Get to know the TTDI Wet Market, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most established trading and community centres.
The lower floors of the market are dominated by the wet produce. ― Pic by TM Info-Media Sdn Bhd
As early as 6.00 am, the market springs to life. The air is soon filled with noise and chatter as crowds of shoppers bustle around the counters and corridors. Spry silver-haired citizens populate the scene, grabbing the freshest produce and haggling at the top of their voices.
This is the sight that will greet you at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Wet Market every morning. The building has aged, but this neighbourhood institution hasn’t lost its rustic charm and appeal.
The market is known as the TTDI Wet Market among the locals. It first opened for business in 1985 to house traders who were moved from Central Market’s Medan Pasar following the latter’s conversion into a cultural centre and arcade.
This fishmonger is trying to entice customers to his stall.―Pic by TM Info-Media Sdn Bhd
There are 268 stalls altogether spread across the marketplace. The lower floors are dominated by the wet produce and dry edible goods. You will be able to buy cod and salmon apart from the usual ikan merah (red snapper) and kembung (mackerel).
The first thing that will strike you about the TTDI Wet Market is the design of the building. An imposing trapezoid structure, its uniqueness is accentuated by the brick-red colour of the roof tiles adorning the sloping sides.
Of course, the freshness and variety of available goods is the next thing people talk about after visiting the market. And many regulars are familiar with the traders who mostly started their business at the place from the very beginning.
Space for rent near the main entrance is fully occupied. ― Pic by TM Info-Media Sdn Bhd
The fruits and vegetables sections are a riot of colours. So are the apparels and textiles sections. There is a cake shop whose shelves are almost bare by 9.00 am — the heavenly custard-filled cream puff is a must-try item. On the top floor is a food court serving a range of fare that’s not only tasty but easy on the wallet.
There are also many condiments and dry goods merchants. At a glance, they sell the same things like onions, pulses and beans, bottled sauces. But in their stockpile is that exclusive dried fish from the East Coast or high-quality dhal from India. Only their loyal customers are privy, and only the persistent ones can prise out the nuggets of information from the merchants.
The market also houses a curio and hobby shop selling Hot Wheels toy cars, ‘80s Polaroid cameras and pop culture merchandise like Star Wars Millennium Falcon among others.
A curio shop. Can you spot the Millennium Falcon?. ― Pic by TM Info-Media Sdn Bhd
Space for rent near the main entrance is fully occupied. Yellow Pages Malaysia was lucky enough to become a temporary ‘tenant’ last Saturday to promote our F&B feature merchant and soy product manufacturer Wai Food Industry. The team had a blast interacting with market-goers, handing out fried tofu samples and conducting lucky draws for package purchases.
The Yellow Pages promotional activity was well-received. ― Pic courtesy of TM Info-Media Sdn Bhd
Looking at the microcosm of visitors and tenants, it’s evident that their interaction moves beyond business. Customers frequently bump into someone they know — neighbours, teachers, colleagues and friends. You can catch snippets of conversations about family and relatives to community activities and happenings.
Limited parking space is the main grouse. Some also say that the goods are pricey compared to other markets and even some supermarkets. Still, there is no doubt that the market serves as a thriving hub for the local residents and small businesses in and around the Taman Tun area.
Looking for a wet market near you? Click Pasar Besar and Wet Market to get the listings.
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