What’s the best pub in Malaysia? The Tavern at GAB!

Two reasons: 1) The freshest beer on tap; and 2) Freeeeee like a beeeeeeeeeeee!

GAB Tavern - The Tavern

For a major brewery in Malaysia, it only makes sense for Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) to have their own pub in their brewery backyard. Named The Tavern (I’d like to believe for really obvious reasons), it serves as as GAB’s training ground for bartenders (because knowing how to pour the perfect pint is a mastery course). Visitations to The Tavern is also a staff perk.

GAB Tavern Oktoberfest 2011 - bar

So I was quite stoked to be invited to the GAB Tavern Oktoberfest Party along with 50 GAB Facebook fans who won some kind of contest to be there. There were Oktoberfest girls, the Bavarian-style Oompah Band (rumour has it that they are as English as scones), games, food, fun people and most importantly, fresh tasting beer.

GAB Tavern Oktoberfest 2011

Nah, fun people:

GAB Tavern Oktoberfest 2011 - good time

Me with a giant Kilkenny cutout, in serious contention to replace Clive Owen as the man of my dreams:

GAB Tavern Oktoberfest 2011 - Suanie

Awesome right? Pleasures that money can’t buy… :)

Urbanscapes 2011 @ Padang Astaka

I went to Urbanscapes 2011. It was massive fun, except that the sun was scorching hot and I was left pretty much irritated. Then again I get irritated quite often so perhaps it was not just the sun, but me myself. Hmmm that would be a lot of trips to the psychologist, the solution of which could also be easily (and cheaply) obtained with cake.

Got there around 4pm, rushed to locate where Actorlympics was showing. For those in the dark, Actorlympics is our local improvisational comedy, akin to Whose Line Is It Anyway. Patrick Teoh hosted this round, with the players being Douglas Lim, Rashid Salleh, Kuah Jenhan and Nell Ng. Stellar cast!

Urbanscapes 2011 - Actorlympics
The Actorlympics people

Walked around the huge Astaka field, checked out assorted tents and what-nots. Decided it was too hot to check out more things (remember the easily irritated part), so mostly hung out at The Accidental Bakers‘ tent where yummy stuff was on sale.

Urbanscapes 2011 - The Accidental Bakers
The Accidental Bakers’ people

They make really delicious cakes and brownies. Not saying this just because they’re my friends, I’m a customer too! :D In fact I just ordered their Bloomin’ Brilliant Brownies and delivered it to my lawyer for being so awesome. Go check them out on Facebook here: *click*

Other than just, basically hung out at a shaded area where a group of young dudes suddenly came and gave an impromptu performance using their yoyos. Pretty impressive, though I was hit by one… Tried to locate their stall to buy a yoyo for Ryan but couldn’t. Gave up lah ‘cos I had a headache from all the sun baking my brains. Should have brought a cap! :X

Urbanscapes 2011 - Dude with a yoyo
The yoyo dudes

Walking back to our car, we passed by Faizal and Ms Nyna who were on their way to the field. Ms Nyna took a photo of us with our Accidental Bakers’ haul.

Urbanscapes 2011 - haul

Quite a good festival, though I should have been better prepared. Never mind, there’s always next year! :)

Abbey beer, Grimbergen @ Brussels Beer Cafe

Grimbergen beer, Brussels If I could only drink one type of beer for the rest of my life, it might very well be Grimbergen.

In fact if I had to choose between saving my mobile phone or a crate of Grimbergen in a fire, I’d be very tempted to go for the latter.

Let’s make this easier: if I had to choose between Clive Owen VS free Grimbergen for the rest of my life, Grimbergen wins! Now that’s saying something.

Grimbergen is an abbey beer, its origins can be trace to 1128 when the Abbey of Grimbergen in Belgium was founded. That makes it one of the oldest known beers still brewed today.

Perhaps it was fitting that the invitation to sample Grimbergen Blonde was held at Brussels (… Belgium, geddit? Har har) at Menara Hap Seng. Brought in by Luen Heng (subsidiary of Carlsberg), currently only available at Brussels at Ampang, Jaya One, Menara Hap Seng and Solaris Mont Kiara though the availability at other places may be more widespread soon.

Grimbergen beer, Brussels - Poured
Grimbergen served with beer infused food

What’s the taste like? Light, invitingly sweet, some citrus and fruity notes. It’s very smooth and I thought it smelled wonderful, like joy. It was very easy to drink but beware: its alcohol content (ABV) is 6.7%! It’s one of those beers that you drink a lot because it’s so nice. Then you find that you’re horrifically drunk. Happens.

Grimbergen beer, Brussels - Soren Ravn, Deeps and Kenny
MD of Carlsberg MY – Soren Ravn, Deeps and Kenny

Good beer with good food and most importantly, great merrymakers to share it with. It was a fantastic evening with Mike of Brussels Beer Cafe, Michael, Kerol, ShaolinTiger, Horng, Beer Beer, Deeps, Joshua, Terence etc etc etc.

Grimbergen beer, Brussels - Happy people

Grimbergen Blonde is available at all Brussels Beer Cafe outlets. A whole bottle at slightly over a pint costs RM38+. Do try it out, let me know what you think of it!

Here are a couple videos of the merrymakers. First one is the MD of Carlsberg Malaysia, Soren Ravn leading us to singing the Danish song of beer toasting. No one really knew what he was singing about. Then we did it the Malaysian way. The 2nd video is of an impromptu ‘We Will Rock You’ karaoke session + Soren Ravn and a Luen Heng dude rapping + beatboxing.

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?