Ben's Independent Grocer

October 23, 2011

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.