Thursday, 15 May 2014

Jaya Grocer + Fresco @ The Intermark

As it was a public holiday, my friends and I decided to do some grocery shopping and try out their "grocerant" (grocer + restaurant) ie. Jaya Grocer + Fresco @ The Intermark.  The concept of this grocerant is to allow customers to do their own grocery shopping by choosing from a selection of meat or seafood that has a green sticker that says "cooks for you", pay for the items you selected and then bring it to the grocerant (in this case, Fresco) who will cook it for you for free (you just need to order one side dish with your main meal).

This grocerant, however, is not available in all their outlets.  Apart from The Intermark, only the outlets at Empire Shopping Gallery, Bangi Gateway and Cheras Sentral have this service.

And so, we met up at 11.30am and started our (late) morning with a cup of coffee to get us 'going'...coz you just can't start off the day without a good cup of coffee.  We didn't want to venture too far from the supermarket and, hence, we had our morning cuppa at Fresco....and, boy, was that a mistake!

We ordered an Iced Cappuccino @ RM8, a Hot Mocha Latte @ RM8 and a Hot Chocolate @ RM6.  All 3 drinks were horrible...the Iced Cappuccino was overly sweet without any coffee taste whatsoever.  Even our packet Milo tastes a lot better than this Hot Chocolate and what the heck was that on the Mocha call that coffee art?  I call that a 'smudge'!  If you can't do it well.....don't attempt!!

Needless to say, we didn't finish our drinks (which were left 'half full' or 'half empty' as some would say) and our morning didn't quite get off to the 'flying' start that we were hoping for.  [#Tip: Have your morning coffee at Bonjour Garden (a bakery cum cafe) instead!  That's where we went for desserts and coffee (after our lunch) which I will blog in a separate (upcoming) post.]

We walked around Jaya Grocer (reportedly the largest outlet) for a bit to 'take in' the 30,000 sq ft of space and produce offering premium imported foodstuff to organic products to gourmet cheeses to premium meats and more.

This is Vom Fass where you get to sample delicious fruit vinegars, oils and spirits (Whisky, Cognac, Rum, etc.) straight from their casks and get them bottled for you...Look.Taste.Enjoy.

They seem to have everything from wines and beers to illy coffee to good quality chocolates to even Ben & Jerry's ice cream...and there's a lot more!

There's also a lot of cheeses to choose from.  You can also find imported gourmet cheeses from the Cheese & Gourmet Section.

Soon, it was lunch time.  We went to the Fresh Meat Section first to pick out our meats (be it beef, lamb or poultry) though our favourite is beef, of course.  They have quite a good selection of quality meats from Australian Grain Fed Beef to Angus Beef (Rib Eye, Tenderloin) to Wagyu Beef (Striploin, Rib Eye, Tenderloin) with different marble scores.

We chose the Wagyu Tenderloin (with a marble score of 9+) @ RM46.90 per 100g (the most expensive cut available that day).  Our piece of Wagyu Tenderloin weighed 162g for a total price of RM75.98...a real bargain!

We also selected the Angus Rib Eye @ RM18.60 per 100g.  This piece of Angus Rib Eye cost RM45.38 for 244g which is also a 'value-for-money' buy.

Next, we headed to the Fishmonger Section to choose our seafood.  There's a variety of fresh fish (whole fish or fillets), prawns, squid, crab, clams and scallops.  For fish fillets, you have a choice of salmon, lemon sole and garoupa among others.

We chose the Salmon Fillet @ RM90 per kg for one of our seafood main courses as we all love salmon.  Our 256g piece of Salmon Fillet cost RM23.04.

We also got some King Prawns (M) @ RM65 per kg (and not RM55 coz the price tag was wrong) as our other seafood main.  I picked up 9 fairly huge prawns (though it's stated as medium size) which weighed in at 398g for only cheap is that!  [Note: That's like less than RM3 a prawn.]

Here's our selection of 4 main proteins - Wagyu Tenderloin, Angus Rib Eye, Salmon Fillet and King Prawns.

With our shopping done, we brought our meats and seafood to the chef at Fresco to have them cooked.  Since we have 4 mains that needed to be cooked, I had to choose 4 side dishes as accompaniments.

The first side I chose was the Hollandaise Asparagus @ RM12.80.  The asparagus was nicely grilled, though the ends were a bit woody.  I liked the Hollandaise sauce which was rich and buttery with a refreshing lemon-flavoured tang.

The second side dish was the Baked King Mushrooms @ RM10.80.  The King Mushrooms were topped with fragrant bits of fried garlic and served with some herbed oil...mmm...yummy!

Our third side was the Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes @ RM6.80 which were cheesy and buttery.

The fourth side dish was one of their RTE (Ready-To-Eat) dishes of a Waldorf Salad @ RM7.50 which was not from the menu (unlike the first 3 sides).  They have a few ready made side dishes that you can choose as well and the Waldorf Salad was one of them.  It's made up of red and green apple chunks, grapes, sliced celery and raisins dressed in mayonnaise.  The fruit salad was refreshing and crunchy.

We also ordered a fifth side (later) of Steak Fries @ RM6.80 just for the young ones.  The freshly fried fries were seasoned with salt, black pepper, parsley flakes and served with a cheesy sauce.  It went down well with the kids (and the adults too).

On a recent revisit, I chose one of their RTE side dishes, Coleslaw @ RM7.50 which was refreshing, with a crunch from the white and purple cabbage, and some cornflakes thrown in.

All the side dishes make worthy accompaniments and were (surprisingly) fairly decent.

