Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To pull or not to pull?

Last weekend, the girls and I had a dinner at Grand Palace @ Pavilion. As both of them had not been there, it was quite a good suggestion that we have a Chinese meal after a western lunch at Albion.

And it includes popping champagnes and unscrewing wine corks.



















I let Jasmin had her cherry popped for opening a bottle of Champagne. Her first question was, "should I pull the cork or twist it?"

Then, I said, "Hmm... twist the cork la"

Before she went on to twist the cork, she asked "should I shake it?" (ok, this conversation might sound a little indecent, but we are just talking about uncorking the champagne!)

"Err... no. It's not like the F1 celebration. We can't afford to waste the good liquid!"

I think everyone who drinks should know how to pop a bottle of champagne and uncork a wine. Although there are many screw capped wines from NZ and Australia, I still prefer my bottles to be oak corked, the traditional way. Don't screw my wine!

















These are the booze we had that night. Siu loves the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc and I get to have all her share on the Pauillac. But we didn't finish all the reds as both Siu and Jasmin are not hardcore wine drinkers like moi. haha...















Grand Palace does a few dishes that I really like. For example, I love the appetiser of Century Eggs with pickled ginger which is a must for me. The century eggs are so tender, springy on the outside and runny yolks in the inside. This is really difficult to get.

That night, we tried a new dish which is clams with superior stock and beansprouts. In chinese, it is called "Guai Ma Gor Kiu Wong Dai Pong". Hmm.. don't really know what it means but it's hell good! For the last dish, we all had a bowl of pork, pig intestine noodles with pork lard. I swear it was like the best pork noodle I had and ever since, I have been craving for it! The soup was so flavorful and I guess it must be the stock that is making the difference.















It was a fun night and we all had a good meal and good company! Gosh, my friends should come down more often. Looking forward to another GDO.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Albion @ Jalan Berangan KL

Albion is a new addition to Jalan Berangan (just a street behind Changkat Bukit Bintang) beside Bar Italia. This street might be quiet and dark but if you want something away from the crowded Changkat, Albion is actually quite the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two.












This establishment serves modern British cuisine and IMHO, it was a rather brave move to label it as such. "Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. It is thought to derive from the white cliffs of Dover. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island or England in particular."

British food pales in comparison when you compare it to Italian, French and Spanish cuisine because in every corner of the world, you can definitely find any of these restaurants be it good or bad. But for British cuisine, not many knew what British cuisine is all about!

The staple foods of Britain are meat, fish, potatoes, flour, butter and eggs. Their popular traditional British food includes Bangers & Mash, Toad-in-the-hole, roast meats, Yorkshire Pudding, Shepherd Pie and Fish & Chips. More info here. Nowadays, the most popular British food is - CURRY! Yikes... what happened to the real British food, one wonders.....
















Egg Benedict (Single RM16)

Poached egg with runny egg yolk, ham and generous serving of Hollandaise sauce.

Albion do not serve the typical/traditional British food but they have a creative chef whom has been working for ages in Britain and is able to marry the British cuisine with the continental dishes. The menu is still filled with dishes that one might not have tried and I like that fact that the list does look refreshing! Thinking that Jasmin & Siu Ann might not have tried any modern British dining, I took them here for lunch on Sunday.











Don't you just love their expression?!!


When I saw the Serano ham with Melon (RM24), I knew I had to order this (although it's Spanish and not British). I'm a sucker for all things ham.

The first thing Siu Ann did when the dish came was "Do you eat olives?"

"Err... No." (I was thinking to say yes to appear more cultured...)

"Oh. GOOD! So I can have your share!"

(Phew!) "Yeah you are most welcomed!"



Since we are all so hungry, and it's already 2-3pm, I ordered a few dishes to share. We had a plate of Soft Shell Crabs with capers & anchovy butter sauce at RM18, the Quinoa & Asparagus Risotto (RM24) which is using the organic King of Grain in Peru and cooked as risotto. It's quite an eye-opener but I think the parmesan slices made it a little too salty for my liking. The Ballotine of Chicken (RM26) is actually a stuffed drumstick with bacons and pork stuffing served with vegetables.














The Soft Shell Crab is a great starter!

I was very tempted to try their desserts as the last time I was there, the Ice Cranachan Parfait was really good. I heard the Sticky Toffee & Date Pudding is another thumbs up but we were so full to the brim, we couldn't take in any more food!

