So me and 4 other colleagues have been sent back to school for this week. In Subang Square, right next to the sights and sounds of Taylors Business School!
My class was to start at 9am, but I got off the Subang Jaya KTM station a bit too early. 7:15am to be exact. However, knowing that I would reward myself to a classic kopitiam breakfast at Uncle Lim’s (teh susu panas and roti bakar dua – hot tea with condensed milk and two pairs of toast with kaya and butter), I looked forward to it, and waltzed in through the doors of Subang Parade.
There were workers there, but it was obvious that they had not opened. So I sat on one of the chairs and closed my eyes for a bit, thinking they’d open soon…
A lady walked by a while later and asked what time they open. 8:30am, they said.
It was 7:30am! What was I to do? I could wait till 8:30am but I wouldn’t know how long the walk to Subang Square would be. It seemed near.
And so, I figured, I’ll see you later Uncle. Walked past the mosque and the McDonalds (which was 24 hours and was open for breakfast.)
Who the heck will get to have their breakfast at 8:30am? The workers who open the shops at Subang Parade at 10am? The rest of us have to work or go to class at 9am yo!
Well, I had class at 9am. Uncle Lim’s Subang Parade, have you hardly any time for the 9-5er? Not quite the reliable place to get a fix in the morning.
And so I walked towards Subang Square. Passed this van which sold yow char quai. I grabbed 2 pairs of that instead. Sizzling in the morning and a market-walking delight. It was brilliant. I would have taken a picture of it, but I ate it already.
Subang is a dirty place in the morning. Fresh falls instead of the black stains that adorn Chow Kit.
I then passed an Old Town Kopitiam in one of those shophouses. It was open! The sign outside said that it opens at 7:30am.
For once, I tip my hat to Old Town Kopitiam, they opened at the right time! Though, I still think their food and drinks are crap and deviant and taste a bit odd compared to what you’d expect if you ordered it from any normal uncommercialized kopitiam. It’s not real.
Their version of teh susu panas does not use condensed milk! Every single kopitiam I’ve been to, commercialized or not, uses condensed milk. That’s just how it is! But no, not them, there is no condensed milk in the teh susu panas at Old Town Kopitiam. Sure it may be healthy. But I say it’s a pussified version of it.
Normally, you get a spoon with teh susu panas so that you can scoop into the layer of (normally) condensed milk at the bottom of the cup, pull it up, and sip some tea while having that (normally) condensed goodness. That is the whole point of teh susu panas! You can then stir it in, or drink only the tea and leave the condensed milk behind (though I doubt you would.)
Don’t let me get started on their strange tasting roti bakar. I try a lot of commercialized kopitiams and to be fair, a lot of them don’t do it very well, often having hardened strips of butter and little kaya and overly hard toast. But Old Town Kopitiam adds to that by having this extra kick of flavor in their bread. Which, really, tastes weird.
Oh, and their hot lemon honey tea is horrid compared to their cold lemon honey tea. And traditional dishes are given untraditional touches. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something done differently in each dish. Go ahead mess around with the formula, just don’t label yourself Old Town and imply some form of authencity. Pussy teh susu panas and warped hot chocolate is not authentic!
That said, I did not patronize Old Town Kopitiam this time. (I don’t like Starbucks or Secret Recipe either but social obligations sometimes lead me there.) Yes, I’ve landed in Old Town Kopitiam enough times to try different dishes in hopes of finding something that doesn’t taste funky.
And so, I ended up in Subang Square, at a mamak I’d never been to, where I ordered a teh tarik. It tasted exactly as I had imagined it would be. Because they don’t and won’t screw it up.
Later for lunch I had a teh o ais at a different stall. It tasted exactly as I had imagined it to be. Because they don’t and won’t screw it up.
So what is it with me and Secret Recipe then? I tend to order Iced Lemon Tea whenever I’m at an establishment of such class. And theirs has indeed a secret recipe – liquid sugar, loads of it! You will not get an Iced Lemon Tea sweeter in any other joint. Now when I go there, I drink pussy tea from pussy cups.
Yeah, I like condensed milk, but not liquid sugar.
I like watching college students and their antics too, before I get my cloak and axe. Well no I don’t have a cloak or an axe. So who’s from around there, give me a buzz for lunch yo! I really don’t remember who goes to Taylor’s. I don’t know what degree you’re doing, I never remember these things. I’m a terrible friend, sorry.