Tropicana City Mall latest tenant is certainly worth checking out.
Opened 31st March 2017, the grand launch was end of April and I had the opportunity to join in the fun.
The grocer is a new entrant to the growing trend for high end supermarkets in Malaysia. The outlet is on the ground floor, on the same level as Starbucks and located at the end where Kenny Rogers is.
As someone who shops for a food business as well as for personal consumption, I’m a regular at wholesale markets, neighbourhood wet markets as well as hypermarkets.
So when I heard of a ‘new‘ player in the supermarket segment, my curiosity was piqued.
For my food business, price, quality and inconvenience matters.
For personal consumption, quality and variety matters. I’m willing to pay for quality ingredients and I like to have choices.
At Oliver Gourmet, I find that it caters to a bit of both of my personal and business needs, albeit the fact that they do not provide delivery nor an online shopping site for now.
A short interview with Mr Tham, the MD of Oliver Gourmet gave me some insights of this gourmet supermarket.
Tham honed his experience with Dairy Farm and 7-Eleven and has now made the leap to owner and operator of his very own grocer – Oliver Gourmet.
Personally I like the spaciousness of the aisles, the brightly lit space and the well curated displays. The low parking fee on weekdays is another incentive for me to visit.
Oliver Gourmet is a convenient 10 minutes drive from my home and though I could walk to Aeon in 1U, there are some factors that would prompt me to come here instead.
At a glance, the freshness of produce is apparent, be it the greens, fruits, seafood or meat.
Aisle after aisle a comprehensive range of both local and international products were organised and displayed attractively.
The poultry, beef and seafood counters are clean and organised. Customers are encouraged to take closer inspection of the offer, and the staff manning the counters are more than happy to assist.
Throughout the store the use of catchy slogans sets a good-natured tone of the environment.
I like this one – “I rescued some wine. It was trapped in a bottle.”
All in all, Oliver Gourmet is interesting, but what sets it apart from other supermarkets?
Well, here are my personal reasons to visit Oliver Gourmet.
1. Cheap and tasty cooked pork meals!
After the initial launch, I visited again specifically for this.
Unnamed so far, it is merely known as the non-halal dining corner.
I must admit, this swine -indulgence spot is my favourite section of Oliver Gourmet. While the idea of choosing your meats and seafood followed by having it cooked immediately for dine-in is not the first in Malaysia, I think a non-halal version of a “groceraunt” (concept of combining of a grocer and a restaurant) is.
I avoided the lunch crowd and enjoyed a delicious, leisure meal on a weekday at about 4 pm.
The service could be better (perhaps the team is new) but the food was good. The choices were not extensive; nonetheless there were enough choices to warrant a few lunches/dinners.
My nice, thick slab of pork chop was only RM12.90 and it came with a saucer of complimentary sauce and pickled cabbage.
If you need sides, coleslaw, wedges, garlic bread and salads are available with additional charges.
You only pay for the price of the meat and there is no cooking fee. In comparison with another “grocerant ” in town which waived a RM8 cooking fee only IF you order a min of one side, there is no such stipulation here.
BELOW: Paprika Pork Chop – RM12.90.
My partner ordered a BBQ Pork Belly (RM19.90) and it was a juicy 6 – 7 inches portion. Happily enough, the BBQ marination wasn’t overly sweet, which is usually the case for BBQ meats and the reason I avoid BBQ marination.
Here, I truly enjoyed this portion of BBQ pork belly!
Kudos to the cook who cooked both dishes; for the meat was cooked through but remained juicy and tender.
Options: Ribs (RM29.90), Pork Chops, Pork Skewers, terrines and more.
The menu for add-on sides:
I wanted a healthy dish and ordered a bacon salad (RM12.90). This was the same price as the pork chop and certainly not worth it unless you are in dire need of greens. The dressing was almost bland and there were little bacon bits.
Bacon Salad – RM12.90.
For drinks, you can grab your alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages from the chiller or order coffee or tea. We didn’t order any.
2. ‘Oliver’s Tipple Lair’
I don’t think the area is actually called “Oliver’s Tipple Lair” but I’ll just refer to it as that for now.
It seems that the management have not thought that naming specific areas would help customers to refer to them.
That aside, the concept is great.
Walk into this side of the grocer and let loose your inhibitions.
A great day at work? Let’s celebrate.
A bad day at work? All the more reasons to celebrate! 😀
The comprehensive range of wines, beers and spirits are likely to suit every preference and budget.
It is also a wonderful den to catch up with friends or to have a gathering of like-minded members.
Order cheese platters, bacon, pigs in blankets, Jamon Iberico and chow down on burgers and pork steaks as you sip your chosen spirits.
3. Support local produce and reasonable prices
I was suitably impressed to learn that Mr Tham sourced for seafood from Kuala Selangor, for the reasons of freshness as well as to support local.
Mr Tham – “ We believe in supporting local businesses so we choose to source these items locally instead.”
That said, there are imported seafood as well to cater to the varying preferences of customers.
He also proudly claimed that he purposely kept pork prices the same as wet markets.
I cheekily inquire if his “wet market prices” are Selayang market or TTDI wet market range. He had grinned and said “TTDI kind of price range“.
4. Bakery, Coffee and NASI LEMAK
RM3.40 per pack and a coffee plus a comfortable area to sit and enjoy your meal. There is no WIFI though.
Madeline Cafe offers delicious cakes and freshly baked pastries, available whole day.
There are a few tables near the bakery section so sipping a cuppa while you conduct your business is possible.
5. Family friendly and attentive staff
There is free ice cream given out to kids on weekends!
I’ve seen my fair share of adults asking for some too. But really, it is only RM1.50, so if you’re an adult, pay for yours please.
6. HIRING ONLY LOCAL
I know hiring local manpower can be a pain in more ways than one.
I salute Mr Tham for taking a stand on this and for consciously providing opportunities to locals though foreign labour might come at a lower cost. He believes that hiring locally provides necessary job creation and would help to strengthen the local economy.
PS: Oliver Gourmet next outlet is soon to The Mines.
Ground Floor (G-18)
Tropicana City Mall