We’ve planned a day for you at Plaza Batai.
Gentrification strikes again – turning an old row of shophouses into a row of joints appealing to a gaggle of hipsters. We’re calling it: Previously a hidden gem in the crown of Damansara Heights, Plaza Batai is now a yuccie enclave. The two rows of two-storey shophouses built in the ’70s have had, in recent times, a revival of sorts involving closures and new openings, new tenants and relocations.
Its charm now comes with commercial corridors; its streets lined with inventive modern eateries and shops. The development has brought more foot traffic to the neighbourhood, and for better or for worse, Jalan Batai has fallen to the forces of gentrification – but there are still traces of residential calm, and you can still get your kopi peng from a classy kopitiam.
Buy Hawker Food at Restoran Shangri-La
The corner coffee shop Restoran Shangri-La still stands – and if you didn’t know, it’s now home to the famous Mui Chea pork noodles stall formerly of Restoran Seng Lee down the road, which shut its doors about two years ago. Shangri-La also sports a sleeker look thanks to renovations done last year: Think kopitiam food (and prices!) set against a café backdrop, with its brick walls and black wooden tables and chairs. A must-try is the char kuey teow, previously of Seng Lee – the stall isn’t always open, but it’s your lucky day when it is.
Get Your Pancake Fix at Wicked Pancake Parlour
One of the first few shops to make its home at Plaza Batai, Yellow Brick Road owns a sweet venture upstairs – get your pancake fix (warning: chocolate batter with pistachios, caramelised beef bacon strips, fresh berries and Guinness Nutella sauce ahead) at the kid-friendly Wicked Pancake Parlour.
Fried Food Galore at Goreng Pisang Uncle
If you want to have your kopi peng from Restoran Shangri-La with pisang goreng, the famous pisang goreng van manned by Lim still operates outside the coffee shop – the nian gao is also noteworthy.
Get Fit at Firestation Fit
FIRE Fitness has re-invented one on one and small group training-taking it to another level. Their innovative fitness technique works to transform your body inside out. Their branch in Plaza Batai may not be big but it’s still fiery nonetheless.
Spiff Up at The Burrow
The Burrow barbershop is located inside of the multi-purpose store Merchant & Sisters. Albeit having come in as a replacement for a former barbershop, the new extension of Subang-fame The Othrs Barbers falls right into place beside The Tattoo Parlor in their own little glass box. It brings to mind how tattoo parlours and barbers often operate side by side in Western countries.
Grocery Shopping at Ben’s Independent Grocer
The second Ben’s Independent Grocer has all but taken over the block facing the main road at Plaza Batai; Benjamin Yong’s second supermarket outpost is also affectionately known as ‘Little Big’. It may not be as spacious as Publika’s, but BIG in Batai does feature the grocer’s star highlights as well as a few extras.