Petaling Street’s South End Gets a Hip Makeover

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.


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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.

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Merchant’s Lane also serves Western fare with a touch of the East, alongside Asian dishes.



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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.

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Gula melaka (palm sugar) and rice wine in your cocktail? Sure. Come for the drinks and for the crowd.

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There’s plenty of nostalgia to go around at the old Mah Lian Hotel, which lives on with its signage, tiles and courtyard intact.

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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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High Octane Chefs at Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival 2016