Last week, I volunteered to go for the opening party of Ben’s Independent Grocer (hereafter referred to as B.I.G) at Plaza Batai. Joyce couldn’t make it as she was doing her detox where she could only eat one bean a day for a week… KIDDING!
Anyway, since it’s an event by The BIG Group, where usually, no expense is spared… I was mighty excited (as always!) because this would be my very first BIG event (geddit?). I put on my fancy skirt for this swanky supermarket opening and I got Sandra Woo to be my date (because food is her kryptonite)!
When I got there, it rained like mad! I had a panic attack for a bit because my fancy skirt is made of suede and I just flat ironed my hair to perfection! Ahhhh… Silly Baby, it’s a BIG event, naturally there would be guys with huge umbrellas escorting you from your car to the venue. They’d got it all covered!
And as I predicted, the whole setting screamed “CLASSY!”. Guys came in suits and ladies in their best cocktail dresses and stilettos as high as their hair buns. There was a string quartet playing soothing tunes in the middle of the Plan B Roasters and B.Read (bakery area). Uniformed waiters and waitresses were serving all kinds of canapés, wines, champagne, cold-pressed juices and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to serve water that came from the fountain of youth that night!
B.I.G @ Plaza Batai is a new shopping and dining enclave which is divided into several sections- including Botanical Produce (fruits & vegetables), Barn Butchery, Bon Gourmet, Bay Seafood, Malaya Kitchen (local ingredients), Japanese, Dairy & Frozen, Boozelt (Wine) and S.Wine Deli.
“This is what we affectionately call “Little B.I.G”, a smaller version of what we have in Publika and I hope it encapsulates what grocery shopping should be. We traded what’s the best available around the world, put it here in store for your shopping convenience. Now, five years ago, this all seemed like a fairly distant dream. The idea of being able to curate products from around the world and bring it here to Malaysia, that seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. I mean, we grew up traveling around the world and instead of visiting famous tourist places, our first stops were always supermarkets. So this store here is an accumulation of my personal fantasy of what supermarkets should be… for the last 30 years,” said Ben (founder of The BIG Group) during his heartfelt welcome speech.
B.I.G introduces the Eat.Drink.Shop concept where there are plenty of dining options to be sampled before or after you do your grocery shopping. For example, there is Ben’s General Food Store located at the opposite end of the Grocer. This neighbourhood eatery houses a wide array of brands each with their own unique cuisine and expertise from fresh salads, spit roast chicken and pizzas, to a new range of modern tapas, seafood and shuck-to-order oysters.
It doesn’t stop there, people! Beauty & the Beast will also open its doors very soon. Beast is a bar and grill which serves juicy steaks (oh.my.god!), lobsters and hearty burgers. Its partner-in-crime, Beauty, is a sophisticated bar catering to the likes of strong, tongue-in-chic women (KBF ladiiiiies, holla!) who enjoy fancy cocktails and the finer things in life (oh, don’t we all now).
As I walked in deeper into this 17,000 sq. ft. space of utmost brilliance, I found myself stopping at the seafood station where I stood there for a good few minutes stuffing my face with freshly shucked Irish oysters, prawn cocktail and ikura. T’was divine and mad satisfying.
After I was done with the seafood, I ventured towards the grill where they served EVERY SINGLE THING THAT I LOVE!
[Funny story: Before Joyce left the office that day, she told me to text the KBF group chat pictures of food from the event. I didn’t like the idea. But I said, “Suuuuuuuuure…”. So I texted the picture above and got a “Fuck off!”
I managed to make his acquaintance thanks to Suunto.
Before this summer, i didn’t even know what Suunto was. And it’s quite an interesting story about how it’s earned a place on my selectively-curated dressing table.
When i was away in Europe in July, I was asked whether i wanted to receive this Suunto watch. I glanced over the email quickly to judge whether i would actually use it, and read that it could be used to measure exercise like running, so i said yes cos i was planning to start running more.
The watch got sent to my office, i got overwhelmed with work, and then didn’t use it till i was talking to Jun, who’s into trail running. I’d never even heard about trail running before. My introduction to an inkling of its existence happened like so:
Jun: Oh i went for a run today.
Me: Oh nice, how far did you run?
I was thinking, “Isn’t that kinda far for a Sunday jog…” before promptly feeling extra lazy for just watching popcorn time all afternoon.
Then he told me about ultra races.
Me: How long is the race?
Again i’m thinking, “People do that?? Run 100km… that’s FAR!” *imagines a third of the distance between KL and Penang*
And you can’t even reach the char koay teow.
One day, i noticed his watch looked similar to my yet-unused watch.
“Oh! I think i have the same watch as you.” “A Suunto?” “Yes… i think it’s the same one.” “Which one is it? Is it the new one?” “Erm… i don’t know…” “What colour is it?” “Lime green.” “OH! It must be the new one!”
Okkkk calm down. I didn’t know this watch was such a big deal.
I even went online to search up more about its origin.
“Suunto was born in 1936 when Finnish orienteer and engineer Tuomas Vohlonen invented the mass production method for the liquid-filled compass. Since then, Suunto has been at the forefront of design and innovation for sports watches, dive computers and sports instruments used by adventurers all over the globe. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, Suunto physically and mentally equips outdoor adventurers to conquer new territory.
