Sunday, October 23, 2011

Publika : a place for expats with kids?

After visiting Solaris Dutamas twice few months ago, I swore to myself that I will only go back once it is fully ready or if I hear good reviews about it. Parking was hell and chaos, no signage and one will get lost trying to find a restaurant.
Today's visit was a surprise as the place is almost all done up, with proper parking and signages. I walked around and didn't really like the Eat Food Village at Publika (not as high end as it should be, I think that was the initial plan). We opted to have lunch at Edo Ichi Japanese restaurant. Food was okay, a bit on the salty side. Service was good though. Total bill for 3 adults was at RM134.20 (3 lunch sets, plus salmon sashimi ala carte). I think if I will have my next Japanese craving, I would rather go back to my all-time favorite Mizu at Bangsar Village 1.

We walked around after a heavy lunch and pleasantly found that Gymboree is open and free to kids who want to play. No fees, just walk in and play ...valid until Nov 4 2011. As we walked towards the Park area, we saw the good location of Marmalade which has a good outdoor view. Seeing that they have a kids play area, we took Alexandra with us and had coffee there. Another pleasant surprise was that marmalade was giving free cupcakes for dine-in customers ( I guess this is because the place is new and they are trying to get more customers). For expats will children, I will highly suggest bringing them here for a good meal or coffee chat while kids are busy.

Overall, for all expats and locals with kids,I would highly recommend a trip to Publika for some good food, running around, and kid-friendly place. Once everything is fully open I think this place will be superb! So glad we live just nearby!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Village Grocer vs Jusco and Mercato

In view of recent changes (full time mom), I started taking note of prices at the groceries. It has been a while since I got this detailed, and I was shocked at some of the prices of goods!

Most people associate Jusco with low price, just as I did. I discovered thatbin fact The Village Grocer (1 Mont Kiara) is somehow cheaper than Jusco. The bonus of going Village Grocer: free parking if you purchase RM 100 and above, less crowd and really wide aisles. Jusco can be a killer place on weekends and you will NOT want to be there with a baby stroller (pram).

The Drypers diaper (XL size) is RM 38 at Village Grocer while it was at RM 42++ at Jusco and Mercato! That is huge if you have to use tons of diapers!

Today I found out a huge shocker after visiting Mercato (Plaza Damas Hartamas Shopping centre). The gold label organic all-purpose flour was RM 17.99 while I bought it at Village grocer for RM 29.90!!! the difference is too much so I gave Village grocer a call to report this. They said they will call me back and investigate this matter. Let's see if they really call back.

Apart from the imported organic flour, the rest of the stuff like butter, Kraft shredded cheddar cheese, cheese (Danish baby cheese stick), and diapers were much cheaper at Village Grocer.

Overall, I had the perception that Village grocer is premium (due to it's outlet at Bangsar Village) but it turned out okay. I just hope they do something about that darn flour. They do carry quite a good selection of imported stuff that we like and need.

Anyway, I am sure in the end if one will average out the savings from different grocery stores maybe it will just balance out?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Big bad wolf book sale: my experience

Today I got into something I was not totally ready of. After leaving my leisurely Bangsar lunch, I decided to check out that Big Bad Wolf sale which my friend mentioned. Armed with my GPS, myself, maid and baby headed towards Serdang. In my 5 years in Malaysia I have never been to that far off area and the drive was full of unfamiliar sights, buildings and hiway. The surprise was not the distance of the place, but the fact that I had to park my car and take their shuttle in the glaring afternoon hot sun of malaysia...especially as baby was sleeping in the car! Wow, I had no choice but get down and ride the shuttle (which was good service and clean). As I sat there clutching my shocked baby I thought to myself "this better be worth it!"

After an hour and a half walking, we did end up with a handful (ok more than handful) of books which were really at prices beyond imagination. It was especially timely for me as I had to buy 30 children's books to give away during my daughter's birthday next month.

Will I go back? No way. It was far and hot. Will I go back without the baby? Well I don't think I'm desperate to buy books at the moment (now that I bought some today). Do I recommend this to other people? Definitely "yes!" especially if you won't be bringing your babies with you.

best of luck and hope you get a good deal!

The Big Bad Wolf Sale which is very far from Mont kiara and Bangsar!

Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang

Tingkat 1, Block B, Bangunan MTBIC, Ibu Pejabat MARDI,, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

BANGSAR VILLAGE still great for mommies and babies

Now my daughter is almost two, we still find Bangsar Village an ideal stop especially if you don't have a maid. This is the second time I went on an adventure while the maid had to be sent to the dentist. The drive to Bangsar is easy, and it will be even smoother if you have the Bangsar Village card which allows access to parking without having to pay for a ticket nor pay at the machine when you exit.

As I brave the little adventure, we spent an hour at KidzSports where she ran around (exhausting energy) and worked up an appetite. Right acrossthe play place is Fit for 2, a kid friendly place which you would want to check out especially new moms. The food is good. There is a play corner for babies. Free diapers if your baby is still small (6months). Lots if toys to keep them busy while you check tour Facebook or order food. Right now as I am typing this entry, she is sitting in the high chair watching My Little Pony (on ipad2- another tool a mom must have).

As I take small brave steps toward going out with Alex without the maid, this is the safest bet. Plus the other wing (Bangsar Village 1) has a Toys r Us shop where you can splurge or do window shopping with baby to keep them busy.

For pregnant women, do check out the classes at Fit for 2 because this will really make you feel fit and better while pregnant. I really enjoyed my classes back then.


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