Friday, April 20, 2018

The Special Launch of Chivas Mizunara

I kinda grew up on Chivas Regal, for back in the day, before the proliferation of the multitudinous variety that is available now, it was THE drink.  Drank by all strata of society, from those who pronounce it CHEE - VAS to those who didn't.  A special treat would have been the Royal Salute, wrapped in a velvet cloth, reserved for very special occasions.  I have to admit, over the years, I cannot recall my last sip of Chivas, (apart from the Royal Salute 21 which I had a month back), so I was pretty excited to go and meet this new Chivas Mizunara.

Pernod Ricard Malaysia has set up a wonderful "bar" in PJ Amcorp Mall, and it was a privilege to be invited.  Decked up in theme, ie, Japanese, we entered the enclave of the Bar Des Embiez to the beat of a Japanese drum.



Prior to the launch, we were given the traditional 12 year Chivas Regal to put us in the mood...


Our favourite Whisky Ambassador, and host for the night, Lionel Lau giving a brief introduction....

According to Pernod Ricard Malaysia Brand Manager Benedict Yong said, “The whisky world is wide and varied, steeped in craftsmanship. Japanese powerhouse whiskies were inspired by Scottish whiskies to begin with. Now we have an instance of paying homage the other way around, a blend inspired with a Japanese influence. To say it is an exciting addition to our lineup here in Malaysia is an understatement.


Sebastien Mouquet, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Malaysia opening speech....

...........followed by an festive Japanese Performance by modern day geishas and a magician who finally unveiled with the slight of hand, the new bottle.



To the more observant, you'd notice the backdrop of the bar after the launch was changed from a black cloth to unveil bottles of bottles of the new bottle.

So what EXACTLY sets it apart and makes the Chivas Mizunara different?

The Chivas Regal Mizunara is the world’s first Scotch whisky, highly bespoked,  to be selectively finished in sought-after Japanese Mizunara oak casks, which are extremely expensive, and scarce, known for their porous nature and has to be at least 200 years old.   It  marks a new milestone in innovative whisky-making, and was first unveiled exclusively in Japan in 2013.

Sandy Hyslop, Chivas Brothers Director of Blending, comments: “Among blenders, Mizunara oak casks are highly respected for two main reasons: first, they are incredibly rare; and secondly, once sourced, they present complex challenges for aging whisky. The porous nature of the oak results in a greater influence of flavour from the casks, meaning the quality of each batch must be meticulously and individually assessed. However, if the process is mastered, the resulting whisky is truly unique, as showcased by Chivas Regal Mizunara. I hope whisky lovers in Malaysia will enjoy this truly distinctive, luxury blend: a new experience within the Chivas Regal range, and a fitting Scottish tribute to this exceptional Japanese oak.”



For the F in the F& B portion of the night, we had the privilege of celebrity chefs Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian in the house, dishing out lovely canapes, and sashimi-ing an entire trout before our very eyes.


trout


What did I personally think of Chivas Mizunara?  Well, that gorgeous amber nectar is certainly easy on the palate, and is really a class above the usual 12 year old, you can immediately tell the difference.  There's a certain sweetness, but not overly so, almost just a mere hint.  On the nose, a whole variety of stuff which I shall not pretend to be able to name, but a slight orangey whiff is evident.  Would I buy it?  Yes, for the sake of variety.  I find some people have become single malt snobs, and are quick to pooh pooh blends, but hey, one man's poison is another man's booze. 

Always a hoot when there's booze and this lot...

