You do not have to drive all the way to Terengganu to get some nice east coast makan. Tucked in a corner at the end of a row of shops on Jalan SS21/60 in Uptown, Damansara Utama PJ, is a small cafe known as Kopitiam Kemaman. The place serves a nasi dagang that we have gone back for, over and over again.
The place is just next to the Uptown police station, separated by a small lane. It is small and cozy. And like a lot of makan places nowadays, they have 2 sections - cool (air conditioned) and warm, the later for their smoking customers.
As their name indicates, they serve east coast food. And they are pretty good at that. Their signature has to be their nasi dagang. I saw a lot of their customers going for that. For good reasons, because their nasi dagang is quite authentic and good. The rice is aromatic and of a nice texture. It comes with a generous portion of tuna fish, some nice curry and pieces of keropok. They got the combination just right. But the portion is rather small. If you are a good eater, one may not be enough.
Their nasi lemak looked rather.... sparse and basic. That was partly because at that serving, our daughter opted to have it without sambal. You have a choice of rendangs - chicken, mutton or beef. The rice is quite aromatic and lemak. Tastes good.
The keropok lekor is another reason to want to go back there. Freshly fried to crispy golden brown and served piping hot, it is so very good. They serve it with a chili sauce but I prefer to eat it without any garnish. And it is very addictive - you want to go on and on. Like the nasi dagang, one serving may not be enough.
Beside the Terengganu fares, the cafe also serves some not so east-coastal cooking. You could get a bowl of curry noodles, laksa and even prawn noodles. Their prawn noodle looks kinda messy. The soup taste OK but it is not the same. There is not enough fried shallots and flavouring to give it the oomph. I would rather stick with their east coast specialties.
Like all kopitiams, they also serve the usual toasts, half-boiled eggs and beverages.
All in all, this is not a bad place to have a simple meal. In spite of being in busy busy Uptown, this place is really quite laid-back. Perhaps it is the Terengganu vibe. It is definitely worth a visit.