Madam Kwan’s in Suria KLCC

What’s Madam Kwan’s like
A nicely set up restaurant on the highest floor of Suria KLCC Shopping Mall within Petronas Twin Towers. The ambiance is welcoming, air-conditioned, clean, cozy with local culture represented in its interior. The general vibe in the restaurant is swift and goes through predictable cycles of queue-sit-eat-leave.

Madam Kwan's Restaurant Nasi Lemak in Suria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/seouluncle

Popular foods
Delicious options include Nasi Bojari, Nasi Lemak, Beef Rendang, Curry Laksa, Satay, Ice Kacang, Cendol. For spicy dishes, let them know your preferred level of spiciness or feel the burn.

Madam Kwan Satay
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/seunghye_nn

Portions
Individual meals are mostly filling, so there won’t be much stomach space to sample other Madam Kwan varieties by the time you are almost done. Recommend ordering a variety of individual meals to share.

Madam Kwan's Nasi Lemak, Satay, Kangkung, Char Koay Teow
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/violetyhs

Is there a queue
The eatery is packed and there tend to be people waiting outside, so plan in the expected queue time, order time, eat time, payment time.

Service
Some days it can be fast, other days it can be slow. More often than not, good service is a default. When there’s a swelling crowd, speed is of an essence.

Madam Kwan's Inside
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/lie.expo

Pricing
“Ridiculously cheap” – European tourist on a business trip
“Decent price” – Asian tourist from neighboring countries
“Overpriced” – Food-Is-Just-Food tourist, gravitates toward Instant Noodles

Visiting Aquaria KLCC

Aquaria KLCC is a prominent tourist attraction located just next to the Suria KLCC recreational and shopping center. This little water world park portrays the natural pretty well through its five varied sections of freshwater aquatics, saltwater aquatics, sharks, insect and souvenir. With a focus on the marine life from the oceans surrounding Malaysia, you will find a large gathering of small colorful fishes to big monster fishes all within the multi-sized aquarium spaces.

Large giant tank of fishes inside Aquaria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/annado_the_gypsy_queen

Constructed in the year 2002, Aquaria KLCC exhibits 60,000 square feet of marine-tertainment delivering a surreal experience (for younger audiences) through its displays of larger than life-sized aquariums that house a selection of sea species. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might spot the sand tiger sharks, green sea turtles, giant Pacific octopuses and giant groupers. You can also expect to come face to face with semi-aquatic mammals like raccoons, otters and seals.

Otters looking at inside Aquaria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/roy_abhishek

Take your activity in Aquaria to the next level by stepping onto the conveyor belt that leads you into the underwater tunnel to witness exotic aquatic life as they gracefully swim past hovering above you. This attraction tends to be a hit with visitors who tend to loop their experience at least twice during the same visit! So expect some crowd and possibly, brief congestion.

Underwater conveyor belt tunnel inside Aquaria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/allexphotography

There are a few activity highlights to plan your visit to Aquaria KLCC around. One of the best ways is to keep tabs of the daily feeding times based on the schedule. It is particularly worth noting the shark feeding times!

Feeding Time at Aquaria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/nuvairmikhail

Widely popular among kids, is the Touch Pool At 10.45 AM. This is an excellent chance to give a few of those horseshow crabs, chocolate chip sea stars and brown-banded bamboo shark a couple of good pats.

Petting area inside Aquaria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/rosharizalrosli

Top this trip up by making a souvenir stop. There, you will find the usual purchasable suspects – magnets, soft toys, photos and most other ocean-themed merchandise.

Where To Find Batik In Suria KLCC And Its Surroundings

Batik, an elaborate Javanese artistic process of creating designs on fabric, is one heritage industry that can be found in Malaysia. When you are exploring the Suria KLCC shopping mall, you will often spot batik prints expressed in various forms – notebooks, dresses, bags, shirts, scarfs, sarongs, food packaging and many others. It is one long growing list.

Batik by the super famous Batik Keris Indonesia
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/batikkerisindo/

The batik craftsmanship is a method of painting and decorating a spread of cloth, beginning with an outline of the design using hot wax while the space without wax is filled with different colored dye. The designs tend to be styled based on abstract swirls, flower motifs or plant designs. As simplistic as it sounds, the process can be drawn out depending on the complexity of the art.

