The Booze Blog - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

28 December 2015

Insta Weekly: All the Whiskies I've Tried and Probably Can't Buy :(

December's usually quiet, and last week was no exception. Haven't had the inspiration to mix drinks lately. However, I did have all the luck to try Other People's Stash of whiskies. <3

Trying something new this week. Let's see if embedding my Instagram pictures directly onto my blog works for you - please let me know if you can't see any of the images below?

Note to self, BUY THESE:

1. The National Trust for Scotland Glen Garioch Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (43% ABV)



27 December 2015

Post Event Report: Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTiger Bites Finale

For 2 months, Tiger ran a #MyTigerBites campaign that encourages foodies to create a street food trail across Malaysia with the promise of exciting prizes and a grand prize of an all-expense paid trip to Taiwan for two.

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale

21 December 2015

Insta Weekly: Harrison's Wine Shop Promo - Oyuwari Whisky - White Oak Akashi - 61 Monarchy - Inside Scoop Boozy Ice Creams

Harrison's Wine Shop @ Jalan 222 Festive Promo. 

Harrisons Wine Shop @ Jalan 222

It's that time of the year where Harrison's festive wine promos are on, just in time for Christmas & CNY. Prices of wine start from upper RM30 and up. They also distribute Tullibardine whisky, by the way. I've already popped by to get my hands on a few bottles. Stock up before stock runs out. :)

20 December 2015

New: Gyukingu Japanese BBQ New Outlet @ Sri Hartamas (Feat. Wine Pairing Dinner)

Spurred on by the success of their first outlet at Kota Damansara, Gyukingu has ventured on to open their second one - at the super happening hub of Sri Hartamas.

Gyukingu specialises in Japanese BBQ or yakiniku. While not an uncommon concept locally, what sets them apart from the noise is their focus on premium cuts of meat.

I've been to the Kota Damansara outlet before and was quite wow-ed by it. I have Japan-crazy friends (who makes annual/bi-annual trips to Japan) who claim that this is one of the better yakikinus available in Malaysia and the price while steep, is fair for its quality. All I know is this - it made an impression and I knew another trip was due some day soon.

So it was a very nice surprise when a bunch of us were kindly invited by the team from Cleansui (who are Gyukingu's official water filter system providers) to commemorate the opening of new outlet with a yakiniku wine pairing event. YIPPEE!

gyukingu yakiniku sri hartamas launch straits wine aix french wine cvne spanish wine angeltini booze blogger alcohol malaysia

14 December 2015

Insta Weekly: Strongbow Red Berries - Glenfarclas Tasting - 44 Bar @ Dr Inc

There were more updates on my instagram last week actually, but I'll only be featuring a select few which I feel is worth re-sharing here. If you'd like to be spammed daily and in bite sizes, feel free to follow me on instagram. :)

Strongbow Apple Ciders Red Berry

Insta Weekly 14.12.15


11 December 2015

Experience: Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

Was invited to check out one of Eight Gourmet Gala's (EGG) wine dinner sessions recently.

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines
L-R: Carpineto dogajolo bianco igt, Canaletto pinot grigio, Carpineto dogajolo rosso igt, Carpineto chianti classico docg, Carpineto brunello di montalcino docg

8 December 2015

Launch: Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky

When a representative from Diageo teased us by saying that the Mortlach was coming to Malaysia soon, the few local whisky geeks I knew squealed like little girls. Surely that had to mean something awesome.


7 December 2015

Insta Weekly: 3 weeks in Summary

Argh. I've been terrible I know. 3 weeks and no Instagram summary. Even if no one reads it but me, the point of this segment was to record my boozing experiences. It's been quite a crazy past 3 weeks and I keep forgetting I'm no longer 18 - so sustaining strenuous days (nights) mean more time is required for recuperation - something I keep forgetting. If you're in your mid 30s and enjoy your night life and spirits as much as I do, please share with me your secret for your endurance.

Anyway,  3 weeks in summary by events, bar visits and booze imbibed begins now :

Events: Yamaguchi Fish Market & Gekkeikan Sake Launch - The Glenlivet Pairing with Vom Fass Edible Oils - Tiger White Wheat Beer Launch - Blue Elephant Turns 1 - Whisky Live Singapore 2015

  • Tong Woh took the opportunity to officially launch Gekkeikan Sake in conjunction with the opening of Yamaguchi Fish Market restaurant. Fresh seafood and sake? Makes perfect sense. Try pairing one of their top 10 recommended food items with a Gekkeikan Kin No Shichi Fukujin Meguri Sake for an additional sense of luxury - this honjozo (sake with additional alcohol) has gold flakes!
  • The Glenlivet Guardian recent event (no longer a monthly event as they now have about 700 odd members!) paired the whisky with edible oils from Vom Fass. Mingling with fellow like-minded people and sampling delicious food = fun. 
  • Tiger launched Tiger White - the first locally produced wheat beer. It's supposed to have "hints of clove, coriander,  & orange peel", and yes it's Tiger's response to the other 2 "fruity" tasting wheat beer that we're familiar with. I'm interested to know how they've decided to price themselves -  stay tuned. 
  • Blue Elephant celebrated its 1st anniversary with a big boozy bash. I wouldn't call it a cocktail bar with a "speakeasy" concept. With its loud music, tiny service bar and strobe lighting, it seems more to me like a hidden clubbing place.
  • Whisky Live Singapore 2015 happened 2 weekends ago. I did the crazy thing by taking a bus on Saturday,  then headed straight to the event, then hopped on to the bus home next day. Mad but what a great experience! There were some grouses by veterans who have gone for at least a couple of years - but for this first timer, it was great. I'll get around to putting down my thoughts about it on a post-event report soon. But am looking forward to Whisky Live 2016 already. 