The side dishes were served first and were quickly followed by the mains.  The first main to arrive was the Wagyu Tenderloin (162g) @ RM75.98 with a drizzle of herbed oil and dark sauce (balsamic reduction, maybe).  I asked for the Wagyu Tenderloin to be done Medium Rare which is the best way to eat this piece of fine steak.

It was cooked to medium rare, though a tad more on the rare side, but I can totally understand why as it's better to undercook a fine piece of steak than to overcook it (coz once it's overcooked, it's a waste of a good piece of meat).  Probably another 30 secs more and this tenderloin would have been 'perfection on a plate' but it was still very good nonetheless.  Although you can't compare Australian Wagyu to (the better quality) Japanese Wagyu, it was certainly good enough for me and my friends.  [#Note: Not everyone can afford to eat the high end Japanese Wagyu.]  The steak had a nice char on the outside and was flavourful (from the salt, black pepper and dried rosemary seasoning), tender and really soft.

Even my friends, who are not used to eating steaks at medium rare doneness, commented how good it was (I'm glad they've finally come round to enjoy eating steaks done medium rare...yay)!

Our next piece of meat was the Angus Rib Eye (244g) @ RM45.38 which I requested to be done to medium.  This was to cater to my friends just in case they may not enjoy the medium rare Wagyu.  For those who do not like their meat with a reddish centre, you can take your steak to medium (at the furthest) which will render a pinkish centre (and nothing beyond that, god forbid!).  [#Tip: If it's a very good piece of steak, it's still best to eat it medium rare.]  Our Angus Rib Eye was beautifully seared, well seasoned and just 'hit all the right buttons'!

After 2 courses of meat, our first seafood main made its appearance and it was our Salmon Fillet (256g) @ RM23.04.  It was nicely seared and served skin side down with a squirt of mayo.  Really fresh fish needs nothing more than quick, simple pan-frying or grilling which leaves the fish with a beautifully crisp skin and succulent flesh...truly delicious!

Our final seafood main was the King Prawns (398g) @ RM25.87 simply grilled to perfection....just look at the lovely grill marks.  Where in the heck can you eat 9 fairly huge fresh king prawns for only RM25?  We were happy ladies!!

Just look at my enticing big gorgeous is that?  If there's one little complaint, it would be that the chef did not properly clean all the prawns entrails.  It would be a big 'no-no' in a fancy restaurant but here (and knowing the price I paid), I'm willing to let it slide.

On a recent revisit, I thought I'd give my favourite fish of all time, the Cod Fish @ RM24 a try.  The freshness of the cod fish was acceptable (although not super fresh) as it came frozen (and, yes, I was amazed that Fresco could cook it from a frozen state).  The fish was flaky and sweet (after grilling) and, at the awesome price of RM24 a piece, I can't complain (at all).

All the mains were simply seasoned (with salt and black pepper) and simply cooked (on the grill), fresh and simple...but yet truly appetising!  If you're looking for more 'complicated' cooking methods with different sauces, I'm afraid you won't find it here.

A word of caution though, you have to order one side dish per protein you choose, so you can't have a combo of (let's say) cod fish and prawns (coz then they'll ask you to order 2 side dishes).  I learned it the hard way....yikes!

My Personal Opinion

This is a place where you'll find fresh food, quality cuts, simple cookimg...and, most importantly, it won't 'burn a hole' in your pocket.  It's worthy of 'repeated' visits if you're looking for a 'no frills' western meal in a 'no ambience' diner/food court environment (probably not the best place to impress your date though but great for families who want decent food at affordable prices).

What makes this place so desirable?  Well, let me tell you the plus points (again)...

1.  Fresh Produce - The meats and seafood are incredibly fresh.
2.  Option to Choose - You get to choose your desired cut (what you like) and weight (how much you can eat).
3.  Reasonable Prices - The prices are 'wallet friendly' (compared to restaurant prices) for the same food.
4.  Cooks for You - You don't need to do the cooking (it's like having a personal chef cook for you).
5.  No Washing Up - Finally, there's no washing up to do (even better).....5 thumbs up!!!

What I loved:  All the freshly-cooked meat/seafood and side dishes and the fact that you get to eat Wagyu without 'breaking the bank'!

What I disliked:  Their coffees were really disappointing!  Just stick with warm water @ RM0.50 or iced water @ RM0.70.

What I could excuse:  Not quite 'spot on' with the cooking (doneness), but knowing the prices we pay, I'm willing to forgive the (slight) inconsistencies in cooking.

I can't wait to return...again.....and again......and again....pretty darn good food without "going broke" that's a "match made in (food) heaven"!!

Update:  17.06.2014 (With effect from 1 June 2014, they now charge a nominal fee of RM5 per item for cooking but the one side dish per protein is no longer a must)

Fresco @ Jaya Grocer
Lot LC-01 Intermark Mall
The Intermark
348 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161 1323


  1. Sounds like a good place to try out wagyu steak. I have not eaten wagyu steak before due to the price so this sounds like a good place to try. Furthermore I have not been to the Intermark Mall. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Same thinking here. I finally got to try wagyu beef coz it's damn expensive elsewhere (like RM200-300+). But, be forewarned though, this is Australian wagyu (which is less superior to Japanese wagyu, from what I know).

  2. no more free cooking... i visited today

    1. No more free cooking? That's strange coz that's what Fresco is all about...a grocerant! Though it's not actually free as you still buy a side dish with the meat/seafood you want cooked. Will collaborate this on my next visit.

    2. You're right, Rosie. I was there yesterday. They now charge a nominal fee of RM5 per item for cooking but you don't need to order a side dish.


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