Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe

Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe

Occasionally, when I visit Ipoh, I will try the Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe because this is one of the original coffee shops that are not over-rated and spoiled by tourists.

Wah Nam Coffee Shop and Cafe is located just across from the former famous Foh San Dim Sim restaurant and has made a compelling impression on locals living in Ipoh, Perak.

Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe

Having been around for the last 60+ years and older than many of the other famous coffee shops, Wah Nam coffee shop is now under new ownership since late 2010.

The good thing is that most of the original hawker stalls still reside there, serving some of the best local Ipoh hawker food.

To be honest, I have always been a fan of coffee from all over Malaysia, and Ipoh seems to be one of the few places serving some of the best coffee in Malaysia.

Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh Malaysia
Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh

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 aftertaste of the coffee and lots of praise for this place. 

I am told by the new owner that the place was recently renovated and occupies two shop lots. Opening at around 5am, right till 5pm, the place seems to be packed with mostly locals.

Come weekends, 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; this is the norm here.

White Coffee in Ipoh
Ipoh White Coffee and 'Cham' Ice

On a serious note, I ordered the famous Ipoh White Coffee and Cham Peng, a mixture of Coffee and Tea with milk and ice. To my delight, they tasted extraordinary and were one of the best.

Many places boast of having the 'original Ipoh white coffee, but few 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 from 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 possible due to time constraints, and overall, I would give the place a thumbs up in all areas. Coffee and Hawker Food were equally lovely here.

Below, you will find pictures of the food I ordered here. I won't go into detail but judging from the photos, you will not be disappointed.

Hawker Food Pictures in Wah Nam Cafe, Ipoh

Ipoh Toast Bread with Half Boiled Eggs
Toast-Bread with Half-Boiled Eggs, Ipoh Style

Popiah in Ipoh
Popiah (Spring Rolls) Ipoh Style

Yong Tau Foo in Ipoh
Yong Tau Foo, fried at the coffee shop

Fried Koay Teow Ipoh
Fried Koay Teow at Wah Nam in Ipoh

Ipoh White Coffee Master

Ipoh White Coffee has its own little secret on how it is done to reach that distinguished flavour. From the way, the beans are roasted right till who is preparing them. I'll be straightforward here - Not just anyone can do it correctly.

If you buy the coffee off the shelf and try it yourself at home, you will not get the same taste as in the coffee shop. It all lies in the person making the coffee.

Here, the sifu or master drink-maker has made coffee for over 25 years, hence the perfection in each cup or glass rolled out of the kitchen. 

I obtained some loose coffee from the owner and went home to attempt to reproduce it but only to find that many things were missing from my iced coffee. The 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.

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

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 the Foh San Dim Sum Restaurant, 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 share them with me here.
My Other Coffee Adventures Around Southeast Asia

Hanoi, Vietnam - If you are a coffee lover, you can also read about my other coffee adventures all over the region. In Hanoi, I tried the Weasel Coffee or Civet Cat Coffee which is probably one of my favourites. 

The general street coffee in Hanoi is also not to be missed. The thrill of sitting by the main road and having your coffee is an adventure by itself. 

Sabah Borneo - I pretty much tried most of the local coffee, and one that stood out is the Fatt Choy Coffee from Tenom. This is more for intense coffee lovers. 

Sarawak Borneo - The exceptional Sarawak Three Layered Coffee and Tea is one of the best in Malaysia I have tried. 

Indonesia - The Luwak Coffee in Bali is hands down a must-try. Luwak is similar to the Vietnamese weasel coffee and a little stronger.


For the many times, I visit Ipoh in a year, I always make it a point to explore the incredible choices of local hawker food here.

My visit during the Chinese New Year of 2011 proved to be a gem of a find with the excellent Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe. This place is also off the main tourist radar.
Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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