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 πŸ˜›

But nobody got too drunk ‘cos we’re all grown up already πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰
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 πŸ˜‰
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 πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚ Also, it’s not everyday that you get to pose in a photo like this:

NAPBAS 2011 - Suanie in Micro Blog category

Best ever! πŸ˜€ By the way, if you’d voted for me, thanks yah. Really appreciate it πŸ™‚

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… πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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