Visited:  #CocktailTrailKL at P&C Bar, The Bar by Sam, 44 Bar & Dr. Inc - Sinhalese Bar & Snow Beers @ Ipoh - Whisky Fling @ Single & Available - Ojos Bar - Ikki Bar

  • Popped by P&C Bar, The Bar by Sam & 44 Bar on the #CocktailTrailKL. FYI - due to popular demand, it's been extended to the end of the year. So it's not too late to get on the trail!
  • Paid homage to Sinhalese Bar in Ipoh - it's one of the oldest bars still in operation.  Nothing fancy, it feels like any other old  kopitiam with its marble tables, cement floors and wooden ceiling, offering your usual beer fares and a handful of spirits. Just that being in this place makes me feel like I've touched a part of history, somehow. Also had  the infamous Snow Beer at Kafe Yoon Wah. 2 large Carlsbergs for RM30. It's a novelty not to be missed, especially when paired with roast pork.
  • Single & Available Whisky Fling featured Benromach Whisky 10 years, Glenfarclas 15 years, Kilchoman Distillery Loch Gorm - All sherries. Personally like the Glenfarclas most as the other 2 had some smoke going on which isn't my thing. 
  • Was invited to check out Ojos Bar @ Jaya One. Initial thoughts about this new spot inspired by the Taiwan cocktail scene: a good looking cocktail bar, has interesting signature cocktails, a lot of effort is put into making each cocktail look super pretty (a gimmick which might still be necessary for this young cocktail market). Cons: pricey, most of the bartenders and maitre de speak very little English (coz Taiwanese!). 
  • Also received a kind invite to check out Ikki Bar @ TREC KL. This 60-80 pax seater place is no tiny little bar. It's a HUGE hidden lounge that happens to have a beautiful looking "Great Gatsby meets East" cocktail bar which is capable of dishing out some really exciting cocktails. A shame that the frequent patrons prefer to open Japanese whisky bottles instead - which the bar has a decent range of. If you're one of them and have chanced upon this entry - let me implore you to try their cocktails for a change! Osmund, the head bartender, isn't one of Malaysia's Diageo Worldclass Finalist for no reason. 

Others:  Ikea Raskog Bar Cart - Balvenie Madeira Cask 17 years old - Hibiki 21 - Black Velvelt - Grapefruit GnT

  • Randomly participated in KampungBoyCityGal's Ikea giveaway contest in conjunction with Ikea's Cheras outlet launch and won myself a Raskog cart yeay! Now I can fulfill my dreams of finally owning a little mobile bar cart at home. :)
  • Made 1) Black Velvet - equal parts of champagne and stout. It's a legit cocktail ya, not something I made up! 2) Grapefruit gin & tonic - Just toss in fresh grapefruit slices in place of lime. Bruise it a little so that it infuses with the gin = GnT with add Vitamin C! (please note that this is in no way a form of legit medical advice).
  • Drank other generous people's 1) Hibiki 21 Years Old - Sigh. My favourite but not only it's getting more and more difficult to get your hands on them, with prices that have skyrocketed so much that it just doesn't make sense anymore. It's going to be at least another 20 years before the hysteria finally wears off and the liquid is replenished. :( 2) The Balvenie Madeira Cask 17 years old - oh my. I think I like all my whiskies in the Madeira cask. Smells like delicious toffee with a great mouthfeel. Why do I like all these limited edition stuff. :/
Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

29 November 2015

Whisky Live Singapore 2015 : All the Available spirits and whiskeys/whiskies to Try.


A quick post to share with you the available spirits and whiskeys/whiskies that you can expect to taste at this weekend's Whisky Live Singapore 2015 (these are posted on my Facebook page, btw):



(mind the lack of quality. had to shove the crowd away from the booth, snap and flee)


Not included : stuff from the masterclasses, cocktails by guest bars, special sampling at the VIP section and stuff from Collector's Room.

And you know what? One day is simply, humanly not enough.

Updated: You can also browse through my Flickr album too, if you prefer.

Either click on the image below to take you to the album directly, or you can navigate through the slideshow using the left and right button which will appear on the image when you hover your mouse over it.

Whisky Live Singapore 2015

23 November 2015

Whisky Live Singapore 2015: Everything you need to know.


The annual Whisky Live Singapore is back!

Organised by La Maison du Whisky (who also organises Whisky Live Paris, said to be the biggest Whisky and Spirit show in Europe), this is likely the biggest annual whisky event in Asia.

Oddly enough, most of you reading this blog are from Singapore. So I've taken the trouble to compile all the information you'll need to know about this event for your easy reference. You're welcome. :)

Who should go:
Anyone and everyone who (legally can and) has the slightest interest in whisky and/or spirits.