Watch Batik being made up close
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/threadsoflifebali/

What you should know is, there has been an air of what has been termed, the ‘cultural feud’ between squabbling nations that involves Indonesia and Malaysia. The peak of its incident arose in 2009. Countless articles have detailed the series of the spat between both countries that led to its boiling point. After several exchanges, alas, UNESCO (part of the United Nations) made a decision to instate Batik as an Intangible Cultural Heritage to Indonesia.

Batik Beauty
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/visitbetawi/

A few of the excerpts from pieces of news reporting on the Batik matter

” Many Indonesians say Malaysia stole their techniques, while others argue that Unesco’s recognition of Indonesian batik does not mean Malaysia could not have developed its own form of the art.

Unesco culture specialist Masanori Nagaoka told AFP that the recognition of Indonesia’s cloth did not preclude other countries from claiming batik as well – just that Indonesia’s government had gone to the trouble of submitting a claim. “

— The Telegraph

“The Indonesian news magazine Tempo reported last week that many batik craftsmen had moved to Malaysia, tempted by offers of good wages and a secure future for their families in a country with significantly higher living standards. There are also claims that Malaysian businessmen are buying half-finished batik from markets in Indonesia, then adding the final touches back home before marketing the items as “Made in Malaysia”. Such issues might seem trivial, but they are helping to whip up an aggressive nationalism not seen the so-called “Konfrontasi”, when Indonesia’s founding president, Sukarno, declared a policy of confrontation aimed at destabilising the newly created Federation of Malaysia. A guerrilla war against Malaysia’s territories in Borneo, launched in 1963, was unsuccessful and led to Sukarno’s downfall three years later”

— The Independent

“The most recent cultural squabble, however, is mostly one-sided. Malaysians, responding to a torrent of letters in Indonesian newspapers, say they are mostly perplexed by Indonesians’ strong reactions to suspicions that they are being encroached upon by Malaysia. Some young Indonesians, who refer to their neighbor as “Maling-sia” — “maling” means “thief” in Indonesian — have pledged their readiness to fight should war become necessary.”

— The New York Times

Amidst all these furor, whether you are visiting Malaysia or Indonesia, it is worth summing up your vacation through a uniquely crafted Batik piece acquired from this part of the region.

There are several options available for those who wish to purchase Batik in KLCC and its surrounding areas. Wander into the established-since-1888 Central Market hub, located on Jalan Tun Cheng Lock, and you will find yourself smacked in the middle of multiple stores carrying a floor-to-ceiling selection of Batik napkins, jewelry boxes, shirts, pillowcases, sarongs.

Inside Central Market Kuala Lumpur
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/viajeraimparable_/

Then there is also Kapten Batik in Isetan KLCC, where you can find a wide selection of men’s shirts decked out in batik designs. Batik printed shirts are often the piece of apparel used during formal wear at dinners and launches. What you will find at Kapten Batik is a dressed-down version with an air of manly elegance and strong, classy touch for everyday wear. Each shirt is made of cooling fabric that is cut to fit with collar options: Shanghai, Mandarin, or the usual.

Kapten Batik Manly Shirts
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/kapten.batik/

Whether it would be a purchase for yourself or your loved ones, the local handmade Batik is an affordable gift worth occupying your luggage space.

Souvenir Shops at Suria KLCC

Royal Selangor
Established in 1885 from its history of “hard knocks”, this store shines in the creation of the most gorgeous pewterware ranging from artistic clocks, sophisticated tea seats, home décor, ornaments, cutleries and fashion accessories.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/trhaizam/

Chocolat World store
Chocolate fans and souvenir purchasers alike will find a selection of local and imported premium-quality, hand-made gourmet chocolates from this convenient little store.

The Kapten Batik
Representative of the Malaysian culture, it is only right that one purchase a piece of bold Batik prints and personalize the shirt buttons with name initials.

Kapten Batik For Men
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/kapten.batik/

Petronas Twin Towers Gift Shop
Here, you will find all things Petronas Twin Towers-themed water bottles, pens, postcards, shot glasses, miniature models of the Twin Towers, keychains and magnets.

Visit the Petronas Twin Towers Gift Shop, leave with memorabilia
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/thelokamade/

A Piece of Malaysia
Not your usual souvenir stop, this store is stocked with everyday scenes from Malaysia that express the culture of this nation in statement t-shirts, tote bags, mugs, keychains, baby rompers, caps and many others.

