Media café : TC 2

Phyllis Tsang

What sort of experience do you expect in Mongkok’s Portland Street? Certainly there are a lot of fancy options but there is one that suits the media people’s needs.

This is TC2, a café run by two former journalists, Patrick Sum Wan-wah and Teresa Ng Yuen-kwan, since they left electronic media organizations and set up business five years ago. The café has become a good gathering place for many local journalists in the city.

Patrick, who wears long air like a typical artist, was an experienced journalist and worked as a producer for TVB News Magazine. Although he has left the media Patrick is still passionate about the media world. He hopes his café will become a platform for local journalists to share and exchange views on this rapidly changing industry.

The beginning of the story of this café popular among media workers can be traced five years back to an industrial area.

A San Po Kong industrial building was the first home to TC2 and it only provided takeaway drinks and food, Patrick recalled.  Patrick and Teresa, a former senior reporter in Cable TV, then worked hard on making their dreams come true after quitting their jobs.

“We would like to start with a small business.  Rent in industrial area is relatively low so it won’t cause us a huge loss if the business does not work out,” said Patrick.

As the business of the café fell on the right track later on, the café partners decided take a big step forward by opening a café in Mongkok, serving coffee, dessert and meals.

With easy accessibility in Mongkok, TC 2 becamesa convenient wastering hole for journalists working in different districts. The loft area above the café also provides a place for journalists to organise events and exhibitions.

In July 2008, about 30 journalists from the electronic media had a gathering in the loft, named “Sichuan salon”, sharing experiences on covering news of the Sichuan earthquake.

Many journalists came and talked a lot about their experiences in Sichuan, Patrick recalled.  In contrast to TV stations’ promotional slogans that made journalists covering the fatal disaster appear like heroes, journalists shared their feelings behind the scene, including decisions on whether to go ahead or get away from the disaster areas in Sichuan, and how their views on those decisions might end in life or death.

It was a valuable sharing activity among journalists, especially veterans and “green” journalists had a chance to sit together for a discussion.

Apart from this loft gallery, the stylish decor, freshly brewed coffee and tempting dessert together make TC2 a perfect gathering place for the public or journalists to chat and relax.

Sipping a cup of coffee, listening to jazz music, discussing a wide range of topics with Patrick and Teresa from the dearth of cultural magazines in the city to picking reliable “eye-witnesses” when reporting a traffic accident (such as the terrible accident in Tseung Kwan O in November), I enjoyed this Saturday afternoon at TC2.

One final note: all the coffee, dessert and food served at TC2 are of high quality and reasonably priced. All HKJA members enjoy a 10 per cent discount on all food and drinks.

1.     Name of the café TC2 comes from a TV news jargon, which means the telecine 2 used in viewing some general shot or cut away shot in news production panel, and TC2 can also be an abbreviation for "Tea and Coffee 2".
2.     Anyone wanting to hold a gathering or exhibition in the loft of TC2 can contact Patrick and Teresa by phone or email.

TC2 Café. Workshop
Address: G/F, 106 Portland Street, Mong Kok
Telephone: 2388 9772