High class, exclusive and expensive are just a few of the words that locals use to describe Bangsar Shopping Centre – a quiet fixture within the affluent Bangsar neighbourhood. Opened in the early ‘90s, it’s been newly-refurbished and though other malls have mushroomed along nearby Jalan Telawi (Bangsar Village I & I), it’s still a favourite with the local residents. Also known as BSC to residents, the mall features over 322,000sqft of retail space and its portfolio of stores includes international brands and high-end boutiques of local designers. A favourite haunt of fu thais (Cantonese for rich married ladies), this mall’s the retail address for the area’s well heeled.
One of BSC’s defining characteristics is that it greets the country’s annual celebrations with much fanfare, thoroughly decked out with colourful and themed décor. At Chinese New Year the complex had giant red lanterns strewn all over, Deepavali, this year, was greeted with ornate peacock feathers and Hari Raya saw artsy green lamps, among other things, in its outdoor sidewalks. By far, Christmas is usually greeted with the most flourish – miniaturised Santa’s workshops, lots of giant candy canes, an entire concourse devoted to Christmas décor, a section with hampers and candy, and oodles of other décor make this one of the most ornately festooned retail emporiums in the city.
Anchor tenant, Cold Storage, is one of its main hooks as it functions as a well-stocked grocer for the expatriate community and wealthy residents that live nearby. Just outside in one of the two main concourses (between Cold Storage, Dome and Chillis) is a food hall – the O Gourmet – that caters to epicurean tastes with a wide selection cheeses, cakes, an in-house butcher, organic merchandise, confectionary and more. Meanwhile, Amsterdam-based Huize Van Wely has a shop here with a tantalising and mind-boggling array of pricey, handmade chocolates and pastries flown in directly from the Netherlands.
Apparel stores in the mall are a collection of instantly-recognisable marques such as the colonial era–inspired clothing label British India, Hush Puppies, Jim Thompson, Kate’s Closet, Mori Pin, maternity, mom-and-baby specialist Mothercare, Thomas Chan and more. Those looking for outlets specialising in beauty and skincare will be pleased with the assortment of choices ranging from L’Occitane, Dr. Brandt, Clarins, Kiehls, Annick Goutal and The Body Shop to GNC, Guardian Pharmacy, Nature’s Farm and more. Gudang, Janine, Kitzen, Noritake and more supply tastefully-luxurious contemporary furniture; if you’re looking for textiles then Binwani’s, on the first floor, is the place to head to. Parents will be glad to know that their kids are well catered for at BSC – there are computer learning centres, a few hobby boutiques and children’s clothing labels.
Classy without being pretentious, stylish but not overly ritzy, the restaurants at BSC are geared towards the upper middle class and upper class. The overall effect is that the array of smells and sights that assail you upon entry will tempt you to empty your wallet. There are restaurants that cater to all foodie palettes from Asian standards such as Chinese and Japanese fare to Western specialities and a wide array of restaurants that specialise in fusion cuisine. There’s a food court on the fourth floor – Burp! The Asian Food Gallery – an oversized venture with floor-to-ceiling windows featuring views of the Bangsar streets.
The place for comfort food, the swanky Chinoz has an extensive menu of cuisine offerings that are sumptuous and gorgeously presented. Slightly pricy, this restaurant occupies prime real estate at the front of the mall, with an al fresco seating area and an indoor bar area that’s stylish and cosy.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 24:00 Sunday – Wednesday; 08:00 – 01:00 Tuesday – Saturday
- Tel: +603 2284 3390
WIP Café & Restaurant
The devil’s in the details and WIP Café & Restaurant gets it right all the way. The restaurant was recently revamped and now sports a fabulous, al fresco dining area and a luxurious interior. The food is, simply put, a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Its one of those places where staff members feel like friends and, though everything’s efficiently accomplished, there’s an unhurried atmosphere. Plus, it stays open really late – till the last customer leaves, which can sometimes be the wee hours of the morning.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – late
- Tel: +603 2094 1789 or +603 2094 2789
Grand Imperial Restaurant
One of Bangsar Shopping Centres grand matriarchs of fine dining cuisine, the Grand Imperial Restaurant is a classic purveyor of authentic Chinese cuisine. The upscale oriental fare is excellent plus the made-to-order dim sum is certainly one of the best in the greater KL area. Additionally, the plush and posh atmosphere certainly does make the prices worth it.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 22:30 Monday – Saturday; 10:00 – 14:30, 18:00 -22:30 Sunday
- Tel: +603 2283 1118
Twentyone Tables + Terrace
Twentyone Tables + Terrace is one of BSC’s top contenders of the area’s most promising eateries and bars. A much larger version of its sister venture located along Changkat Bukit Bintang, this posh bar has stunning views of the city’s skyline and an open-air concept. Besides a healthy selection of wines, draught beers and selected cocktails, the fare is one of the reasons to head here. Popular with young urbanites, it’s a good place to gather with friends.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – late
- Tel: +603 2287 0021
Kuriya Japanese Restaurant
Another fine dining venture, Kuriya Japanese Restaurant is a swish affair with a stunning avant-garde water feature surrounding the entire eatery. There’s a variety of Japanese fare but it’s the sashimi, mori and wagyu beef that’s truly worth the prices you pay; service isn’t exactly stellar but it’s tolerable.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 22:00
- Tel: +603 2093 9246
Burp! The Asian Food Gallery
This giant food court’s a lavish venture with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views of the Bangsar streets. Besides Malaysian standard dishes, including mamak fare, there’s a variety of Asian specials such as sizzling wok, claypot dishes, eastern Thai curries, Tepanyaki bentos and more.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Tel: +603 2094 7700 or +603 2094 1294
Attractions & Activities
BSC is mostly a high income, family-oriented emporium – but even on the weekends, it’s not as crowded as other retail complexes within the greater KL area. The only exception is when the sun goes down and BSC’s numerous late night joints bring in crowds of expatriates and upper-class locals. The ground floor watering holes see the most action till the wee hours of the morning – WIP Café & Restaurant is especially known for its after-hours drinks and music.
Tech Info/ How to Get There
Four kilometres from the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Bangsar Shopping Centre is accessible from Petaling Jaya using the Sprint or Federal Highway. The most convenient way to reach the mall is through the Bangsar LRT station – located along Jalan Bangsar – on Rapid KL's Kelana Jaya Line. Bus services that run to Bangsar Shopping Centre include bus 621 and 634 from the Bangsar LRT station; from KL Sentral bus 309 (operated by Triton Commuter) runs to BSC along Jalan Maarof.
Bangsar Shopping Centre
- Address: Bangsar Shopping Centre 285 Jalan Maarof, 59000 Bangsar, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2094 7700