APOM Store Opening at Suria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/hornbilltimeandwear/

How To Hermes The World Over

Word has it that over the past decades, the value of a Birkin has shown itself to be a steady, worthwhile investment when compared to stock ownership or gold investments. Rationalize that if you want to fuel your reasoning on why you should own a Birkin. More likely so, it is the feeling of accomplishment and the ability to jump through very tiny hoops and finally earn the highly coveted fashion piece by purchasing it directly from a Hermes shop. It is the feeling of acceptance into an inner circle of a madly exclusive, wildly snooty, socialite club and to be listed in the A-list. Even your mother-in-law could resent you for it. The fact is, the Hermes bags have established their niche and are so respected that allegedly in Monaco restaurants, they get their own sits.

Oh, I am babbling on. But you should know, this topic isn’t one that can be rushed. As elaborate as the process of owning one, so would the storytelling be.

Every Birkin is perceived as a piece of artwork. The bag’s craftsmen are typically placed under a 10-year drill to obtain the required skills before they can participate in a Birkin creation. Each finely crafted bag requires anywhere between 18 to 25 hours for the Kelly to be created while the Birkin on the hand requires a longer time frame. This means an even longer wait time for any Hermes store. A store that places an order for the coveted bags has to wait in line for at least 6 months before they receive a fresh batch. Every Hermes store is competing against their pool of 300+ Hermes retail stores. There are a limited number of pieces (or usually, none) available in any Hermes stores – excluding 3rd party market. From the 3rd party stores, you can expect to pay a higher price by 15%-20% and skip the queue and miss out on the thrill of journeying through Hermes’s retail experience. This retail ‘experience’ is not to be taken lightly. But try walking into a Hermes shop, and if you ever spot a Birkin or a Kelly, consider it your lucky day. As lucky as catching the rare eclipse phenomenon.

Once in the store, we don’t recommend uttering the sentence, “I would like to buy a Birkin, please.”. It wouldn’t hurt to try, as they often say, but we wouldn’t. Because you can expect to receive that look that almost implies SHOOOOH expressed in an audible no or nothing less than a pretty cold response that they do not have any in-store. It will be an entirely different story if you are a renowned celebrity! But if you ask about the items in display in-store, they are more likely to be gracious and especially so if you decide to purchase them. And that, ladies and gents, would be the beginning of a bond you would have started with Hermes and you are now 1% closer to a Birkin ownership. We don’t want to disappoint you, but even when you are 99.9% closer to your first Birkin ownership, the design and color style will often not be your choice. But, if you don’t decide to get it, you will have to wait for that next however-many-months before receiving that much-awaited call from a Hermes store assistant on another Birkin bag availability. The first Birkin is also the start to many other more Birkins before getting the bag in the style you want and in color you so desire.

Owning a Birkin or a Kelly is one long drawn out process that requires an appreciation for the finer things in life, patience, time (months that could run to years), and extraordinary money (if in USD – multiple tens of thousands, tipping over a hundred thousand). Yet, it has been no barrier to the few way-above-average individuals, socialites, and fashionistas who have readily acquired scarves, timepieces, jewelry, and what others have you. The craziest part, often the case, once a Birkin has been purchased, all other previously bought Hermes items tend to be forgotten, hidden away in the darkness of the accessory drawer. While the scarves, however, lives on in daylight as it has in a recent handful of years, trended itself to be twirled with the Birkin or Kelly handles. Fashionista level: legendary.

It is no wonder why Malaysia’s 6th Prime Minister’s, Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor had as many Hermes bags close to the number of Hermes’s global retail store count. She sure knew her luxuries well!

If you find that you have lost your breath just reading this very high-level piece on ways to acquire a Birkin bag, there is an alternative. It costs only RM35 and has a connection with the Birkin in the form of its printed words. Come to APOM.my to get your hands on the “This Is Not A Birkin Bag.” At least it’s hardy, low maintenance, doesn’t require polishing or bag spa and all that spending that “keeps adding up.”

Japanese Stores in Suria KLCC

Muji

From where it started off as a supermarket in the 80s, today, Muji offers a whole suite of quality minimalistic lifestyle goods at a rather fair price tag. You won’t find Muji’s versions of hotel or cafe stores on Malaysian shores, yet. But, you will discover Muji’s 1 of over 700 global stores with exceptional in-store experience on Level 2 in Suria KLCC. Like a mini departmental store, where less is indeed more, Muji Suria KLCC is stocked with neatly laid out everyday essentials and wood-furnishings that are trend-indifferent. Each product has been crafted and expressed in Japanese aesthetics. Simplicity at its best!

