When I received a media invite in my email to attend the opening of LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC), I immediately jumped at the opportunity and sent in my RSVP. I’ve driven past the building a few times and I remember asking my sister if she knows what the building was about. After all, it is sitting over where the Pudu Jail used to be. Eventually, I found out that it is supposed to be a shopping mall and a famous one at that.
A joint project between the Mitsui Fudosan Asia (think Mitsui Premium Outlets) and BBCC Development Sdn Bhd, LaLaport BBCC aims to be the new centre of attraction for Malaysians and later on, tourists. Branded as a lifestyle shopping mall, LaLaport BBCC is Mitsui’s second international location after Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport Shanghai Jinqiao and one of LaLaport’s largest commercial facilities in the world.
My Experience At LaLaport BBCC
On the 20th of January, I found myself driving to the much-acclaimed shopping mall in the morning as there was an opening ceremony before the doors were opened to the public. It was held at the WOW Plaza which is located at the centre of the Gourmet Street. I was quite nervous as it was my first time being invited to anywhere as the “media” but thankfully, the entire process was a breeze. After signing in and receiving some door gifts, everyone was allowed to enter the mall and walk around.
My first impression was how much I liked the space – the walkways are wide and well-lit; the use of open space and glass walls gave off a very clean and unrestricted vibe. Centred around a “modern simplicity” and “Japanese flavour” design concept, you will find the architecture, colours and even the furniture reflective of their concept.
Here’s What To Expect at LaLaport BBCC
1. Expensive parking
But that’s expected of a shopping mall in the city. The rate is RM3 per hour and take note – there is no maximum charge, so don’t go parking your car there overnight. Good news is that the mall has a direct pedestrian connection to the Hang Tuah LRT station as well as being within 5 minutes’ walk of the Merdeka MRT station.
2. A lot of walking
The building doesn’t look that big from the outside but do not be fooled. The mall is approximately 82,600 sqm with a total of 10 floors and around 400 stores. I was tired after 1.5 hours of walking and I probably covered a quarter of the mall. But the wonderful thing that I personally liked about a huge mall meant that the stores do not have to skimp on space. When I walked into Mr DIY, I was happy to be able to browse to my heart’s content without worrying that I was hogging the aisle or getting frustrated that I was blocked by someone contemplating which air freshener to buy.
3. Instagram-worthy spots
With a focus on a modern but naturalistic theme throughout the mall, there are many spots at LaLaport BBCC that make for good picture taking. There is the central rooftop garden that provides a 360 view of Kuala Lumpur including the perfect spot to take picture with our future landmark and the world’s second tallest building – the Merdeka 118. There is also the staircase (known as the Grand Steps) at the entrance of the mall that is lit with colourful LED lights which would make for creative photos at night.
4. Never before seen brands/outlets
With the opening of LaLaport BBCC in Malaysia, there are also a lot of new names that we can expect to see inside. Here are some of them which have already opened to customers at the time of my visit:
- Nitori: Dubbed as the Japanese version of Ikea, Nitori is a furniture and interior design speciality store with more than 640 stores all over Asia and the United States. They are also known for their collection of cool bedding under the N-Cool series which is very suitable for the hot weather we face in Malaysia.
- Nojima: A well-known digital and home appliance specialty store in Japan, this is their first ever store in Malaysia. You can expect to find top-quality products with attractive pricing along with expert consulting services to ensure your needs are met.
- Matcha Eight: Created in an exclusive partnership with Michelin-starred Master Chef Takuji Takahashi – Matcha eight specialises in artisanal and 100% natural Japanese tea ice-cream made with the finest single-origin tea powder imported from Kyoto. They serve different levels of matcha richness, so it’s definitely a must-visit for matcha lovers. (Psst… check out other places where you can enjoy matcha desserts here!)
Other shops, eateries, and brands that we can look forward to (that caught my eye) are:
- Coo & Riku: The largest pet shop in Japan, they will be opening an outlet at LaLaport BBCC with an attached cat café in collaboration with Puchy Marry. Cat lovers will be delighted to know that Puchy Marry will have four different themes and about 50 types of cat breeds for you to coo over.
- DONQ/Mini One: DONQ is a popular Japanese bakery chain that was founded in 1905 with over 100 outlets in Japan and branches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Thailand. Mine One which was established under DONQ are known for their mini croissants which I am already very much interested in.
- Star Child: A Japanese nursery with 40 childcare facilities across Japan, they will be bringing newly developed education content and their original teaching methods named WALLET to our shores.
- Nitinagin & Co: Experience Malaysia’s first indoor Thai Floating Market which will be offering all types of Thai street food, Thai products and even a famous Thai dessert café.
A lot of the shops weren’t open yet when I was there. It will take some time before it is running at full capacity. However, you can always drop by for a visit to snap some shots and test how much richness you can take in your matcha ice-cream. Follow their social media pages to keep up to date!
Enjoyed this write up on LaLaport? You may be interested in this too: