Update (April 21): DBKL has issued a written notice to Imbi Market vendors confirming that phase one of the market's new location in ICC Pudu is now ready. According to the notice, vendors can start moving to ICC Pudu beginning Friday, April 22 and must vacate the old premises by Monday, April 25 at the very latest. Vendors can start operating in their new location the following day on April 26.
News that Imbi Market (also known as Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang) will be relocating have been circulating since 2014. And it's happening at last; in April, over 250 vendors from both the food and the fresh produce sections will pack up and move to their new home at Integrated Commercial Complex, or ICC Pudu on Jalan Kijang, near Pudu Plaza.
The market has to move to make way for the mega Tun Razak Exchange project. Over the past half year, accessibility to the area has become more restricted due to several road closures and hoarding up of adjacent land.
Photo: Daniel Chan
Also known as Kompleks Perniagaan Bersepadu Pudu, the multi-storey complex will house a wet market, a food court plus banquet and multi-purpose halls (equipped with badminton, volleyball and basketball courts). Ample parking will also be available at this mixed-use building.
Imbi Market is, without a doubt, a KL institution, known not only for its fresh produce but also for the variety of good, authentic street food available. It also happens to be one of our favourite breakfast haunts too. Loyal customers have flocked to the hawker stalls beside the main market area for wan tan noodles, Hainanese assam laksa, popiah and yong tau fu for years. And we can't not mention Ah Weng Koh Kopitiam when speaking about Imbi Market, where early risers and hungry regulars come for its signature breakfast set of Hainanese tea, two half-boiled eggs and two pieces of roti kahwin.
Photo: Shawn Lor/Pixelpix
Bukit Bintang Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman See Foo Hoong said, in a report by The Star, that 'the traders will have a comfortable and larger space for their businesses' and that 'it will be more convenient for their customers'. Whether or not the space will be more convenient for customers, we doubt a new, sterile food court environment could ever replicate the authenticity and charm the current Imbi Market has in spades.
Photo: Daniel Chan
It’s sad to see one of the last traditional markets in the city centre go, but on the flipside this move is better than seeing some of these time-honoured food vendors give up their trade altogether. We’ll keep you updated when the new ICC Pudu is up and running.
By Loke Poh Lin