Sugar High

by Sarawakian

SS15 nowadays seemed to be choked with traffic. This is evident especially when you want to turn into the road towards the wet market of Jalan SS15/4. The traffic has been ever more pronounced ever since a slew of bubble tea players have started to make this particular road their home.

This is not the first time that Subang Jaya’s SS15 has seen a change. In the early years, SS15 was known to be the banking hub. The road of Jalan SS15/4D was dubbed Subang Jaya’s Banking row as it had all the local banks one can imagine. Going to the bank was never so convenient. As it is today, most of the banks still stand.

Just over 2 years ago, Jalan SS15/4B became the mobile phone and accessories hub. This was previously populated with eateries and has since changed to one targeting devices and accessories. The only famous eateries left are Ooi Pork Noodles and Uncle Seng Homemade Noodles.

It seems that this bubble tea phenomenon is really making a wave in SS15. This has caused terrible jams and yet one wonders why the new carpark complex is always having the vehicle entrance from SS15/4 closed on some days on the weekends. It is weird. This would have helped with the terrible traffic if the rates were revised to cater for short term parking duration.

The so called rooftop car boot sale and market located above this carpark is poorly organized and does not seem to create the unique market attraction for Subang Jaya. Perhaps MPSJ should seriously consider their focus. They should also get the existing wet market spruced up and cleaned up. It is really in bad shape especially at the hawker centre above. The steps are a safety risk with them being slippery when wet. Hygiene above and below as well as the public toilets are a serious blow to the image of MPSJ.

The back lanes would seriously need a coat of paint and the murals redone with new creative pieces. Something must be done and it seems that someone is slacking in caring for SS15. Still, lightings are poor at pedestrian walkways within SS15 yet we have many new shops and unique trades coming in. Yet, while commerce is positive, the lackadaisical attitude of those entrusted to clean up and spruce up SS15 has compounded the state we are in.

The Taiwan Tea and Bubble Tea phenomenon has propelled SS15 closer to what Mount Austin in Johor Bahru has become. This area has the most number of bubble tea establishments located in a location anywhere in Malaysia. They must have hit 30 varieties now since the last count in 2018 mentioned that it had over 22. Mount Austin is also home to the most number of unique cafes. The chase for sugar is definitely a high. I dare say that SS15 could easily become the home to many more drinks like these.

Already, we have started to see some cafes fading off but I am sure that many would start to flock again and open new concepts. The close vicinity and closeness to the LRT station of SS15 as well as being connected on 2 main roads (one towards Taipan and the other towards Sunway Pyramid) for the FREE Selangor Bus (which still has not got good bus stop signs and waiting area) have certainly the ingredients.

It is sad though to see that Snowflake have left where they first began in SS15/8A on a shoplot above the road. This icon would no longer be part of legendary SS15. Nevertheless, one can be assured that SS15 would still remain a draw. Cor Blimey is another name which chose Subang Jaya as their first store and icons like Burgertory, Sumi Ka Yakitori and Lim Fried Chicken as well as Stoned & Co (fashion) have made SS15 home for a while. Dao Tau Fu Fah has also made SS15/4D their home.

Yes, the sugar high concoctions of the Bubble Tea have indeed caused a sensation. Names like Xing Fu Tang, The Alley, Daboba, Pin Tea and One Zo are close to those in other lanes like Chatto and JLD Dragon. It is not just Chatime, Tealive and GongCha anymore. The current craze for brown sugar perhaps could have spurred on by another brand which has yet to appear in SS15. This is Tiger Sugar. The craze for brown sugar caramelizing your inner cup with a hot beverage over ice is interesting. It somehow gets you addicted. You are also given instructions on how to drink them. Of course there are pearls or bubbles but the beverage in itself now takes prominence.

The traffic never yields and would go on until late nights. One wonders how you would sleep with tea and sugar combined. I guess this is the new life of SS15. Where once people thronged for teh tarik and nasi lemak for supper; today it would be bubble tea, fruit tea and tau fu fah. Recently I also saw that Carl’s Junior has opened at SS15/8B taking over a kopitiam opposite Darussalam. Around the corner near Coffea Coffee you would also find Spade’s Burger from Penang. This was their first in Klang Valley. It would be interesting to see if burgers would last as the last time, many burger joints came and went. There is a joint now called The Burger Shop which has a van at the front.

I think SS15 is indeed a dynamic space. Commerce is both an opportunity and a challenging option. However, what is deeply lacking is the improvement of public facilities from lightings, covering of drainage, safe and physically challenged friendly pedestrian walkways, landscaping to public toilets. Perhaps we need some sugar to get high to forget the rough edges we see around SS15. Yet they still remain an unfulfilled promise by those in MPSJ and also the councilors. Perhaps the new ADUN would want to take up the challenge?

Have a wonderful Ka’amatan, Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri!