Known was Air Batu Campur (mixed ice) or ABC locally, the icy dessert is found across Southeast Asia in different variations. Hitz Cafe of Tanjung Malim serves the traditional Malaysian and Singapore version.

It is shaved ice with assorted jellies, beans, nuts, maize, sago seeds, topped up with evaporated milk and rose syrup. Ask for ice cream, if you fancy.

ABC is also Michael Jackson’s monster hit when he was 11. I can’t remember if he sang ‘ABC’ in his 1996 concert in Malaysia but I still wonder if he had ABC during his stay here.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4 1/125 sec.

Inside Hitz Cafe

On one wall, there is a big mural of old Tanjung Malim town painted by a young local artist. I was also fascinated by this corner where nature created art too.

From a photography perspective, natural light from the sun can enhance the atmosphere or ambience (spell or say ‘ambiance’ if you want to sound uppity when you are not). Sunlight is a factor beyond the control of anyone on a casual visit though.

On a paid gig with the right budget, I can easily re-create the same by bringing a truckload of lighting equipment and a big electric generator. On a personal outing, I am happy to use the sun when the timing is right.

Late afternoon sunlight was seeping through the glass facade and casting nice shadows on the vintage marble-top kopitiam (Chinese coffee shop) table and chairs.

Saw this by chance while walking back from the washroom at the rear of the restaurant. Yeah. Moral of the story: Bring along your camera bag when you go wash your hands.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4.5, 1/250 sec.

Hitz Cafe

With a silky curtain acting as sunshade and intentionally mismatched kopitiam chairs, Jolene’s Hitz Cafe has all the cues of a hipster cafe. But since there are no hipsters in Tanjung Malim, how do they survive?

With good food, patronised by staff from nearby banks, UPSI lecturers, Proton City execs and other local folks.

Uniquely, there’s a Malay, a Chinese and a Orang Asli cook in the kitchen. According to owner Jolene Bateman, the menu was customised by her brothers (and partners) who used to work with hotels in England.

The grilled chicken I had was juicy inside and crispy on the outside. Like any respectable hipster outlet, there are sprinkles of finely chopped parsley on the food and a slice of lemon in the glass of water served.

There is even a special selfie corner with an old bicycle inside. Isn’t it nice to pay humble Tanjung Malim prices for a Bangsaresque dining experience?

Hitz Cafe is halal certified and is at 10 Jalan Chong Ah Peng, Tanjung Malim old town.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 500, f8, 1/60 sec.