Mazda Driveaway: Northern Exposure

We indulge in some Malaysian delights as we join a three-day Mazda driveaway

 

 

Blazing a trail for good food on local soil can be fun, especially with plenty of delicacies available across the span of our tiny island. However, foodies who crave a more eclectic experience where eating is concerned are often quick to beat a path up North in search of authentic local delights.

There’s some initial ‘inertia’ to venturing out of our comfort zones, but we cannot deny that beating a path into Malaysia can reap delicious rewards, as well as result in indelible memories that only the intrepid can enjoy. Pre-trip preparations for a quick weekend retreat or eating binge to Malaysia aren’t all that tough either, with the Internet is your friend. All you need are a bunch of really hungry compadres and you’re all set!

We joined a Mazda Driveaway to Malaysia from 6th to 8th of June in a 2.0-litre Mazda6, a family sedan that served as our faithful companion throughout at least 600km of belly-driven adventure.

We set off from the Mazda HQ along Leng Kee Road towards the Tuas Checkpoint just before dawn to avoid the long-weekend border congestion. A short 7km spurt from the Gelang Patah pitstop for a quick refill was all it took to discover our first treasure trove, the Kim Tong Food Court in Gelang Patah (81550, Medan Nusa Perintis 7) where we gorged ourselves with piping hot hawker treats.

With breakfast settled in traditional Malaysian fashion, we were pumped up for the longest stretch of the trip – a 280km cruise along the North South Highway. This gave us plenty of opportunities to understand the dynamics of the SkyActiv-derived Mazda6 – a philosophy that revolves around efficiency and performance.

You get a sense that this car is built for the open roads, as the 2.0-litre engine is lightly worked during steady cruising. The engine loves to be revved without a sharp spike in fuel consumption. It managed to clock 8l/100km on the combined cycle, a promising figure considering that calculations commenced right from the get-go from the showroom in Singapore.

 

High-speed cruising demonstrated the chassis’ great composure, as the car maintained a fluid rhythm with the road. Although post-feast nausea was never in the equation, ‘food coma’ was a real worry, especially ensconced within the Mazda6’s well-insulated cabin. Our next pit-stop was at the Seramban Shell station before our lunch stop at Restoran Loon Sing (71800 Nilai, Kawasan Perindustrian).

Post-lunch fun saw us tackling B roads. Despite the Mazda6’s family-friendly credentials, both front tyres never struggled to handle cornering loads, making it a smooth operator primed to handle cornering gs effectively. Despite the 20 minutes run through switchbacks, it returned pretty decent fuel figures of a little over 9l/100km over the course of 15km.

We inched our way through Bandar Sunway for an additional 40km for our final pit-stop at the Sunway Pyramid, which is located right in the heart of Petaling Jaya (46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan). The traffic gods did not favour us, and we were plagued by bottlenecks of families heading to Sunway Lagoon. A quick glance at the fuel gauge indicated a respectable 8.3l/100km, highly impressive when taking into account the occasional standstill traffic.

After disembarking and checking into the Sunway Pyramid Tower Hotel, a five-minute stroll from the bustling Sunway Pyramid was all it took to discover even more local delights at Restoran Ming Tien – a perfect way to wrap up a fulfilling (in every sense of the word!) day of high-octane, food-inspired adventure.

Food trails into Malaysia are proof that delectable variety and affordable fun can be enjoyed just across the border. Expand your horizons of food exploration even if it comes at the expense of your waistlines, as we assure you that it will be a unique experience to savour.

Story: Gerald Yuen

Photographs: Mazda/Gerald Yuen

Gerald Yuen
Author: Gerald Yuen
Gerald is a writer for TopGear Singapore. The die-hard fan of stick-shifts like to indulge in fun, rather than fast cars. He can be seen sifting through classifieds for old school pocket rockets on his off day.

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