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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 Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh, which is located just across from the former famous Foh San Dim Sim restaurant and 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, Wah Nam coffee shop is now under new ownership since late 2010.

The good thing is that the majority of the original hawker stalls are still residing there serving some of the best local Ipoh hawker food.

Wah Nam Cafe Ipoh

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.

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. 

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, 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.

White Coffee in Ipoh
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 extraordinary 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 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 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

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 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. 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.

Master preparing the Ipoh White Coffee

Ipoh White Coffee Sifu (Master)

Wah Nam Cafe in Ipoh Malaysia
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 the 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 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 the strong coffee lovers. 

Sarawak Borneo - There is the special Sarawak Three Layered Coffee and Tea which 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 that I visit Ipoh in a year, I always make it a point to explore the incredible choices of local hawker food here. 

I have to say that my visit during the Chinese New Year of 2011 proved to be a gem of a find with the amazing Ipoh White Coffee at Wah Nam Cafe. This place is also off the main tourist radar.


Ciki said...

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

Small Kucing said...

wow...next time must drop by this place

Hotel Southern said...

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

Kelly said...

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

Renee said...

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...

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

Migrationology said...

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

Cathy Sweeney said...

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.

Malaysia Asia said...

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.

Malaysia Asia said...

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...

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...

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;


Steven said...

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.