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14 February, 2011

Ipoh White Coffee Wah Nam Cafe

Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe - If you love the famous coffee in Ipoh, then you have to make a trip to this place. Located just across from the famous Foh San Dim Sim restaurant, Wah Nam Coffee Shop has made a very powerful impression towards the locals living in Ipoh, Perak. Having been around for the last 60+ years and older than many of the other famous coffee shops, the coffee shop is now under a new ownership since late 2010. Majority of the original hawker stalls are still residing there serving some of the best local Ipoh hawker food. 

I have always been a fan of coffee from all over Malaysia and Ipoh seems to be one of the few places serving one of the best coffee in Malaysia. My regular trips here would have me exploring the many coffee joints and this time around in Feb 2011, I found myself visiting Wah Nam Cafe only to leave with a great after taste of the coffee and lots of praises for this place.

Crowd at the coffee shop in Ipoh 

I am told by the new owner that the place was recently renovated and occupies two shoplots. Opening at around 5am right till 5pm, the place seems to be packed with mostly locals. Come weekends, and it gets really crowded and finding a table can be a bit of a task but not to worry as the turnover is pretty fast here. People don't hog the tables here unlike in the city of PJ and KL therefore the wait is easy. During the peak hour of lunch, you will see people standing around tables waiting for them to leave and this is the norm here.

Ipoh White Coffee and 'Cham' Ice

On a serious note, I had ordered the famous Ipoh White Coffee and Cham Peng which is a mixture of Coffee and Tea with milk and ice. To my delight, they both tasted extra ordinary and one of the best around. Many places boast of having the 'original Ipoh white coffee' but a few manage to pass this test. In my honest opinion, Wah Nam Cafe was one of the places serving this authentic white coffee. If you are a coffee lover, you would know the difference and next time you visit Ipoh, make your way here to be your own judge. 

Apart for the caffeine fix I was after, I also tried a variety of local hawker fare here at the coffee shop. I was told by the owner that there were two sets of hawkers doing shifts and my food tasting session was the second shift. I tried as many as I could due to time constrain and overall, I would give the place a thumbs up in all areas. Coffee and Hawker Food were equally nice here. Below, you will find a series of pictures I took of the food I ordered here. I won't go into detail but judging from the pictures, you will not be disappointed.

Hawker Food Pictures in Wah Nam Cafe, Ipoh

Toast Bread with Half Boiled Eggs, Ipoh Style

Ipoh Chee Cheong Fun with Red Sauce

Popiah (Spring Rolls) Ipoh Style

Yong Tau Foo, fried at the coffee shop

Fried Koay Teow at Wah Nam in Ipoh

Ipoh White Coffee Master

Ipoh White Coffee has it's own little secret on how it is done to reach that distinguished flavor. From the way the beans are roasted right till who is preparing it. I'll be straight forward here - Not just anyone can do it correctly. Meaning, if you buy the coffee off the shelf and try to do it yourself at home, you are absolutely not going to get that same taste as what you had in the coffee shop. It all lies in the person making the coffee. Here, the sifu or master drink-maker has had over 25 years of making coffee hence the perfection in each cup or glass that is rolled out the kitchen. 

I personally obtained some loose coffee from the owner and went home to attempt to reproduce it but only to find that there were a lot of things missing in my iced coffee. Taste was there but way off. Somehow my experience was not on par with these masters from Ipoh. Some things should just be left as they are and not duplicated. If you think the coffee you drink at Old Town White Coffee is similar to this, you are way off. Nothing beats the original so I live with it and when I want a serious fix, I just head to Ipoh for the real thing.

Master preparing the Ipoh White Coffee
Ipoh White Coffee Sifu (Master)

Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh

How to go to Wan Nam Cafe in Ipoh? 
  • Nam Wah Cafe is located a the corner of Jalan Raja Ekram and Jalan Leong Sin Nam.
  • The best landmark here is Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant which is located directly diagonally from this cafe.
  • You cannot miss the old style corner shophouse from the main road. 
  • Sorry no GPS as I do not use it but if anyone has the GPS Coordinates, please do share it with me here.
My other Coffee articles;
Hanoi Weasel Coffee (Kopi Luwak)
Hanoi Street Coffee
Tenom Fatt Choy Coffee Sabah
Special Three Layer Tea and Coffee

    If you love traveling and exploring the many food places around Malaysia, I would recommend the next time you visit Ipoh, check out this place. For the many times that I visit Ipoh in a year, I always make it a point to explore the incredible choices of local hawker food here and this time around, I have to say that my visit during the Chinese New Year of 2011 proved to be a gem of a find with the Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe
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    13 comments:

    CUMI & CIKI said... 14 February 2011 18:53

    Loveeee Ipoh Kopi, food, people.. etc etc! ;) Ipoh Mali mahhhh

    Small Kucing said... 14 February 2011 23:48

    wow...next time must drop by this place

    Hotel Southern said... 23 February 2011 15:10

    Yummy! I am hungry.
    Nice Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh.

    Kelly said... 5 March 2011 01:09

    Wow, I'm not even a huge coffee fan but this looks amazing!

    Renee said... 5 March 2011 01:41

    Yummmm....wonder if I can replicate this one....or is this one of those kids don't try this at home concoctions? ;-D

    Grace said... 6 March 2011 01:23

    Yummm...iced milk coffee made with love is always good! BTW, what's in the yong tau foo?

    Migrationology said... 7 March 2011 23:00

    Nice to see some food David! Ipoh sounds great, and the coffee and food looks wonderful!

    Cathy Sweeney said... 8 March 2011 09:31

    The coffee and food all looks so good. It's safe to say I've never had any of them, but have a craving all of a sudden. Love your photos.

    David Jr said... 4 October 2011 11:53

    Mei - I too think Ipoh has some awesome coffee and food! Now yearning to go back for some.

    Small Kucing - Yes, please do, just avoid the modern day cafes. The nostalgic ones are the best!

    H.Southern - Thank you. Hope you make it here to experience this.

    Kelly - It does, if not the coffee, the hawker food in Ipoh is really nice.

    David Jr said... 4 October 2011 11:55

    Renee - This is something where mastery is concerned. Seems like you cannot get the exact thing.

    Grace - Th Yong Tau Foo content is always fish. Some awesome selection from here.

    Migrationology - Thanks, this is just one of the popular local places. Many more around. I could start a food blog about Ipoh too.

    Cathy - Thanks very much, next time you visit Malaysia, let me know and I will take you to some of these places.

    Anonymous said... 12 December 2011 17:19

    The previous Hua Nam which occupied Wah Nam Kafe has the best coffee. Now it occupies the previous Wah Pan, just opposite Wah Nam Kafe. many customes like Ipoh central coffee and Milo too. Just try it for yourself

    COFFEE & TEA said... 28 December 2011 16:46

    guys, you may get very very different taste coffee and tea at buntong. It is a stall making tea and coffee using pure cow milk. yummy!!!!!!!!!! you will never forget once tasted. visit their site below;

    http://buntong-coffee-tea.blogspot.com/

    Steven said... 11 October 2012 10:14

    I found your website and read about Ipoh coffee so I had to go to the city. I was just walking around when I recognized the restaurant from your photo, it's really not that hard to find. I ordered the white coffee and some sort of Chinese chicken curry, which is not anything like the Indian curry, but tasty nonetheless. It made me wonder if Chinese curry is what ramyon is supposed to taste like. Do you know if they make it from a package or not? Nice site, btw.

    Item Reviewed: Ipoh White Coffee Wah Nam Cafe Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: David Jr
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