MUJI has outlets in Suria KLCC, Pavilion KL, 1 Utama, Avenue K
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/captain_zed/

Kinokuniya

Amidst the shift in the habit of consuming books through the means of Kindle devices or PDFs, nothing beats holding a physical copy of a book in your hand. Consider getting yourself lost in a maze of latest releases, best sellers, classic reprints, collector’s edition, curated books and magazines at this semi double-floored book store on the highest floor of Suria KLCC. On Level 4, you could enter Kinokuniya KLCC through the kids and stationery section (closer to Little Penang Cafe) or through the magazines and best sellers (closer to Petrosains) to find yourself greeted by shelves brimming with books waiting to be browsed by you. After having completed your loot of book purchases, you could sip, eat and read at O’Coffee Club Express (often known as Kinokuniya Cafe) on the upper floor. It tends to be brighter up there with views of the KLCC Park and water fountain.

Two floors and thousands of square feet of books, stationery, posters, comics, magazines from all around the world
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/kreso_glavac/

Isetan

Foodies and occasional fashionista, unite! Come right into this Japanese departmental store to shop for stylish and quality clothes, cosmetics and replenish your shopping stamina at the supermarket’s mini food hall. Isetan departmental store occupies several floors in Suria KLCC where each level represents the gents, ladies and kids + homeware + stationery section. What’s time-worthy is the ready-made to-go bento boxes, onigiris, sushi slices and freshly pressed and glass-bottled juices from Isetan Supermarket. This lively food area is located on the Concourse Level. Be warned, though, that it gets crowded at this section of the mall as tourists flock in to get their hands on last-minute Malaysian snack specialties. What specialty? We’re talking durian flavored everything.

Isetan Supermarket in Suria KLCC on Level Concourse
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/managami/

Uniqlo

Did it ever cross your mind that the words UNIQLO is a combination of unique + qlothing? The letter Q would have been a C if the administrator at the business registrar hadn’t misread the letters Uniclo as Uniqlo. But alas, it all worked out. Decades later, Uniqlo is now 1,000 store-strong and is driven mainly by providing clothing staples and producing hip clothing partnerships. A few of their widely known clothing collaborations include Keith Haring, ramen the noodle, Pharrell Williams, Doraemon, McDonald’s, Frozen and you-name-it, they-would-have-likely-accomplished-it. If you have decided to visit Malaysia by traveling very light, without realizing that the heat here is of a humid kind, get your new change of pieces of functional clothing from Uniqlo. Uniqlo in Suria KLCC is located on the Concourse Level, opposite The Body Shop and Cold Storage Supermarket.

Uniqlo Corner Lot Suria KLCC
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/mimimaneerat/

APOM

There is not much point traveling thousands of miles to the host country to seek out its foreign imports. Better than tea leaves or the usually accessible spices, we recommend acquiring your booty of Malaysianized souvenirs in the form of t-shirts, keychains, trucker caps, mugs and tote bags from none other than A Piece Of Malaysia, APOM.my. At APOM, every piece of item is topped with generous touches of Malaysian culture and reflects the humor of the nation that transcends borders. If you’ve been following the world news, it won’t be too hard for you to resonate with the local comedy. You can be sure that your purchased goods from this store won’t just be one of those “I went to Malaysia and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/apom.my/

PS: Apom or sometimes called ‘apom balik’ or ‘apam balik‘, is what you would call the street pancake that looks fluffy with crisp-cornered on the outside, and filled with creamed corn and chopped peanuts on the inside.

Apom balik appam balik cream corn bananas nuts
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/cc_gan/

Kuala Lumpur Convention Center

Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (also known as KL Convention Center) is located on the prestigious Jalan Pinang stretch. It is mapped just minutes away from all action in this city’s great area’s attractions.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in between Traders Hotel and Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Credits – Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/

This world-class convention center has a total usable function area of 22,659 square meters (or 243,900 square feet). It was thoughtfully built with a combination of high-end facilities, architectural design and massive modifiable space to accommodate several hundred to multiple thousand attendees.

Inside KLCC Convention Centre during the annual Comic Fiesta event in December
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/klccconventioncetre/

Every area within the many sections of Kuala Lumpur Convention Center features an inspiring open space with the capacity to host a variety of events from concerts, automobile show, comic con, technology conferences, business seminars, tradeshows to special events and elaborate wedding banquets.