What's included in the ticket:
1) Being able to sample an insane number of whiskies (whiskeys) and spirits:
  • Over 20 whisky brands from A to T (there's no U-Z brand names lol). Featuring distilleries from east to west, south to north, craft to commercial brands. 
  • Over 40 spirit labels - from whites, browns and everything in between.
  • Totaling close to (what is claimed to be) about 500 expressions 
Details: www.whiskylive.sg/whisky-live-singapore/exhibitors

2) Cocktail sampling from 9 popular bars in Singapore:  28 HongKong Street, L’Aiglon, Tippling Club, Sugarhall, The Library, Anti:dote, Spiffy Dapper, FOC and Longplay.

3) ... paired with food samplings by Burnt Ends, Meat Smith, FOC, El Mero Mero and Sorrel.

4) Access to view the very special Collectors Room which showcases bottlings from closed distilleries, limited editions  and old vintages (which collectors and whisky geeks may salivate over).  Though, tasting them is a separate fee.

Getting there & back:
8-10 hours at a spirits event? Driving is not even an option. The organisers behind Whisky Live have made special arrangements so that you can imbibe responsibly and without having to worry about how you'll get home.

Free shuttle buses:
From Harbourfront MRT to and from Capella event space, specially arranged for Whisky Live.
First shuttle: 30 mins. before event opening
Last shuttle: 30 mins. after end of event
Frequency: Every 15mins.
The shuttle service is accessible at Harbourfront MRT Exit D.

Uber:
SGD20 off first ride with Uber with the code WHISKYLIVESG

SMRT Taxi
7-seater taxis provided from the hotel at SGD50 with additional SGD12 for en-route stops. Rides within Sentosa / Vivo City are SGD13.

Masterclasses:
Held by the respective brand representatives, these 1 hour sessions usually involve an intimate presentation session followed by a tasting of the feature product(s).

Participating brands/spirits are:
The Aberlour, Nikka Coffey, the world of rum (by Luca Gargano, owner of Velier rums and renowned rum expert), Glenfiddich, The Dalmore, The Balvenie, Kavalan, GlenDronach, Highland Park.

Priced at SGD35 each on top of the event tickets, I believe some of these classes are already fully booked as spaces are limited. Details: www.whiskylive.sg/events/masterclasses.

Other event info:
Venue:
Capella Singapore, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297

Event hours:
Saturday, 28 November: 2-10pm (last entrance 9pm)
Sunday, 29 November: 11am-9pm (last entrance 8pm)

Buy tickets:
Pass from SGD95 up to a package promo with hotel stay at SGD990.

Offline: For those in Singapore, you can also purchase the tickets at La Maison du Whisky (80 Mohamed Sultan Rd., Singapore 239013).

More Info:
http://www.whiskylive.sg/
https://www.facebook.com/events/692056207593670

I'll be there on Saturday and am counting down the days.
Say hi! :)

18 November 2015

Experience: Shucked Oyster Masterclass @ The Gardens, Midvalley


I just recently learnt how to truly enjoy oysters.

I thought being someone who loves eating oysters just meant stuffing my face with (m)any raw oyster at buffets.... and then hoping not to have a stomachache later. But with this masterclass, I realise it's more to it than just being a good value for money item at an all-you-can-eat.

I can't imagine how one simple shelled thing can look, taste and smell so different from the other, but it can! My eyes and taste buds are now suddenly opened to a whole new world -  tasting oysters is very much like tasting whisky, or wine.

Tragheanna Bay, Ireland (RM30*): Very fishy. Irish Premium, Ireland (RM37*): Very pleasant, salty.
Dutch Creuses, Holland (RM37*): Easy, smooth subtle sea taste.

In fact like whisky or wine, everything about its environment can affect an oyster's character - the location, the temperature, the water. Even the tasting process itself is very much like tasting whisky. Let me explain:

1. To properly taste whisky - one shouldn't add any water, ice or mixer into it. To taste oyster, one shouldn't add any condiment to it (lemon or tabasco) and just savour it raw, as it is, brine and all.

2. Before tasting it, you should take a good whiff at it - as both oyster and whisky has its own distinct scent, depending on where they originate from.

Sydney Rock, Australia (Price unavailable): Upfront soft, ends and stays with iodine - it's like an islay whisky!
Jersey Rock, UK (RM46*): Sweet! West Mersea, UK (RM38*): Clean flavour.

3.  Let your whole mouth savour it - your tongue is segmented into different flavour segments. To fully appreciate what you're tasting, you'll need to coat your entire mouth with it.

4. Savour it slowly - not gulp it down. Otherwise, how are you going to know what it really tastes like, right?

5. Like whisky, wine or any other alcohol, there is also a nose, body and finish to oysters. I believe this is the same for every food stuff but today we're talking oyster. :P

Tasmanian Prime, Australia (RM38*): Salty! Coffin Bay, Australia (RM37*): Easy upfront, ends with the sea. Cloudy Bay, NZ (RM45*) - Very creamy & sweet (same place as the wine!).

Rule #1 was broken with me though. This noob can't take a full strength oyster because it's just too much of the sea, so with everything I tasted I had a drop of lemon and tabasco - sorry oysters!

So as I was saying, I learnt to truly enjoy oysters in the form of a Masterclass hosted by Shucked at the recent KL Oyster Festival.  For this session, we were given 12 oysters to try and pair with champagne, stout and cider.

