On the 1st Kilkenny event in Malaysia and Ben Ng

For years, I was actively drinking Kilkenny on tap. All the time I spent nourishing my belly with the great Irish cream ale, there was never a Kilkenny event, boo!

Now that I’m actively drinking Guinness on tap, they decided to hold the first ever Kilkenny event here.

A tharlaíonn saol riamh ar an bhealach is mian leat é a bheith. Agus rinne mé díreach tar éis a úsáideann tú Google Translate.

You know what they say, better late than never. The folks who hold the marketing purses are realising that Kilkenny is catching on as it is flavourful, easy to drink and is the entry-level to a bright beautiful world of ale.

At the inaugural Kilkenny event in Malaysia (thanks Fantastic Mike!), it was a fun night out with plenty of Kilkenny to go around and lovely company to keep me happy.

Kilkenny at The Bee - Suanie, Timothy Tiah, Michael Cheang
With a lady in red, Timothy and ferociously great Mike

The highlight of my evening was meeting Ben Ng of Fluid Alchemy. GAB engaged him to teach us why it’s important to drink Kilkenny at the right temperature: too cold and it’d mask the flavour, too warm and it’s really not pleasant to drink.

Kilkenny at The Bee - Ben Ng
Ben at work

What about Ben? I think it is very exciting and delightful to meet someone so passionate about what they do. You wish their passion would rub off on you; that if you only had 5% of their love and dedication to your work, you’d be doing darn well in life.

It was inspiring to hear Ben talk about his experience speaking with college students. At the workshops and seminars held in conjunction with local colleges, Ben would invariably get asked about salaries. How much do you pay your fresh graduates? How much should interns get paid?

So Ben asked them, what do you think a fresh graduate should get? RM2400! RM2500! RM3000!

Okay that is a little high and is not the market rate for fresh graduates, said Ben, but what would you do if I hired you, the fresh graduate for RM3000? What would do you for RM3000?

Anything, I would do anything! came the reply.

Right, Ben nodded in appreciation, so for RM3000 I want you to be available to me 24/7. You will drop everything to cater to me at anytime I want you to. That’s how you earn your RM3000. Okay?

Nooooo of course not! Shock shock horror horror shock shock horror.

Ahh so you are not willing to do anything

So that was my glimpse into the expectations of the younger kids of today, as told to me by Ben Ng. It was humbling as well as he organised all these talks and workshops to get to know the people he’d work with.

And the man can make a mean cocktail. Win.

The “Bye Soren, thanks for all the fish!” and “Oherro Henrik!” Carlsberg party

It is inevitable that after 3 years of leading Carlsberg Malaysia to greater heights, managing director Soren Ravn would leave to spread his goodness elsewhere.

A fan of brand building, I watched with interest on the changes and rise of Carlsberg Malaysia, especially with Soren at helm. Profits went up and assorted brands were brought in largely thanks to its subsidiary Luen Heng (LH director, Kenneth has the best story on selling Hoegaarden back when no one in Malaysia knew of it, let alone wanted to drink it – save for FA and me).

More importantly, Carlsberg became a different sort of cool with a MD who raps and is happy to party it up with the press to sell his beer. There are photos floating of Soren in various costumes – as V, as Emperor of China etc. According to friends who worked with Soren, he is a visionary and is all ears to your ideas and suggestions. Just help him sell the brand and the beer.

The 39 year old Soren is now the CEO of Carlsberg Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) and will handle 41 breweries as part of his responsibility. Erm, good luck!

In his place is Henrik Juel Anderson, who was the Regional CEO of Carlsberg Indochina. Looking forward to seeing what this Dane brings.

Some photos from the farewell Soren, hello Henrik party:

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar
Soren, Henrik and some of the beers of Carlsberg (M)

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - Mike, Kenny, Shaun, Mike
With Mike, BeerBeer, Shaun and Drunk Mike

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - Mike at pool
Drunk Mike posing

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - Janice, Suanie, Jaime
With the beautiful Shun sisters, Janice and Jaime

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - with Mike Yip
Raj‘s photographer took this photo of me and Mike. I like it so much, I’m using it as my profile photos everywhere!

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - Jaime, Raj, Janice
Jaime, the highly energetic Raj Aria and Janice

Goodbye Soren Welcome Henrik, Carlsberg at Luna Bar - Suanie and Soren
With Soren. Zhai Jian!

