Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ben's Independent Grocer

Not content with conquering Bangsar Village, The BIG Group has set its sights on Publika, uncorking a colossal store that overflows with food.

Remember that American game show, Supermarket Sweep, which featured contestants racing through the aisles, attempting to accumulate precious merchandise? Ben's Independent Grocer would be an ideal setting for that.

Highlights here include hydroponically grown lettuce, which customers can pluck & purchase. As the sign at this "Botanical" section says, these veggies are as fresh as fresh gets.

There's everything you'd expect to find (and maybe more) at a superbly stocked supermarket, from wine to watermelons, truffles to tofu, blue cheese to beef jerky.

Even potted plants are available. Prices seem relatively competitive.

The look & feel here are unmistakably BIG, supplying the store with a distinctive identity that links it inextricably to eateries like Ben's, T Forty Two & those other names with which KLites have become so familiar in less than 12 months.

The store is still a work in progress; there'll be a Plan B coffee bar on the premises soon, as well as a chocolate cafe, a cake section & a porky deli potentially called S.Wine.

For now, customers can rest their feet & pamper their palates at a new branch of Ben's General Food Store, located within the 50,000 square-feet supermarket.

Spit-roasted chicken with pumpkin & potatoes. Finger-lickin' good, for sure; a hearty platter of flavorsome meat & fluffy carbs, enough to leave us in a mini-food coma.

We also bought a packet of (halal) French-produced duck pate at the grocer, sneaking it into the Food Store to consume (shhhh!).

Slather some pate over Ben's rosemary-&-sea salt flat bread. Instant gratification!

Pop tarts! Perfect for kids between two & ninety-two.

Spanish Rioja, bought from Boozeit, the wine & spirits purveyor at Ben's.

Would have loved to take this home. But some things, alas, are not meant to be.

P.S. The grocer will be closed this Mon-Thurs (Oct. 24-27) for fine-tuning, so head there NOW if you're reading this today (Oct. 23) for discounted fresh meat & veggies!

Ben's Independent Grocer,
Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
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  1. So, was everything kinda ex-BEN-sive? LOL

  2. Qwazymonkey: heheh no lah. got RM300 slabs of foie gras, but also got RM10 chunks of chocolate. I don't do much shopping, but I think things here cost roughly the same as cold storage :D

  3. I love this phrase: Perfect for Kids between two and ninety two!

    I never had pop tarts before btw...

  4. Ditto on consumption age bracket for Pop Tarts! I remember it as the cherry of quick fixes for that young, dumpy schoolgirl, crushing on the floppy-haired basketball player who offered me nary a glance... but I digress! This is incredibly exciting news! Supermarket shopping gone all sexy!

  5. Michelle: ooo, I think u should be able to find them at import stores. They're mainly popular in the u.s., I believe. Eating good desserts turns all of us into kids again, heheh :D
    Min: ahhh, but look at you now; the schoolgirl got the last laugh, didn't she! I was looking at the wiki page for pop-tarts, and gosh, the number of flavors available is dizzying! It'd take almost an entire supermarket to carry the full range of pop-tarts! I think I spotted eight flavors at Ben's, but that's just the tip of a huge ice-cream sundae! =)

  6. Amazing how they keep ex-BEN-ding... :P

    Love the name "S.Wine", btw. We were rhapsodising about the joys of pork (which we had no access to) all yesterday evening when we were in the midst of the jungle/mountains...

    1. The best rated dish on CNNGo's 50 most delicious food is a curry without any pork. Bad news for pork lovers eh?

  7. Kenny: I'm on a pun-free linguistic diet, so I won't contribute to these BEN puns :D sounds like you had quite an adventurous weekend! eh, but the jungle got babi hutan, right. You just need to be a good hunter to catch one (and then build a fire to cook it) =)

  8. Spanish Rioja, bought from "Boozeit" - its amazing how Ben can come up with such original yet catchy names!
    It's open..!! Oh yay!

  9. Rebecca: heheh, he has quite a talented team working for him, I guess! Though they must be an exhausted team, considering how many places they have to open :D

  10. I'm going to cook for my own but I'm already got myself the truffles, caviar, morel mushrooms all those stuffs...I'm still lack a cod fillet, wondering if there available >.< I don't want cod block as it can be find at anywhere :(

  11. Gotta check this place out... my kind of shopping haven :P

  12. Fui: oooo, i'm not sure about that. didn't notice a fish section, but hopefully there'll be some :D
    Baby Sumo: yaaa, i think i could have spent two hours just browsing through every section, aisle by aisle! -)

  13. hahaha to munkey's comment! And yes! I remember supermarket sweep.. would like to go have a swipe at Ben's place for sure! :)

  14. Ooh babi hutan. You just reminded me of the delectable wildboar curry that the nasi lemak stall outside my place sells... *slurps*

  15. Ciki: heheh, yay, at least someone else besides me remembers that show! i wonder whether it's still airing new episodes in the u.s. :D
    Kenny: aiya, but it'd be far more satisfying to eat if you had caught the wild boar for your own meal. first you need to find a spear though =)

  16. Today I saw the foie gras at Mercato@Pavilion, same brand and also some foie gras in tins such as pate and terrine :p

    Finally I found the cod fillet at Isetan food market, KLCC~~ I can start cooking :D

  17. Fui: good luck with that! I hope it's a success! =)

  18. I've had the pizza and lasagna at Ben's in Bangsar Village, it's good!

  19. Kinson: oh yeah, I agree! They do take a lot of effort with their pizza :D

  20. i got news that this place has opened and was asked to post about this so that I can beat you to it but sadly I was busy and can't check this place out. Ish!! I saw M&M's!!

  21. eiling: heheh, nevermind, it'll be officially launched tomorrow (friday, oct. 28)! and there are still a few more cafes inside the grocer that haven't opened yet :D

  22. was at BIG last night....i dunno why, there's a terribly musty/raw meat odor permeating the place, that made it quite unpleasant. was also disappointed with the RM3 brioche that looked good, but wasnt. anyway, its a nice change from the usual supermarket.

  23. fatboybakes: yikes, wonder whether there might be a ventilation problem. maybe you could mention it to aja. hopefully it's all just teething troubles so far =)