You might like to know that the people behind Shucked (Southern Rock Seafood is theirs too) are responsible for bringing in fresh flown seafood for not only themselves, but for a host of other restaurants and bars too.

Loch Ryan, UK (RM56*): Very meaty texture, the zinc finish HITS you. Gallagher Special, Ireland (RM60*): Most expensive): Juicy sweet with an iodone end. Fin De Claire, France (RM45*): Distinct bronze end, very odd for me.

Like my whisky, I don't like the strong flavoured oysters. My preference is inclined towards the more subtle, sweet ones which aren't fishy or have a very pronounced ending. They would be the Irish Premium, Dutch Creuses, West Mersea, Jersey Rock, Coffin Bay, Cloudy Bay & Gallagher Special.

I find that champagne brings out the metallic taste of the oyster, which I didn't like. Maybe that's the point, and why people always seem to have oyster with champagne, but it's definitely not for me. I actually prefer oysters with Guinness or cider. With the Guinness, it becomes creamier. The cider's acidity helps offset the "fishiness" of the raw oyster. I also like white wine with it which brings out the sweetness of both (which I had on a separate occasion).

Lots of canapes and booze to accompany the lovely fresh oysters.

Now that KL Oyster Festival is done and dusted, Shucked will still hold regular Oyster Masterclasses at RM230 per pax (with free flow wine and beer) or RM160 without the booze.

These upcoming 90 minute sessions will have Josh Green, the resident Oyster expert (and owner of Shucked),  to talk you through your oyster tasting journey featuring 6 oysters, a glass of welcome champagne and lots of seafood canape in between to fill your tummy.

Here is Josh, showing us how shucking is done - it's not easy, you could lose a finger!

They still have available slots for:
Thursday, 19 November, 7:30pm
Thursday, 3 December,  7:30pm
Thursday, 17 Dececember, 7:30pm 

By the way, oyster masterclasses are also available for private booking for special events.

For more or to book: shuckedgarden@gmail.com or SMS 0129177613 (spaces are limited).

Get updated on their activities here:
www.facebook.com/ShuckedOysterBars
www.shuckedoysterbars.com

*quoted prices are for 3 pieces.

17 November 2015

11 November 2015

Experience: Kampachi Sake Tasting & Appreciating Session

Kampachi probably holds the most number of junmai sake labels than any other Japanese restaurants in our country.

But what the heck is a junmai?

A table setting fit for a noble!

10 November 2015

Insta Weekly: Gyukingu's new outlet - #CocktailTrailKL - Crackhouse Comedy Club - #MyTigerBites Finale - NewMan's #Cpa2015

Hoo boy. We've just come into the second week of November and it already feels like the end of it. Expecting a mad rush of parties and events towards the end of 2015 (to meet sales targets or to use up the allocated A&P budget I suspect, hehe). Here are 5 to start with:


Gyukingu Japanese BBQ's New Outlet + Wine Pairing 


Congratulations on the opening of the second outlet in Hartamas (just next to Old Town Coffee)!

3 November 2015

Insta Weekly: 44 Bar has moved - KL Oysters Festival - Mortlach launch - Heineken Sundown Party - The Good Batch - Cocktails of 2 weeks -

I know, I know I've been tardy last month. Got too caught up with some crazy offline commitments. But after this week, things will go back to normal again. This I can promise all 5 of you. Without further ceremony:

44 bar has moved!


44 Bar said goodbye The Row @ Jalan Doraisamy and said hello to Dr. Inc @ Bangsar.

Until December 2015, check them out at their new location for your American craft spirits, bespoked gin tonic happy hour sessions and bottle-aged cocktails (truly special stuff) fix. There might be more stuff coming once they have properly settled down - if there is, I'll definitely let you on, on it.


25 October 2015

New: Villa Danieli's (of Sheraton Imperial KL) Wine Dating

(Gift away at end of post!)

Last month, we were invited to experience Villa Danieli's new monthly event especially created for wine lovers and learners alike, playfully nicknamed "Wine Dating".


Worry not. It's not what you think it is.

19 October 2015

Insta Weekly - Past 2 Weeks in Summary

2 weeks in 1 post this time okay? I was away all of last weekend and by the time I got back it was already mid week. Thankfully, it won't be a long update so don't be daunted and just read on. :)


1. Single & Available's Monthly Wednesday Whisky Fling - Glenglassaugh


Oh man. This monthly thing at Single & Available is getting more and more packed! Not sure if it's because it's a new flight of whiskies to taste at only RM20 per flight of 3 or the monthly whisky fling programme is gaining traction by you drunkards. :) Either way, it was a good night. If you missed it, well, you can read about the new whisky on my most recent post here > CLICK!

15 October 2015

Launch: Glenglassaugh Highland Single Malt Whisky

Glenglassaugh is relatively unheard of in Malaysia. In fact, it didn't even properly show up in the whisky geeks' community radar up until the BenRiach distillery (also owns Glendronach) bought it over in 2013.

Drink ALL the Glenglassaugh!

However, you might be surprised to know that the distillery is actually 140 years old. Dating back to 1875, it claims to be one of Scotland's oldest distilleries.

8 October 2015

Event: Guinness Anchor Berhad's (GAB) Oktoberfest 2015

It's that time of the year to imbibe more beer!

