What once housed the Selangor Zhongshan Association has now come back to life in the form of a three-building independent arts and research hub housing the likes of art gallery OUR ArtProjects, music store Tandang Records, Tommy le Baker's Kampung Attap outpost and more. We checked out what to do, where to grab a bite and do a bit of shopping at The Zhongshan Building.
Food at The Zhongshan Building
Tommy le Baker at The Zhongshan Building
As with its main shop tucked away at the back of Viva Residency, this outpost of Tommy le Baker is also tucked away in The Zhongshan Building, holding fort in the creative hub's well-lit courtyard. Breads are still freshly baked here, though at a smaller variety compared to its headquarters. Menu items comprise of sandwiches and tartines (open-faced sandwiches) with a selection of cheeses like camembert, goat, brie and emmenthal. We say go for the smoked salmon tartines which come in a serving of four, and are made with sweet tomatoes, lashings of creamy mustard and mayo.
Piu Piu Piu
This minimalistic café is located on the first floor of The Zhongshan Building and the intimate space is filled with wooden decor and little knickknacks nonchalantly scattered around. The drinks are Piu Piu Piu’s calling card. Crowd-favourite Sour Lemon + is preserved lemons in a concoction of soda and shochu; sweet, sour and bitter all at once (there’s also a non-alcoholic version). For coffee, barista Unagi sources his beans from local roasters Aim Coffee and uses them in the café’s espresso, black and white coffee drinks. Pair that with the kaya butter walnut toastie made by home baker Queeny, who also bakes cakes on a rotation basis.
Kok Far Tea
Tea lovers, Kok Far Tea is the place to go to experience the art and rituals of tea brewing. Owned by Queeny Kong, a variety of tea leaves are available at Kok Far Tea, including the rich iribancha imported from Kyoto. Go through ana tomy to find this aesthetically pleasing tea place.
Art, design and exhibition spaces at The Zhongshan Building
The Back Room
Located at the arts hub, The Zhongshan Building, you have to go through Piu Piu Piu to find The Back Room. An independent, alternative space for exhibitions, this art gallery aims to connect artists, creatives, curators and the general audience through a series of exhibitions, projects, talks, and workshops.
Books at The Zhongshan Building
Balai Buku Raya
Previously known as Punarvasu, now Balai Buku Raya moved to a bigger space on the second floor of Zhongshan Building. Selling new and secondhand books, this bookstore focuses more on Malay literature. However, English titles and books relating to our beloved country of Malaysia are also available to cater to all. Check their Facebook for more information on the latest additions in their inventory.
Rumah Attap Library & Collective
A collaborative project between Ameteur, In Between Cultura and Au Sow Yee Studio, this library functions as a gathering ground for individuals to share ideas, read, educate and learn. The library also regularly hosts talks by local writers, artists and activists.
Shops at The Zhongshan Building
Personalised notebook, planner and leather goods - ana tomy makes your all bespoke dreams come true. Nestled at the arts hub, The Zhongshan Building, ana tomy impresses with their beautiful store interior and passion to craft customers of their desired goods. Only made-to-order, artisans at ana tomy will make your notebook or planner according to the papers, cover, binder, etc that you choose! So, whether you are an aspiring writer, a traveller, a budding entrepreneur or a person who believes in individuality, you can find it at ana tomy and have experts craft it to a notebook that best represents you.
Founded in Singapore in 2013 by Dennis Tay as an online sales site that curates locally made products and supports local artisans, Naiise now has six outlets across Singapore and London, with Naiise's KL outpost their first in Malaysia. Designed to fit into the overall aesthetics of Zhongshan with tiled black and white floors reminiscent of old kopitiams, exposed concrete and white walls, it's a calming space. The main idea for Naiise KL is to create a communal space where Malaysians can be exposed to local brands and artisans, as well as to create a retail channel for local artisans. There are about 800-1000 items in store, from stationery by Mossery, candles by Hush, teas to home furnishing products. If you can't swing by, all of their products can also be found online. At the end of the store, there's a space where future workshops will be conducted; keep tabs on their site and social media channels for updates.
Music at The Zhongshan Building
If you’re rocking an obviously 1977 original punk rock look, Tandang Store is perfect for you. There’s more than just vinyl, cassettes and CDs here; you’ll find zines, books and other punk-related merchandise. Be a good sport and support the venue by attending the gigs held regularly.
Archives and research at The Zhongshan Building
Malaysia Design Archive
Malaysia Design Archive (MDA) is an initiative to preserve and map the country's visual history. The space acts as an archiving centre for MDA as well as the venue for their public engagements like workshops, talks and reading groups. Visits are by appointment only. Read more about what they do in our interview with them.
Institut Pondok Perancis
Located in The Zhongshan Building, this Malaysian-French research centre is an academic hub for co-operation and co-working oppoturnities between researchers and scholars of the two nations. The space is equipped with a journal library, as well as other work and research facilities. Institut Pondok Perancis was set up in May 2017 to encourage the development of academic projects in the country and promote exchanges in knowledge among French and Malaysian scholars.