Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Atria Shopping Gallery - Reataurants, Books, & Foreign Workers At A Glance

The old Atria Shopping Center at Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya,  was demolished 8 years ago to make way for a new one called Atria Shopping Gallery which was officially opened to the public on May 28, 2015.

 Exterior View 

The two office blocks are expected to be completed by July this year.

 Restaurants & Cafes


Most of the restaurants were located on the first floor. Let me walk through some of those with you.

Although Wendy's occupied a strategic location on the left of the main entrance, business was very slow.

I was sitting on one of these chairs next to the dining area of Wendy's to take the two snapshots.

In contrast, much more customers either dined or take out their meals in the KFC on the right of the entrance.

I saw 2 Malay women sitting at this corner chatting and their kids were drinking and eating in the KFC. Nothing unusual but it was during the Muslim fasting month and according to Koran, even kids as young as 7 years old are commanded to fast.

Artistry is a cafe which I think is quite ordinary. 

They don' t call this shop as Kampong Kravers for nothing, you know? 

Beside other local food and snacks, Kampong Kravers sold one of my favorites, i.e. curry puffs of various fillings. They looked yummy. However, all the employees there weren't from our "kampong" (village in English) but hailed from Bangladesh, I suppose.

Let's check out the price list. If you think they are expensive, you always have the option of going to one of those "mamak" (Indian Muslim in English) coffee shops.

One of the big players, Starbucks Coffee, was there also.

Hardcore smokers like me would prefer a smoking zone (albeit non-air-conditioned) like this one of Starbucks Coffee. Hey, the chairs were more comfortable than those inside and they put some plants here. I like that.

One of the major rivals of Starbucks Coffee is Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as pictured above.

My goodness! They also "seduced" me with one of my favorite snacks, curry puffs. The spicy chicken puff on the right not only looked huge and crispy  but delicious too.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf  understood the physical and psychological needs of smokers as well. See? They provided a smoking zone although they were stingy in getting more plants comparing to Starbuck Coffee. Honestly I don' t care as long as there's a legitimate place for me to top up my nicotine.

There was a restaurant called Papa Rich on the same floor. I was wondering whether there was a competitor called Mama Rich. By the way, the woman in green skirt couldn't survive without a cell phone.

Mardiner Abdu Rahman was one of the service staff in Papa Rich. He came from Sulu, the Philippines, and a Moro (Muslim Filipino) but he was friendly and had no relationship with the infamous Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

Pamela worked there as a waitress and she was from Pangasinan, Luzon, the Philippines also. She answered all my questions either regarding the food or her background although I didn't patronize the restaurant. She was a nice, hardworking and sincere girl. I like her. Anyway, coincidentally one of my ex-girlfriend was from Pangasina too. Looks like those girls born in Pangasinan are wife materials. 

Well, what did they serve?

Aha! "Chay Koay Teow" (Chinese fried flat rice noodle) looked delicious to me.

Look, they were extremely serious about their "Chay Keoy Teow", okay?

Holy smoke! They really knew what I love to eat, such as "nasi lemak" (rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves) served either with curry chicken, satay, or cuttle fish.

What a surprise! They even served 5 vegetarian dishes including "nasi lemak" in 2 different flavors.

The name of this Nyonya restaurant is self-explanatory. Their specialty is Nyonya food ( a spicy cuisine consisting of a combination of Malay and Chinese ingredients and techniques).

The one and only restaurant that served Vietnamese food was called Pho Vietz. Whether the chef came from Vietnam is another story, right?

I found a Japanese restaurant called Yuu-jo. They stationed neither a sexy Japanese girl or a local waitress to welcome customers at the entrance but a foreign worker.

If you fancy some Chinese herbal drinks or desserts, try this shop.

Money Changers 

There were 2 money changers ran by Muslim Indians here. One  of them was Al-Tamij which sounds like Arabic to me. Have you ever wondered why almost all money changers in Malaysia are Muslim Indians? So, did they give you good rates? Let's find out now.

Not bad indeed as of June 29, 2015. The only thing that depressed me was the weakening of Malaysian Ringgit against all major and some regional currencies.

Books (And Toys)

I'm a book lover (not just woman lover, mind you). However, for many years I have stopped buying books since they were way too expensive. There were new books on sales at a discounted price ranging from 30 to 90%. Let me pick a couple of examples.

My dad bought this book 37 years ago and I still keep it.

My dad only paid a fraction of the price of what it costs now.

My dad bought this one too.

Also it cost my dad a fraction of this price also.

Do you know this guy?  Every Ali, Ah Beng, and Arumugam in Malaysia know him. You want me to buy this book? Over my dead body! Let's see how much it cost on that day.

Don't waste your hard-earned money and time reading or buying his memoirs. If you still insist, I don't give a shit.

What about the the other book as pictured below?

This book is a must read if you want to know how this very capable former leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, transformed his country from nothing to one of the top 5 richest country in the world in a time frame unmatched in human history.  He is one of my most respected leaders in the world if you don't know anything about me.

It's worth every single cent!  Hurry, while stock lasts.

One of the books I would like to read is this one pictured below.

If you don't know what ISIS stand for, I feel sorry for you. Ever heard of Islamic State, Iraq, and Syria? No? Too bad.

What Was Missing In This Shopping Mall?

To me, it's a watery hole. Period.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Volkswagen Roadshow In Atria Shopping Mall, Petaling Jaya & How I Rated A Saleswoman

Did I go to the shopping mall to book a Volkswagen?

It's a sunny and fucking hot Sunday afternoon. Instead of being a couch potato or taking a nap like some of you, I decided to window shop at the new Atria shopping mall in Petaling Jaya. I stumbled upon a Volkswagen roadshow where a dealer displayed 7 models, namely Polo sedan 1.6, Polo HB GP 1.6, Jetta 1.4 TSI, Passat 1.8, Tiguan 1.4 TSI, Golf  1.4 TSI, and Beetle 1.2 TSI Sport.

Since I was there, I thought I might as well take a closer look at those German babes and appraise the salesmanship of the  saleswoman I talked to.

Do you need music for a car roadshow? 


I don't think it's a good idea since it doesn't do a salesperson any good when it comes to sales talk. I had to raise my voice when I was talking to a saleswoman. The music this young sexy DJ picked weren't my cup of tea either and a bit too loud.

If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.

I would say these toys aren't meant for any Tom, Dick, and Harry (or more precisely Ah Beng, Ali, and Arumugam) in Malaysia. You need to belong to the high income group even to get the entry-level Polo.

About The Saleswoman


I didn't take a close-up pic of her for obvious reason but she was a Malay lady in her late twenties wearing a black head scarf by the name of Siti. Here is her business card.

I was reading the price list and a couple of leaflets and Siti approached me. She struck up a conversation by saying, "Can I help you?" with a smile. I told her I was just looking around. She wasn't going to leave me alone after I asked her where her showroom was. She handed me her business card and told me the location briefly.

One thing let to another and I chatted with her for at least 30 minutes while checking the interior of 3 cars. I bantered her a little bit during our conversation so that she would feel more relaxed and she thought some of the things I mentioned were funny. I won't go to the details of our conversation but let me appraise her in terms of her salesmanship, which include but not limited to the following, on a scale of 1 to 10:

(1) Command Of English - 7

I would have rated her 8 if she didn't make the mistake of calling the luggage compartment of a car as "bonnet" instead of "boot" in British English. I pointed out her mistake and told her that North Americans call them "hood" and "trunk" respectively.

In terms of fluency, she was above average comparing to most Malay Malaysians.

(2) Product Knowledge - 5

I expected her to know more about the products than me and highlight the main features of the car and what benefits did the features offer.

(3) Her Appearance - 7

She wasn't an attractive woman ( doesn't matter to me) but she dressed in an presentable company uniform, i.e. long black pants and white shirt. She was wearing a head scarf which I think is unnecessary although she's a Muslim. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't bring your religion to work life.

(4) Digging Info From Potential Customers - 4

She didn't try to ask me some pertinent questions to help me to make a better choice; questions such as:  

(1) What's my budget?
(2) What am I going to use the car for?
(3) Do I have a car to trade in?
(4) Do I need financing and for how long? Etc.

(5) Attitude - 9

She was polite, listened attentively and didn't interrupt what I was trying to tell her throughout the selling process.

(6) The Prerequisite Of Following Up - 5

She did ask me whether I need a test drive but she failed to request contact phone number from me so that she could follow up. She just assume I would call her to ask for more info and/or arranging a test drive.
Overall Impression Of Her As A Salesperson And The Company She Represented

She might not have yeas of experience of selling passenger cars under her belt but she can definitely brush up her selling skills. She was the only salesperson, out of 5 of them, who approached me when I was showing some interest in those prestigious cars.  I don't blame her but I think her superior didn't do a good job in training her.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Movida Restaurant & Bar

Are you a beer drinker who are looking for a watery hole to quench your thirst after a hard day's work in a new, cozy environment where beers are priced below their competitors in PJ? Look no further.

