JB Eat: Restoran Roast & Coffee @ Jalan Tan Hiok Nee
Restoran Roast & Coffee (R&C) is one of the many cafes around Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk, and it serves traditional coffees and local food. Apart from Hainanese breakfast, R&C also serves popular Malaysian delicacies like laksa, nasi lemak, fried rice, mee rebus, and more.
Roast & Coffee's signature Hainanese breakfast (海南三宝) consists of their traditional kopi-O, double butter kaya toast with two soft-boiled kampung eggs. They are ordered separately and allow mix-and-match to create the desired breakfast set. R&C also serve a Taiping-specialty coffee called hor kar sai (虎咬狮) added with coconut milk.
Ordering the double butter & kaya toast, two soft-boiled kampung eggs and a cup of hot coconut hor kar sai is how I "created" my first traditional breakfast set.
Another coffee to try at R&C is Gu You Kopi-O (古油咖啡乌), which is traditional kopi-O added with butter that melts in the hot black coffee to give it a smooth texture and buttery aroma. Gu You Kopi (古油咖啡) is also available.
If the double butter & kaya toast is not enough to satisfy you, try their tiga rasa toast (三姐妹). In addition to two slices of butter with kaya, peanut butter is spread on one side with kaya on the other side.
In addition to mix-and-match traditional breakfast and coffees, R&C also have a wide range of traditional food. If it is hard to pick a dish from the menu, refer to the page of must-tries (打卡美食) and pick a popular item from the ten recommended to try — surprisingly it includes a Singapore Hokkien Prawn Mee (星洲福建炒虾面). I have tried two from this list so far.
The salted egg French toast (咸蛋法兰西多士) looks super tempting on the menu and is hard not to go for it — anything with salted egg is tasty. The salted-egg filling is sandwiched between two pieces of bread, dipped with beaten raw egg and fried. It is then served with a slice of butter that melts on the hot toast.
The salted-egg filling is added with basil leaves, chopped chillies, etc, that gives the buttery French toast some additional flavours and spiciness. It is really yummy! Other than salted egg, they also have French toasts with peanut, honey and kaya.
The handmade zui kueh (手工水粿), topped with dried picked white radish (菜脯) and white sesame seeds, is something special and a must-try. The uniqueness of this zui kueh is the addition of sweet dark sauce that makes it very different from Singapore. It is great for light breakfast.
I will need more visits to try all the recommended dishes. Let's see how long will it take me to try all 10 of them.
Roast & Coffee - Retro Garden 1968's
62&63, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
7:30am to 5:30pm | Daily