Wedding Banquet at one of the many KLCC Convention Centre Halls
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/klccconventioncentre/

Inside each exhibition hall or meeting room, exhibitors will benefit from the complete range of award-winning in-house facilities. The full services include catering, professional in house audiovisual equipment, video projection, stage lighting, decorations, stage curtain drapes, screens and on-site support.

The Plenary Hall at KLCC Convention Centre
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/klccconventioncentre/

Before every main event, hosts of events have the option to utilize the “versatile pre-function area”. It’s an opportunity to schedule in large cocktail receptions, create a space to connect with delegates, stage out the registration and peruse the glass-enclosed concourse for branding opportunities where sponsors can introduce their company to attendees.

Open space turned to dining area at the KLCC Convention Centre
Credits – National Tax Convention 2019

The flexible pre-function area faces KLCC’s 50-acre parklands and fountains with a backdrop of the renown Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers – it’s the location to unwind and reflect after taking in information from a full day of buzz at the convention center.

Step out from KLCC Convention Centre, enter the fringe of the KLCC Park which faces the renown Petronas Twin Towers where Suria KLCC is located at
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/hk.rogerp/

Choose how you will get to the convention center, but know that it is accessible by train and road with 6,000 parking bay facilities all within a stone’s throw. The accepted forms of parking payment methods include cash, Touch ‘n’ Go, Visa or Mastercard. Within an easy walking distance of just minutes away, there are leisure amenities that are sure to keep delegates entertained with Kuala Lumpur’s best-known highlights for photo opportunities, plentiful restaurants, shopping malls and ‘underwater experience’ at Aquaria.

The view from above overlooking the Ampang Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/viewfromheavens/

For visitors based outside the usual locality, numerous convenient hotels provide 25,000 hotel rooms to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable. A quick list of choice accommodation options includes international brand name hotels like The Grand Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Ascott, Traders Hotel and W Hotel.

W Hotel on Jalan Ampang stretch with the Petronas Twin Towers in the backdrop
Credits – https://www.instagram.com/fithridahlan/

Most hotels will include a shuttle service directly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The network of transportation links makes it effortless to travel within and beyond the city rather seamlessly. If you are ever thinking of hosting your next convention in Asia, think of the Gold Standard for business, food and entertainment: Kuala Lumpur Convention Center!

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/joshidaniel/

Little Penang Cafe

So, you have just landed in Kuala Lumpur from your drive or flight in. Now, your tummy drums to the beat of hunger. And you long for some local delicacies in the comfort of the cool of a shopping mall.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/belon1986/

Here’s Little Penang Cafe, a place that never fails to draw in a sizable dining crowd of locals and tourists. It’s a popular joint that provides the ultimate fix to savor hawker delights in an Old Malaya themed restaurant interior of colorful tiled walls and high wooden booth chairs.

Credits – Professional Tourist on https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/

If you happen to visit the outlet at Suria KLCC during lunch hour and dinner time, you will likely be part of a long line waiting to get a table. While the queue appears long, it moves pretty quickly within a handful of minutes. But if you are not one for queues, you can skip the line by beating the crowd either by being at the restaurant early or much later.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/kev_loh/

Once seated, you would have encountered first world problems just trying to decide what to eat from the menu. The menu features familiar street favorites from appetizers, mains to desserts. Dishes that have been popular hits have tended to be char koay teow, pai tee, lobak and for dessert, cendol. Though generally, the meals arrive before you can completely hum a 3-minute song. You should be aware that a team of pretty swift wait staff would mean that great food + efficiency may be at the expense of hospitality. But really, no harm done as the crux of it is, that the food is above average.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/bleue_astre/

Selected dishes like char koay teow can have a longer wait time. This is due to the high order volume, which can result in a 15 to 20 minutes wait time. One other detail worth pointing out is that it is possible to adjust the spice intensity of each dish. So if you find you have a lower tolerance, be sure to ask the waiter for a possibility of reducing the heat to a bare minimum!

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/wongahyoke/

The portions of Little Penang Cafe’s mouthwatering dishes are plentiful. It’s the right enough size to satisfy those cravings. Whether you are an interstate or international traveler with no plans to go up to the Northern part of Malaysia (Penang is a 4.5 hours drive) anytime soon, Little Penang Cafe is undoubtedly your closest option for a place with a taste that delivers!

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/takemetofoodieheaven/

If the price is a factor in your purchasing behavior, and you have an inclination for street food served under the humid balmy weather, you might then find Little Penang Cafe on the pricier side and possibly less satisfying than it actually is.

Credits – https://www.instagram.com/katjuhivanova/