Outlets - Central Region

Torii Yakitori & Whiskey Bar
Oliver Mines
China Bar
U-Zen
Mercato Pavillion
Ikki
Kenshin - KL Intermark
Oliver Tropicana
Club 20
Iketeru - KL Hilton
M Grand Café
YEZI
Hazuki Japanese Club
Mosto
TI Chen Restaurant
Kogetsu
The Whiskey Bar
Hana Dining Sake Bar - IPC
Donkey & Crow BSC
Hana Dining Sake Bar - Sunway
Zeta Bar - KL Hilton
Han Wa Dam, Menara Hap Seng
Chambers - KL Hilton
Jason's Food Hall
Lobby Lounge - KL Hilton
Cold Storage Great Eastern
In Colonial - KL Intermark
Cold Storage Mont Kiara
Nobu
Cold Storage KLCC
Marini's on 57
Cold Storage Subang Parade
Marble 8
TMC Bangsar
Alvisy
Cold Storage Pelangi, JB
Chaze
BIG Batai
Tavern 13
Mercato Hartamas
Stratosphere
BIG IPC
BIG Publika
iSetan The Table
RP Entertainment Centre

Outlets - Northern Region

Hana Mizuki
Kikyo Japanese Bar
Kirishima Japanese Restaurant @ Cititel
12 Senses
Magazine 63
Room 495
The Whiski
Chin Chin
Traffic
MW Malt Whisky Bar
Golden Shower by Chin Chin
Pokok
Manchu
Oriental Red

Outlets - Southern Region

HOH Wines And Spirit Supplier
Meng Hwa Enterprise
Bao Teck
Pagoni
T15
Home Lounge (New)

Outlets - Ipoh

Rooftop

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Seafood Buffet At Gobo Chit Chat is Back

For seafood fans, I can unequivocally say that the Seafood Buffet at Traders, priced at RM149 nett per person, Friday and Sat 6.30-10.30pm, is fantastic value for money.  It's like all of Poseidon's peoples are present at this conference of seafood, from Hokkaido King Crab, to razor clams to the more pedestrian mussels and prawns.

You first gather all your bounty in a bucket, and bring it to the cooking station whereby you can have it prepared in several ways, the most highly recommended one being the Curry Cheese sauce one, which everyone seemed to be having.  Me personally, I find that a bit too rich, and would opt for the Sichuan Chilli Sauce gravy.

The bucket above is transformed into this platter of sinfully rich marine paradise.

Curry chese

This is the Sichuan Chilli Version which doesn't look as rich, although I didn't try it, and had to "tumpang" the picture from another diner who came later. 





There's also the usual brined and boiled seafood that is already cooked, like crabs and prawns.





Carry your bucket and pick away, like an aunty in the seafood market.

The oyster station is worthy of mention, because oysters are freshly shucked, and were actually very plump and delicious.  I am always wary of the oyster stations at buffets, cos those pearl manufacturers have been exposed and I have suffered badly before the repercussions.

Of course, if raw, and boiled seafood is insufficient, there's also smoked...

and BBQ...

...oh, and sushi-fied too....

For the land carnivores, there's no shortage of meats either, the carvery does a LARVERLY roast beef and roast lamb, and you also have meats done myriad ways, like satay, roast chicken, curries, etc.




This selection of roasted vegetables is one of my favourites, and I feel terribly understated.  Which is to my benefit. 



And for the sweet toothed, the usual array of cakes, malay kuih, ice kacang, ice cream, and oooh, special mention of this Ayu jelly which I love.  Tangy, sweet, all at once and a most refreshing palate cleanser.

There are apparently more than 130 types of dishes in this spread, and currently there is a special offer of 5+1 whereby for every six diners, one dines for free.

For reservations, call GOBO CHIT CHAT, TRADERS HOTEL
603-23329905

Monday, April 02, 2018

Meat The Porkers

I have to say I love the name....Inspired of course by the movie Meet the Fokkers..Well, the last time I came to this establishment it was known as Fiercer (The sister of Fierce Curry House in Bangsar, ..why sister? Cos they're Fiercer), and I had their legendary Lobster Biryani.  Somewhere along the way, they changed the name, presumably to dissociate from Fierce (which is pork free), and went the route of the porcine path.  Now interestingly enough, pork is never really a very big thing in Indian cuisine, but however, apparently this trend is reversing, and all over India pork restaurants are sprouting up, according the the ebullient, effervescent owner, Herukh.

