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

20 June 2016

5 Reasons Why You Should Kanpai with Sake Masters at Kampachi Plaza33

It's back! OMG it's back!!! For its 3rd consecutive year - Kampachi's annual KANPAI! with Sake Masters from Japan is BACK!!!

Kanpai promotional poster lifted off from

It's one of the most awesome sake & buffet dinner session you'll ever get to experience in Malaysia, IMHO. I had the utmost pleasure of attending last year's session and loved every second of it - you bet your liver I won't miss this year's for the world.

If you are still in two minds about going, well, here are 5 reasons why you should NOT miss it (largely based on my previous experience, which should be similar to the upcoming one):

1. It's Kampachi.

Also borrowed from

Do a quick Google Search and you'll come across umpteen write-ups singing praises of Kampachi's quality, fresh seafood, legendary weekend buffets, how it's one of the best Japanese restaurants in town and how it has won years and years of awards.

I'm sure you don't need me to ply you on with any more annoying hyperlinks because I totally could, as there are MORE reviews easily available online. :)

2. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT Japanese food buffet.

A mere FRACTION of what we got to stuff our face with last year. 

You've heard of their legendary Sunday buffet, yes? Well, this Thursday's session will be a buffet session too - which means, you get to eat ALL the sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, soups, noodles, oden, bbqs, cold cuts, dessert that you can stomach! BONUS - the sake masters may even bring special delicacies from their OWN hometowns to pair with their respective sake labels.

3. ALL-YOU-CAN-DRINK Junmai sake.

From last year's Kanpai session. It's like I died and went to sake heaven.

Kampachi is famed for its largest array of Junmai sakes (sake made with just 3 basic ingredients, with no added alcohol) compared to any other Japanese restaurants in Malaysia. For this upcoming Kanpai session, they'll be featuring 3 labels - Fusozuru, Taketsuru & Asahigiku. Each label will be showcasing 3 variants each, so we're looking at a being able to try 9 different types of sake!

4. You don't need to go Japan to meet ACTUAL Sake masters...

Last year's Kanpai featured (from L to R): Izumibashi's Yuichi Hashiba,  Kazuyoshi Sato of Abe Kameji, Benten Musume sake's Shotaro Ota, Tomohiko Ohata, owner of Ohata brewery & sake sommelier Shigeyuki Masaki.

.. because Kampachi flew them all HERE just so you can meet them in person, ask them all you want about sakes in general and about their own sake labels. They are super accommodating, are such sweet guys and love nothing more than to see you enjoy their sake and learn about it. This year, you'll be meeting:
1. Tomohiko Ohata, 4th generation owner of Ohata  (since 1903).
2. Toshio Taketsuru, 14th generation owner of Taketsuru (since 1733 - yes, the same family that founded Nikka - but they made sake first).
3. Noriaji Harada, 4th generation owner of Asahigiku (since 1900)
4. Shigeyuki Masaki, a licensed sake Sommelier 

    5. Value for Money

    ALL the sake from last year's Kanpai. It was madness.

    So you think RM320 is a little steep? It really isn't. Let me break it down for you.

    The usual Kampachi's legendary Sunday (and public holidays) buffet costs you RM148, which leaves you with a RM172 cost for the sake tasting portion.

    The sakes featured are on the average, no less than RM200 (based on last year's Kanpai line-up,it's between RM180 to RM300++) per 720ml bottle (that's about 20 standard pours) = RM5.50 / shot.

    Say you suck at drinking so much that you can only manage 5 shots per label  - because you'd want to try each with the different types of Japanese food, ie - 1) oden / soupy stuff 2) sashimi / cold cuts 3) teppanyaki / bbq / cooked stuff  4) stuff with carbs like noodles & rice 5)  dessert.

    Then you're looking at trying NINE bottles (by the way, they are usually around 15-20% ABV - just slightly higher than wines, which means, it's deceptively SO EASY TO DRINK).

