Beer lover? Check out Brewfest 2012 at Publika!

Heads up people! It’s BREWFEST, Malaysia’s 1st International Beer Festival at Publika (Solaris Dutamas) today and tomorrow!

What does it mean? Picture this: Huge tents, long tables awaiting merriment, a stage for performers and DJs, food stalls aplenty and of course the stars of the show: over 50 premium and craft brews from all around the world waiting to be had!

That means you won’t see the familiar big names at Brewfest as they’re bringing indie beer (so to speak) into the spotlight. A lot of the beer brands are also not available in your local hypermarket. This means you get to try many many many many types of beer, speak to the people who bring them in for Brewfest and treat your palate to a variety of delicious beer!

Fantastic? Not just, it’s supercalifragilisticexpialidociously exquisite, a haven for beer lovers, appreciators and generally just anyone who wish to explore the big beer world!

Brewfest 2012 is happening at Publika (behind Solaris Dutamas in the Mont Kiara/ Hartamas area) today and tomorrow (18 & 19 May). Actually it started yesterday and I was there, so have a look at the photos I took while I was still sober and able ;)

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - set up at Publika
Early on, half of the set up. I’ve decided to crop all my photos 4×4 from now on.. mostly

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - beer 01
Tsingtao, an array of premium beer from Taps beer bar, the Konig stuff, awesome Grimbergen

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - beer 02
Organic cider that was apparently damn good, more different beer brands, award-winning Suntory Japanese beer, bottle caps of Hitachino Nest beer

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - Yona Yona ale
Yona Yona ale! American pale ale, so good it deserves a full photo by itself. Currently my fav, very easy to drink with a fruity aroma. It’s like breathing in Japanese spring every time you take a sip. You need to try this… while stocks last

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - food
Lots of food available! Some favs are pork ribs, chicken skin, pork sate, sushi and a cute guy selling delicious sausages in buns

And the people…

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - people 01
With Mike, Choon, Elfie, Charles of Eastern Craft who brought in the Hitachino Nest and Yona Yona ale, and Douglas Lim whom I made to pose with my fav beer of the evening

Brewfest Malaysia 2012 - people 02
AhFa, some drunk’s T-shirt, @TisGod, Winnie, Ben

I highly recommend that you check them out, show some love and hopefully we’ll get more of these stuff on our shores. Lots of beer variety, food, performances by Douglas Lim, music acts, DJ spinning… it’s guaranteed fun but bring along a friend or two la, else not so fun lah :)

Brewfest 2012
Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
18th & 19th May 2012, 5pm – 1am
Tickets: RM68 inclusive of 2 beers

Tickets are for sale at the door as well. For more info, check them out at their website and on Facebook.

Gerard Bertrand wines @ Le Meridien KL, 9th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards and ramblings before, in between and after

Is this turning into a food blog? *gasps* IS IT?? Oh dear, I must do something about it, mustn’t I? I don’t know why seeing as there’s nothing wrong with having a food blog, but imaginary life experts say that there must be other things going on besides food! Being imaginary, they must be right.

Actually I’m in ‘Criminal Minds’ mode right now, which means I’ve been watching a lot of ‘Criminal Minds’. The problem with watching the episodes consecutively means, a lot of airtime to highlight crazy nutters in succession. At one point I had to hit the pause button and go do something normal and not so dark, like flip through ‘Lat the Kampung Boy’. Really, it helped and then I was able to resume watching the work of psychos.

Eh I marked this post in the Parties/ Events/ Fun category? Are we having fun yet? Maybe the nutter effect is rubbing off me. Don’t worry too much; I don’t really talk to myself, only type to myself. I could write down an entire conversation with myself here but I doubt it’d be fun for anyone but me.

Maybe I need a new hobby. Or a fish. ‘Cos I’m no good with pets and fish are low maintenance. Actually that’s not true, now I remember I had fish as a kid and they all went belly up. Then I got a new batch to replace the dead ones, and they too died. Met their Maker. Went swimming in the great blue above. I don’t remember why, probably something to do with the water in the fish tank.

Anyway fishes are weird. Don’t trust them, okay? Anything that sleeps with their eyes open were creatures from another universe, their DNA seeds brought in to our world to encourage oddity. That line of reasoning should also be able to explain why pine nuts taste exceptionally great in salads.