Doesn't matter if it's a Bavarian celebration because we are all international citizens of the world brought closer together by global trade and the internet! Is it any surprise that GAB is down with this? Of course not!

From left, Tai See Wai (Head of Trade Marketing), Bruce Dallas (Marketing Director), Hans Essaadi (Managing Director), Thum Chee Yuen (Sales Director) and Shereen Teh (Trade Marketing Manager) from Guinness Anchor Berhad at the launch of this year’s Oktoberfest celebration. (Image: GAB)

5 October 2015

Insta Weekly: Kirin Beer Garden - GAB Oktoberfest 2015 - Free Whisky @ The Bar - Happy 3rd Birthday A&L


1. Kirin Ichiban Beer Pop Up Bar from 1 Oct to 10 Oct at @ Solaris, Publika.

I've mentioned this quite a few times on my FB, instagram and have even blogged about it already, haha. So why haven't you check it out with your friends and gotten hold of your own mini "slurpee" machine already? Hehe.

4 October 2015

Event: Kirin Ichiban Beer Garden @ Solaris, Publika

A few of us were invited for a media preview of Kirin's little pop up beer garden in The Square, Solaris Publika.

Welcome to the Ichiban Bar (Image: Kirin)

2 October 2015

Launch: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky in Malaysia

Monkey Shoulder has officially arrived in Malaysia, YEAY!

Selamat datang Monkey Shoulder!
....but boo, because I wanted to keep it all to myself :(

29 September 2015

Insta Weekly: Umeshu - Stoked - Villa Danieli Wine Dating - Kampachi Sake Appreciation

Oh dang it. Lost track of time. It's late and I'm typing this while I'm running on fumes. Gotta make this as short as I can before I fall aslee.......

1. Homemade Umeshu @ Kinme


25 September 2015

Launch: Nikka Coffey Series in Malaysia

If you're into whisky, I'm pretty sure you're aware about (and contribute to) the hype on the sudden and terrible shortage of Japanese aged whiskies.

Nikka has been in the limelight quite recently for this reason too. Hearts were broken as selected Taketsuru, Yoichi and Miyagikyo expressions were phased out (and prices increased by a gazillion percent). While these are stuff of legend, what really set Nikka apart from the rest of the clutter (for me at least) is not their aged single malts (because everyone and their grandmother makes single malts), but their NAS blended and grains.

If you follow me at all, you'll know that I've professed my love for the Nikka From the Barrel, Taketsuru 12 and Nikka Coffey Grain.


22 September 2015

Insta Weekly: Kaffir Limes - Glenglassaugh Launch - TDH Live @ Oasis - 44 bar feat. Chester Low - Paired @ Sheraton KL - Oktoberfest @ Brotzeit - ASEAN Jazz & Percussion Festival

Weirdest thing happened to me some time back which I can't figure out. Maybe you can help me?

I was with a group of people, enjoying ourselves at a bar when we were all hankering for a bit more to drink before leaving. Suddenly one of the guys insisted that I chose the next drink - specifically a bottle of whisky. Now I don't know this guy very well, but he was part of the group and we had just met that day. Further, this bar isn't particularly known as a whisky bar, so you can imagine the whisky options were rather sparse.. and even if they had any single malts, they were entry level whiskys.

I couldn't make myself to choose anything that I was willing to drink and pay a ridiculous sum for, and asked someone else to do it instead. However, this guy was insistent that *I* chose a bottle. I insisted that I couldn't. This went back and forth for awhile until I literally forced someone else to choose. Later that night, the guy who insisted I chose a bottle suddenly showed me his phone to reveal my blog on his screen.

I'm not sure what that was about. Until today, it still boggles my mind. It was all very odd, I thought. How would you have managed that situation?

Anyway - a lot happened last week!

1. Kaffir limes


14 September 2015

Pavilion KL's #JourneyOfTaste & L'Officiel Launch - Guinness Malaysia is 50 - Imperial by Zouk

Not much updates from me last week as I was called away to "balik kampung" on a family obligation... Also - that haze man. It's getting terrible by the day isn't it? My eyes are already stinging, my nose is full of gunk and I'm getting constant headaches from it already. :/ Please take care of yourselves, drink plenty of water, take the medications you need to take and if you must stay outdoors, mask on ya! 

1. L'Officiel Launch & Pavilion KL's #JourneyOfTaste 


Was at Pavilion KL for the launch of the L'officiel magazine in Malaysia. Supposedly the oldest one around, this 94 year old fashion luxury magazine from Paris has finally made its way to Malaysia and will feature localised contents. I'm not the most fashionable person, but the invite was not wasted on me because I sure know how to enjoy a good party, especially one which has free flow sparkling wines and cocktails made with Absolut vodka and Martell (from Pernod Ricard). More about the magazine:  www.lofficielmalaysia.com and www.facebook.com/lofficielmalaysia


8 September 2015

Insta Weekly : Happy 58 Years old, Malaysia - Keep Your Peels - Arran Whisky Fling - Junior @ #tikitakeover44 - Taps' Better Beer Festival

Long post ahead! So no need for a filler introduction! Just go go go!

