It's not shiny and new like KL's other malls, but Sungei Wang is a haven for bargain hunters. Here are some of its best shops – and one particularly good chap fan stall we recommend.
Things to do
For falsies, individual and strip extensions are available at the aptlynamed Eyelash Shop. Lash out with the ultimate in colour, length and variety; if you’re feeling dramatic, the specialty store stocks crystal, feather and peacock lashes. Application tools, makeup brushes and glue are also sold here for cheap.
Plush chairs, sartorially savvy fashion magazines and informed stylists – this is a salon that takes your hair very seriously. The Loft offers stylish cuts; not the debonair kind you’ll find on the red carpet, but a breezy bob or an asymmetric pixie that’ll make Shailene Woodley just that bit jealous. Don’t worry about the salon being snotty because a) service is topnotch, although stylists will be very blunt about your hair condition, and b) this is, after all, Sungei Wang.
Established since 1988, Chambers Music is one of the best music shops in town. Let us count the ways: One, they have one of the largest collections of music books in KL; two, you can take music lessons here (yes, even the harp); three, you can hire a band or a four-piece string quartet for your event. Also, you can score hard-to-get concert tickets here.
Run by Imran and Wan, Rona Store is where you can find posters on everything from Manchester United to classic films like ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Godfather’, mostly imported from the UK and Bangkok. They also offer custom poster-printing and framing services.
Don’t let bad shampoos rob the cool out of your ’do. Restore lustre to your tresses with a healthy selection of hair products from SP, which offers an impressive salon-quality range from Shiseido, Schwarzkopf, L’Oréal, Redken and Nioxin. The shop also provides human hair extensions too, if you’re not genetically blessed like Sofia Vergara. Other shampoo shops you should pop by: SKL Wholesale as well as Twins Bestari on level two.
The bookstore buys books and back issue mags in bulk from Europe, which translates to cheaper prices for us all. The Sungei Wang outlet takes up three shop lots with fiction, hardbacks and magazines respectively, all arranged in stacks and crammed into floor-to-ceiling shelves. It took some digging but we did manage to find titles by Lionel Shriver and Terry Pratchett, so avid readers would do well to drop by.
Undercollar melton, welted breast pocket, four kissing cuff buttons – oh, speak in layman terms please. This is the time when an alteration shop like Tux and Blazer matters. They not only create bespoke tuxedoes but also stylish blazers fit for a classy English afternoon tea. Yes, you might only wear it a handful of times in a year but good tailoring will last you for a decade or more.
First impressions aren’t fantastic – MK Silver is all of one kiosk located on the concourse level, lit up with blue lights – but the piercing parlour has been in operation since 1999, so you know you’re in good hands. Almost all piercings are available here: ear, eyebrow and lip, as well as belly button, dimple and tongue. If you can dream it, you can pierce it.
Sungei Wang, if you must know, is a gorgeous gem of a shopping space – a maximalist, often-overlooked combination of cult brands, local designers and street style stalwarts. When you tire of its array of RM25 shops – where everything in-store sells for RM25, sometimes RM10 at the bargain bins – take a trip up to the sixth floor. From cutting-edge to eccentric vintage wear, from off-duty staples to prints and patterns, you’ll find it all, but we highly recommend Gallery 80’s, MODO and WYOS. Cult streetwear shop ODD, meanwhile, cultivates an under-the-radar collection of local and international designers and labels – think Hood by Air, Joe Chia and T.U.K. footwear.
Where to eat
Almost every first visit to Sin Tai Kar Lok yields the same incredulous expression: ‘Wah, so much food; so much variety.’ But to regulars, patronising the stall in the stuffy Sungei Wang food court is like therapy: The buffet-like spread, the tattooed staff scooping rice behind the counter, and the blurry TV blaring out old Stephen Chow comedies have all become part of their daily routine. The food is homey and packed with flavour – tasting almost like the time your mum was a tad too generous with the oyster sauce, ketchup and kicap in her cooking.
Sin Tai Kar Lok churns out at least 60 dishes every day, just to accommodate the demanding palates of KLites who are constantly clamouring for variety. And this explains the charm of zhap fan stalls – culinary treasures like roast pork, duck and fish are sold at a bargain price but they still taste of dai chow quality. But then again, Sin Tai Kar Lok isn’t like any zhap fan stall. With its retro decor, as if borrowing design cues from a Hong Kong gangster flick, the scene looks like a young, unruly Chow Yun Fatt would walk through the door anytime. It’s badass, just like how a shop in Sungei Wang should be.
A haven for bargain hunters and a nightmare for the claustrophobic, Sungei Wang Plaza is packed to the brim with independent stores selling primarily fashion-related products at very affordable prices. Expect the unexpected with its plethora of quirky and sometimes wacky stalls that will suck you in for hours on end as you sift through the racks.