The physical retail market might be crumbling from the fierce competition of e-commerce sites but there’s something sensorial, still, about walking into a well-stocked supermarket. A grocery trip is more than a transaction. More often than not, customers linger because of the comfortable atmosphere; the visually arresting goods; the chance to pick up, say, a cuppa from a pretty coffee bar in the vicinity, and then – since we live a life so mediated by the digital – Instagram that they were there. A vibrant, colourful vegetable arrangement attracts customers as effectively as a fashion window display.
Nestled within the dining floor of Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, ATLAS has orchestrated an inviting consumer experience, rounding up ingredients from around the world and showcasing them through ATLAS Gourmet Market, ATLAS Bistro and ATLAS Pizzeria.
ATLAS Gourmet Market
It’s easy to get carried away at this gourmet market teeming with a melange of fresh vegetables, fruits (we spotted a square watermelon on the opening day), imported Greek yoghurts and organic juices. The shelves, lined with offerings such as Kusmi Tea, Venchi Chocolate, Oritz El Velero olive oil, Fattoria balsamic vinegar aged 25 years DOP, Poseidon sea urchin roe and Kaviari caviar, would make proud additions to an aspiring chef’s pantry. Those who have dined at master chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s two Michelin-starred Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, would be pleased to know that some of his gourmet products, including the nori vinegar seasoning and oyster vinaigrette, are available here too.
The art of buying from a butcher is not lost as the gourmet market offers prosciutto, ham and fine meats from Australia, New Zealand and Japan, all of which are selected by master butcher and general manager, Daniel Greig. And if you need some cheeses for your charcuterie platter, the selection at Wholly Cheese – reportedly the biggest cheese room in KL – features at least 40 varieties from Holland, France, Switzerland, Italy and the UK. Need some wine too? Don’t be intimidated if you don’t speak the lingo – a dedicated sommelier will help you pick out the best bottles for different occasions.
Nothing sums up a good grocery experience better than a charity element thrown in. All the shopping baskets are woven by Penan Women Project, an initiative by the Miri Women Weaving Association (MWWA) to help Penan women in Limbang and Miri get out of poverty. You’ll also find rice and condiments by Langit Collective, a social enterprise that aspires to bring economic empowerment to rural communities and smallholder farmers, as well.
Riding the ‘grocerant’ trend, ATLAS has also added a bistro within the gourmet market, which sells freshly cooked meals made with ingredients sold at the premises. Decked out with long tables and warm lights dangling overhead, the bistro caters to busy families who might relish a simple pasta brunch or an elaborate Sanchoku wagyu steak experience.
What defines a good thin-crust pizza? Cracker-thin crust, cheese to the edges and a punchy sauce? Now, think of all that, but with the aromatic zest of bunga kantan. The pizzeria doesn’t conform to conventional norms, whipping up pizza versions flavoured with laksa sauce (“Made in Malaysia”) or a truffle laden béchamel (“24k Truffle Magic”). The place, kitted out in leather banquettes, communal tables, with a roaring infrared oven in the corner, allows customers to rest their feet with just a drink or a good slice of pizza to eat.
From now until July 22, ATLAS Gourmet Market is auctioning some of their highest quality items and experiences, from an Iberico Jamon Platter to a pizza making session with its head chef, to benefit Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (PEKA) Malaysia, an NGO formed to stop the destruction of natural resources. Find out more here.
ATLAS Gourmet Market, Bistro and Pizzeria are located at level B1, Shoppes at Four Seasons Place. Daily, 10am-10pm.