Rail Canteen in Kota Damansara has plenty of potential – run by the family members of the original Kluang Railway Coffee in Johor. The décor at the Kota Damansara outlet is modern yet unpretentious, with plenty of natural light through the large window panels.
The place gets pretty packed come lunchtime; a good sign that the food is promising. No “kopitiam” experience is complete without the good old bun bakar (RM3.50) and soft boiled eggs (RM3) – a must-order, especially if you’re having your kopi. I had mine with Kopi C Ais (RM3.80), an aromatic blend of local (Kluang) coffee that was adequately creamy and not overly sweet.
rif had the Ice Honey Passion (RM6.80), a refreshing drink that he enjoyed but I found it too sweet for my liking. The bun sambal special (RM4.50) was pretty good stuff, where the bread is toasted till crisp on the outside and the filling is spicy, fragrant and full of bite from the bits of ikan bilis.
Rail Canteen’s best seller happens to be the Nasi Lemak, which you can opt to have with either Ayam Goreng, Ayam Berempah, Ayam Masak Merah or Rendang Kambing. I picked Ayam Berempah (RM12.50) and it came with a choice of 5 sambals – onion, cockles, ikan bilis (anchovies), squid or prawns. Try the cockles sambal, for this one packed a punch and the cockles gave the sambal gravy sweet, rich flavour.
My top pick at Rail Canteen would be the Meehoon Siam (RM6.50); tangy, full flavoured and lip-smacking with a side of Rendang Kambing (RM9). This combination worked very well as the mutton (kambing) was tender and terrifically seasoned for plenty of oomph.
Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM16.50) seemed to be a crowd favourite too, judging from the amount of ordered from other tables. Portion is generous and the tomato-based gravy was the right balance of sweet, tangy and savoury.
I was less excited about the Mee Rebus (RM11.50) for the gravy was too sweet and thick for my liking. I prefer this dish with more rempah (spices) and less thick. Rail Canteen’s version had too thick a gravy.
For desserts, we had the 3-layer Ice Cream (RM9.80) comprising chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavours. This was a personal favourite of rif, for the flavours worked well together and the coffee ice cream had a good balance of sweet, bitter and aroma. Disappointing was the Kopi Cheesecake (RM9.80) for the cake texture was grainy – I suggest you opt for the former.
All in, I found the food quite commendable save for a few misses. If you’re planning to visit, try the meehoon Siam with rendang kambing and let me know what you think! :)
Food: 6.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Try the Meehoon Siam with Rendang Kambing and Nasi Lemak.
Unit D-GF-02 Sunway Nexis
Jalan PJU 5/2
Business hours: 8am – 10pm