Drink GAB beer + stand to win a 1kg Golden Dragon statue!

It’s not even Christmas but last week at GAB’s Tavern, the atmosphere was undeniably Chinese New Year. Got tong tong chiang music, got ang ang decorations, got dragon (not lion) dance… and I missed all that thanks to a traffic policeman who rerouted me and I ended up being 1.5 hours late.

Reluctant usage of Touch ‘n Go credit cannot claim from traffic police department one, right?

GAB CNY 2012 - Tavern 01
Super Cina

The reason for the early CNY was so that GAB can announce their CNY 2012 promo: “9 Grand Treasures for the Year of the Dragon“. Basically if you buy big bottles/ cans of GAB beers (like Tiger, Heineken, Guinness or Anchor), then you need to check the colour or code of the cap liner or pull tab. If you’re lucky, you might win very nice prizes! E.g. your cap liner’s orange colour, the prize is a piece of 5g Gold Dragon coin.

GAB CNY 2012 - Tavern 02
Can you feel it’s Christmas Chinese New Year..?

Then if you’re really very lucky, you might get the red cap liner and win the 1kg Golden Dragon Statue:

GAB CNY 2012 - Golden Dragon statue
Better than any gold savings accounts

That’s all. Oh here’s me posing with MissyBlurKit and Seet Heng from G2. Not in the photo: grumpy looking security officers nearby in case we decided to make a run for it.

GAB CNY 2012 - with the Golden Dragon statue

Sekian.

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