1. Jungle Bird for Merdeka #58




I've made the Jungle Bird quite a few times already just to practice. Practice practice practice makes perfect! If you're a true blue Malaysian  then this is one cocktail you should learn to make (and perhaps an Old Fashioned) to impress guests or a date, because if there are only 2 things that we are all unitedly proud of, it's our F(ood) and our B(everage).

4 September 2015

Post-event Report: 44 Bar & Taps Beer Bar Presents Beer Bourbon Bacon!


10 August 2015 was the Beer Bourbon Bacon event jointly brought to us by 44 Bar and Taps Beer Bar, held at Tap's Mont Kiara branch.

First up - HOW FREAKING COOL IS IT THAT TWO AWESOME BARS GOT TOGETHER TO HOST AN EVENT?

Sorry about the caps, but this kind of collaboration hardly ever happens in this market, if ever. If you can name me 3 - you win liao loh! But as far as I can remember, ZILCH.  But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, using extensive research methods (Googling), I deduced that this event is inspired by annual festivals of the same name held all over America. Imagine a giant pesta with loads of craft beers, bourbons and all kinds of food with pork.

If you were thinking - Ya right, no way an event where you need to pay RM88 would draw any crowd, it's sooooo expensive. Well, I hate to say this but you're wrong from the sheer fact that Taps Mont Kiara was maximum packed (which is unusual for a Sunday afternoon) with locals and mat sallehs alike. Even the floor upstairs was opened and the seats were filled up!

So what went down that day? Read on!

31 August 2015

Insta Weekly: Maruhi Sakaba - The Great Beer Bar - #MyTigerBites - 44 Bar Promos - Neroteca Brunch - DIY Old Fashioned

Last weekend, a good friend proposed that I should consider migrating from blogspot to wordpress, because it's more flexible and the layout allows me to come up with a very sleek, magazine-like feel.

He showed me a test site, which I really like. But I'm not sure if I have the time/energy/intelligence to toggle around with the coding. Wordpress, while is infinitely more moudable than Blogger, requires quite a bit of HTML knowledge to mess around with. I find myself not having enough time to even update this blog more than once a week (which I should because I have quite a few feature posts in the back burner argh!).

But I know that with Wordpress, readers would enjoy my blog more simply because it will look better, plus there are even more awesome, cooler usable widgets that comes with it. Oh man. How do I account for the opportunity cost of time vs traffic?

Let me mull over it for a bit more. I'm a really slow thinker. Meanwhile, here, the weekly update which I make myself to commit to (at least!):

1. Maruhi Sakaba - an Iazakaya that doesn't break the bank. 



24 August 2015

Insta Weekly: Celebrated International Rum Day with a Grog - Kronenbourg 1664 Wednesday - Monkey Shoulder Launched in Malaysia - The Glenlivet Guardians

Oh my. One of the most surreal experiences of the year happened last Friday. It never occurred to me that someday I'll find myself swimming in a pool filled with popcorn in a dress, but it happened. Read on to find on what on earth happened.

1. International Rum Day - 16 August.


Didn't want to make a common rum drink (daiquiri, punch, mojito) to "celebrate" so decided to make something called a Grog with Sailor Jerry spice rum in.

18 August 2015

Insta Weekly: Cosmo - Nikka Coffey - Asahi - Vom Fass Whiskies - #MyTigerBites - Longrow - Beer Bourbon Bacon - 1K on Insta

Another happening week last week. So much so that I'm already getting a back log of event posts which I haven't  publish... oops! So without further ado:

1. The Best Cosmopolitan I've Ever Made



SATC made the Cosmo super popular way back when. It's actually not too difficult to make. All you need is some vodka, cranberry, cointreau and lime juice and an orange peel for its citrus scent. I prefer to put in a touch of sugar syrup for some viscosity. Also, if you don't have an orange peel around, 1-2 dashes of orange bitters work fine too.

11 August 2015

Insta Weekly: Jagermeister remedy - Angostura Fling - Matusalem Rum Party - 44 Bar & BBB event - Beer Day - JW Gold - Singapore Sling

So as soon the the raya festivities ended, the parties came back. I don't suppose a long introduction is needed because last week was quite a happening week, so prepare yourself for a long update ahead:

1. Jager Hot toddy

5 August 2015

Cantaloupe, Claret & Fuego Bars @ Troika Sky Dining

In conjunction with Fuego's August cocktails promotion, a few of us were invited for a #TroikaCocktailsCruise  event where we were introduced to Troika Sky Dining's bars by docking at each bar to sample their cocktails before cruising on to the next..... I loved this cruise even before it began. :p

For the uninitiated, Troika Sky Dining is located on the 24th floor of The Troika (along Persiaran KLCC) and is popularly known for its insanely gorgeous view of the KL twin towers and fine dining restaurants. It houses 3 restaurants which are segregated by cuisines: Cantaloupe for French, Strato for Italian, and Fuego for South American.

There are tonnes of reviews out there on its food and breathtaking views which Google can ply you with. But with me, you know we'll be paying particularly close attention to (or geek out at) the liquid side of the business, right? So let's get to it, shall we!

Bonjour Cantaloupe Bar!

3 August 2015

Insta Weekly: Homemade Drink - Wedding Planning - Kampachi Birthday

I turned 35 last Sunday! Happy birthday to me!