The sandwich the morning after

Egg and chicken slice sandwich, O Briens

This is a photo of a sandwich. Not just any sandwich, I call it the sandwich of recovery. It was the only thing I was able to stomach after a long (but fun) night out with 3 Scandinavian guys.

A friend asked for recommendations on where to bring his two friends who would be in town. I said, okay well what do you want to do? He replied, oh err go out have fun look at chicks and maybe pick up chicks…

It was only normal that I very excitedly articulated, “I WANNTTTTT TOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 😀 😀 :D”

A night out with 3 white boys on the hunt? Wouldn’t you want to go too???

One of the places we went to was the Beach Club. Yes yes, the notorious KL meat market, which I thoroughly recommend to all tourists. In fact I strongly believe it’s a cultural experience.

I suspected the girls didn’t approach my friends as much because I was nearby. So I excused myself and stood in one corner of the club and watched the live band in action. Beach Club always hire decent bands, even back in the early 2000s.

Anyway I was right for when I rejoined them, they had girls hanging on to them left right and centre.

It was amazing what they could get away with. “Are those real?” he asked, referring to the girl’s girls. She leaned forward slightly so he reached out and squeezed them.

Of course the girls had motives; hopefully to be paid. But they don’t approach everyone, just narrow vision zoom in on the Caucasians.

I’ve always said it’s great to be a white man in Asia. Not so awesome for the rest of us yellow and brown folks (ironically it’s our home country) but can’t fault the white man either. It’s your world.

So it was a real fun eye-opening experience. Quite different from a regular night out with friends. Didn’t take any photos, didn’t seem appropriate. If any of you is feeling generous and want to take me along on your chick hunting exercise, feel free to call me. That’s all I want to say, really.


Wine & Dine at Secret of Louisiana, Kelana Jaya

A few of us were at the Wine & Dine event at Secret of Louisiana. The place was jazzed up with decor borrowed from the US Embassy in KL to bring the spirit of New Orleans to Kelana Jaya.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - Kelana Jaya

Well okay, I didn’t take a lot of photos of my surroundings as I was busy feasting on pre-dinner nachos. There were a lot of photo frames reflective of Louisiana and New Orleans, quite retro in a way.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - wine bottle
Our table number!

As we walked by the decor and settings, suddenly I saw some familiar photos being displayed. Wait a minute… they were photos I took during a previous food tasting session at the restaurant! They’d printed out the post and put it up for the night!

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - Suanie
A bit embarrassed about it, but more chuffed, really

For our first course, we had New Orleans Chowder, a rich tasting soup cooked with clams, shrimps, calamari and mussels.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - New Orleans chowder
Spot the crawfish!

It was thick, creamy and loaded with seafood. The soup was paired with a young Kim Crawford Pinot Sauvignon Blanc 2012, brought in by Luen Heng. A bit too young and acidic for my taste or for sauvignon blanc, even.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - Louisiana bayous
Louisiana bayous

Next up, Louisiana Bayous of creole crawfish, creamy seafood gumbo and crabmeat mashed potato on corn fritter. Loved the seafood gumbo, rich and creamy as always. This was paired with Kim Crawford Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Not my favourite that evening but ok.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - trinity jambalaya
A whole lotta chicken and seafood

Our entree was Trinity Jambalaya – blackened red fish and jerk chicken with jambalaya, topped with a generous amount of seafood, Cajun-style. Absolutely decadent dish, paired with a 2008 Wente Bayer Ranch Zinfandel from San Francisco (finally an American wine, hey!). Good pairing, the rich and slightly tart, oaky wine went down well with the dish. Think I might look for a bottle of this to keep.

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - Mcguigan Black Label Moscato
Mmmmm moscato

See that? See that Mcguigan Black Label Moscato? It’s light, sweet, lemony, crisp and wonderful to drink! Brought in by Luen Heng, bit pricy though at over RM100+. Beautiful dessert wine, which we had with…

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - mud pie and praline
Dessert! Om nom nom nom

Mud pie and praline – roasted pecan on buttery praline with a rich, slightly fudgy warm chocolate cake. Absolutely delicious! They do such a good mud pie at Secret of Louisiana.

So it was a lovely dinner. We had good food, decent wine, line dancing (I think there are photos of me line dancing if you’d be bothered to search, heh) and representation from the US Embassy in KL, yo!

