Car breakdowns suck… and they almost always happen at the worst possible times.
As King/Faridah and I were on our way back to KL from our annual Penang #TerribleTwoTravels trip last year, we sulked and hummed ♪ back to life, back to reality ♪, when our car suddenly decided to stop working on the North-South Highway. In the middle of the mountains, trees and all! Also, we weren’t even close to a helpline.
King: Penang doesn’t want us to leave!!!
Me: I know! But… we can’t even go back now…
We were stranded for quite some time before two friendly Abang Polis came to our rescue. We ended up having to wait a little close to two hours for a tow truck to come, and then sat in our poor car that was ON the tow truck with the windows down all the way back home. It took us over 8 hours to get back and it rained halfway. The worst part about it all was how difficult it was to get help! I almost resorted to calling up some friends to shamelessly ask if they could come help haha.
When Joyce was telling me about CARPUT, I just thought about how great it would’ve been if we had known of a service like that then! CARPUT is a free app that connects drivers with trusted roadside professionals who will come and get you and your car safely back on the road as efficiently as they can.
Started by the guys behind The Battery Shop, CARPUT offers services such as on-site battery replacement, flat tyre replacement, tow-truck services and will even rush to your aid if you’ve run out of petrol. The #KinkyBlueFairyTeam got in touch with Mark Chew to find out more about CARPUT and what they do.
KBF: Tell me briefly about yourself and your partner(s).
MC: Eugene Tan founded The Battery Shop in November 2014 after returning from Melbourne. Seeked out a strong core team in Ezra Tay (Head of Operations), Mark Chew (Head of Product) and Mike Kee (Head of Business Development) to bring automotive assistance in Malaysia to greater heights.
KBF: What is CARPUT / TBS?
MC: The Battery Shop is a service that delivers and installs car batteries within the hour. Ever been stuck behind the driver’s wheel unable to start your car? We want to help drivers get back on the road, with great products, customer service and reliability. What initially started out as a website spun another idea. What if we could use technology and the same excellent customer service we stand for to other parts of automotive assist?
Thus, the CARPUT app came along – an extension of The Battery Shop. We envisioned an easier, quicker, safer and more transparent way to call for help when your car breaks down. Instead of limiting ourselves to just car battery problems and jump-starts, we are expanding along the lines of spare tyre replacements, towing and petrol delivery when you run out of petrol (shame on you!), making sure that you’re well taken care in a time of distress. If Grab/Uber is the app for people who don’t drive, then CARPUT is the app for people who drive.
KBF: What are the charges like for your services?
MC: We offer competitive pricing for our batteries, but they vary between car makes & models (delivery and installation is free). Jumpstarts are RM50, Petrol delivery RM50 (10litres), spare tyre replacements RM50. Towing varies and is based on towing distance.
Also – we will inspect your battery, we won’t change it if we don’t need to! Sometimes a jumpstart is all that’s required.
KBF: What are the coverage areas of your services?
We currently service Klang Valley and we’re aiming to optimise CARPUT & The Battery Shop in KL & PJ before heading out to be nationwide. We expect to be up and running in the key cities of Malaysia (Penang, Johor!) in the near future.
Sitka Studio (which sits on the first floor) has a tasting menu which only happens twice a month. The contemporary restaurant is led by Chef Christian Recomio– also the owner of Moonfish Café in Aberdeen, U.K., a popular establishment with Spanish and French influences thanks to his previous stints in Barcelona and Northern France. He cooked at Moonfish Cafe for a decade, garnering it mentions in the Good Food Guide and a constant Runner Up position in the Observer Food Monthly Best Restaurant category from 2011 through to 2014.
Now, Christian has found his base in Malaysia to focus his craft and passion for food, with partner Jenifer Kuah. I’d heard of Jenifer from Joleyn but never met prior to that night, and found her an extremely warm personality (I can imagine Christian going: “And me, what? Cold?” Well, you are definitely very focused in the kitchen till some drinks ‘warm’ you up post-work😆)
Jenifer has been in the industry for 10 years with four distinct restaurants in her repertoire. With Sitka Restaurant and Sitka Studio, both Christian and Jenifer get to work on their vision of putting Malaysia on the food map by making good food from local produce made accessible to as many people as possible.
Proclaiming Sitka Studio a non-pretentious space, the dishes are created from local ingredients that are “caught, picked, foraged or grown within a few miles of Kuala Lumpur with only some interesting products brought in to complement, not dominate.” e.g. the truffle shavings we got to enjoy that night!
Sitka aims to show off the best of Malaysia’s produce by sourcing from local producers and building relationships with farmers, fishermen and milk producers to ensure everything is fresh and chemical-free. The team then experiment with new and traditional techniques like fermentation, brining, pickling, smoking, salting and marinating to present fresh ideas on a plate. Which are delicious. Very delicious.
But enough talking, there’s nothing like pictures of what we actually ate.
Sourdough bread with cultured butter so soft it felt like cheese, topped with fresh truffle shavings.
Sitka had fresh Italian summer truffles which they microplaned over their homemade butter, shrimp dumplings and almost anything they felt worked.
The tasting menu for that week.
Foie gras, cauliflower puree and grape on flattened chicken skin… this was one of my top two favourites that night.
The flavours of the rich foie gras and subtle creamy cauliflower gave a velveteen sheen to the crispy chicken skin in my mouth, which i would have happily nibbled on and praised the heavens for anyway.
Christian told Jun and i how he worked at the legendary Noma, to which both our mouths dropped open.
Tokyo has wayyyy too many things to do for me to sit down and blog!
As it is Jun said my face is always in my phone for work :p
We’ve been out for 12 hours/day the past week and my feet hurt from all the exploring
EATING, SHOPPING, ART, going to Yuck’s gig in a tad!
Most has been eating, i’ve been getting into food comas twice a day thanks to Jun and his list of must-eat places he wants to try