Roti bakar
Roti Bakar Aik Seng.jpg
A plate of roti bakar, with butter on the left slice, peanut butter and kaya on the right slice.
Alternative namesRoti kahwin[1]
Region or stateMaritime Southeast Asia

Roti bakar (lit. "grilled bread") refers to toast, usually prepared with grilled white bread, in both the Indonesian and Malay languages. The dish is a popular breakfast food as well as tea time snack in countries like Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Historically, roti bakar was grilled or toasted by using charcoal as a heat source in many communities throughout the region, though this practice has dwindled with the advent of modern technology.[1]

Common spreads for roti bakar include sugar, margarine, butter, peanut butter, and kaya.



Modern variant of Indonesian roti bakar
Modern variant of Indonesian roti bakar

In Indonesia, roti bakar is usually prepared as a sandwich of grilled white bread with a filling, consumed both as a light breakfast and a common street food. Roti bakar was developed during the era of Dutch colonial rule as a practical way to consume day-old bread; it was typically served with butter, condensed milk, or Dutch cheeses.[2] After Indonesian independence, roti bakar became ubiquitous throughout Indonesia, as consumption of toast became a matter of taste for its people as opposed to the practicality of avoiding the wastage of stale bread.[2]

Chocolate flavored roti bakar
Chocolate flavored roti bakar

Many flavor variants have been developed for modern tastes, such as hagelslag, crushed Oreo biscuits, or chocolate syrup.[2]


In Malaysia, kaya and cold butter are a popular combination to spread on roti bakar.[3] When prepared in this same manner, it is considered to be identical to the Singaporean kaya toast.[4][5][6]

The city of Ipoh in Perak is known for its kopitiam establishments, where roti bakar accompanied with local tea or coffee beverages and a serving of half boiled eggs is a staple order during morning or afternoon tea.[7][8]

A variation on roti bakar is roti titab, a thick warm toast with kaya spread onto all four corners and topped with a half-boiled egg.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Latip, Khalid (March 30, 2021). "Kopi giling dan roti bakar kayu arang tarikan ke Sarikei". BH Online (in Malay).
  2. ^ a b c Senja, Anggita (October 11, 2018). "Sejarah Roti Bakar di Indonesia, Awalnya dari Roti yang Tak Segar". (in Indonesian).
  3. ^ Mah, Kenny (January 5, 2021). "From mocha to matcha, there's a bagel for every taste at this Seri Kembangan café". Malay Mail. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Kyo Pang. "Kaya Toast". New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  5. ^ "10 Traditional & Hipster Kopitiams In Klang Valley To Satisfy Your Roti Bakar Cravings". Says. May 10, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Katherine Sacks (February 28, 2017). "Kaya Toast: The Story of One of Malaysia's Best Breakfasts". Epicurious. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  7. ^ Mah, Kenny (January 7, 2021). "'Roti bakar' and 'tau foo fa': How the simple pleasures of Ipoh never change". Malay Mail. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  8. ^ Mah, Kenny (November 5, 2020). "How specialty coffee is quietly thriving in Ipoh, even without tourists". Malay Mail. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  9. ^ Zul, Zuliantie (June 2, 2018). "A toasty affair in Kota Baru". New Straits Times. Retrieved March 30, 2021.