We were invited (thanks to Pure Glutton for the invite) to sample their new wraps menu, a kind of Mexindian fusion, using tortilla wraps inspired by Kati Rolls, a traditional wrap but not using tortillas.  Actually, the combinations unsurprisingly work well, as really, you're just substituting the wraps with tortillas, which is probably a distant cousin of nan.

Pork 65 Tacos...Apparently the 65 comes from the year that this particular concoction was born, and its not restricted to pork, there's also chicken 65, so 65 is actually a noun like tandoori or butter...


Butter Chicken Tacos, (RM30)..as I said, it's hardly suprising that this combination works.  You can't really go wrong if your butter chicken is nice to begin with.


Tandoori Pork Rib Tacos.... love the texture of the pulled pork....with the tangy, spicy,  salty cacophony of flavours. 


Paneer Varuval Tacos, the token vegetarian dish in this Indian restaurant...the paneer which is either grilled or fried, I'm not sure, actually takes on the texture of chicken breast.



This slab of pork ribs is cooked in the tandoori oven, and is marinaded with that top layer of boiled milk, which is basically cream, I cannot remember the exact term now... but the meat is moist and tender.


Their iconic Siu Yoke Biryani...whereby the crackling is served separately to maintain its crispiness, which is a stroke of genius.  Meanwhile the bits of juicy roast pork bask within that lovely fluffy basmati.


Rogan Josh, which is also available as a taco.  Delicious chunks of meat that scream out for white rice actually.  Or some breads.

Their delicious palak paneer accompanied with some bacon cheese naan.

Overall, a rather enjoyable meal, something different whilst still maintaining a lot of the familiarity you'd expect from a biryani /Indian restaurant.  One of the highlights was actually Herukh regaling us with tales of India, and had he been selling a tour of Kerala, I'd have been sold.


Address: D1-G3-5,, 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Hours: Lunchtime till 3:30PM ⋅ Reopens 6PM
Phone: 019-987 1945

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fu Luck Bar, TREC

One of the most intriguing invites I've gotten in recent times was the one to the Fu Luck Bar, which of course made me look twice.  It said, "An Artistically Curated Space where Nostalgia and Pop Culture Collide", and it was located in the trendy happening TREC, so I was totally fascinated.

I've only been to TREC a couple of times, and am amazed at the number of outlets there and the sheer variety.  So what is this FU LUCK BAR about?  For starters, in Mandarin, the name means Prosperity and Happiness (Really?) but say it quickly, in Cantonese and its sounds like "Pants Down".






The snazzy interior is designed by urban art artists Graeme Jay Hammond and Idris Johor who are behind the artworks of the iconic Haji Lane in Sinagpre. 


The media was given a lovely preview of the place, with free flow cocktails and beer



They have quite an interesting selection of cocktails, from left top, clockwise  Double Happiness, Hocus Pocus Abacus (which is the one we tried), White Rabbit Hole, Green Army Poseur,  My Fair Lady, Ice Kacang Cocktail, Clover Club and Old Master's Brew. 


I love the nostalgic drawing of those biscuits with the dollop of colored sugar on top....although I cant say I care much for the actual biscuit itself.

In keeping with the theme... in the corner sat a man...

who turned out to be the lead F&B Curator, Raymond Lim of Restaurant Lifestyle Asia .. explaining the concept of the tapas kind of dim sum, etc etc..

The artist fellow, Graeme Hammond

It's actually a great idea to have dim sum while drinking....bite size morsels that make a perfect bar snack.







The red glow from the Bar area complements the theme....





We had a great time, and after the media event stayed on to party with friends.

Will be revisiting to try the food and cocktails.


ADDRESS: TREC, 438 JLN TUN RAZAK
Tel: 03-21106938