The whole lunch only cost us around RM120+ and I think it's very affordable. Their set lunches are a steal as well but I have yet to try since my office is really far away. So, the next time you want to skip Changkat, just give it a try at Albion and see whether you have a palate for the modern British food.


Albion
31, Jalan Berangan, 50200 KL.
+603-21419282
www.albionkl.com


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Girls' Day Out

Jasmin came to town from Ipoh on Sunday for a Geology convention in KLCC where she is the speaker for one of the oil spill effects on Pulau Pangkor. I haven't seen her for months and we decided to meet up in KL together with Siu Ann whom I haven't seen for ages too. We were all high school mates back in Ipoh and we all have done really crazy things together back then. It was a Girls' Day Out (GDO) in town and I was entrusted with the itinerary of the day!



Environmentalist meets Pharmacist - don't play play...


After picking up Siu Ann in Subang Jaya, we headed straight to Impiana KLCC to pick Jasmin. First stop was lunch. I decide to take them to Albion, the modern British dining at Jalan Berangan (which I will blog about soon). It was my second time there and I still haven't try all the items on the menu yet!





After a heavy lunch, we were off to some shopping in KLCC. Surprisingly enough, I did not buy anything! That, I find it unbelievable. Since we all have not taken any pics with our pride of the nation, we decided to snap a few pictures on the way walking to Skybar. Now, we can truly call ourselves Malaysians! (at least we have taken pictures with the Twin Towers) Have you?!!



Look at the gluttony faces!




Chill!

I think Skybar is like my official favourite hang out place. Looking back, I'm almost here at least once every week! Although it's a little hot to hang out here on a afternoon, probably with the current heatwave and all, it's actually very nice on a evening before it gets dark.

So, after chill out at Skybar, we went to help Jasmin put up her poster for her presentation at KL Convention Centre before adjourning for dinner @ Grand Palace. We had some champagne popping and wines flowing babe-h!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Date Night

A revisit of my past post, there's a very memorable date that I had experienced and I called it a "Date from Hell". Previous post here.


I thought the "date from hell" happens only in the movies.

Sadly, it wasn't. It was real! I've had such a terrible date that I think I will abstain from that for now until I've fully recovered from a traumatic experience. I think I should share with everyone my definition of a date from hell.

Boastful
Rude
Arrogant
Snobbish
Horny

So, basically if you're BRASH, you're my hell.

Actually, those were just the general attributes of the date I had from hell. There's more to it than just some cheesy, almost-vomiting-lines that a 25 26 year old like me would never believed. Who's so naive to believe that there's love at first sight (is there even one?)? Sometimes I think these men need to be taught a lesson. Don't think money can solve all problems (although most of it can) and don't think you can always get what you want with money. There's no short cut in life.

Oh, the reason why I wrote this was because....

Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox, 90 Nuffnangers with their guests will be able to catch DATE NIGHT on this coming April 13! To win yourself a pair of invites to catch DATE NIGHT in the big screen, I need to write a blog post on my most memorable date.

poster
Hopefully, I will win a pair! I haven't been going to the movies for months!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Night Gone Wrong

Sometimes I just hate taking pictures at night because of these simple reasons:

a) my camera will not be able to capture the low lights

b) noisy pictures and thus it won’t be sharp

c) bulky camera that won’t fit into my tiny clutch


The party shots won’t turn out nice. If I use the flash, it’ll be too harsh and thus highlighting the front objects leaving the background totally black! I really envy those people who have great shots from the party scenes and so I asked them what camera they are using.

“SLR la… with flash!”

“Huh? You brought the whole bulky bag to club?!!”

“Yep.”

“Gosh, that was too much for me. That won’t match my style!”


See, that’s the reason why I don’t get nice pictures in the night. Investing in a SLR is already costly, and now I need to invest in a good flash and lug that big bag around? Haha… no thanks.


But aren’t you frustrated when you see these pictures?!!


And sometimes when I do my food reviews, I feel so disappointed with my camera not being able to capture the dishes under low light conditions. You know how much I love my wine right? And to be not able to take a good picture of the bottle and the moment is such a let down! Even KY looks skeptical about the turnout of my shots.



The lights are too dimmed and the pictures are slightly blurred.

Even under the lights, half of my face is in darkness!



