This mall is functional, not fun. Use it as a place to mildly enhance your Tesco visit.
There’s the classic saying “if you build it, they will come,” but a more accurate quote would be “if you build a Tesco, they will come.” Kepong Village Mall isn’t a mall that just happens to have the grocery giant in it. This is specifically a Tesco-owned mall that allows lesser commercial tenants to occupy the same space and benefit from Tesco’s massive clout – kind of like the popular kid in high school. This entire mall was built so that you could take something as dull as going to Tesco and turn it into a whole day event with lunch, light shopping, and maybe even a movie.
There is no concierge, information desk or interactive map in Kepong Village Mall, nor is there a need for one. You can walk through this entire mall in under ten minutes. The ground floor is a simple linear hallway with short branching passageways that lead to the different exits. Two sets of escalators will be around the corner on your right side (if the Tesco and MR. DIY are on your left). Look for big signage indicating notable tenants on the upper and lower floors to easily find where the escalators are. The sub-basement and upper floor have more of a circular layout so you can walk by every shop and end up at an escalator without having to backtrack much.
The mall’s “website” is a page on the Tesco portal and can be found here. If you scroll down, the Kepong Village Mall directory is separated by category. This list appears to be surprisingly informative, updated and well maintained. Future tenants will have their opening date listed, while tenants that are closing down will have their closing date so that shoppers can visit one last time before the shop is gone. There is no floor plan of the mall available online, so if you’re looking for a specific shop, the only information that is useful to you from this directory is what floor it’s on (SB for sub-basement, G for ground, or F for the upper floor). This isn’t a big deal since the mall is so tiny anyway. As I mentioned above, you won’t have to hunt long for the shop that you want.
The Tesco has such a huge gravitational pull that it’s hard not to drop in and see what’s on offer. Not only do they have groceries, but there are also departments with housewares, electronics, and clothes. The interior setup is a little strange with a half aisle of food at the very left of the store mixed in with housewares and electronics. The middle of the Tesco is dedicated to clothes before transitioning to groceries again. It’s Tesco, so expect a little grunginess, some bare displays with out of stock items, and harried employees that are too busy to answer your questions or man the weighing station constantly.
Tesco’s shopping carts are a serious blast from the past, as they still use the coin-lock system. You pop in 50 sen to unlock the cart from the rack and you receive the 50 sen back when you return the cart. I haven’t seen this technology since the early nineties… I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the same carts from the nineties. I witnessed many other shoppers struggling to free their rusty carts from the line. Our shopping cart had that one annoying wheel that didn’t work. Classic! If you don’t have 50 sen or the strength to separate an ancient cart from its metal brethren, there are also rolling baskets and regular hand baskets you can use.
Aside from food & beverage, telecommunication vendors have a big presence at Kepong Village Mall. Almost all of the island kiosks on the main floor were mobile phone vendors, and it’s a similar situation in the sub-basement. Their glass displays were stuffed with shiny new models of coveted brands like OPPO, Samsung and Huawei. All four of the big telecom network operators had setups here too – DiGi, Maxis, Celcom and Umobile – if you want to shop around for a new smartphone plan. They might be temporary tenants, but TM and Astro had kiosks set up during our visit too.
As for the rest of the retail tenants, you won’t have much choice in where to shop. Depending on the type of item you’re looking to buy, you’ll have a maximum of three stores where you can browse for it. Although, for such an insignificant mall, there are some niche stores such as the Yamaha Music Centre and PRC Bike & Toys.
The fashion at this mall is appallingly lacking. There is literally only one fashion outlet at this time, Vytrade Fashion, and their clothing racks were a mishmash of generic clothes. You’ll have faintly better luck with anything else that goes on your body: shoes, bags, jewellery or glasses, but again, you’ll only have two or three stores for these items.
If you live nearby, then this is a very convenient building. Not only can you get everything you need for the home in the Tesco alone, but there is also a wealth of highly useful services in this building: Pos Malaysia, MyEG, a moneychanger, and even a car wash.
There are a handful of dine-in chain restaurants on the ground floor: Starbucks, Kluang Station (Malaysian food), BBQ Chicken (Korean fried chicken) and Brussels Beer Cafe (Western food).
The upper floor is where you’ll find the greatest selection of casual and slightly cheaper food & snack outlets like Ah Cheng Laksa, Liang Sandwich Bar, Juice Works and Shihlin (Taiwanese Snacks). The food court (Medan Selera) is also located up here where you can get inexpensive pan-Asian cuisine.
The sub-basement level only has a KFC and a King’s Confectionery bakery.
If all of these options bore you, there is the big plaza west of the mall. It’s obviously not part of Kepong Village Mall and will require a short walk or drive. Cross Jalan 7/62a and you can get lost in the many alleys and stumble upon all sorts of worthwhile eateries.
The main washroom on the ground floor is across from the Tesco next to the Kluang Station. In the women’s washroom, the first three stalls were sitting toilets and the last three were squatters. There are no toilet paper dispensers in the stalls. The communal dispenser is located on the small screening wall behind the first three sinks you see when you walk into the womens. Oddly, there is one child-sized urinal, fully exposed and not enclosed in any screening walls, next to the sinks. I spotted the same when passing by the men’s washroom.
On the west side of the building, there is a small garden and playground. If you take the exit next to Brussels Beer Cafe on the mall’s ground floor, you will be right across the street from it. To get to this exit, walk to the end of the ground floor hall to where the MR. DIY is and turn right. Otherwise, you can exit at the Starbucks entrance, turn right and just walk outside until you get to the garden. There is a short reflexology path at the northwest corner (where cars would turn in from Jalan 7/62a), a few benches and a covered gazebo. Although this is just a crappy little mall parkette in between two roads, it’s actually pretty nice and quiet here. This is a peaceful place for a break from the horrible fluorescent lighting in the Tesco. The playground is a decent size, but there are no trees or any privacy from the cars driving past on the busy Jalan 7/62a.
If I was looking at Kepong Village Mall as a place to shop for the items I usually need, such as clothes, shoes, and home items, it’s awful. However, through a different lens – as a place to round out my visit to Tesco – it’s not bad.
It’s compact, so I don’t have to walk far to get to whatever store I need. Tenants like MR. DIY and XES Shoes are shops where I always seemingly need something from and will drop in when I come across them. Since there are so few stores here, I’m guaranteed not to buy too much from the other shops. This is actually good because I’ll likely be buying pounds of groceries from Tesco. The food & beverage options are also quite diverse for such a small mall. Being able to grab a relaxed bite at a chain cafe that I know is good after a long grocery shop is nice.
I’ve seen worse malls. It does look like Tesco tried to make this a pleasant place with its general cleanliness and bonus outdoor garden, but I would never come specifically to Kepong Village Mall for any reason other than the Tesco.
Address: No. 3, Jalan 7A/62A, Bandar Manjalara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur
Daily: Tesco hours 8am – 12am (other tenants may open later and close at 10pm)
Nearest MRT Station: Kepong
Stores and Floors: Approximately 80 stores/kiosks over 3 floors
Shop Types: Food & beverage chains, services, telecom