Home Food 5 Reasons Every Foodie Needs to Check Out B.I.G., IPC

5 Reasons Every Foodie Needs to Check Out B.I.G., IPC

SELANGOR, Malaysia – B.I.G. wasn’t the first to incorporate restaurants into their supermarket, but they were the most effective at it. When they opened the doors to their first Grocer in 2011, it was an instant hit. Considering it was just a means of monetising their warehouse, it’s taken on a life of its own.

A New Focus

Now, with Village Grocer taking over the B.I.G. chain, we’re seeing a concerted effort to make the most of what the brand brings to the table. Their fourth outlet opened its doors in IPC earlier this month, and its clear that they’re taking the in-house restaurants more seriously than ever.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

The new Grocer itself is fantastic. It feels much more spacious and better laid out than the outlet at Publika; and with IPC still under renovation, it’s somewhat quiet (and wonderful to shop in) for now.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

But for us, here at The Binge, the food is what has us. Previously under the purview of the food division, ben’s, B.I.G. has taken an active hand in making their IPC branch a food paradise.

While there wasn’t anything we wouldn’t recommend, this is what’s got us most excited.

1. I Love Pho

The Melbourne-based institution has finally made its appearance in B.I.G., and we couldn’t be happier.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

Vietnamese food has taken on a life of its own in KL over the last couple of years, and no more so in the form of pho (beef noodle soup).

While pho is traditionally a dish lush with beef and beef broth; I Love Pho brings both chicken and vegetarian options to the table, as well. This alone makes it a winner in our book as it gives us more options when dining with those who aren’t keen to beef up.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

As for your traditional bowl of pho, it wasn’t overly flavourful by itself. However, the addition of the various accompanying chilli sauces made it worth every last drop.

Not to mention the delectably rare slices of beef (as it should be) that cook in the steaming broth. We strongly suggest you order an extra portion of beef because it’s just that good.

2. Taps Beer Bar

This is the best thing that’s happened to date. While beer has always been available at B.I.G., it’s never been on tap.

Taps Beer Bar is one of our favourite watering holes, and its presence in B.I.G. is awesome. Now, we can complement their craft brews with any number of nibbles available at the other restaurants dotted around the market.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

Our go-to at Taps is (and always will be) Rogue’s Chocolate Stout. Trust us when we tell you you need this in your life.

3. Salted Egg Yolk Doughnuts

There wasn’t an inkling that this would make it to the list because this writer has never been a salted egg fan.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

Crumbs has an array of doughnuts, but the Salted Egg Yolk Donut takes the cake.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

It’s not too sweet, not too salty; and just the right amount of oozy. It’s a love affair we can’t get enough of, and pairs perfectly with the next item on our list.

4. Excellent Coffee

B.I.G.’s in-house coffee joint, Independent Coffee, is where it’s at. The lack of consistency at B.I.G. in Publika has left us wanting for a while now, and so this introduction has us all set.

With a personal blend of Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans, the coffee is smooth and easy to drink. It doesn’t hurt that they use good milk that’s heated to just the right temperature. No scorched milk for us, thank you!

There are comfy couches right by the coffee counter, so we suggest you grab yourself a cuppa and a doughnut while you’re shopping.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

If you’re not keen on doughnuts, Independent Coffee has a range of cakes and cookies as well. It’s definitely one we’ll be visiting on the regular.

5. Spicy Chicken Wings

This threw us for a loop because we were under the impression these were Sriracha-laced wings. Thankfully not because we’re tired of the less-than-stellar sauce dousing everything these days.

BIG - Bens Independent Grocer - IPC - Ikano - I Love Pho - Malaysia - Independent Coffee - Crumbs - Bakery - Salted Egg Doughnut - Donut - Doughnut - Coffee

Using a house-blended chilli sauce, these wings are spicy and extremely tasty. You would benefit from carrying a plate of these over to Taps for the perfect combo!

While you’re at The Grocer’s Kitchen, and in search of a more substantial meal to accompany these must-have chicken wings; their pizzas, salads, and roast chicken are excellent as well.

For more scenes from B.I.G.’s latest outlet, check out the gallery below:

We were guests at B.I.G., IPC for this review, but that in no way influences the opinions expressed here.

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Arpita is a Singaporean with degrees in law and psychology, adapting to life as a wife and mother in Malaysia's capital city. Between mainlining caffeine, and trying not to get put away for oniomania, there aren't enough hours in the day to satisfy the need for novelty.

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