This is the part where I’m trying to focus on the point of this blog post. Really.. trying… hard… to… suppress… a… monologue… on… jelly…

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur recently had a private showcase of Gerard Bertrand wines that they carry in their few restaurants. The wine’s from the south of France and the namesake was a former captain of the French rugby team. We tried mostly the ‘Reserve Speciale’ range, very easy to drink. I enjoyed the Cab Sav and Sav Blanc the most. The delectable food served by Le Meridien’s team to go with the wine of course made it too easy to enjoy. I’ve used the word ‘enjoy’ in two consecutive sentences. Do not follow down my shoddy Engrand footsteps OR get adequate sleep before attempting to talk about wine.

Nah, photos.

Gerard Bertrand wines at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

Then on another recent occasion, I went to the Kakiseni‘s 9th BOH Cameronion Arts Awards 2012 at One World Hotel. For those who do not know what it’s about, it’s to celebrate our local arts scene – the stage performers, dancers, musicians, etc. BOH Cameronion is the main sponsor, hence the name. Yes, BOH the tea. We had plenty of tea served at the awards.

The theme was Glam 20s, or something like that. I was all excited as I (thought I) had a dress for it. Turns out the 20s was about knee-length dresses, lace, nettings, pearls, feathers… Who would have known!!! Ok ok a lot of people but me. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m not exactly a fashion icon snort cough snigger.

So my sister helped with the make up ( <3 ) and I thought I looked all right except for the fat jutting out part, hah! What? I'm sure the 20s also got fat people ok, you just weren't alive to see them*.

Boh Cameronian Arts Awards - Ciki, Suanie, Missyblurkit, Masako
With Cheeky Ciki, Missyblurkit and Masako

I had a good time with Sheelah as the emcee, the hilarious Minister of Misinformation YB on stage and a co-performance by the spectacular Junji Delfino being the highlights of the evening.

Boh Cameronian Arts Awards - Huai Bin, Suanie
With the dashing Huai Bin

Okay enough with the blogging. Looking at the time now, I can slot in one episode of ‘Criminal Minds’ before I have to sleep. Night!!

By the way, JELLIES ARE GREAT AND I ESPECIALLY LOVE THE MILO ONES THAT MY MOM MAKES KTHXBAI!!!

*I was going to go on with a joke about being squashed to death then I thought it’d be an overkill. But it has to be noted that I thought of it!! So here it is.

Middle Eastern goes metropolitan at Al-Amar Express, Fahrenheit 88

I’ve to admit that there was a most disconcerting moment as I sipped on my mojito at Al-Amar Express.

Right in the heart of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, Al-Amar Express sits on the refurbished sidewalk outside of Fahrenheit 88. It used to be Kenny Rogers Roasters, then again Fahrenheit 88 used to be KL Plaza. If you can tell me what it was before Kenny Rogers, you also just revealed your age ;)

My cocktail was a well-concocted blend of rum, soda water, brown sugar, mint leaves and lime wedges that makes up a glass of mojito, yours for RM26. It is slightly on the expensive side but you are at a prime spot for people-watching, favourite activity of the urbanite. Take advantage of the current happy hours promotion and your third glass is on the house.

So there I was with a glass of alcohol in hand, delicious Middle Eastern food in the other and surrounded by delightful drinks and dinner companions. It was all very well until two women in burqa walked by that I realised something: I’m drinking (a lot of) alcohol in an Arabic setting? I turned around and right behind me was the Al-Amar Express signboard;

Al-Amar Express by Chattering Kitchen
Photo from: Chattering Kitchen

At that moment I half expected JAWI to bust in and make some arrests and scold me for offending the sensibilities of etc. Then I got a grip and mentally slapped myself for being ridiculous. But these are the things that you notice when you live in a country as such, straightaway assuming Arabic words automatically involves Muslims and in your temporary ignorance, forget that it’s the national language for a lot of countries in the Middle East, regardless of religion.

