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

30 November 2017

A Majestic Rat Packed Christmas

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is celebrating this upcoming festive season with a dedication to Hollywood’s most famous entertainers; Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford or collectively better known as the Rat Pack.


The Colonial Cafe's house band, The Solianos, will play tribute to the music of that era made famous by The Rat Pack alongside popular Christmas tunes.


Served as an accompaniment to the band is a separate Christmas eve 9-course dinner priced at RM280 per person or RM380 with wine pairing and a Christmas day 9-course dinner menu priced at RM220 or RM320 with wine pairing. Here is a small visual teaser of the menu’s offering.

Image: Majestic Hotel
If you’d like to check out the full menu, clink on this link to take your to Majestic Hotel's website.


But wait, there is more...


As the legend goes, Frank Sinatra was a long time fan of JD... which inspired the Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select. What makes this so special is that the whiskey is matured in "Sinatra Barrels" where the barrels are grooved to allow even more contact between the whiskey and wood and bottled at 45% ABV. I have not had an opportunity to sip this dram yet, but here is a bit of the background story behind it and the tasting profile on Master of Malt.

This is exclusively only available at the Majestic Hotel's Smoke House. I’d recommend that with some Cubans and the “Rat Pack Gentleman's” Afternoon Tea (canape-style bites, tea & coffee) at RM80 nett per person that's accompanied with a tankard of beer throughout December.

- Jon

19 November 2017

Goa by Hubba

There are 22 major languages in India with over 700 different dialects. Fact. That is an astounding mind boggling number of variants for Indian cuisine and ways curries you may never try in your lifetime.


Goa is quite a popular touristic destination, that we we know. Air Asia flies there. It is supposed to be a hippy coastal city where grass there is popular, not necessarily greener, if you get what I mean (I only heard about it from friends who have been there!).


Well, a little part of Goa(n) cuisine is now featured by a watering hole that used to be known as Hubba Hubba. Now rebranded as Goa by Hubba, it's located on the ground floor of Ramada Suites KLCC. Don’t be confused by the hotel name. This is actually off Changkat Bukit Bintang.


Goa by Hubba now features a brand new food menu and cocktails inspired by Goa cuisine and flavours. The menu was created in collaboration with Le Cordon Bleu Celebrity chef Sapna Anand. Sapna, a native of Goa herself, brings to the table delectable dishes like the Fire Roasted Bone Marrow, Cochin Seafood Stew, Goan Beef Cutlets, Allepey Grilled Fish and more. Many of these dishes were also inspired by her mother's own recipes.


To complement the new menu, they have created new cocktails inspired by spices from Goa-style flavours of rasam, raita and lassi. Exotic kooky cocktail names like Kinky Kokum, Masala Mantra, Ass Whuppin Chai Masala got me tickled. FA really loved their gleaming copperware.


For the after office happy hour crowd that just needs a little something something to kill some time while waiting for the rush hour traffic to subside, there's still their beers on tap to accompany some of their Goan-inspired nibbles to keep your mouth busy.


Congratulations Michele Kwok and the Soul Society team on this new baby, and thanks for having us!

- Jon

17 November 2017

#Becurious at H.O.M.E. by Martell


Martell recently invited us to explore our curious side through its #BeCurious event at its first Martell H.O.M.E. pop-up located at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, beckoning us to explore the cognac with a different lens.

From the entrance to exit, the tent had plenty of curiosities to keep us.. well, curious.


The dark, laser-filled first room led us to Zelda (not her actual name), where our fortunes will be met from the magic sphere ball. Shaking the magic sphere ball will open a magic drawer for the cocktail ingredients in little straw pouch.



Entering another door led us to the cocktail lounge room with 5 Martell-based cocktails and the option of having the VSOP neat.

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Then it was time for some food. The Be Curious menu was designed by maestro Chef Nathalie of Nathalie Gourmet Studio. Naturally, the menu was conceptualised with the pairing of 4 Martell's signature drinks; The VSOP, Cordon Bleu, Cordon Bleu Extra and the XO.






At the end of the dinner, our rather enigmatic host, Martell brand ambassador Pierre Boyer invited  us for a cocktail mixing session. We were encouraged to mix our own cocktail under the careful guidance of the mixologists and the reward was a certification of curiosity by Martell signed by Pierre himself:

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One can't keep FA away from the bar :/


With this as their first H.O.M.E. by Martell event in the country, Martell Malaysia hopes it will further encourage the appreciation and discovery of cognac through unexpected experiences and the spirit of curiosity.

