Spending time at Kedai Kopi Apek is an altogether extraordinary experience that is beyond the mere act of drinking coffee. One can witness locals from various cultural backgrounds mingling without a care in the world, while it’s common for a guest to be greeted and pulled into a conversation by patrons from a nearby table five minutes into his/her visit.
Such a warm atmosphere has been an endearing hallmark of Kedai Kopi Apek since it was established in 1922. It has never moved from its original location, and possesses neither a signboard nor a neon box to advertise its presence. A unique Peranakan ambience will greet you upon entrance to the coffee shop, with round tables, wooden chairs, and traditional cups and saucers decorating the place.
Founded by Thia A Kee and Khi Lang Kiao – the coffee shop is named after their son Apek, whose full name is Thia Tjo Lie – the business was then handed down to Apek and his wife Lee King Lien. After they both passed away in 2012, the shop is now run by their daughter Suyenti, who has kept its unique flavour and nuances intact.
Kedai Kopi Apek’s signature treat is its Sidikalang coffee served with steamed bread or toast spread with sweetsop jam and a half-boiled egg on the side. The toast is fragrant, while the home-made sweetsop jam is simply delightful – slightly glutinous with the right amount of sweetness. The joint has a tradition of serving its condensed milk in a separate shot glass so that customers can add it to their coffee in the amount that they desire. The locals would always dunk a corner of the toast into their cup of joe and let it slowly become saturated with the coffee–a ritual that will bring a whole different level of enjoyment.
In one corner of the shop is a small stand selling Nasi Briyani (biryani rice) every Friday, while the coffee shop also allows its patrons to order Kway Teow (flat rice noodles) from the warung in front of the place for those who feel like eating a heartier meal while there.
Jl. Hindu No. 37, Medan,
Open Monday to Friday from 6am-2pm, Saturday from 6am-1.30pm, Sunday and national holidays from 6am-11.30am
Rp.18,000/US$1.38 per person