With all the hubbub surrounding Singaporean fare in L.A., I decided to hit QQ Kopitiam in Pasadena. This small cafe was first brought to my attention, thanks to @JThur01 and his writeup from back in 2015.
Situated across the street from Pasadena City College, this local Asian greasy spoon definitely caters to the student budget crowd. But as we all know, low prices often hold zero correlation with flavor.
Kopi (SIngaporean coffee with condensed milk): Pretty pedestrian stuff - Not bad, but nothing mind-blowing. Unfortunately, there is no kaya toast on the menu to have with my kopi… Maybe I’ll have to try the (very local) Ice Milo Dinosaur on my next visit.
Singaporean Char Kway Teow (with supplement of over-easy egg): Now, THIS is some pretty great eating! The seasoning and wok hei really shine in these noodles, and the runny egg yolk just rounds out all those different notes in the mouth. The chili is surprisingly complex, and does a nice job of adding dimension to the finished product. This stuff is as good as I’ve had in any hawker stall in Singapore!
Hokkien Mee: It’s pretty damn hard to find good Hokkien mee in L.A., and I’m glad the iteration at QQ Kopitiam did not disappoint. While admittedly a bit on the wet side, the prawn essence of the Hokkien mee completely permeates through the dish, without sacrificing the requisite ‘Q’ to the whole affair. Really super.
You KNOW the joint’s authentic when the Chinese signage gets broken out in the bathroom!
QQ Kopitiam is a Singaporean-styled coffeehouse / greasy spoon which does proud its Southeast Asian roots. Whilst I wish it would serve kaya toast, its noodle dishes are certainly worthy of a visit. I’d definitely like to come back and try their numerous rice dishes as well. Now, would I drive out again to Pasadena from say, West L.A., just for the noodles I had on this day? I’d say I would. They are crave-worthy.
1491 E. Colorado Bl.
Pasadena, CA 91106