Later I learned that Lebanon is very metropolitan, different from her neighbours. Lebanese are hospitable and love to have a good time. According to a website, the only two things that suck in Lebanon are the terrible driving and lousy Internet connection. Hey, sounds like home…? :P

But of course at this time I’d already put aside my unfounded fears as I tucked into Al-Amar’s delicious Lebanese fare. From tempting appetisers such as mezze of hummus with pita bread and delectable Middle Eastern salads, to mouthwatering mains of Lebanese pizzas, shawarma and flame-grilled chicken. I highly recommend the haloumi salad, a delightful mix of watercress, spinach, rocket salad, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, herb crust crouton and fried haloumi cheese served with a vinaigrette dressing, all for RM20. There’s a dish not unlike deep-fried spring roll with cheese inside, I don’t remember its name but do ask for it using my description.

Top off your meal with scrumptious desserts or cleanse your palate with a variety of beer or cocktails. If you can hold your alcohol, please order the ‘caipiroska’, a cocktail of vodka, lime wedges and brown sugar. After that if you don’t feel as happy or friendly as the fun-loving Lebanese folks who work at Al-Amar Express, have another ;)

Do check out Al-Amar Express at Fahrenheit 88. Great location, good views, flavoursome Middle Eastern food in a chic and stylish setting. Do check out their website, Facebook and Twitter. Here be some photos:

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - Strawberry Daiquiri
Strawberry daiquiri

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - Hummus
Hummus is yum

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - pizza
Lebanese pizza

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - grilled chicken
Flame-grilled chicken, mmmm

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - what's eating Ciki
What’s eating Ciki?

Al-Amar Express, Bukit Bintang - happy people
Happy folks

Had a blast at St Patrick’s celebration ’12, did you??

Yay!

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - fresh pint of Guinness

I made it to Changkat Bukit Bintang for the ultimate St Patrick’s Celebration! Last year I didn’t attend, something about laziness and not wanting to hustle with the crowd, heh. Anyway I’m glad I did this year as I had much fun and.. well, you see ;)

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - 01

We reached early-ish as we didn’t want to be stuck in any traffic jam and without nearer parking. The main stretch of Changkat Bukit Bintang was to be sealed off for the street party and you can imagine how terrible the traffic would be. Managed to get a good parking spot in Jalan Alor at the carpark opposite to Wong Ah Wah, mostly for easy-access-to-supper purposes, heh.

The set-up was on-going when we arrived so it was fun to see all the people involved busying around getting things ready. There were some early party-goers who were probably already halfway through a barrel of Guinness, heh.

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - 02

We got to check out Arthur’s Lounge which is actually Frangipani lah. For RM50, you get to learn how to pour your own Guinness (then drink lots of them, of course), hang out at Frangipani where they have real cool music and finger food, and bring home a Guinness glass with your name on it. Pretty awesome!

Of course I skipped the whole ‘pour your own beer’ experience as I strictly belong to the ‘others pour me a draft” category ;)

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - 03

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - given the red card
KY got a red card for not looking before he crossed the road :P

The party really got started after a beautiful display of fireworks. I went for a quick walkaround the street with John and Di, there were SO MANY PEOPLE z0mg…! I was told later that attendance was more than 10,000 people.. definitely got more than that lor!

Great thing about being in a crowd is the crowd, lots to see! People were drinking and dancing, it was all fun. The bad thing about being in a crowd is people who smoke who aren’t aware of their lit cigs. I have a slowly recovering deep burn mark on my arm to prove that :(

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - 04

We left at midnight when the street party was in full swing… we’d been there for nearly 6 hours leh! Old people need their rest you know.

I leave you with my favourite guy at the party who went up and down with a sign his team distributing free bottled water to party-goers. Pretty neat!

St Patrick's Changkat Bukit Bintang 2012 - drink responsibly

Looking forward to St Patrick’s celebration in 2013. That is, if there is a 2013… ;)

The bestest NYE celebration yet!

So good that I had to make up a word!
We were at Genting at the Cheangs for yet another awesome round of BBQ, alcohol and companion.
I wish you could have joined us but you most likely couldn’t anyway, so here be photos.

