My Sundays are usually spent at home, unless if there are invitations to kenduris and such. I cherish my weekend solitude and try as much as possible not to break the habit.
Pak Abu golfs every Sunday afternoon and the two girls usually do their own things out of the house (shopping, badminton, hanging out with friends etc) come weekends.
That leaves me with a blissfully silent TV and two lazy felines for company... a perfect Sunday for lazing around, catching up with my reading and blogging...
Last Sunday, however, was a break from the norm; off to unfamiliar Shah Alam went I, on a mission rarely refused by any woman worth her salt - shopping.
My friend Ayu (pix above), who always turned up wearing such beautiful visor-type tudungs, had promised to take me to her regular tudung 'haunt'.
So off we went to this shopping centre called Oasis 9 in downtown Shah Alam. I can't remember the last time I was in this Section 9 area, now a busy and thriving commercial hub.
If my memory has not failed me, I think I dined a couple of times at Shah Alam Concorde nearby. This must have been some 7 years ago; I was still attached to The Royal Mint of Malaysia then.
At the time, Oasis 9 and the now infamous Plaza Masalam had yet to be built. [I mentioned Plaza Masalam because Ayu and I had kopi at mamak 'Pelita' there soon after shopping].
Tudung Chantek occupies a half-lot on the ground floor of Oasis 9. Across the concourse area is Zam Zam Restaurant, a popular eatery that serves Arab cuisine.
Boutique owner Noor Faizah (Faiz to all) is an old friend of Ayu. Pleasant and chatty, petite Faiz (pleasingly montok is more like it) is as hands-on and creative as could be.
She makes those tudungs and robes herself (assisted by a couple of seamstresses). She also travels abroad frequently, mainly to Vietnam, India and Korea, to purchase suitable textiles and fabrics for her creations.
There are a couple of things about her tudungs that made me give my stamp of approval without much hesitation (and I can be picky as hell..).
It's the meticulous and tidy workmanship with everything neatly stitched and no fraying or loose ends, and the fact that she took into consideration differing facial sizes by having two separate end-stitches at the tudung's 'chin'.
This means one can have any pattern one likes without worrying whether the tudung fits or not because, should it be tight, the shop can unravel the inner stitching to 'expand' it, to accommodate a bigger face.
Also, she has an eye for beautiful textiles and has the knack for marrying a plain or striped visor (some call it awning) with suitably-patterned fabrics. And to maintain exclusivity, she makes no more than 7 pieces from each pattern.
As someone who wears glasses, I had noticed how smoothly the tudung sides 'fall' against the sides of my temple, with no unsightly bulge or 'bubble'. To this Faiz said it was in the contour of the cut itself, which she took special care with.
Tudung Chantek also accepts orders for special occasions such as weddings where family members 'on duty' may want to wear tudung sedondon in addition to the standard corsage.
Best of all, the prices at Tudung Chantek are very modest; tudungs are tagged as low as RM40 and doesn't go beyond RM85 each, while jubahs range from RM55 to RM190. With such fine workmanship, I find the prices a steal.
I purchased two tudungs that day and I know I will be a repeat customer. Ayu says Faiz always informs when a new stock is ready. The boutique also carries tudung syria and shawls.
All things considered, I must say it makes me feel good to be able to share this with you, for the simple reason that we all want our money's worth, and I found mine in this delightful oasis in Shah Alam. Cantik sekali!
Tudung Chantek is located at G.M07, Oasis 9 @ Shah Alam, Section 9, 40100. Faiz can be contacted at 012-258 6453.
PS: I hope Faiz can consider some paisley designs in the future; I'm a shoo-in for paisley..