    So = 5 x 9 = 40 shots.
    40 x RM5.50 = RM220
    RM220 >> RM172 
    = YOU WIN (QED)

    And there you have it. 5 reasons why you SHOULD Kanpai with the Sake Masters at Kampachi Plaza33 this Thursday. As if you need any more reasons, there will also be fun & games, giftaways and promotional prices on sake bottle purchases.

    But you'll need to RSVP very quickly because it's by reservations only and places get snapped up too fast. So don't say I #bojio!

    KANPAI! with Sake Masters from Japan 2016 details:
    23 June 2016 (Thursday)
    Kampachi Plaza33 
    RM320 nett
    For reservations, call +603 7931 6938 


    1 June 2016

    Diageo World Class South East Asia Finals 2016: Meet our Malaysian Representatives!

    The Diageo World Class Malaysia 2016 took place recently (2-3 May, to be exact) at the KL Journal.

    After 2 days & 4 grueling challenges later, 4 local bartenders were chosen to represent Malaysia in the Southeast Asian World Class Finals 2016 - happening right now in Bali.

    Meet the 4 Malaysian representatives for the Diageo World Class South East Asia Finals 2016: (L tp R:) Joel John Timmis, Osmund Bernard, Jeffri Sulaiman & Boy Labib

    I've googled and googled but couldn't find much info about our heroes. Which is why I've decided to put on my spy glasses, hunt them down, pose them a few questions, then get their background out here so that they have some form of a digital footprint on the interweb.


    Boy Labib (Tate, The Intermark)

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016

    Hailing from Pahang, this shy ex-barista of 6 years probably wouldn't have ventured into bartending if it wasn't for a chance job opening with the Big Group. He hopped on board the drinks slinging ship and never looked back. Boy has been slinging drinks with Tate for about 5 years now.

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016
    Boy's Bees Knees, Tanqueray G&T, Hibiscus Spank & Uluwathu Sunset.

    Jeffri Sulaiman (Enfin by James Won)

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016

    Jeffri knew he was passionate about the F&B industry at the tender age of 15. This Klang boy went on to pursue his hospitality degree, majoring in Culinary (against his parents' wishes to pursue engineering!) before officially starting off his career in TGI Fridays. He has been with Ten Japanese Fine Dining, then worked towards becoming Big Group's beverage operations manager, before currently settling down at Enfin by James Won as the resident beverage manager.

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016
    Jeffri's The Happle, Pick Me Up and Fly Me to Miami and his 6 speed challenge cocktails.

    Osmund Bernard (Ikki, TREC KL)

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016

    Armed with a Mechanical Engineering degree, this Sabahan lad moved from KK to KL in search of a job. While job hunting, he casually worked behind a bar for a couple of months to make ends meet. Those 2 months of dabbling behind the bar stretched into 7 years! This self-professed "Drinks Engineer" has worked across the entire Soul Society Group (Souled Out, WiP, 7ateNine now Tujo, Sky Lounge) & is currently residing at Ikki Bar as their Head Bartender / Beverage Manager.

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016
    Osmund's Sunny Honey, Bali Dreams, Tanqueray GnT and Last Word.

    Joel John Timis (Sparrow, Kota Damansara)

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016

    Joel started off his bartending career in 2008. Having worked in Skybar (Trader's Hotel), Elixir Bar and Arthur's Bar (Shangri-La), he went on to become the pioneer team (and then later, head mixologist) of View Rooftop Bar @ GTower. This Sabahan has bagged umpteen local, regional & even international accolades in the past 8 years of his colorful bartending career. 

    Malaysia Diageo World Class 2016

    Joel's Miami Fizz, Bali Club & his 6 speed challenge cocktails.

    Boy Labib, Jeffri Sulaiman, Osmund Bernard & Joel John Timmis are currently competing alongside participants from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam. 

    Today (2 June 2016), one of them will be chosen (there will be 1 rept from each country) to represent Malaysia at the Global Finals in Miami this coming September.

    So come on boys, show the world what you're made of! Go #TeamMalaysia! 

    Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara!

    All photos courtesy of MHDM.


    3.6.2016 Update :........  And it's Osmund!!! Congratulations!!!! Make us proud in Miami!