Streetscapes: Kopitiam central feature in Taman OUG

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on October 21, 2019 - October 27, 2019.

All the shoplots are taken up by various businesses.

The 5-storey red-and-white The Market Place houses a wet market, sundry shops and a badminton centre.

The morning market along the street.

The Bercham Ipoh soy bean stall

Many kopitiam are located in the area

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Taman OUG is an old and mature area close to Sri Petaling and Bukit Jalil that is easily accessible from the Shah Alam Expressway and Old Klang Road. Jalan Hujan Rahmat in the neighbourhood’s commercial hub is lined with many shops catering for the residents. As I explored the area, I was amazed at the number of kopitiam along the street and in the vicinity.

Everywhere I turned, I would see at least one kopitiam, normally in a corner lot.

Whatever familiar local food you can think of, you can find it here — from curry laksa, loh mee, Penang curry mee and pan mee to pork noodles and more.

Each kopitiam has several hawker stalls. Beside the eateries, tables and chairs are placed by the roadside in the open. It was midmorning when I dropped by and many tables were unoccupied, with plates and utensils yet to be collected.

Apart from the kopitiam, there are restaurants that serve beef noodles, chicken rice and other dishes, as well as hair salons, car workshops, pharmacies and optical shops.

Top Catch Fisheries is one business in the street that stands out. It sells imported frozen seafood products from around the world that are free from preservatives. The freshness of its wares tempts some customers to buy sashimi there and eat it on the spot.

I visited the street on a weekday morning and was pleasantly surprised to find a bustling morning market, with the street filled with vehicles and throngs of people.

Parking can be a problem but the construction of The Market Place, which comes with basement parking, has helped alleviate the problem. The 5-storey red-and-white building, which was opened in 2016, houses a wet market relocated from a demolished, 40-year-old building, various sundry shops as well as a badminton centre.

On the road, there are stalls selling food, clothing, fruits and plants, among other things.

I came upon a stall selling a soy bean drink, with a sign proclaiming that it came from Bercham in Ipoh. I found the drink, which had a green tinge to it, refreshing and not too sweet, with a thick and earthy taste I normally don’t find in such drinks, which tend to be light and mild.

A little research found that the drink is made of black bean. An article on my.openrice.com states that the stall owner peels off the skin of the beans to make it elderly-friendly, hence the green tinge.

Shoplots in the street and vicinity were fully occupied. Transaction records from Metro Homes Realty Bhd show that a 2-storey shoplot with a built-up of 3,386 sq ft was sold last year for RM2.1 million. The rent in the area is RM5,000 for a ground-floor shoplot and RM1,800 for the first floor.

Metro Homes executive director See Kok Loong says the street and the surroundings will not see many changes as it is a mature area. “I foresee property prices remaining,  dropping or, at the most, increasing only by about 10%,” he adds.