Stay tuned and curious for more updates by following Martell Malaysia’s Facebook page or their H.O.M.E website here https://www.martell.com/en-my/be-curious

- Jon

13 November 2017

21 Years On and Still Souled Out

It's a Black Light 21st Birthday Bash at SOSH! (image: souled out)

I remember a time when Souled Out used to be the few places on the fringes of PJ area for great food, drinks and lepaking with friends...having a difficult time making my mind up from their colourful, thick food menu that offered a wide mix of western cuisine and local-favourites, before finally settling down with my go-to fried beef noodles, sake san pizza or the sinful gosht palak... Then washing it down with their happy hour priced cold pints of beer and their infamous mojitos.

I can't believe it's been 21 years and they have since branched out from Sri Hartamas to five other locations at Ampang, Bangsar South, Kota Kinabalu and Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

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To kick off their 21 years journey, SOULed OUT threw a big party and soon, they'll be rolling out a new menu and all-new outdoor kitchen in the months to come.

Happy Birthday again, Souled Out! You're finally old enough for a drink! :) A big congratulations to Michele Kwok, Freddy Choo and the entire service team.

Here are some pictures of the night:

Giant bowls of Glow G&Ts!

Awesome glow in the dark cupcakes!

Glow in the dark drummers! (image: souled out)

Glow in the dark dancers! (image: souled out)

12 November 2017

Whisky Live Singapore 2017 - Bigger and Better.

I'm going to list down 3 top reasons why you and your family should drive to Singapore this school holiday weekend of 25th Nov 2016.

1. The missus will want to do Christmas Shopping
2. Universal Studios for the kids… and maybe you too!
3. Whisky Live Singapore 2017!!!!


If you don't already know, Whisky Live Singapore 2017 is South East Asia’s largest and premier whisk(e)y and spirits show. Now into its 8th installment this year, this year's exhibition boasts itself to be a bigger, better and more immersive and expansive experience than before.

I missed last year's but was there in 2015.

What’s new in 2017?
A new venue which is more accessible! This year, it will be held at the grounds of Theatreworks right smack in the heart of town.

Look forward to:
The event will, for the first time in South East Asia, unveil Nikka Coffey Gin, Nikka Coffey Vodka, an Old Pulteney 25-year-old and the 1983 vintage Old Pulteney!


Business as usual:
A cocktail and food trail will be dedicated for a celebration of cocktails and food to add to the festivity. Expect cocktail booths by spirit types – gin, tequila, rum and many more, and food by different cuisines.

This year will feature more than 50 brands and 150 expressions of whiskies and spirits.

Details: 
Date: 25th and 26th November 2017 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 1.30pm – 8.30pm
Venue: 7213 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239007

Buy tickets:
Tickets are available for purchase via:
1. Peatix
2. Whisky Live 
3. Maison du Whisky at 80 Mohamed Sultan Rd., Singapore 239013

Last checked on its website, single day tickets are still available at SGD99 per day and going fast. VIP tickets is still available (as of 10th Nov 3pm). These were what whisky geeks were clammering to get their hands on; for the opportunity to taste some of the world’s rarest and private collection of whiskies in the private vault section.

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Last words:
Still not convinced to go? Simple math: RM300 for 150 expressions, you're looking at RM2 per dram per expression, what a steal!

Don’t say I #bojio!

For more:
http://www.whiskylive.sg/
https://www.facebook.com/WhiskyLiveSingapore/

7 November 2017

A wine experience with Zenzero & the Gladiators from Antinori


Recently we had the privilege of an invite to Zenzero Restaurant & Wine Bar at St Mary’s Residence KL for a wine pairing dinner featuring Italian wines from Antinori Winery, hosted by Mr Guido Vannucchi from Antinori itself.

As with most wineries, Antinori is steeped in history, being in production for over 6 centuries and family ran for 26 generations. The winery sits in the Tuscany and the Umbria region of Italy, home of many great Italian wines.

Like gladiators of the past, 6 Antinori champions were presented to us for our palates' entertainment, accompanied by an exclusive Italian food pairing menu curated by Zenzero.


We started with a bubbly, the Antinori Montenisa Franciacorta Brut. Fruity and dry, it is said that it could rival a respectable bottle of champagne. Paired with a delightful assaggini of canapes, it sure whetted our appetite for more.


Next came Villa Antinori Bianco 2014 paired with an amuse bouche of cold angel hair pasta with smoked salmon and salmon roe which was a joy in every bite. Guido mentioned that this would be considered an entry-level wine. Fresh and crispy, it was super easy drinking. It's a bottle one could introduce to first-time wine drinkers. This is not one meant for keeping, but to be consumed young to retain its crispness.
Moving on to something heavier, we had the La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2014 with the Black Angus Carpaccio "Quattro Formaggi" which did not disappoint. The darker berries and some spiciness begs for food in your mouth. When paired with the paper thin slices of black angus carpaccio dressed in aged balsamic vinegar and 4 different cheeses comprising of Gorgonzola, Fontina, Grana Padano, and Goat cheeses, it was a sweet marriage.


