How to Win in Life: bakgwa + hokkien mee + wine + whisky @ Harrisons Wine Shop

Harrisons Wine - Suanie with a vintage edition bottle of Tullibardine My personal alcohol provider aka Michael Cheang sent out an e-mail, produced here verbatim:

Yo guys, I got an invite from Harrison’s Wine Shop, they want me to invite a group of friends over to have a whisky and wine pairing with er… hawker food (probably from Ah Wa just across the road, haha). Just makan and minum, no obligations to blog if you don’t want to haha.

My favourite kind of invitation! :)

Harrisons Wine Shop is right along Jalan 222 in Petaling Jaya. They’ve been around for quite a while, quite well-known and have an impressive list of loyal clientele. I didn’t know them because I get my wine free or at hypermarkets which I later learned were among the worst places to buy wine. Something about an average of 30% price markup and sub-standard storage conditions but I guess it’s convenient for shopping folks.

Once we got to Harrisons, they plied us with bak gwa and Pringles crisps with Pravoha Valley 2008 Special Reserve Pinot Noir. Awesome or what??

Harrisons Wine - Prahova Valley Special Reserve Pinot Noir

The winermaker’s notes state its aromas as: cherries, dried cranberries, dried strawberries and vanilla. Flavours: light to medium body, strawberry jam, vanilla, very smooth, medium finish. Spells fantabulous to me! A delicious, flavourful glass of red, see I sound almost like an expert right? heh. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a couple of bottles for myself. Yes, that means no sharing.

According to Chan of Harrisons, this kind of quality of Pinot Noir usually goes for RM100 and above in the market. Not sure how they’re pulling it off, but this goes for RM55. How’s that for decent, affordable wine?

Harrisons Wine - Red Red Red

The photo above shows the price difference between 3 bottles judged by its packaging. On the left is a bottle of Spanish red, slightly sweet, very drinkable table wine. They sell these by the crates as it is hugely popular for wedding dinners. Something not so expensive but not inferior in quality. At RM33 a bottle, it’s practically a steal!

Honestly I couldn’t get past the price tag. I mean, if you’ve been to any wine sections in other places, you’d know that there’s this brand (that shall remain nameless) with the cheapest price tag at RM29. If you’ve gone through the rites of wine buying as a noob, you’d know from experience that it tastes like really bad vinegar. So this drinkable table wine at RM33, well that’s something to me!

Next is an Argentinian 2008 Malbec, one of their best-selling. People enjoy it because of its sharp, strong palette. Not to my liking though. It’s RM68, can you spot the difference now?

On the right is a bottle of RM200+ wine. Look at the packaging, doesn’t it tell you that it’s a bottle of RM200+ wine?

Harrisons Wine - Jasper with the 22 year old Tullibardine
22 year old bottle of whisky, take take take take

But we were really there for the Tullibardine whisky. Single malt Scottish whisky, pretty fragrant and strong. Need to take it on the rocks, else might burn our throats. I’m not a whisky aficionado (haha are you kidding me) but I could distinguish and appreciate the quality and super smoothness. RM400 for this 22 year old vintage baby.

Harrisons Wine - 45 year old Tullibardine whisky

And this in the photo above is a 45 year old bottle of premium Tullibardine whisky kept behind lock and key in a glass casing. RM3,800 a bottle, it’s like drinking gold. Who knows, maybe really got gold inside one.

Harrisons Wine - happy people

Oh that’s us. Andrew, Mike, Susan, Horng, FA, ShaolinTiger.. all posers.

Harrisons Wine - happier people

And that’s us attacking plates of the most awesome 222 Ahwa hokkien mee (who delivered opposite to Harrisons, impressive or not!!) and some duck. And chilled and drank and chatted and laughed. So simple, so enjoyable, fanfriggintastic. Thanks for having us!

Oh yah, Harrisons has another best-seller that is really a best seller. I mean, REALLY. They ordered enough stock for this particular bottle/brand to last through Chinese New Year, but it was all snapped up before Christmas last year. Next shipment’s only coming in April. It’s called… hmmm nah don’t think I want to tell you guys, ‘cos I want one for myself ;)

Harrisons Wine Shop is at No. 9, Jalan 222, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: +603-7960-1010 . Click here for Google Map

BBQ Addicts’ Rumah Hope outing!

Rumah Hope in Petaling Jaya My friends at BBQ Addicts (who make the BEST BBQ food items ever so check out their FB page) decided to host a BBQ lunch for the kids at Rumah Hope in Petaling Jaya.

