast and coffee shop which is popular in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, Batam and Medan are the areas that have the most kopitiams.

Me myself have never dined in a kopitiam before, so I was excited to try Han Tiam, a kopitiam in Serpong, which was reviewed on a local newspaper.

The family and I arrived early, I think we were their first customers of the day. The place is not hard to find, you'll find it as soon as you entered the Gading Serpong's ruko area.

Han Tiam coffee shop

Let me just say it first, I heart the interior settings. It's pleasantly bright although doesn't really provide much space. Wooden tables and chairs successfully give a homey feeling, and the old-school theme is certainly executed well. I always love old-school theme, you know. Especially when many Christmas decorations are added.


The open kitchen is of course interesting, I really love teh tarik making process, watching milk tea tossed between two metal glasses until frothy is really amusing. Unfortunately nobody were feeling like a glass of teh tarik that day.

Clockwise from top left: bak cang display, open kitchen, old school stuff

Many old stuff are showed off, such as an ancient kind of stove, old radio and magz, worn-out posters that use Melayu language, and antique-looking plates. I especially love the plates. With intricate patterns, they look fragile yet elegant and timeless.

Clockwise from top left: ancient stuff (old radio, old magz), menu frames, old plates, posters

The menus offered here are mostly served in Siantar and Medanese style, and for those who didn't know Siantar, it's a big city in North Sumatra, the second biggest city after Medan.

It's been ages since I had this beverage. Cap Badak is Medanese sarsaparilla drink, which tastes very similar like root beer but less sweet and more earthy in terms of taste. I really love this soft drink, but not many restaurants still include this on the menu nowadays.

Cap Badak (Siantar sarsaparilla drink) - IDR 9,000 ($1)

For appetizer, one portion of ceker ayam or fung zao or chicken feet is ordered. It is served in decent size, the feet are incredibly soft and fall of the bone very easily. The sauce is really tasty too, and I love that they add some fried garlic in.

Ceker ayam (chicken feet)

Been craving for this for a few weeks, I settled for kwetiau seafood belacan (stir fried rice noodles with seafood and shrimp paste). Arrived with tantalizing aroma, I couldn't help but to dig in right away. It is wonderfully flavorsome, full of juicy prawns, calamari, sliced fish balls, and I thought I bit into some chicken chunks. The beansprouts add nice crunchiness, and the spiciness will definitely tickle your taste buds. However it is not spicy enough for me, so I put some more chilli sauce. This dish is the kind that I do not want to share.

Kwetiau seafood belacan (stir fried rice noodles with seafood and shrimp paste) - IDR 22,800 ($2.53)

It surprised me that the father ordered bihun bebek (vermicelli soup with roasted duck), as he usually isn't this adventurous. It is vermicelli in clear soup, accompanied with lettuce and topped with roasted duck.

The broth is actually fragrant and full of flavour, despite the clear appearance. The vermicelli holds its texture, and the lettuce is fresh. The hero is, of course, the duck. Perfect ratio of meat and fat/skin, they are very delicious and not chewy at all.

Bihun bebek (vermicelli soup with roasted duck) - IDR 20,800 ($2.3)

The brothers opted for safer options as usual, and this time he chose mie sapi lada hitam (noodles with black pepper beef). It is flanked with one fried wonton and steamed bok choy (Chinese veggie). I'm not fond of the noodles, as I do not really like the super curly texture. A bit bland for my tongue too, but the black pepper sauce helps a lot. The beef is succulent though, but I guess this is my least fav menu of the day.

Mie sapi lada hitam (noodles with black pepper beef) - IDR 20,800 ($2.3)

We wouldn't miss the kaya toast. Ordered as dessert, the roti bakar srikaya 'Sedap' Siantar ('Sedap' Siantar kaya toast) is the kind of toast I would love to have as appetizer and main too.

The bread used is not the usual sliced white bread, this is the fluffier and softer one. Toasted into perfection, it's heavenly crunchy outside yet fluffy inside. The crust is the crunchiest part, and I found myself relishing it although I am not a crust lover.

The kaya jam inside is super delish. It is adequately given, so it's not overly sweet. But as it is very aromatic and super tasty, I don't mind a thicker layer of it actually. The toast is so good, we ordered the second one to be eaten at the cinema. I prefer this toast than popcorns.

Roti bakar srikaya 'Sedap' Siantar ('Sedap' Siantar kaya toast) - IDR 13,800 ($1.53)

The father ordered a cup of kopi O ('O' coffee, Siantar black coffee), believing that a cup of black coffee would be perfect paired with the toast.

Well, he seemed to enjoy his fragrant and very intense coffee although it's way, way too bitter for me. Even after half jug of sugar was added, it's still too bitter. I reckon it's perfect for bitter coffee lovers, but certainly not me. But I love the cup set, so cute.

Kopi O ('O' coffee, Siantar black coffee) - IDR 9,000 ($1)

I still wonder about the toast actually, I've heard that usually kaya toast includes sliced butter in the middle, but the kaya toast from Han Tiam doesn't. I guess this is a perfect reason to try many kaya toasts from other kopitiams then. So when somebody asks me why I eat so may kaya toasts, I'll just say 'for research purposes'. Hehehe.

Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Unforgettable kaya toasts, friendly service, nice & unique ambiance, price affordable.



Ruko Serenade Center Blok A/6 
Gading Serpong, Banten

Phone: (021) 29001277

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  1. I noticed also that han tiam uses the same pattern of saucer and cup as other kopitaims :)

  2. @Indonesia Eats: yes, indeed. apparently that's the 'signature' cup for kopitiams :) and BTW, I really, really love your blog and recipes. thanks very much for dropping by! :D

  3. hey irene, thanks for a good comment and really appreciate for the input as well.
    looking forward for ur next visit.(anyway Han Tiam will moves on May, near dermaga restaurant and SS restaurant,still in gading serpong though... and more interesting for sure ;)...catch u later next time)


    1. Hi Ronald,

      thanks for dropping by and it is my pleasure to review Han Tiam. Thanks for ur info, and I'll make sure I'm visiting again in the future.



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