It was a bit of a bummer because just a few days before I started coming down with the bug and had the full blown sore throat, flu and slight fever  - it was like I was going through a growth spurt but not quite... maybe sideways? :)

It was an excellent birthday. Spent it with loved ones. Had tonnes to eat and drink. Presents are always a great bonus. And lots of wishes on facebook too, lol. I loved it all!

So I went to bed early last night from a full day of festivities and still recovering from the bug.. which is why this post is a day late. I've lost my voice today and am coughing nonstop. :( Not a lot to update from last week anyway because haven't really been feeling very excellent - probably because the bug was coming, lol.

1. Bailey's + Jameson. 


28 July 2015

Insta Weekly: Ice cubes - Homemade Cocktails - National Tequila & Daiquir Day - Whisky! Whee!

So I "predicted" before that events would be slow during the fasting and Raya months ... and I've been right so far. :)

Not complaining  though - it gives me more time at night to practice making drinks and experimenting with stuff like below:

1. Made: Cheapskate giant ice cubes


I keep wishing my ice didn't melt so fast, diluting my shaken cocktails too quickly while not chilling it fast enough. Large ice blocks would fix that. I've been pinning for those expensive silicon extra large ice cube molds available on Amazon for years. But it was very difficult for me to be enthusiastic about forking out RM20 bucks + RM40 insane delivery charges just for some rubber-substitute ice trays.

20 July 2015

Insta Weekly: Homemade cocktails - Launch of Hana @ Sunway Pyramid - 0% ABV beer - Gin Madness.

Last week I had an insightful conversation with a very famous wedding photographer who happened to be a very old friend of mine. He said I should really work on improving my photography skills if I wanted to take this content generating thing seriously. Because more often than not, it seemed that I don't put in enough effort into the composition of my photos - and readers these days, they love a good picture over wall-of-texts posts any day. 

Can't say that he doesn't have a point (double negative!). If it wasn't true, Instagram, Facebook sharing, and Pinterest wouldn't be as popular as it is now. And thanks to Twitter, I'm inclined to think that if a post is > 140 characters, no ones attention span can take it anymore.

Thing is, I'm one of those old-generation bloggers who's used to rambling on and on and on.... and old habits die hard. 

So what I really really want to know from you is this:
1. Do really good DSLR-quality pictures matter?
2. Do pictures matter more than words?
3. Long posts are okay, or just keep it short like Twitter?
4. Do you need a good combination of decently okay pictures with some accompanying drivel?

Because if it's #4, I hope I'm already complying by leaving you with Insta Weekly updates like this one:

12 July 2015

Insta Weekly: A Really Special Whisky Tasting Session - DIY Old Fashioned - Troika Sky Dining Bars - Souled Out

The best drinking times are not the ones with the best locations or the best drinks (though those are nice to have) but are the ones shared with great company. It's a privilege to share some good times with old friends and a pleasure of making new ones through such sessions. Bonus is when I get to try and learn new stuff along the way. So here's a shout out to all of you for spending your good times with me at these events below, the ones before and the ones that will be coming our way. Yam seng!

1. Tasting Some Stuff I Can't Afford. :(


We had the utmost privilege of meeting up with Eiling and  Luc Timmermans (of Thosop fame), both of whom are internationally-famous independent bottlers, for a whisky tasting party at their recent Malaysia visit. During these sessions, we bring some of our more down-to-earth stuff to taste and compare with Eiling & Luc's stuff of legends. Our palates get spoilt rotten and our lives are never the same again everytime we see them.  <3

5 July 2015

Insta Weekly: Green Spot Irish Whiskey - Jura Whisky Fling - Torres Vina Sol - Hip Flask

So, the holy month of Ramadhan is upon us. This means that a lot of the brands are taking a break from their marketing and events leading up to Raya. On top of that, beverage outlets would also traditionally face a drop in sales for the month. Not sure why that happens though, go figure!

The good thing about this though, is less late night outs, and more nights in to catch up on some sleep and home mixing & tasting. :) See what I got up to last week:


1. Green Spot Irish Whiskey

Found this gem at my last Labuan trip. It's a very easy everyday dram. Irish whiskey has this common nose - usually perfumey and /or fruity and very agreeable in the mouth, without the usual burn or oakiness so prevalent in Scotch. Green Spot is aged between 7-10 years,  matured in bourbon and sherry casks. I love it. I wish I got MORE of it.

2 July 2015

Insta Weekly: 44 Bar The Row - DIY Cocktails: GnT, Manhattan & Jungle Bird - Janice of O+A - Labuan & Kota Kinabalu.

Oops. Last week's insta weekly report's late because I spent the last weekend travelling across Labuan and Kota Kinabalu, which I'll tell you about once you get past my other equally-exciting boozy adventures of the week, hehe.


1. 44 Bar's Found a New Temporary Home @ The Row, Kuala Lumpur

Left: Juicy fruity Tango Mango. Middle: Kick-ass Bottle Aged Cocktails. Right: Potential crowd favourite: Donkey Kick

The 44 Bar that we know and love (previously ex-APW) has popped up at The Row along Jalan Doraisamy. The Row may sound unfamiliar to you - but how about its former name - Asian Heritage Row? That's right, The Row IS a souped up ex-Asian Heritage Row filled with new third wave cafes, quaint eateries and other instagram-genic shops that hipsters would love.