The order was: Lydia read some of our blogs raving about BBQ Addicts’ superior BBQ items. She wanted to organise a lunch for the kids and wrote to them asking for quotations. Grill Sergeant Lance decided to sponsor the BBQ and roped in his friends, asking us if we’d like to spend a Sunday at Rumah Hope with the kids. Yes sir of course sir.

I must have asked if they needed anything for the BBQ or home. Someone told me that because of the ‘back to school’ period, the kids needed stationery. Somewhere down the line, I thought of preparing stationery goody bags for the kids.

Off I went to my usual stationery supplier. I told him about what I wanted to do, then picked out items that I thought that the kids may need in school. I’d asked Lance to find out the number of kids below and over 12 years old as they will have different needs.

To cut the story short, my stationery supplier (who would like be unnamed) and I came up with a goody bag for both groups, each costing RM40. He gave me good discounts for the items for which I’m most appreciative!

I rallied family and friends to help in sponsoring the stationery bags. By the end of the day, I had sufficient pledges of donations. Much overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity, thank you! By the time I was ready to collect the items, I had extra money so I got add-ons such as Manila cardboards, art drawing blocks, geometry set, etc. These would be given to the home administrators to dispense as and when they deem fit.

Rumah Hope stationery bag for Under 12 Rumah Hope stationery bag for Over 12
Awesome goody bags for Under 12 and Over 12

Off we went to Rumah Hope! It seems to be a good home, quite well-equipped. The home admins and most of the older kids were at church selling coupons for their upcoming Open Day so there were only a handful of young kids around when we got there. As someone quipped, it’s easy for kids to mingle; just run around with them and chase chase chase.

Time to get the BBQ started! Lance had a new BBQ equipment and it was a challenge to get the fire going. Heheh, didn’t prepare for that leh!! Horng went to get dry branches and twigs which worked. As you can see in the photo, Mrs Cheang and Kim helped by channelling inner qi towards the fireyahhh…

Rumah Hope outing - preparing the BBQ

Rumah Hope outing - 01

Yeap, I had my cousins bring Ryan the Nephew along. The kids were mostly interested in computer games anyway, so iPhones and similar gadgets with games in them were huge hits.

Rumah Hope outing - 02

We had lots of awesome food! BBQ Addicts’ wonderfully marinated chicken wings, satay, Juicy Lucy, mushrooms and cheese, bacon-wrapped asparagus, premium sausages… other volunteers prepared different types of food so there were salad, sandwiches, mashed potato, jelly etc.

Rumah Hope outing - 03

Saw lots of running and chasing, UNO and assorted computer games being played, Haze drawing cartoons for the kids… a huge hit, that!

Rumah Hope outing - Haze at work Rumah Hope outing - Haze drawing anime

There was an arts & craft session headed by Melissa. You’re given a piece of paper, some black ink and straw, then you have to blow the ink to make a pattern which hopefully turns out to look like tree branches. Then you stick little pieces of pink paper to make the blossoms. There was gold dust too… saw a lot of creativity in process.

Rumah Hope outing - 04

Rumah Hope outing - 05

See the completed works!

Rumah Hope outing - completed art n craft from the kids

Time to give out angpows and the goody bags!

Rumah Hope outing - 06

… and a group photo!

Rumah Hope outing - group photo

Thanks everyone. It was a wonderful Sunday, I had a great time. And thank you, my stationery goody bag sponsors. Couldn’t have done it without you, thank you!!

BBQ Addicts has the best BBQ food items ever! Check out their FB page, and a latest feature on them on Goreng.my

Rumah Hope, established in 1994 is a sanctuary for abused, neglected and under-privileged children between the ages of 5-17. The Home relies solely on public funding to maintain itself. For information on the home and activities, check out their website.

Launch of Patrick Teoh’s new book, Teohlogy!

Last Saturday was the launch of Patrick’s book Teohlogy at Popular Books in Ikano. I went with Joyce Panda, saw Jason Mumbles, Douglas Lim, Mama Min then later Mike + LL.

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - assorted
Just half the crowd at the launch!

The publisher, Ezra of ZI Publications went on stage to say a few words, e.g. that he’d always liked Patrick’s work and he’d wanted to publish Teohlogy a good 3 years ago but maybe Patrick never checked his e-mail…

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Publisher Ezra
Ezra of ZI Publications

Jason Tan, ex-editor of the now-defunct Off The Edge magazine (where Teohlogy ran as a column for 5 years) talked about how he got to know Patrick, and how the latter ended up writing for him.

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Jason Tan
Jason Tan

Then it was Patrick’s turn on stage, yeay! He talked about how the Teohlogy column, name and book came to be. And that everyone’s first response to the book was, “got free or not?” So Malaysian!