Then, I found a way how to get the camera I wanted to take these shots and the best thing is, I don’t need to spend a cent! I discovered that there’s this contest where you can have a chance to win the new Cybershot TX-7 by joining either one of these contests:


a) Uncover the Night Contest

It’s a game where you just have to play around with the virtual camera and capture the shot as per instruction given. Then, submit your score and details to win!


b) Night Gone Wrong Contest

Just submit a photo spoilt by bad lighting and tell give a short description on how the great night was ruined by a bad photo. Then, fill in your particulars to win!


I have submitted mine and this is it:



Now, go and submit yours too if you want this simple, sleek and chic camera!

Hurry, because the photos are pilling up and closing date is on 31st March 2010.

More info at this website.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Affair with Suntory Yamazaki 12 yo

From my last review on Hibiki Suntory 17 years old, it leaves me craving for more Japanese single malts. It was really unexpected that after my Monday Evening at Changkat, I headed straight for dinner where my friends served me a bottle of Suntory Yamazaki 12 yo!

Yamazaki is the first Japanese distillery established 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory and the father of Japanese whisky, whom built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in the Vale of Yamazaki. The distillery is situated in an area of dense bamboo grooves at the foot of Mt. Tennozan outside Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital. Using copper pot stills, the Yamazaki distillery was the first of its kind outside of Scotland.

What makes Suntory Yamazaki single malts so appealing and impressive is credited to the fresh air and four simple ingredients: the finest malted barley, pure water, special yeast strains, and noble oak casks. These whisky are then aged in casks of three different kinds of oaks: American, Spanish and Japanese.

As quoted, "Suntory Whisky derives from the pure waters prized by Senno Rikyu, the creator of the Japanese tea ceremony”

My experience with Suntory Yamazaki is quite a physical affair. I always take the liberty to nose the whisky before I had the virgin sip. On the nose, you'll find honeyish and buttery aromas. It's quite a powerful embrace.

There are 3 ways to drink this : neat (straight from the bottle to the glass), on the rocks (adding cubes of ice) or mixing with water and ice (also known as "Mizuwari" in Japan). I suggest that it be served on the rocks because it does not dilute the whisky as much when you mix it with water and ice. Do you know that whisky tastes differently when some drops of water are added into it?

On the palate, it has a delicate, mellow taste with a lingering, woody, with a dry finish that is medium to long. This is one of them where the flavour of whisky transforms as water is added. After some ice drops, it makes the palate a bit more buttery and pleasantly bitter.

I would rate this as a soft, delicate and medium-bodied whisky which is smooth and easy to drink. It's my perfect antidote after a day of peaty whisky such as a Laphroaig or a Lagavulin. It's almost anatomical, and the drinking experience has always been immensely pleasurable and physically gratifying when I'm in great company coupled with good food and whisky.



I heard the 18 yo is even more superb. Gotta have that in my Dream Drink List.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday Evening


There have been so much stress lately that I constantly feel that these events have been taking a toll on me. Nothing feels better than a relaxing Monday evening, sipping a glass of whisky or two and having a cigar under the cool canopy. It has just rained and what a wonderful breezy evening in Changkat Bukit Bintang. Watching the cars go by and people enjoying their Irish stout in the opposite pub is usually what I do if I hang out here. Aaahh... the Monday blues.






Monday, March 22, 2010

BUBU @ Tengkat Tong Shin

BUBU Restaurant @ Hotel Rae


When my friend first asked us to try out his newly partnered restaurant called Bubu, which we thought we heard "Bulu" (in Malay which means hair), we couldn't help but laughed our heads off. Which restaurant would want a name like "Bulu"?

It seemed that the name BUBU is also under the same owner as the BUBU Long Beach Resort in Perhentian Island (Perhentian Kecil) which is one of the very beautiful white sandy beaches in Malaysia. I'm embarrassed to say that I have not set foot there.


The air-conditioned dining area.


This restaurant is housed in Hotel Rae, which is just opposite the Hotel Alpha Genensis which is situated on Tengkat Tong Shin linking to Changkat Bukit Bintang. After all, this place is notorious for having blocks of f*ck hotels/inns, if you know what I mean. My friend just took over this restaurant, brushed up the menu and improved the service.


