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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Old Style Kopi Tiam Gone Forever

Men in the Mirror
© 2009 Martin Liew Photography

Hi everybody! I'm back. Yes three month since the last photography blog I wrote. I was busy with my digital portraiture projects; doing mainly fashion photography and in between I was doing some light-painting jobs. Yesterday I took time off from work and went out in the morning to do some street shootings on impromptu. Well sort of.

Some of you might have seen the picture (shown above) before on this blog or on my website. There are many changes happened around this old style coffee shop area. Make the jump for new updates.


Clive Street Road Junction
© 2008 Martin Liew Photography

Honestly I must admit I have not visited this place in Little India for more than four months. No! Almost a year. There are drastic changes that really surprised me. Based on the picture shown above at the road junction of Clive Street where the old style (Kampung style) coffee shop (aka Kopi Tiam) was located on the extreme right hand side (almost out of frame) and the paper boxes collection point. All these scenes are gone now. Well it did not happen overnight but gradually and eventually. First off, the recycle paper boxes collection point was relocated, I think, and the area there is a lot cleaner now. There is a new Indian food stall opened on the left hand side of the building.

For some time, the old coffee shop was still around and I went there for some good breakfast during mid-August 2010 as I was doing some TLR street photography. That was my last visit. Want to know how it looks like in this present day? Here it is.

nine nine @ five track junction
© 2011 Martin Liew Photography


The moment I walked closer to the coffee shop, I was dumbstruck. I couldn't believe what I saw. Besides selling standard breakfast set meals and assorted drinks; hot & cold, they sells fried Bee Hoon, noodles and Nasi Lenak as well. I ordered the standard set; 2 slices of white toasted bread with Kaya jam and butter, a cup of coffee and 2 half-boiled eggs. This set costs $3.30 compared to the former one which cost $2.70 and tasted whole lot better. Well taking into consideration of new renovation fee and rental, food prices go up too, inevitably. I made a little chat with the old man behind the bar whom I think is the new owner. He told me that this new coffee shop has been operating for four months. How time flies. I regretted I did not take any photos of the old coffee shop interior.

nine nine @ five track junction
© 2011 Martin Liew Photography

Nonetheless, I still love the environment there and never run out of subjects to shoot, even you are sitting down for a cup of coffee or having a meal. I guess this is so because it is located at a five-track junction and it's quite a view to see vehicles and pedestrians pass-by, customers come and go, relaxing and reading newspapers. It's pretty laid back. I think I'm going back this coming weekend and take more street photos. Meantime you can view three more photos I took around that area back in 2008. Pleasant viewing.