My friend, Paul, invited me to join him and two other acquaintances for some beer in this new watery hole recently. He said the beers there were cheaper than those in Merchant Pub, Armada Hotel. Let's check them out.



It's situated at this new commercial hub called Center Stage in Section 13, PJ. where you can find retail outlets, restaurants, pubs, hotel, and designer suits all under one roof.

Exterior View Of Movida 

This establishment, unlike many others, wasn't enclosed although it's air-conditioned. There ain't a resident band but I saw a DJ inside.

In Spanish, movida means party or social gathering.

Beer Prices At A Glance


It cost RM55++ for a tower of Carlsberg drought and RM100++ for two, i.e. RM7.25 (inclusive of GST and service charge) which I think is a steal.


RM 38++ for a bucket of Carlsberg (5 bottles) and two buckets for RM 70++ which works out to be RM8.12 per bottle (including service charge & GST).


If you think of bringing your female companions to drink here and want to save some money if they prefer drinking Margarita or Blue Lagoon , go there on Tuesdays after 8 pm. Why? Ladies nights, that's why.

Foreign Employees

Just like many service outlets you patronize nowadays, employers are forced to "import" foreign workers since many locals have shunned front-line jobs like this. Movida had employed 20 or so Bangladeshi and Filipino workers at this establishment.

With The Exception Of


These two cashiers as pictured and a manager are Malaysians. I chatted with this cashier (on the right) for quite a while to get to know her better. It was her second day on the job. To be honest, I liked her.

Will I Come Back Again?

You bet. If you can find a watery hole as cozy and beers priced  cheaper than this one, please let me know, okay?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Three Iconic Malaysian Food

I don't know about you but in terms of varieties and tastiness I think Malaysian food should be ranked numero uno in the world owing to the diversification of race, and culture.

Among others, here are the 3 iconic Malaysian food I love to eat. They are not only cheap but yummy too.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak , a typical Malay food, is a  rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves served with fried peanuts, boiled eggs, sliced raw cucumbers, chili paste, anchovies,  sambal and various side dishes. The Malays call it nasi lemak biasa (literally means normal nasi lemak) if it is served without side dishes and it's cheap.

How cheap is nasi lemak biasa? You can get it as cheap as RM1.30 (S$0.46 or US$0.35 based on currency exchange rates as of  Jun 20, 2015) a packet even in cities like Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya sold by some hawkers.

This is how it looks like  after you unpack it and put it on a plate.

Well, for that kind of price, they do cut corners. As you can see, there ain't cucumber, chili paste and anchovies;  only a few peanuts and 1/6 of an egg.

As a comparison, nasi lemak biasa (Malaysian celebrity chef, Chef Wan called it "naked"nasi lemak) served on Malaysia Airline to passengers flying in economy class say, from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, what you get is about the same except you get half an boiled egg instead of 1/6.

What about those served in a cafe or restaurant? They look something like this:


Now, this is a "full-fledged " nasi lemak that comes with an egg, 2 pieces of curry chicken, sambal, 2 slices of cucumber and acar.

Like I say, this is Malay food but ironically, the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia recommended the nasi lemak of Sakura Cafe, which is run by a Chinese woman called Madam Kuan, as the best in Malaysia. The price of a plate of nasi lemak as pictured above in Sakura Cafe cost RM16.9 two years ago. I won't say it's very expensive since it's a famous, cozy, full-serviced cafe located at the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur.

Char Kway  Teow

It's a very popular Chinese food that you can find in many hawker centers or coffee shops. Basically it's flat rice noodles (or mixed with noodles) stir-fried with bean sprouts, fish cakes, prawns, cockles, dark soy sauce, chilli. Used to be fried using lard but not anymore since many years ago for health reason. You just need to pay RM5.50 for the one pictured below in a coffee shop or a hawker center. You won't find this in a restaurant, okay?



Roti Canai 

Another favorite food that most Malaysians enjoy eating is roti canai. It's an Indian pancake served with dhal (lentil cury) or any kind of curry; usually with fillings such as either onions,eggs, or sardine.

You can find this food in all mamak (Indian Muslim) stalls, coffee shops or restaurants. The price starts from RM1.50 for a plain roti canai, i.e. without fillings, in a coffee shop.