my friend L and i have been planning to ride on the KTM train since late last year. and finally we got to do it in march! what’s so special about riding the KTM you asked? when i was a kid, madam tan and papa ng took me on the KTM train ride to kuala lumpur for my birthday. i barely remembered the ride – all i could recall was there was no air conditioning and i was bored (i think). the reason why we want to take the ride again was not for me to re-live my childhood. the tanjong pagar train station (where the train departs) is going to move to woodlands – a bigger and more swanky building. before they make the big move, we want to ride on that piece of history.
we planned a one-day trip to kluang which is located in johor, malaysia. booking the tickets for this train trip was a traumatising affair for me. initially we thought we could get the tickets online. oh good old KTM online ticketing system was down for an unknown period of time. thus we decided we would take a trip down to the train station and get the tickets. the thing was we were unsure if the station was opened on a weekend and there were no details on KTM website.there was no number to call too. after spending some quality time on google, i finally found the station phone number and talked to a human and realised that as it was a short haul trip, we cannot purchase the ticket in advance. we will have to get it on the day we planned to take the train. hooray.
L, B and i woke up 6am on a sunday and rolled our way to the train station. as we were early, there was time for breakfast. always hungry and ready to eat B got himself a bowl of mee siam and a cup of kopi. as for me, my stomach was not ready for breakfast, i settled for a glass of iced milo (so did L).
the train itself was a little run-down. still it was not as bad as i imagined. the funny thing was we thought it was a direct ride to kluang. however the train stopped at places that looked abandoned aka middle of nowhere and there were people who came onboard the train.
L and i thought the train ride was two hours and we were dying of hunger. however as the train made several stops, we only managed to reach kluang after three hours. seriously we must have the tourist look slapped onto our faces – the train conductor stared at us and announced the next stop was kluang.
once we reached kluang, we scrambled and made our way to the famous rail coffee station for breakfast. though the place was packed, we managed to find a place to sit pretty fast.
kluang rail coffee is like the place to go for breakfast in kluang. i know friends who even though drove to kluang, they would still make their way there for the coffee and kaya toast. and this place trust their customers alot. they placed packets of fried mee siam, mee goreng, nasi lemak and glutinous rice with shrimp paste on the table. customers are to help themselves. when its time to pay, you just need to tell the cashier how many packs you took.
we were starving. after giving the waitress our drinks and toasted kaya bun order, the three of us immediately dived straight for the food. B and i got the fried mee siam, and L went for the mee goreng. the mee siam was alright – not much flavor but i do love the crunchy bean sprouts. in the midst of eating, i unwrapped the glutinous rice stuffed with shrimp paste. compared to the mee siam, the glutinous rice was packed with a punch – i love love the shrimp paste and it went so well with the “plain” glutinous rice.
the next item we “tackled” was the nasi lemak. seriously, its like the world’s smallest pack of nasi lemak. ever. i gobbled down the nasi lemak in like four bites. i told L i can easily wolf down five packs of it. though the nasi lemak did not have the usual fish and omelette, the ikan billis, peanut and sweet sambal were good enough for me.
while we were eating, our hot drinks and toasted kaya bun arrived. kluang rail coffee’s coffee really lived up to its name. i ordered a kopi-o (black coffee with sugar) – it was delicious – strong, and frangrace – its did not have that sourish acidic taste which you might get from burnt coffee bean.
as for the toasted kaya bun, though it tasted great, it was not really my cup of tea. the kaya tasted more gula melaka-ish. i much preferred the pandan, coconut flavor to be more dominant. oh and not alot of butter was used which in my book is not right. ha.
after breakfast, the three of us were happy kids again and ready to move on!
p/s: i was quite surprised how cheap our breakfast were – 2 iced kopi, i hot kopi-o, 3 packs of nasi lemak, 1 pack of mee goreng, 2 packs of fried mee siam, 1 glutinous rice with shrimp paste and 2 toasted kaya bun = RM11 which is about S$5. for three people. frigging cheap.