A decently sized mall that’s easy to navigate and has some interesting hidden nooks. Plenty of familiar name brands and fashion outlets from the West, but head somewhere else if you’re shopping for home items.
It’s easy for Sunway Velocity Mall to be overshadowed by bigger competitors like Mid Valley Megamall or even its brother, Sunway Pyramid. It’s for this reason that I had dismissed, even disliked, Sunway Velocity as a mall for a long time, but after my last visit, I’m converted.
I’ve realised that the walkability of this mall is fantastic. It’s big enough that there’s a good quantity of stores, but not so big that you’re a zombie after only walking through 2 levels. Sunway Velocity is arranged in sort of an oblong oval. You can walk around an entire floor, see every shop there is to see, and when you’re ready to move on there will be an escalator conveniently where you need it. This differs from a place like 1Utama, where you’ll always end up backtracking just to check out every store on a level. Or, the absolute worst, when you need to go back to a certain shop to purchase something, and it takes as long as the final Avengers movie to walk there. If you’re not really sure of what you need to buy or want to do controlled circuits of the levels, this is an easy mall to keep track of where you are and where you want to go next.
Sunway Velocity is filled exclusively with well known chains and brands. If you’re a Westerner, you’ll notice a lot of brands from back home. The selection of fashion apparel is king at this mall, even for men. A lot of times we’ll go to a mall shopping for clothes specifically for Mark, and he’ll have about three stores to choose from. At Sunway Velocity, men have a decent selection of shops in varying price ranges: Brands Outlet, Giordano, Hush Puppies Apparel, and Burton Menswear London, to name a few. It’s still nowhere near the quantity of choice that women have, but men visiting this mall will have at least a dozen stores they can pop into.
Sunway Velocity is also big on beauty. Many sought-after brands were conveniently arranged on what I called “make-up alley,” with the majority of the rest scattered nearby on the ground floor. Luxury cosmetics like Dior and M.A.C as well as K-beauty brands like Innisfree and Etude House are all within close proximity to each other to make product comparison easier than ever.
If you’re in the market for housewares, do not come here. There are only a paltry dozen listings in the “Home & Living” category, with really specific shops like A&D Organic Plant taking up space in the category. If you’re looking for items like bedding and bath mats that are above the caliber that you’d find at a Daiso or Domesky, your only real options are Home’s Harmony or Akemi Uchi. SOFFURNI is bedding only, and DZI Kingdom only sells weird voodoo beads and I don’t know why they’re in the Home & Living category in the first place. When it comes to home appliances you’re limited to super expensive stores like Harvey Norman and Buffalo, though you might be able to get something reasonably priced at HLK. If you need furniture, decor or any other home essentials, definitely head to MyTown Shopping Centre just up the road, which has the largest IKEA outlet in Malaysia along with more useful Home & Living tenants.
Really casual fast food like The Chicken Rice Shop and McDonalds are mostly housed in the basement. Proper sit down restaurants are peppered on all floors, with each floor getting a few random options. I found the variety of cuisines when it came to the restaurants a little lacking. The majority of the offerings were Chinese, Japanese or Korean food but that day, I was in the mood for American food. I found that out of the 76 restaurants, only about 14 of them were Western chains serving dinnertime-appropriate food (no cafes, snack or sandwich shops). I’m pickier than most Malaysians as I’ve eaten at all these Western chains back home and wanted to try something new, so you reading this are probably pleased enough with a Kenny Rogers Roasters or Johnny Rockets. We ended up eating at Pomme Frites, a Belgian frites place on the fourth floor.
The Street Food Court: 4th Floor
The fourth floor Street Food Court is the destination for food when you don’t know what you want to eat and don’t want to spend too much. There’s an easy path you can stroll around on to casually check out menus while waitresses beg you to come in and sit down. This is different from the typical food court that you find in malls because up here, it’s all chain restaurants. There’s no plastic trays with food prepared while you wait and a communal drink counter. If you want that, head to the third floor to Makan Makan by Parkson, though personally I found it looked sad and unappetizing.
B2 has no washrooms. Otherwise, there are three washrooms on each floor, except for B1 and B5, which have two. They are nicely spread out with one at either end, and one in the middle. Inside, the actual restroom is quite smallish, but not ridiculously so. There are about 6-8 stalls in each of the washrooms (womens), which are Western-style sitting toilets. There is no toilet paper in the stall, but there’s a paper dispenser right where you enter, so remember to grab some. Soap at the sinks is available, but they’re a bit hidden if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Look for the “soap” sticker on the mirror – a manual push-pump soap dispenser will be under it. There’s an Airblade-style hand dryer, or you can use the toilet paper from the dispenser at the entrance.
Like-Ice! Asia Skating Rink & Kaffehaus (3rd Floor)
If Sunway can cram an ice rink into anything branded with the Sunway name, they will do it. On the third floor is the mall’s Like-Ice! ice rink with an attached coffee counter. It’s not a particularly nice place to enjoy a coffee – there’s almost no natural light and the music from the ice rink is blaring. Unless you’re watching your kid waddle awkwardly on the rink, skip this coffee shop. The rink is populated mostly by children, but if you’re Malaysian and want to try ice skating without the unpleasant cold, go for it! Just try not to get discouraged by the one Ang Moh on the ice showing off.
123 Bake Baking School (5th Floor)
Not many people are aware that there is a baking school on the fifth floor of Sunway Velocity Mall, 123 Bake. This is a completely DIY bake class and self-scheduled, so you don’t need to rearrange your calendar. This unique concept involves you buying a course online – there’s packages for yourself or the little ones – then you head to the workspace whenever you want during mall opening hours for your class. All the ingredients you’ll need for the recipe you’ve chosen are provided, and your instructor is on the provided tablet.
While this is a pretty expensive option for what is basically a Youtube tutorial, if you’re the type of person who finds ingredient hunting exhausting and hates the thought of a bottle of vanilla extract in your home that you’ll never use again, this might be for you. Since you are free to take home your creation after the class, this could be a neat idea for a birthday party or your next group event that you’re planning.
The Commune (5th Floor)
On the fifth floor is “The Commune.” I think it’s supposed to evoke an art commune feel with independent cafes, handicraft shops, and structural minimalism. However, the “independent cafes” are really just “overpriced coffee” and the “structural minimalism” translates to gritty exposed beams and vents in a pretentious atmosphere. The lowbred dog that I am, I probably just don’t “get” art and its aesthetic, but seriously, we saw a coffee shop up here selling Americanos for RM15. I thought artists were supposed to be poor? At these prices, it’s no wonder.
Despite being housed in metal cages, the stores up here have a cute vibe to them, like an Etsy shop. Expect offerings of bags, decorations and soaps… handmade, and at a premium price.
Tucked away in the corner next to the Salad Atelier is a small event space. An easel (what else?) will advertise what is currently on. It changes from every day to every few weeks. One time when we visited, it was an artist’s exhibition. The poor bastard obviously didn’t bribe the right people to get a better gallery space and was trapped up here in a hidden alcove next to the toilets. If you’re up here and you notice an exhibition of someone’s work is currently on, do that person a favour and go in to idly peruse. You may be one of only a handful of people to visit all day and break their boredom.
Address: Lingkaran SV, Sunway Velocity, Jalan Cheras, 55100
Daily, 10am – 10pm
Nearest MRT Station: Maluri
Stores & Floors: About 400 shops, spread over 8 floors
Shop Types: Well-known brands, with the 5th floor hosting independent, artisan labels and cafes
Anchors: Parkson, AEON MaxValu Supermarket, TGV Cinemas