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Kedai KL, Mahsa Avenue – An Artisanal Marketplace for Homegrown Creatives

If you’re looking for a place to hangout over the weekend that isn’t a crowded, cookie-cutter mall, drop by at Kedai KL, a cool hidden gem tucked within Mahsa Avenue in Petaling Jaya. A project by Mahsa Group (which owns and runs Mahsa University nearby), the artisanal market was launched in late 2019 as a space to “bring local entrepreneurs, artists, makers and designers together under one roof”, whilst also giving visitors a curated retail and lifestyle experience.

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Please watch my video and subscribe. I spent six hours making this. D:
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Kedai is located at Block B, and spans two floors, on levels two and three. Inspired by the concept of a street market, the spacious centre court (called The Lorong, or ‘alleyway’) hosts cosy beanbags and low tables and chairs that are perfect for lounging. On weekends, the space is used for pop-up booths, bazaars and activities.

There are about 60 shops at Kedai, mostly featuring homegrown products and businesses; you can find a hodgepodge of products and services here, from shoe shops to stores selling accessories and clothing, chic cafes, a tattoo parlour, a creative workshop space, a digital art gallery, and more. The shops are all really tiny by the way, measuring between 220 to 440 square feet.

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Window display at Mossybola Kokedoma, which sells decorative indoor plants

Social media has changed many aspects of our lives, including how and why we travel – and the last couple of years have seen a rise in “Instagram destinations” – places that are designed to be aesthetically pleasing for the Gram (because Malaysians are obsessed with taking photos). Kedai is one such place: you’ll be hard-pressed to find an ugly corner. The folks at Kedai know this too, and they actively encourage visitors to take lots and lots of photos.

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One of the shops that I found really interesting was Lampu.kl, because it was essentially a showroom with no staff. The shop sells customized neon lights, and there are a couple of setups within where visitors are encouraged to take selfies with. Next to the neon signs are QR codes that you can scan for more info on the pieces, as well as the price. Of course, you can find their social media handles on the posters around the room. Maybe this is the future of shopping.

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Shops are laid out in a rectangular grid, which makes the space easy to navigate. The corridors on the top floor are rather narrow, though. Fine if there aren’t too many people, but it might be difficult to maneuver through when crowded.
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A pink staircase and elevated walkway connects the two floors, and there are dozens of fairy lights hanging from the ceiling. Definite Insta fodder. Unfortunately, I did not have an Instagram boyfriend on hand during my visit.

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You’ll find lots of Japanese-themed decor outside Kai Tattoo House, including a Japanese woodblock print of two cats at the entrance.
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Reka is an artist space that regularly hosts creative workshops.
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At the far end on the 3rd floor is a Digital Art Gallery. The space showcases new media art from promising new media artists in the region. There was an audio visual exhibition going on called Guli, so I popped in for a peek. Entry was RM8. The show was basically a collaboration between local multimedia artist GrassHopper, who made the visuals, and musicians Iwan and Gan, who created the accompanying soundtracks.

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All that walking made me thirsty, so I got takeaway from Degree. They specialise in Dalgona drinks. Prices are very reasonable – my Dalgona milk was only RM7.90.

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Dalgona Milk – fresh milk with dalgona toffee. The toffee has the crumbly texture of honeycomb candy; you stir it into the milk and it melts, creating a sweet and refreshing beverage.
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I was actually surprised that the place was relatively empty during my visit, especially since it was a weekend. My guess would be that not many people know of the place yet; it opened late 2019, then there was the whole pandemic and movement restrictions throughout most of 2020.

KEDAI.KL is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10AM – 6PM. You can park within Mahsa Avenue for RM5, but do note that parking spots are limited.

KEDAI KL

Block B, Level 2 & 3, MAHSA Avenue Jalan Universiti, Off, Jalan Ilmu, 59100 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM (*I made a mistake in my vid, it’s 10AM, not 11).

https://www.mahsaavenue.com/kedai/index.html

AC/DC Lane – Melbourne’s Tribute To Rock And History

One of the things I like most about travelling is exploring neighbourhoods solo.Experience has taught me that when travelling in a crowd, everyone has diverse interests, so walking around on my own gives me the freedom to focus on things that I like, without feeling rushed. That being said, it’s also important to be alert, since you are in a foreign land – but I felt super safe walking around Melbourne during the day, as there were lots of other tourists.

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I touched a bit about Melbourne’s laneways in a previous post, but let me take you down the city’s most popular one – AC/DC Lane.

Laneways have a long history, dating back to Melbourne’s early days during the Gold Rush. Narrow and often flanked by old brick buildings with walls sprayed over with colourful graffiti, the laneways were built as quick thoroughfares for horses and cargo. They quickly gained a reputation as slums, before gentrification saw it being filled with cool eateries, bars, cafes, indie shops and more. AC/DC Lane, formerly Corporation Lane, is one of these.

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Named after Australia’s most successful rock band, AC/DC Lane reflects its rock n’ roll roots. Both sides of the street are plastered over with colourful posters, band and gig announcements, alongside rock n roll / music-themed mural art.

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The star of the lane is Cherry Bar. Opened in 1999, it was a popular venue for rock bands and their crew, including Airbourne and Jet, both of whom wrote songs referencing the Cherry. You can say the Cherry Bar is to Melbourne what The Cavern Club is to Liverpool.

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Take your time checking out the fantastic street art on the lane.

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Bonus: View from the hotel room on Collins. Now this is a view I’d gladly get up early for!

 

Kafe Skrin, Kuala Lumpur – A Movie-Themed Cafe

[UPDATE] THIS RESTAURANT HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED. 

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You’d think that having to brave the horrific daily jams from Mon-Fri would keep people at home on weekends, but nooooo. This is why I hate going to KL on Saturdays. I’d still be at home having a nice long sleep if it weren’t for the fact that I was emceeing (again) for one of our company events at KafeSkrin @ Ukay Boulevard, Ulu Kelang.

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A favourite among the local celebrity crowd, KafeSkrin is a chic movie-themed restaurant. They even have their own ‘theatre’ where guests can enjoy their food while watching their favourite movies! The area, which looks exactly like a cineplex hall, has posters of classic films (both local and international) papering one side of the wall.

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Just like a real theatre! Notable actors, producers and film industry heavyweights often have their functions and launchings here. You can’t tell from the pic, but the area between the seats is quite spacious and there are tables there for you to put your food/drinks on.

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Outside, the regular dining area is no-less stylish. Loads of movie paraphernalia, souvenirs and posters everywhere. There’s a cosy couch area flanked by a Stormtrooper and batman, while the table is littered with film-related books and magazines.

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Classics!

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Spacious and cool-looking. Hipster fodder.

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The ‘bar’ counter (I call it a bar, but they don’t serve alcoholic drinks since it is a halal establishment) is made to look like a movie concessionaire, complete with popcorn and soda machines.

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More movie posters; some are super vintage.

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We did the prize giving in the theatre room. Hampers by Mamee! Played some games with the participants, group photo, etc.

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The cafe’s management were so kind to provide us with a simple lunch: fried meehoon, garlic bread, chicken nuggets and spicy chicken drumettes (these were bomb! Crunchy and crispy, with a spicy kick and juicy and tender on the inside).  We also watched Jurassic World while having the meal. 🙂

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I would like to come again to try some of their food and soak in the cool ambience, if the place wasn’t so far away from my house. But hey, never know when I’ll be in the neighbourhood so let’s keep our fingers crossed. 🙂

Kafe Skrin 

No 9G, Jalan MRR2,

Ukay Boulevard Ulu Kelang, 68000,

Selangor, Malaysia

Open: 9am – 11pm