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - rep from US embassy KL
Ohai Captain

Felt obliged to have a group photo taken. So this was us:

Wine and Dine, Secret of Louisiana - group photo
Ziling, Eiling, moi, Joyce, Marco and Huai Bin

Thanks SOL and Connie and all at Aptitude for having us 🙂

The Better Beer Festival @ Taps Beer Bar

Just some photos to document the fun I had at Taps Beer Bar‘s The Better Beer Festival, also to sort of encourage you not to miss it when they have it again.

If you’re so lucky, that is.

The Better Beer Festival was an initiative to introduce craft beers to our local beer drinkers, some who may not be aware that there are other, different types of beer besides the usual large-scale commercially produced one.

I woke up late (hey, it was a non-working Saturday, I’m allowed) and reached Taps Beer Bar at Jalan Nagasari at about 3pm. Ate crisps and a packet drink on the way to line the stomach. Paid RM5 entrance fee and got a free cup of RedDot‘s English red ale, a rich flavourful drink to jolt and ready the system for more.

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - some drinks

Most beer was going at RM15, some bottled ones may be at RM20. Still good value ‘cos they don’t usually come that affordable. I wasn’t in a testing mood so I mostly stuck to beer that I already like.

Ohai Yona Yona!

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - Yona Yona bunting

Good news: Jeremy says that Yona Yona will soon be available at Taps.. they’re just figuring out logistics, prices… the boring details. Did you read what I wrote? YONA YONA WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE AT TAPS BEER BAR! 😀

Switching topic, saw a cool t-shirt:

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - cool tshirt

Took a random photo of the bar with a shot of a white dude’s bald head:

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - at the bar

Met Kim of Thirstmag for the first time.

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - LL, Mike, Kim

She took a photo of us:

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - Suanie, LL, Mike

What goes in must come out.

Beerfest, Taps Beer Bar - funny toilet sign

They had a small but satisfying variety of snacks at RM5 each. Entertainment was in form of live singers and drunk customers. I had a pretty good time, hope that they’ll get something like this going on again soon.

But actually I’ll be back before that lah… 😉

Taps Beer Bar
One Residency, Jalan Nagasari
50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-21101560

GAB’s Oktoberfest Chinese food pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL

If you think that food pairing is limited to tried-and-tested wine, think again. As part of the on-going Oktoberfest celebration, Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) and Chef Wong of Prince Hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant, Tai Zi Heen came up with a special 3-course beer pairing promotion to go with exquisite Chinese dishes.

Here’s what on the menu, available throughout the month of October:

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - starter

Wok-seared 5-spice salt dusted foie gras and Beijing smoked duck wrap drizzled with passion fruit vinaigrette. Absolutely exquisite and sublime, paired with a nice cold Guinness. The sweet and savory combination of the dish (passion fruit vinaigrette? Really nice one..!) washed down well with Guinness and its slight bitter aftertaste.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - soup

Hot and sour seafood soup with unagi-parmesan stick was quite rich with full character. Paired with Strongbow whose sweet, slightly acidic taste is much welcome after a heavy dish.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - oysters

Honey soy glazed oysters on asparagus, one of the 3 options for main course is paired with Paulaner. A recommended combination for on its own, the dish may have been slightly too sweet for my liking. When taken with Paulaner, the sweetness is nicely balanced out.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - cod fish

Second option for main course is baked cod with garlic crust, my favourite. Fresh cod with a crusty garlicky (though not overwhelming) top, great on its own and perfect with a Paulaner.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - chicken and yam

Kongpau-style chicken with dried chillies and cashew nuts in yam ring is a strong contender for my first choice of mains. This traditional dish, done so well at the restaurant (loved the light, crispiness of the yam ring!) is paired with the much-loved Tiger that neutralises the dish’s natural hot and spicy aftertaste.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - dessert

For dessert, it’s Chef Michael Wong’s signature dish, the purple sweet potato with mango ice-cream and lotus paste Chinese pancake. The presentation of this dish was magnificent, what with the colours and dry ice effect. The taste was excellent as well, every taste of the potato paste should be accompanied by a small scoop of ice-cream. Complete the sweetness with a glass of Strongbow, perfect to cleanse your palate after your meal.

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - beer
So obviously this photo was taken after one too many beers. Spot the fried spaghetti.