# Drinks galore! Kronenbourg Blanc, Erdinger Dark, Carlsberg Gold, Kilkenny, ,Tiger, Little Creatures (all of 2 precious bottles), Obsession wine, single malt whiskey, alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch and a huge 4 gallon of H20 for hydration purposes :P

But nobody got too drunk ‘cos we’re all grown up already ;)

NYE 2011 @ Genting - alcohol

As usual, the BBQ Addicts whipped up a range of tasty food. Stuffed mushrooms, skewered scallops, skewered lamb, asparagus and bacon, meat meat meat…

NYE 2011 @ Genting - BBQ Addicts 01

Enoki and bacon, more seafood of cod and prawns, cold pasta, seafood bisque…

NYE 2011 @ Genting - BBQ Addicts 02

Pork sausages on steroids…

NYE 2011 @ Genting - BBQ Addicts 03

A chunk of ham, oysters, pork ribs, lamb racks etc.

NYE 2011 @ Genting - BBQ Addicts 04

Some of the happy attendees:

NYE 2011 @ Genting - people

Then it was 12am and 2012, the beginning of the end of the world, yay! ;)
Hugs and kisses all around, this shot below is my favourite and very apt!

NYE 2011 @ Genting - Happy 2012!

I hope 2012 lives up to its welcoming party ;)
So what did you do for yours?

How to throw the best surprise dinner party ever!

1. Get a good venue at an affordable price, preferably a private room to jump through the scale of awesomeness such as the one at TJ Haus where the owners are ever obliging and take pride in decorating their eatery.

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - decorated room

2. Conspire with friends to arrive early and make use of their youthful energy to blow up some balloons for party festiveness. Or to just sit and frown at cameras.

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - blowing balloons

3. When the birthday girl is about to enter the venue, make your friends hide and marvel at them doing such a great job :D

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - hiding

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - pretending to hide

4. Conspire with friends to bring birthday girl to sekret party under the pretensions of ‘just a normal dinner’. Lead birthday girl into sekret room, and ta-dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh present her with traditional dick-lookalike balloons.

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - birthday girl

5. Commence dinner party with awesome food!

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - awesome food

6. Follow up with awesome (and totally frozen) ice-cream cakes because that’s the only cakes our birthday girl would eat! Feel free to get a non ice-cream one if yours isn’t as fussy :P

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - cakes

7. Make everyone show their signs of affection towards birthday girl!

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - kissing 01

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - kissing 2

Kerol's surprise party @ TJ Haus - aftermath

8. Party ends! Everyone is happy, goes home and happy to have awesome friends like Horng + Yuki + Kim + ShaolinTiger + KY + Haze + Saint + Michelle + Zess + Cassandra + Terence + Celine + King Sebbie. And everyone else who couldn’t make it, much love! <3

The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011

… aka NAPBAS. I was there ‘cos I was one of the 5 finalists for the ‘Best Micro Blog‘ category.

The awards was held this past Friday at the Putrajaya Marriott. I’ve been to the hotel before but only during daytime. Plus I left from a new place so I wasn’t very sure of my directions. So I ended up touring Putrajaya city, went on both Putrajaya bridges and rounded the city a few times because Malaysian road signs are: 1) inefficient and lead you to big useless rounds, and 2) blocked from view thanks to massive trees.

Really Kerajaan, thank you. Loved the nearly 2 hours joyride. Really.

Anyway, managed to reach there just in the nick of time.

NAPBAS 2011 programme book

Met many familiar faces, mostly known each other via blogging from a few years back. It’s (still very much so) a fantastic community :)

By the way, I’ve to mention Viva Vertical‘s pole dancing show during the awards. It was fun to watch and in KY‘s words, they had muscles where I didn’t know one could have muscles! Nah, link: *click*

Then my category came up. Wah they did this big screen thing:

NAPBAS 2011 - Micro Blog category

Damn shiok man, I felt a tingling down my spine. Quite a thrill really to see yourself on a massive projection like that. And for reasons not related to crime… best! :P

I didn’t win, Kenny Sia did. So sad, mostly because I would have liked a new digital camera, sob sniff.

Though I’ve to say, I had fun at the awards thanks to the company :) Also, it’s not everyday that you get to pose in a photo like this:

NAPBAS 2011 - Suanie in Micro Blog category

Best ever! :D By the way, if you’d voted for me, thanks yah. Really appreciate it :)