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Patrick Teoh
Patrick Teoh at the launch of Teohlogy

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Patrick on stage
Training to be a politician on stage ar? Can pass wor…

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - official launch
Official launch of TEOHLOGY

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - lining up for book signing
Fans lining up to get their copy of TEOHLOGY signed

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - book signing
Book signing!

We hung around for a while, long enough for Mama Min to give us a very delicious cup cake!

Patrick Teoh's Teohlogy book launch - Suanie, LL, Michael

Patrick’s TEOHLOGY is available at major bookstores, retails for RM38. Go get it, it’s worth every sen :)

Surprise! Two birthdays and a bride-to-be

It was a week of pretense and white lies as friends wanted to surprise their loved ones. First, Yuki wanted to surprise Horng with a small gathering. She roped in some of us in the plans, I ended up having to make the call to persuade the birthday boy to the agreed venue.

Me: Horng, I need your help to move something, can ar? I’m sick and Kerol‘s not at home.
Horng: Errr okay. What time?
Me: 1pm can or not? ‘Cos now I’m not at home but I’ll be home at 1.
Horng: Later a bit can ar? ‘Cos I want to go for lunch with Yuki.
Me: Oh… very fast one.. come before your lunch la.
Horng: Cannot lah, I need to eat, I’m hungry. Wait a bit la.. I’ll come after lunch okay.
Me: *thinks oh f- f- f-!*

Bla bla bla, Yuki and I (individually) managed to get him to come at 1pm. Most memorable moment was ShaolinTiger hiding behind a palm tree, hehehe. Happy birthday Horny!

Horng's surprise birthday lunch
Merman Horng and Yuki

Then LL, Mike‘s bride-to-be’s ji mui wanted to take her out for a surprise hen’s night dinner. We opted for Silver Spoon Trattoria in Bandar Menjalara where the well-known Chef Ken rules the kitchen roost. Most lovely food, great ambiance, wonderful manager by the name of Kelvin. You should definitely check the place out for yourself!

I asked Mike to deliver her to the venue because they were going around Selangor and Pahang trying to get things done for their wedding (which will be E.P.I.C.!) next week. Haha sometimes I wonder why people never suspect anything when their other half behaves out of the norm. Means Mike is a good pretender la, HOOORRRRR!!!!!

LiLing's hen's night dinner
To be shackled soon! Photo by Kim

Poojitha’s husband Girish had invited a few of us to join in a surprise birthday party for her at Zeta Bar. It was massive fun, way too much fun for a Monday evening! Of course I suffered for it at Bootcamp this morning but it was worth it, heh!

Poojitha's birthday at Zeta Bar
A few of us and the birthday girl in white! Photo by Joyce

I think I can start my own business. Rent-A-Surprise, anyone?

Picnic of beer and pork sausages @ Sid’s BeerFest 2010, Bukit Tunku!

In case you missed it, here’s my fun outing report. In case you get jealous that you missed it, well that would teach ya for not following me on Twitter for sporadic information on awesome events such as this! :P

Sid’s Beerfest 2010 was at Bukit Tunku last Sunday. The weather was fine and so was the company as we sat in the grassy open area, armed with rugs and insect repellent. It was mostly Mr. and Mrs. Cheang‘s efforts though, they even provided LOTS of curly fries and onion rings bought from A&W!

Sid's Beerfest 2010 - It's a picnic!
BeerBeer, Mr. Cheang, Erna, my cousin SH, LiLing and Kerol

We got there at about 12pm, an hour after the festivities began. It was my first time having a picnic in KL, with all her hot and humid weather conditions. Wasn’t so bad as we sat under the shades of a humongous tree. Bought some coupons for RM10 Kilkenny and RM10 smoked pork sausages, yum!

Not long after, the Oompah band got ready for their first set, and last performance for Oktoberfest Malaysia 2010.

Sid's Beerfest 2010 - Band and chicks

They tried to make everyone join in the dances. Was quite fun, but now I can’t get the stupid chicken dance tune out of my head. Damn stupidd!!!!! GRRRRRRrrrrrrr….

Sid's Beerfest 2010 - Dancing crowd

Was a very enjoyable Sunday! We left at about 3pm as more people arrived. Good to be an early bird!

Sid's Beerfest 2010 - Geoff, Michael, LiLing, Kerol, Suanie
With Geoff Siddle, awesome owner of Sid’s Pubs!

We need to have these kind of events/ outings in KL more often!

