For those who are not fans of shopping malls or live north of the island, Queensbay Mall might not be on your to do list. So for the sake of research for Penang Spirit, Suzanne Morgan took a trip to Queensbay Mall and was pleasantly surprised by what it had to offer.
Queensbay Mall is located in Bayan Lepas, close to Penang Bridge and is currently the largest and longest shopping mall in Penang. Spread over five floors, around 2.5 million square feet and 500 retail outlets, a pair of comfortable walking shoes are a must.
After taking two buses, I finally arrived close to midday feeling hungry and thirsty. My first stop was at I Love Vege, located in the Queens Food Market on the third floor.
On the menu are fresh tortilla wraps, Bento combo sets, rice combo sets and spaghetti, ramen and udon noodle dishes. Additionally there are fresh salads and sushi on offer. I like the fact that every dish includes colourful vegetables with at least 30 to 50% being raw.
The I Love Vege salad was absolutely fresh and delicious and the veggie packed tortilla wraps are filling. Feeling satiated, I started my exploration of Queensbay Mall and came across two shops offering natural and organic body care products. The first was Skin Lab.
Skin Lab was established in 2003, promoting a carefully selected range of natural and organic beauty and personal care products. These days many products state that they are natural or organic, but checking the ingredients this is far from the truth. Skin Lab offer a small range of key brands that are certified organic such as Antipodes, Aubrey Organics, Geo Skincare, Nature’s Lab, Nvey Eco, Stem Organics and Trilogy.
Skin Lab is located on the first floor (1F-65). The next shop I visited was Pangea Organics located on the lower ground floor in the north zone.
Walking into the shop I was struck by the simplicity of the decor and product packaging. In keeping with their philosophy of creating a sustainable future, one wall is decorated with used cardboard boxes. Pangea hails from the USA and they source their ingredients from organic farmers through fair trade practices whenever they can. They craft in small batches so they can use as natural and organic ingredients as possible.
I particularly liked their bar soaps, especially the Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom. Not only does it smell divine, but has innovative packaging. The soap is packed in a fibre carton which contains seeds of amaranth cockscomb. The carton can be planted in soil and in around three months it will mature and flower. Pangea Organics are now also located on the 2nd Floor of Gurney Plaza.
Opposite Pangea Organics, is Natural Health Farm, a chain of health food shops with 55 outlets throughout Malaysia.
Natural Health Farm supply organic food products as well as nutritional supplements. I particularly liked this shop as they had products I’d not seen in other health food shops. They even sell bamboo socks which are not only really soft, but are anti-bacterial and breathable to keep your feet cool.
My last port of call was the Aeon Department Store which is spread over four floors. In the gardening section on the second floor you can find potted herbs such as mint, basil, oregano and thyme which have been grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
With bags full of herbs, I made my way down to the lower ground Aeon Supermarket. The supermarket has the most amazing selection of fresh organic vegetables at extremely reasonable prices as well as other organic products.
Other places worth a visit if you’re at Queensbay Mall are Material Collection on the second floor which sells Nukleus organic cotton innerwear and t-shirts. Material also have a shop in Gurney Plaza. For healthy drinks stop at Boost juice bar on the lower ground floor for a refreshing juice or low-fat smoothie.
With my bags full to the brim I made my way home, happy and satisfied with my purchases.
Update: Idealite restaurant has opened on the 3rd Floor, Queen’s Street. They serve healthy and delicious vegetarian food in a clean and bright environment.
Another health food store, BMS Organics will be opening a new outlet in 2014. Located at LG105-106.
Update: I Love Vege is closing for business from 30th June 2014.