Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Tan Chong Motors Serendah Plant Visit Road Trip

It was a Saturday morning and I'm unusually up early, excited for a visit to Tan Chong Motors Assembly plant in Serendah. It's been quite a while since I've been on a road trip to anywhere and I'm hoping that this would be as much fun as the time where I embark on the road trip to Malacca on the Nissan Almera.

I met up with other bloggers & media with the PRs in charge at the Nissan showroom in Section 14.
Just like the sun, I wasn't fully awake and was a little groggy from the night before at the Asahi Super Dry AllStars Tour Party but I'm still rearing for some breakfast. Still, I need to patiently wait for the rest to arrive.

When the party was complete, we headed off in 2 MPVs - the Grand Livina to our breakfast destination.
The first of the 2 MPVs that I rode in contains the Family Package accessories which includes leather seat and door panels, tinting, a 6.5" multimedia navigation with rear view camera, DVD player, iPod connectivity, USB & Bluetooth
and also a 10.1" Roof-Mounted LCD Panel:
And just like the typical Grand Livina before it, it's oddly placed back seat air condition ventilation opening:
In this comfortable MPV, our first leg drive was only to Damansara Utama where it's home to the ever crowded Village Park Restaurant:
It's still early in the morning and already the Village Park Restaurant has a full restaurant in the front as seen in the pic above.

Personally, I've never been to this place and have never eaten in it before but everytime I pass by, I'm sure to see an insane crowd of people in the restaurant. On that day, I get to savor the dish to see what the fuss is about.

After a quick check on Foursquare to see what are the comments of some customers are, a lot of them commented that it's the best nasi lemak that they've had and so I decided to try just that....the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng. I ate it together with a Neslo Ice:
When the food arrived, I was quite disappointed with how it was presented. You do see them plating in a hurry at the front and it just shows when I got my plate.
My fried chicken is butchered beyond belief and and the sloppy drops of sambal (spicy condiment) all over the plate makes me feel like a dog that's been served his food and certainly did slightly reduce my want to eat it. What's more shocking is the other 2 friends wanting to photograph my plate rather than their own Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng because this is the most presentable out of the 3. *facepalm*
Let's be honest, I don't expect fine dining material presented in a kopitiam-like environment like this but at least put out decent dish.

Aside from the presentation, I was hoping for a phenomenal tasting experience for this RM8.30 plate of Nasi Lemak. I was again disappointed when I dug into my food to taste it. Aside from the rice having a bit of a fragrant Pandan flavor to it, the rest were nothing special. It's just your usual fried chicken with sambal and hard boiled egg on some fragrant rice. For a price of RM8.30, I expected more out of it.

This place is so popular that it even had signages indicating to patrons to not use their laptops/notebooks in here for fear of you lingering around (or that's the impression that I'm getting):
It has received so much publicity from newspapers and magazines and TimeOut KL even awarded them the winner of the Bloggers' Choice Award. Well, certainly not this blogger. LOL.

After that experience, I was baffled on why I had such contrasting views on this restaurant as oppose to the public and media. I know I can be a rebel at times but this is ridiculous. Later that day, a foodie friend of mine related to me that Village Park Restaurant used to serve really good Nasi Lemak but now it's just average. This explains things. I wonder do other people feel that way too.

Anyway, after that breakfast, it was straight to Tan Chong Motors Assembly Plant in Serendah.
It took us about 45 minutes to reach the plant. If I was going alone I would've gotten lost many times over.
Over at the plant, the invited Grand Livina Club Members were already there finishing up their breakfast when we arrived.

An awesome looking President car was on display at the reception area:
The Serendah plant was established in 2007 and is TCMA's 2nd plant which includes a test-track and was also awarded the ISO 9001:2000 for Quality Management Systems (QMS) and ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management System (EMS) in 2009.
It currently has the capability to produce over 25,000 vehicles per year on a single shif and can be raised to 54,400 vehicles per year if the need arises. This plant produces Latio, Latio Sports, Grand Livina, X-Gear, Sylphy, Teana, NV200 and Almera as of date.
When the plant tour was over, I switched car to have a feel of how the Impul. The Impul is 1.8L while the normal is 1.6L. It certainly is a more powerful MPV with better pickup.
The unit that we rode in that has the Impul is the Luxury Package so it doesn't contain the Multimedia Navigation unit nor the LCD Panel.
The new Nissan Grand Livina has undergone a total makeover from front to back with new bumpers, grille, headlamps, tail-lamps, side mirrors and alloys. The new design exudes dynamism, elegance with accentuation of aesthetics and fine details that are pleasing to the eyes.

So off we go for lunch at Section 17, my old home area.

The place that was chosen was Decanter:
This place is hidden away from the busy streets and has a very romantic setting to appeal.

Personally, I love the huge shelf with the various liquors on display:
It's very tempting and inviting to drink but I held my demons off.
The drink that I opted for was the Ice Blended Lychee with Plum (RM8.50):
In my mind, I was wondering that the lychee wouldn't go well with the plum but I was very wrong. It complements each other perfectly and I had a very wonderful tasting drink. The down side of this drink is that towards the bottom, there are bits of seeds in them that annoys.

My blogger friend Joshua had the Oreo Milk Shake:
No surprises in it's taste. It's exactly what you think it will taste like. Sort of like the McDonald's Oreo McFlurry.

For my meal, I had the Carbonara Spaghetti:
This wasn't good though. It was bland, lacks flavor although the sauce was thick and creamy it needed a lot more seasoning in it.

Joshua had the Cod Fish which was one of the Special of the Day:
This on the other hand was delicious. Nicely seasoned and mashed potatoes below cooked properly. However, the price tag for this dish is a whopping RM68 which is quite a hefty price.

When dinner was finished, we reached the Section 14 showroom at about 3.30pm which concludes our road trip on the all new Grand Livina - "Drives like a sedan, fits like an MPV".


Henry Lee said...

The interior of the Grand Livina still looks very uncle-ish although the exterior looks better now. I don't think anyone would be bothered about the design of the aircon vent at the back seat, as long as there's one, driver doesn't need to blast the aircon on the dashboard so that the back passenger won't feel warm

foongpc said...

Yes, Village Park Restaurant used to serve really good nasi lemak. But now, quality dropped. But still a lot of people go there!

Wilson Ng said...

I'm driving the old version and I love it.

Kelvin -KtheBlogger- Tan said...

Well, it is an MPV. So it's more towards a family car. I find the air-cond in the backseat don't do much in cooling the passengers backseat.

Ah, thanks for the verification.

My boss also drives the old version and I quite like it too.

Spicy Sharon said...

Decanter - so subpar geh? Was thinking of heading over this weekend, but probably not now. lol.

Kelvin -KtheBlogger- Tan said...

Well, the Carbonara sucks for sure. I'm not sure about the other dishes. Maybe the breakfast dishes served there is good. But definitely people go there for a date.