24 June 2015

Kampachi Sake Dinner Series feat. Izumibashi Sake

The 4 beautiful Izumibashi bottles in a row
Kampachi  celebrated Izumibashi brewery's first visit to Malaysia with a dinner series that took place in Troika last 16 June &  in their outlet at Equatorial Penang on 17 June.

The 9-course Japanese kaiseki menu, created by Kampachi's Executive Chef, Koji Tamaru, featured seasonal seafood sourced directly from Japan. The meal was to be paired with 4 Izumibashi sakes.

We were also graced by the presence of 6th generation brewery founder/owner, Yuichi Hashiba & sake sommelier, Shigeyuki Masaki, who imparted some nuggets of knowledge about the brand and sake. Who knew that there was such a thing as a sommelier for sake? And how do I apply? :)

22 June 2015

Insta Weekly: World Gin Day, Kampachi dinner feat. Izumibashi Sake, P&C Bar, French Martini, Whiskey Sour

I'd like to share with you something interesting that happened to me last week.

I was at a bar for a quiet drink and bumped into some friends who knew that I enjoyed mixing drinks at home. Everyone was having fun and had quite a bit to drink... eventually I was asked to make a drink at the bar. Much to my reluctance, I did agree, but only after the bartender agreed to it as well.

Thinking back, I wondered how I could have handle that situation better. So many things could have gone wrong (since it wasn't a bar I was familiar with, and I'm actually not a bartender), but thankfully it didn't! Anyway, this experience made me realise a few things:

1. I really do enjoy working behind an actual bar - it's still such a thrill. How do I do something about that which is more feasible for my bank account? :P
2. I need to improve my mixing skills and confidence.
3. I need to learn up a wider repertoire of cocktail recipes.
4. I need to find a secret hide-away bar to drink in. :P
5. Don't get tipsy in a bar, just in case I ever get another opportunity like this again - since my "reputation" is at stake here haha!

That being said. Thank you all for the opportunity. You all know who you are! :)

So what else happened last week?

20 June 2015

Glenfiddich's Valley Of The Deer Post-Event Report

(warning: picture heavy post)

Short of uprooting it from Dufftown, Glenfiddich replicated its distillery in Carcosa Seri Negara for 4 days from 27- 30 May 2015 to share the experience of an average working day there.  If you've never been to an actual distillery, this tour was a good representation. Also, it's probably THE biggest event of its kind in South East Asia!

Everyone was there. The who's who, the who who wants to be who, the has-beens, the wannabes, and of course people who were genuinely interested to see what a distillery could look like, because they actually took the trouble to purchase tickets.

Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur, turned into a make-shift distillery and bar for 4 days.

15 June 2015

Insta Weekly: Diageo Worldclass Malaysia Finals, Tuak from Sarawak, Taps Beer Bar, Vom Fass Whisk(e)y Tasting, Glenlivet 50 Finale, Kitshcy French Wine.

Last week was filled with celebrations!

- celebrated 4 very talented bartenders who were chosen to represent Malaysia in one of the biggest bartending competitions in the planet.

- celebrated the winning bidders who bade a record-breaking RM96k for a bottle of rare 50 year old...whisky (hehe).

- celebrated a pair of good friends' baby's 1 year old birthday, where family and close friends got together to over-indulge in an awesome home-cooked BBQ meal... with some awesome drams of course.

- and celebrated the relocation of this wonderful, wonderful bread shop with some delicious wines.

What I'm trying to say is, there's always a cause for celebration. And those causes are usually the greatest reasons for a good drink... or two.... ;)

1. Diageo Reserve World Class Finals @ The Bee, Publika. 


8 June 2015

Insta Weekly: Martin Miller's Gin, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Whisky Fling @ S&A, Revisiting WIP, Ippudo's new Geikkeikan Sake, Negroni Week @ Hyde, Nikka Taketsuru 12

Man, after last week, I thought I would go easy on the drinking and whiskies but apparently, I'm made of tougher (and more idiotic lol) stuff. This week's summary is a little late because I just came back from spending the weekend in Melaka for a friend's wedding which was also a great excuse to stuff my face with food along the way (sorry about all that food spam on my insta today lol).

I love Chinese banquet weddings. Bonus if the first four (out of 8, usually) dishes tastes really good (usually the appetiser, soup, white meat & fish) because I'm usually too stuffed to have anymore (after that it's commonly the prawns, vegetables, rice and dessert). Even bigger bonus if there's loads of booze about - this one had a whole lot of beer, wine and whiskies. Back in the day (I'd say about 10-15 years) ago - chinese banquet dinners predominantly featured brandy and at the most, blended scotch. These days? Single malt and Japanese whiskies are all the rage. Attending a chinese wedding dinner is really a good gauge of what the current beverage trend is. :)



Had this at O&A last week. Hmm, seems like I'm really into my gins now. :D This one tastes like it's in between your london dry & botanicals. Stuff like this reminds me why I love the beverage industry so much. You think you've tried a lot and then something new comes along to surprise you. I wish I could easily get one of these but unfortunately, it's not easy to get, and also in the premium category like your Botanist (which is already RM2XX duty free, by the way). I think I will invest in more gins, while the whole region is still mad with their whisky. Rums too. Once, the whisky craze dies down, it's likely we'll take to rum or gin. Let's see. :)