Suunto’s headquarters and manufacturing plant is in Vantaa, Finland. Employing more than 400 people worldwide, Suunto products are sold in over 100 countries.”
So this is the watch i got, the Suunto Ambit3. I finally started using it since i found someone who could set it up for me haha.
Hey, the watch is so canggih i still haven’t figured out all its features yet 0_o
So far i’ve just used it to measure my distance, time, ascent and descent on hikes. It can be used for running, swimming, cycling and multisport training.
I noticed what looked like a fancy lanyard tag inside the box and was told it was to measure my heart rate, which i didn’t see the point of at the time. Can you see how noob i am with exercise..?
THEN, when i was doing my detox at Pure Health early last week, Wendy told me that i needed to increase my low heart rate level cardio (my fave… not) which was the only way i could lower my body fat percentage which has increased by 2% in the past 6 months *thinks of all the food i stuffed myself with in Portugal*. She measured that for my height and weight, low cardio for me would be somewhere in between 115 and 150. I stared at the numbers thinking how am i gonna know what’s the right rate i’m going at?, when DING DING DING i remembered i HAVE a heart rate monitor!
Of course, Suunto wouldn’t call it a heart rate monitor.
For the watch, it’s referred to as the Smart Sensor– which records and stores heart rate (HR), and transfers the data wirelessly to my Ambit3 watch or the Suunto Movescount App that’s already set up on my laptop.
This is the first time i wore it out at Penang National Park! Took a break to make friends with a tree.
A day before leaving for Singapore for It’s The Ship, i squeezed time to book a hotel room for one night for when i got back into Singapore on Monday, cos i was to have a meeting on Tuesday. (Note: scheduling a meeting post-festival is incredibly painful and not something i’d do again.)
I ended up choosing klapsons the boutique hotel, whose reception surprised me by being a giant ball on still water with ambient lights on high ceilings above it 😳 💗 I loved all the funky furniture in there!
HotelQuickly app is offering discounts off hotels in Malaysia till 30th Nov >
1-night stay at RM30 off, min spend RM160 (redeem code DEALMY1)
2-night stay at RM100 off, min spend RM320 (redeem code DEALMY2)
Nothing beats a Friday night fashion party in a Presidential Suite, as thrown and shown by renowned Malaysian fashion designer Melinda Looi.
Held at the Pullman Hotel in Bangsar, I was whisked up to the 27th floor. I expected a few mannequins to showcase the new collection, but when I walked in, there was so much more than a few mannequins.
Before me were many racks of clothing for us to try on, jewellery spread around, beauty products to pamper us with, and food! Any event that happens during the golden hour of dinner time should always have food! And yes, there were a few mannequins too 😉
Premium products from Caudalie were placed on the table, and hand massages available! Who am I to say no to a pampering session?
The masseuse gave my hands a spritz of Caudalie’s Ylang Ylang essential oil before proceeding to massage it in, gently releasing all the muscle strains and giving my hands a nice pull, with satisfying cracks. Quite a nice way to start off an event, and prep my hands to hold as many glasses of champagne as I can!
Did I mention that the penthouse’s bathtub was filled to the brim with ice and bottles of Möet Chandon? #welcometothegoodlife
I met Melinda in person for the very first time, and she is such a warm and eccentric lady. You know how some people give off a very fun and cool vibe, even before you’ve even met them? She was one such person, and I can see how her personality translates into all of her creations.
Showcased were pieces from both the Cruise 2016 & SS 2016 collections, and I spotted several personalities like Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor donned in them. The dress Jaclyn wore (on right below) perfectly matches her hair! I spotted Amber Chia and Carmen Soo also present, busy trying out pieces.
Songstresses Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor.
I asked Ning what she thought about the SS16 dress she was wearing.
Ning: It is beautiful and very comfortable!
Me: What do you like most about it?
Ning: I actually love the fact that ALL her dresses have pockets! How functional is that?
This was a detail most people missed out on, as the pockets are very cleverly hidden. But what Ning said was true, because I checked all the dresses myself! I’ll take her word on the part about being comfortable, she really looked at ease.
Nothing shouts ‘fashion’ louder than a collaboration between two major fashion e-commerce players in Malaysia. FashionValet (also known as FV) partnered up with POPLOOK to create an exciting collection of clothes. Called POPLOOK Premium for FashionValet, it is a refined collection designed especially for FV and gives special attention to detail.
This exclusive capsule collection blends luxurious details with classic feminine silhouettes, and it features soft colours against dark. Following the lead from international fashion giants, the pieces are tastefully embellished with beads and embroidery, perfectly suited for the discerning tastemaker and FV’s affluent customer base.
There are 10 different designs to cater to various tastes, made for mixing and matching so the wearer can dress it up or down easily. Prices are kept affordable between RM139 and RM199, so you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket.
“POPLOOK and FV have always had a good relationship, and I know Maryanne and Joanne (Co-Founders of POPLOOK) personally and we’ve been supporting each other throughout the years. I can’t believe it took us this long to work together!”
– Vivy Yusof, COO and Co-Founder of FV.
And another exciting piece of news here! YOU CAN WIN A WHOLE YEAR’S WORTH OF CLOTHES FROM FV!! Say whaaaaat?! No joke, girls.