The Il Bruciato 2014 vintage came next paired with Pearl Barley Risotto in drunken cheese and pine nuts. Now for those of us expecting ‘rice’, the barley in place of actual risotto was rather interesting as the barley was more chewy than your typical grain. The woody, fruity finish from the wine was light enough to match with this risotto.


The main course of Black Angus Tenderloin & Foie Gras was paired with Guado al Tasso 2012.  What makes this wine special is that the harvesting and selection of the grapes of the wine is exclusively done by hand, then after being aged in a year in French oak barrels, only the finest batches are chosen to be blended again for another 6 months in oak.

The legs on this went on forever and what caught me by surprise was the curry leaves scent I got on the nose. The dish itself was easily the highlight of the night as the steak was done well (never well done, please!)  and the foie gras perfectly creamy. Our group pretty much savoured this in silence, with an occasional ooh or aahs punctuating the air when a bite or sip was taken.


Lastly for dessert, a sweet wine, Vino Liquoroso Santa Cristina Donato degli Antinori, was paired with a Lemon and Thyme cake and Cannoli alla Siciliana, which was so cheerful it looked the sun had sneezed its rays on the plate, thanks to the melted candy (I think) garnish.

For someone who has a fondness for old world wines, these Italian wines was right up my alley. If we had to choose our winner tonight it had to be the complex and bold Guado al Tasso 2012. Of course, having it paired with what was our favourite dish of the night might have helped skewed my bias towards it.

Mr Guido shared with us his belief that wine is pleasure. Well, this session was definitely more than a pleasure. Thank you all for having us. Salute!

- Jon

6 November 2017

The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition finally comes to Malaysia!

The title pretty much says it all. This may be new to us in Malaysia, but any bartender worth his salt know that this has been going on for nearly a decade all over the world and it is one heck of a big deal.

Avante, Bacardi 8 Old Fashioned, Haole and the Chai Sour.

The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition is a global competition which requires participating bartenders to not only create a Bacardi rum cocktail that has the potential of being a modern-day classic which would get listed in bars, but to also run their own promotional activities to market their drink to both consumers and bars.


The first stage begins locally in each participating country, where the national winner will then compete in the regional stage. The regional winner moves on to the global final to compete with the best on the planet - in 2018, that will be in Mexico City. This year, the winner was the animated Ran Van Ongevalle from Belgium, with his Clarita. You could check his performance out on Youtube to get a sense how next level this competition is.

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The boys at Bacardi, along with SEA Brand Ambassador, Richard Paiva, also took the opportunity to throw a little party, inviting media and the bartending community to check out shots and shots of the Bacardi 8 Anos, an 8 year old rum. We also were also treated with Bacardi cocktails by guest bartender Syafiq Rahim from 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore at Jack Rose.

Syafiq messing around for the camera
Looking forward to see what our local boys can bring to the stage next year. Make us proud!

https://www.facebook.com/BacardiLegacySEA/
https://www.bacardilegacy.com

4 November 2017

Launched in Malaysia: Phraya Rum - the "Premium Rum of Asia"

The Rum Bar Kuala Lumpur recently hosted the official launch of Phraya Rum into Malaysia. Yes, “Phraya” is the same name as the major river that flows through the Kingdom of Thailand. Phraya is also a titular meaning for 'high ranking' and thus the name for the product of this proud nation.


This rum is distilled, matured, blended and bottled in Thailand. It's matured in charred oak barrels between 7 and 12 years, hence they call themselves a “Deep Matured Gold Rum.” Its distinctive gold metallic filigree cuff wrapped around the bottle lends it a lux look, to capture the brand's claim of it being "Asia's premium rum".

Phraya plays up its Eastern heritage and philosophy in its marketing, governed by the four natural elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The Fire comes in the form of the charred oak barrels the rum is aged in. The Earth is responsible for the quality of the sugar cane, grown in Thailand’s Nakhon Pathom. The Air is the tropical climate of the region, and the aging warehouses are buildings set on stilts over cool lagoons to moderate the hot weather. The water is, well, water, naturally occurring near where Phraya is distilled.

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Rum Bar KL's #Phraya Rum Cocktails at the official launch

The brand has in its merit won a Double Gold medal at the prestigious 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, earning 95 points and the description “ultimate recommendation.”

It's good story, and at the end of the day, it's also a pretty damn decent rum. At 40% ABV, it's got quite a nice mouthfeel, not overly sweet, and strongly reminds us of coconut candy. Mmmm..

Distributed by the folks at Single & Available and retailing for about RM238 a bottle, you'll also be able to find this in selected bars and F&B outlets like the Rum Bar, Jungle Bird, Mish Mash, Coley and Ekkamai.

- Jon