Starling Mall Fresh Green Lung Damansara Uptown
There are lots to eat and do in Damansara Uptown besides queuing for Nasi Lemak, I’ll go shop at the Starling Mall. But when hunger pangs call, I forget the other reasons. I worked and lived there in early 2002 for a number of years. One of our favorite places to hang out apart from the malls was Bangsar, Uptown and for me, a loud resounding vote for Brickfields!
Sometimes, I’ll take a quick jaunt or two to check out some old favorites and to discover with glee, a new place to eat and hang out. Having friends who enjoy a day out with a Tasty Blogger (ahem) is over the top great. These friends will pack my day with a 2-hour feeding if they could. Little fish has very low resistance to coffee, anything chocolaty, ‘lemak’ (creamy) and deep-fried bits of dough.
Worst still everyone knows my soft spot for SPICE!
We headed to an old haunt. Damansara Uptown.
After mega uplift, Petaling Jaya’s Damansara Uptown, this commercial square in SS21 continues to attract huge volumes of traffic crawls, congestion and lack of parking space. In the past decade, I think the number of eateries has probably reached over 100. A quick check on Google shows there are 14 banks strategically located in the hub.
With a growing working population, day and night diners, weekend shoppers; it’s easy to see how congested the commercial area can get.
In the 1990s, Damansara Uptown was a popular spot for Chinese kopitiams, street hawkers and strangely, lots of bicycle shops. It was a popular watering hole with pubs and car workshops. The landmark then was The Ship restaurant which remains popular for the best steaks in town. The buildings were low rise and traffic jams were unheard off in Damansara Uptown.
For most foodies, they will remember the tasty nasi lemak and Chee Cheong Fun there.
I remember the open air food court in the middle the main commercial center of Damansara Utama.
This is the location of the fresh new Starling Mall. Located in SS21, Petaling Jaya, this new 5-story mall is a welcome change to an aging commercial neighborhood with plenty of eateries.
Damansara Uptown suffers from bad parking habits of the people working around here. The roads are notoriously congested. Everyone seems to prefer to park on the roadside curbs rather than utilizing the ample parking in Starling Mall. There is car parking in the underground basement and upper levels in the mall.
When I look around the area looks better and cleaner. Starling Mall is quieter than the mega malls in the city center. It’s new functional and has a nice “Taiwanese” feel to it. The layout is good and the designer has given much thought to the minute details that are appreciated. There is a popular supermarket for groceries. Overall the mall is convenient and brightly lit with ample car parking.
Most of the malls have cookie cutter branded retailers. I didn’t shop much that day. However, I wasn’t bored walking around. The shops are the mid-market range. It feels just right for the predominately English speaking neighborhood.
The Starling has a nice spanking new cinema with good sound effect and comfortable seats. The size of the cinema is similar to TGV Cinemas.
There is a nice herb garden on the upper roof terrace of the mall just outside the cinema with superb views. The open-air park is planted with all sorts of edible herbs. Herbs Vegetable Seeds can be purchased easily online. The park is shady with a good area for communal seating. The only thing lacking is refuse bins around the park. However, there are plenty of recycling bins as you step into the mall.
There are lots of eateries to try. We had two meals at the Starling, one in the Food Court and another at Go Noodle House. The Food Court is spacious and the tables are well arranged. You won’t feel hemmed in. We enjoyed a nice little corner for a chat without disturbing other diners. Neither were we distracted by any noise. Steph shared that she could sit comfortably to check her email whenever she drops by.
Clean Well Maintained Washrooms
Huge plus points to the management for clean, dry and well-maintained washrooms in Malaysia. I smiled when I saw the tiny red Starling bird on the mirror in the washroom. The Mall takes its name from the Starling bird so the bird is a motif in the decor. There was decor of birds (Starling) on branches, the hanging signs for lifts, from tree trunks and even branches. There were even “wooden” shelves hung from ropes in each toilet cubicle.
Even something simple like the male and female toilet signage is stylized. All these details take the cue from “The Starling. The Mall in a Park” slogan.
The overall feel of the mall is a beautiful and poetic place.
Starling mall is relatively new. Perhaps other amenities are being procured and installed. We look forward to more benches along the corridors and ATM machines.
We note that there are no popular fast food chains here which may turn out to be a boon for the mall. This will allow local brands and entrepreneurs to take up independent eateries and bakeries.
The Starling mall is new and has a light feel. The herb garden is a nice green lung for residents and shoppers to enjoy. Access to the mall is easy with plenty of parking spaces. With a good mix of F&B outlets and linked to Somerset Suites, this is a great mall to spend a weekend into chill and shop.
the Starling | Shopping Mall
6, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening hours 10 AM to 10 PM