Grilled Calamari, Lokam Clams & Grilled Lamb


Grilled Tiger Prawns (RM50)


The seafood served here is very fresh. According to Mr. Cheah, the owner, the seafood comes from Pulau Perhentian and he has twice delivery a day! So, if you want something special or host a dinner, it can be arranged! Even the grilled rack of lamb (RM50) here is special because they have added goat cheese to give it an extra kick! If you look at the Tiger Prawns, it's so big and succulent that it almost pass off as a mini lobster.

They have other things on the menu too such as the Surf & Turf dish for RM60, Swordfish Thermidor RM38, Grilled Garoupa at RM38 and also pasta as well. Cocktails start from RM20 which I think it's quite reasonable.



Wines & Cigars

I love the al-fresco dining style which allowed us to smoke our cigars. The set up is simple and cosy minus all the frills. You can wear your shorts and tank tops here to enjoy a good meal. There's a counter filled with fresh seafood for your selection.


The Culprits


With such good food, we have to have good wines too! We had 3 bottles that night for 5 of us. It's not much but it's certainly enough to get me tipsy. The first bottle we had was the 2005 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino which is from Tuscany, Italy. It has very intense ruby red colour, coupled with tasting notes of plum, blackberries and tobacco. It's a earthy, spicy but elegant wine. As for the second wine, the Fournier Monetou-Salon 2006 is a Burgundy from the the region of Loire with bright acidity and tannins. My favourite lot of all would be the Xisto 2004 from Duoro, Portugal. It combines the unique spicy character of the Douro with all the finesse you may expect of a Cru Classé Bordeaux. The wine has a very deep (almost opaque) red colour and a nose of violets, cassis and black cherries. I have recommended many to give this Portugal wine a go and they all told me that it's one of those exceptional wines from Portugal that they have drank so far!

With all the food, wine and cigars, my dinner came to an end. It was soon time to head home as I still have to work on Friday! If you like this concept of dining (not the average typical seafood restaurant) with prices above average, you can give this BUBU a try.


BUBU Restaurant (at Hotel Rae)
No. 42A, Tengkat Tong Shin
off Jalan Bukit Bintang,
50200 KL, Malaysia.
Tel:+603- 2142 2988

map

Saturday, March 20, 2010

H-Artistry @ The Opera

The Opera Club @ Sunway Pyramid

The return of H-Artistry this time is done at The Opera Club at Sunway Pyramid. I would say this is just a small party to start the year as the club is small and it was quite packed to the brim.

This is a new clubbing scene in Sunway, which is to my advantage since it's nearer to where I stay. Said to be remodeled after the renowned La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy but I think it's just a simple 3-storey high former Sunway Pyramid monorail station turned clubbing joint. There are 3 rooms - The Main Room (club floor), The Long Lounge and The Red Observatory (a bar to chill). It's actually quite a small place and I heard the queues to get in is crazy!



First H-Artistry of the year - say Hennessy.....
The obligatory picture.

After pulling some strings, we managed to get our VIP tickets to attend the event. All of the 3 sisters had got their own strings by the way but we still got to hang out together that night. I heard that the VIP lounge was upstairs but we didn't bothered to went up and so we were downstairs all the while enjoying the blasting music and performances by various artists.



When we arrived, errr... about 10.40pm, Bunkface was playing and after that followed by the incredible performance by Shawn Lee, Malaysia's own beatbox entertainer.His beatboxing skills was simply awesome! He's got his own blog too, and if you're into it, you can check out his site. Joey G was the MC of the night. After that, it was DVJ G Mix playing the night. I think we missed DJ Sarasa.


This is Ziling & me.
So nice of her to drive us there!


Happened to meet Putt there too.
A friend from Ipoh since a decade ago whom is a future actuarist...


Putt with the Lim Sistas.
We were all friends and got to know each other at the English tuition.


Yiling is happy!
The Coach clutch that I bought for her is nice hor...


Ziling & colleagues.
Noticed that all her colleagues are all pretty babes. I jealous.


Bumped into Yat when I was leaving.
Almost can't recognise him with his super short hairstyle.


Met Sue Lynn, the cun Bangsar-babe.
How I wished I can be half as slim and pretty like her... damn...




That's all the booze we had.

This H-Artistry is not as fun as some of the previous ones. I love it when they threw a big party at Bukit Kiara. I hope a big one is coming soon as I can't wait to attend the next one. That's all the pics (since it wasn't very happening) and it was so packed and so hot!


Past Hennessy Artistry I attended:

Zouk KL 2008

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