Oktoberfest in Malaysia! Souled Out & Sid’s TTDI

Postcard from Berlin - Oktoberfest Thanks to Michael the Great, I had an absolutely rocking time at GAB‘s version of Oktoberfest at Souled Out, Sri Hartamas and Sid’s Pub in TTDI. I think there were a couple other venues, but who can party so much these days?

Not me, I’m old(er) now! :D

By the way, the photo on the right is a postcard from Berlin.

The party at Souled Out was the launch of the Oktoberfest event. They went all out: food and drink tents, guys and girls in costumes, random spray-on tattoo stalls, rows of tables arranged like the real Oktoberfest in Munich, friggin’ heavy beer steins, a (funnily enough, all English) band to entertain you with jingles and what-not..

Best of all, the heaps and heaps of beeeeeeeeeeeeeer!

Oktoberfest @ Souled Out - Eyeris, Suanie and Kilkenny

Met old and new friends! Saw the Nuffies also, herro!

Oktoberfest @ Souled Out - happy people

Got persuaded by cute chick in Bavarian outfit to have a spray-on tattoo for no reason!

Oktoberfest @ Souled Out - Suanie and cute German chick

The one at Sid’s Pub in TTDI a few days later was also fun, but only after we had our Kilkenny lah, waheyyy!

Oktoberfest @ Sid's TTDI - Fireangel, Eyeris, Suanie

So long time you never see Fireangel hor? Me too!

Oktoberfest @ Sid's TTDI - Niki Cheong, Suanie, Fireangel

Also had the best RM10 smoked pork sausage hotdog ever! Later learned it was supplied by Jarrod & Rawlins, awesome!

So yes, excessive drinking and partying. That’s why I’m back in Original Bootcamp Malaysia :)

BFM Sept ’10 tweetup @ Kitchen Creatures, Centrepoint

I am a huge fan of BFM 89.9, the business radio station. Even though it’s mainly about finance and economy and grown up stuff that I don’t really care about, they appropriate a large chunk of airtime for stuff that I find interesting, enlightening and educational. Just the other day, they interviewed Julian Hyde who is the GM of Reef Check Malaysia. I learned bits about coral bleaching and the state of Malaysian corals, which I would never have known if I didn’t catch the interview.

I also felt 10x smarter after that. So everyone wins!

BFM Tweet Up Sept 2010 - Kitchen Creatures
Justin of Priority Comms, DaddyLian, Malek Ali, Freda and Vernon, Harinder, Ben and Niki!

Enough rambling. As I was saying, I’m a huge @BFMradio fan. A couple of weeks ago, they announced via Twitter that they’d be having a tweet up where BFM radio personalities would be present. I did the necessary and scored myself an invite, yay!

It was held yesterday at Kitchen Creatures @ Centrepoint, Bandar Utama. There were familiar faces and I met @vernieman for the 1st time after following him on Twitter for so long.

David Chew and Freda Liu were present, as well as Malek Ali, the dude who got the whole BFM radio thing rolling. I was rather pumped up to meet him, as I thought he did a brilliant job since listening to his interview last year during BFM’s 1st birthday do. In fact the entire BFM crew was pleasant and most attentive to ideas, suggestions and feedback.

BFM Tweet Up Sept 2010 - David Chew
David Chew taking us through the presentation

Some highlights:

  • New BFM website to be launched soon! Most likely after the Raya celebrations.
  • Cleaner, sleeker look and feel with better navigational functions to the new site.
  • “What song are you playing now ar?” will not have to be asked again.
  • David Chew is very funny.
  • Watch the show live via UStream, and selected VOD will be available.
  • Apparently Freda was caught singing on very same said Ustream channel without her awareness.
  • Podcasts available on iTunes
  • Better mobile pack thingy, I wasn’t paying attention then but it will be further improved. Something about mobi and Iphone optimised.
  • Everyone @ BFM pays attention to @BFMradio, has Tweetdeck.
  • Streaming via website is now cross-platform, not confined to just Windows Media Player, YAY!
  • From Friday onwards, listeners can call in to the studio! Just like the good ol’ days! +603-7710 9000

That’s about all that I can remember for now. The most important bit I remember was that, BFM will celebrate their 2nd birthday this coming Friday. A very special day is planned, with famous radio personalities of yesteryears invited to take over the BFM mics! You’re looking at the likes of Patrick Teoh, Faridah Merican and Yasmin Yusoff presenting BFM shows, how awesome is that?? It’s going to be a riot, I tell you.

Friday, 03 September 2010, BFM radio, FM 89.9, 7am onwards. Miss it and kick yourself where it really hurts because it’s going to be awesome! Happy birthday, BFM! :)