Mention Petaling Street and you get the image of the touristy flea market with its red lantern canopy and sellers of same-same merchandise. But on its nondescript far end, there’s plenty of energy bubbling up—except you couldn’t tell from the outside. These relative newcomers to the scene have a few things in common: local ingredients, contemporary takes on tradition, unabashed retro chic. Business shows no signs of slowing down for these reformed former brothels.
Past turquoise doors next to a stationery shop are the stairs leading up to a light-filled cafe where there’s cake, coffee and Rose Honey Milk. As if that’s not enough, it happens to be the most Instagrammable place this side of town.
Merchant’s Lane also serves Western fare with a touch of the East, alongside Asian dishes.
The bar with the vintage toy storefront may not be a speakeasy, but PS150 transports you to another time, another place like any self-respecting cocktail bar could.
Gula melaka (palm sugar) and rice wine in your cocktail? Sure. Come for the drinks and for the crowd.
There’s plenty of nostalgia to go around at the old Mah Lian Hotel, which lives on with its signage, tiles and courtyard intact.
Snack on cincalok (fermented shrimp) fried chicken while you chocha (Hakka for “sit and drink tea”), sipping on cold brew tea.
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