Tai Zi Heen’s ‘For the Love of Beer‘ promotion is available throughout GAB’s Oktoberfest celebrations (until Oct 31st) at RM150++ per person. Each delicious dish will be paired with Tiger, Guinness, Strongbow and Paulaner. You’ll also take home an exclusive limited edition GAB’s Oktoberfest 1L ceramic mug! Make your reservations already 🙂

Tai Zi Heen Chinese Restaurant
Level 2, Prince Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur
4 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2170 8888
URL: http://www.princehotelkl.com

GAB food+beer pairing @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL - Suanie with Guinness
This photo was also taken after one too many.

Besides this, GAB has also lined up many activities and specials (read: promotions, value deals) for Oktoberfest this year. For more info, check them out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OktoberfestMY

Hitting the town on CapitalFM’s Diva’s Day Out

When Pinky of Nuffnang asked if I wanted to join in the Capital FM‘s Diva’s Day Out where there’d be relaxation, food and shopping with the Capital FM presenters, I was thinking, “YES YES YES WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR, LET’S GO ALREADY!” 😀

Quick fast-forward to the end of the event, I was totally exhilarated, exhausted (well it was a long day..) and feeling somewhat humbled. I’ll tell you why later.

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 01 Presenters
A full fun day out with these people, you want? 😉

Come faithful day, I was *a bit*regretting it. Ohhh sorry, not to sound ungrateful but we had to meet at 7am at the Capital FM’s studio (which means have to wake up earlier etc) and I’ve had a few long weeks at work.

But I got to the meeting point (way on time) and somehow, I couldn’t help but to feel excited. It’s hard not to be when you’re surrounded by the organisers and team who are so upbeat and energized about the event. Also from participants of Diva’s Day Out who were there because they won a Capital FM contest, so lucky! 🙂

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 02 studio
What’s on the wall?

After a quick briefing by Asha Gill and Liang, we were placed in our respective teams. I was in team Deborah Raj along with mother and daughter Christine and Maddie, and mother and daughter Jennie and Patricia. Check out the specially decorated MPV with Deborah’s face on it!

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 03 Team Deborah and MPV
Team Deborah Raj!

From then on, 9 MPVS ferrying Capital FM presenters and lucky Divas (uhm, us 😉 ) whizzed around town with.. 3 police escorts! Wow, I’ve to say, there’s nothing to make you feel darn special than police escorts clearing the traffic for you like magic for the entire day! I’m sure some folks driving in town that day wouldn’t be too happy… sorry about that, but truthfully speaking, I was enjoying every moment of it 😀

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 04 MPVs

At the end of the day, I wanted to take a photo with the nice police escorts but they sped off before I could ask 🙁 Maybe they could read my mind 🙁

Diva’s Day Out first stop: Beauté Library in Taipan, USJ!

The first item on our itinerary was an indulgent silky hand treatment from the pros at Beauté Library. Nothing better to start off with than a nice, relaxing pampering session, eh?

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 05 Beaute Library, Taipan USJ

Monica, the lady who did my hands told me that they used a ginger scrub for cleansing dead cells and rejuvenating skin. Then the hands were lathered with a rich lavender oil to absorb nutrients for the following lavender paraffin treatment that improves blood circulation. We finished off with a vitamin C cell repair lotion. Result? My hands felt soft, relaxed and smooth. I should be doing this everyday…!

Then Beauté Library surprised us by giving us a travel set of products worth RM350 and treatment cash voucher for RM200. Lucky us or what!!

I’ve started using the facial cleanser in the gift set, I think it’s pretty good and might go back to Beauté Library for other treatments.

Next: brunch time!

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 06 21 Tables + Terrace

At twenty.one tables+terrace in Bangsar Shopping Centre, we indulged in a lovely spread of… you need to see the menu: salad with asparagus with cranberry and rosemary honey lemon dressing, feta an wilted spinach quiche, spaghetti aglio olio, marsala chicken tortilla wrap with minted yoghurt aioli, Chinese-style fried rice and tiramisu with strawberry.

As food at twenty.one tables+terrace goes, they’re always appetizing and delicious so you can imagine our satisfaction tummy-wise.

Then Joanne Kam led us through a short session of games where everyone walked away with a RM100 voucher redeemable at twenty.one tables+terrace, yay!

Then it was off to Pavilion KL!

(whee whiuu wheee whiuuu *imitates police escorts’ sirens)

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 07 Parkson
Spot the fake mannequin

Third stop: Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

The MPVs pulled up at the fountain area of Pavilion like the VVIPs we were 😉 We were led to Parkson, one of my favourite departmental stores where the shopping fun began!

After a warm welcome by the Parkson team, we were told that we had RM500 Parkson cash voucher each to spend! (cue: huge claps and happiness all round). Only caveat was that we had only one hour to shop, yeah right that’s not a problem at all 😉

3-2-1.. Go!

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 08 Parkson shopping
This collage is self-descriptive

I knew what I wanted: an everyday casual bag to replace my tattered one (yes I’m aware that it’s tattered, thanks for not pointing it out to me in person, heh). So I went straight to the bags section and had whale of a fun checking out different brands and make.

… and I found it! A simple, delicately woven black sling bag from Tocco Tenero. Goatskin, perfect size for what I need, light enough to carry everyday, a bargain at RM350+ (after 10% discount, Parkson’s having a sale now). Mine mine mine mine mine!

Then I had extra cash leftover and I got myself a nice pullover and a skirt from Wallis. Good quality stuff 😀 Of course I went beyond the RM500 mark but just my own top-up of RM42.60, hey best deal ever!

Thanks Parkson! 😀

Then we had a surprise waiting for us…

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 09 World Vision Parkson tote bags
Tote bags made from recycled material, exclusive from Parkson

In conjunction with Parkson’s 25th anniversary, they’re working with World Vision and came up with exclusive tote bags, pictured above. Each bag is made out of approximately 18 plastic bottles (cleaned, finely shredded then made into plastic fiber) and has 3 colours, each with a special message from Xandria Ooi, Asha Gill and Joanne Kam.

And what did we have to do with these bags? Try to sell them to Parkson customers at RM9.90 each! We had 20 minutes to do so and my team managed to sell 12 of these babies. Not too bad for an over-saturated market for that day 😉

You can get these bags at Parkson. They are sturdy and all monies go to World Vision.

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 10 Group Photo Pavilion
Very happy lot!

Final stop: The Food Studio in Mont Kiara!

A beautiful, spacious studio for the aspiring chef nestled in luxurious Mont Kiara, The Food Studio is headed by Chef Paul who teaches the intricacy of cooking to both amateurs and learned chefs. When we got there, his team was already getting ready a feast for dinner later.

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 11 The Food Studio, Mont Kiara

A cooking demo by Asha Gill featuring her famous chilli sans carne and later Chef Paul on how to prepare meats, we were divided into three teams to add on dishes for dinner. On our island, we made ratatouille though honestly we did a lot of the chopping and Asha Gill did most of the cooking, heh.

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 12 Preparing dinner
Mmmmmm lamb…..

And dinner was just scrumptious where I had the BEST Spanish fish stew, ever! I might have to sign up for Chef Paul’s gourmet cooking class just to learn how to make this, heh. But it takes 6 hours to cook so I don’t know… me and patience don’t really get along well, hehehe.

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 13 Dinner at The Food Studio
Feeling hungry at the memory of this dinner..

It was a really chillaxing session, lots of conversations and getting to know the presenters better. Unfortunately all good things had to come to an end, and we finished off with this happy group shot:

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 14 Group Photo at The Food Studio
Happy Divas, all of us!

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 15 Suanie and cool people
Me with Joanne Kam,the ever energetic Liang and Mindy, friend from hometown

So what did I take away from this extraordinary experience? Oh besides the VVIP treatment, pampering session, great food and free shopping…? Well I got to know some really cool people, props to Deborah who took really good care of us! She’s on Capital FM every Monday to Friday (The Jam Break) from 4-8pm with Liang, tune in for the bubbly duo!

Also to Maddie, Patricia, Jennie and Christine, thanks for being such awesome fellow Divas!

CapitalFM Diva's Day Out - 16 Team Deborah

What was humbling about the experience? Well just awareness of self-limitations and appreciation for skills that others have, that I do not possess. Watching the Capital FM team and presenters was an experience by itself; they were so efficient, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do that it made me slightly jealous.. 🙁 Of course they made the event so fun but I know that it was hard work to pull something like this off… and they did it smilingly, without a hint of complain!

So I felt bad even jokingly moaning about how tired I was… heh.

For more Capital FM goodness, you can stream them online @ www.capitalfm.com.my or even download their mobile apps at Google Play (Android users) and App Store (iPhone users)!

So power to all men and women at Capital FM, here and everywhere. Thank you for an unforgettable day! More pictures here : http://www.capitalfm.com.my/divasdayout.php.