Monday, April 20, 2015

Macallan Mario Testino ... Whisky Dreams and Fantasies...

Macallan, ah, that name, sweet memories, for arguably, it was the Macallan Single Malt that really was the cusp of the popularity of single malts in Malaysia, though admittedly other brands were around.  And Mario Testino, just exactly, who is he?

Only one of the world's most influential photographers, who has photographed Prince Charles, Princess Diana (the late), The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Queen Rania of Jordan, just to name a few.  Hailing from Lima, Peru, he received his country's highest honor in 2010, the Grand Cross Order of Merit, from the President of Peru, and the OBE in 2013 in recognition of his contributions to the photography and philantropic world.

So combine the two, an established renowned single malt, and celebrity cult fashion photographer, a new whisky is spawned from this luminary alliance.  Mario is unveiled as Macallan's 5th Master of Photography, bringing to life the Six Pillars, which are the foundation stones of Macallan.  Six different casks to showcase an ultimate complexity, each with their own definitive character, flavour and aroma.  Brought together by Master Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno from six casks from a selection of over 200,000 maturing at the Macallan distillery, this special limited edition boasts 1000 bottles globally.

Out of curiosity, I casually asked the price, and almost keeled over with a heart attack, at the RM17,000 price tag.  At that point, I realised that it was unlikely we were going to get a sample of this drop.  Sadly.  So to drown our sorrows, we just continously knocked back the 12 year that was free flowing.




Providence, venue of the launch, was decked up like an art gallery.  Bottles of the stuff were in glass displays, much like diamonds, which should have clued us in as to the price of the bottle, for unlike the other bottles of Macallan that were free standing at the bar, there were no "unprotected" bottles to be seen.


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I am not sure but I am pretty sure that fella on the far right is a local celebrity of sorts. Very glitterati...

Darsha Logan, who apparently is the daughter of famed Alleycats, Logan....







Jeff Lee and me, thanks Jeff for the invitation.

From Right to left:  Malaysia's Hottest Blogger Tim Chew, his date, Mr Fireangel and me.



Well, sadly, at that price tag, I guess it will be awhile, or by fluke, that my palate should collide with this subliminity that I can only imagine.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A Magnum-minous Lunch At the Magnum Shop

I didn't know that there's a Magnum Shop.  It's the equivalent of Ice Cream's Fun Theme Park, where you can entertain yourself with all permutations of Magnum Ice Cream, just buy your basic stick, and coat it however you want with whatever you want..What a novel idea, I can't wait to bring the kids

 They recently hosted  an exclusive fine dining session at the MAGNUM Shop in Mid Valley Megamall (3rd floor, near the GSC Cinemas)to celebrate the best of Belgian Indulgence where guests were invited to caress their senses by experiencing exquisite chocolate inspired dishes created using the highest quality Belgian chocolate by Chef Steven Chin, Group Executive Chef of Magnum Kuala Lumpur.

A rather strange pairing in a way, because chocolate was actually used in the savoury foods.  Whilst I am all for sweet and salty pairings, I was quite intrigued to see what the end result of this adventure would taste like.
It was nice to see an old familiar face from days gone by, UGWUG, one of the pioneer food bloggers in days of yore.


As the frontier of chocolate expertise, this event is organized to showcase how MAGNUM will tickle your palate by creating signature dishes that were infused with Belgian chocolate. We want our consumers to always remember that remarkable pleasurable moments are now beyond every bite of MAGNUM ice cream”, shared Mr Shawn Tan, Category Head (Ice Cream), Unilever Malaysia Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Chef Steven Chin has been creating unique dishes for different type of cuisines and desserts for five stars international hotels and fine dining restaurants and the chocolate inspired signature dishes were the interpretations of his vast culinary experiences and passion for chocolate.



To start, a  spice butternut squash velouté which is a butternut pumpkin soup, scented with cinnamon and topped with shaved bitter dark chocolate.  Well, you can't really go wrong with butternut, as we were saying on the table.  A few people thought it was a cappucino at first.  I enjoyed the soup, the flavours of the chocolate were subtle and the soup itself rather hearty.



Next was a marinated capellini pasta with ulam-ulaman served with crispy unagi beignet, salted choc emulsion, soy reduction and crispy ginger.  Unfortunately the pasta was way overcooked, so there was no texture to speak of, but the combination is actually rather good.  The slight hint of bunga kantan, the pungency of the local ulam ulaman, the piece of dried ginger that was very nice, and reminded me of that shocking scarlet red preserved ginger we used to eat as kids, that leave a crimson stain upon the tongue.  The dark chocolate on the unagi was rather unique.



Pan seared butterfish fillet served with sautéed baby spinach and white beurre blanc sauce (from the French for "white butter"). The white beurre blanc sauce is a hot emulsified butter made with vinegar and shallots, this particular version, with MAGNUM white chocolate added.  I personally am not a fan of white chocolate, at all, regardless of brand, so I can't say I was a fan of this dish.  Though I did think the butterfish was well seared.




Death by Chocolate is the richest chocolate dessert that MAGNUM Pleasure Store has ever offered. Death by chocolate is a baked to order warm chocolate molten lava cake served with MAGNUM chocolate brownies ice-cream and chocolate crunch pearls.  It was our opinion that this absolutely HAS to go onto the ala carte menu, for this dish will certainly be a hit.

Good chum Ann Lee (such a pleasant surprise to bump into her) and Malaysia's Hottest Blogger Tim Chew...





And in case we were not full, some other existing desserts to sample, the red velvet cake and the trifle...which looks yummy, but really, after that feast, I really could not tuck in another calorie...


MAGNUM  will be launching a campaign in April 2015 called “Celebrating Chocolate Pleasures”. This will mark another MAGNUM milestone that will provide consumers the ultimate taste of premium chocolate and ice cream experience through concourse events, digital contests and in-store promotions. For more information about MAGNUM ice cream and it latest offering, please visit MAGNUM Malaysia official facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MagnumMalaysia.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Norwegian Seafood Fest At the Intercontinental Buffet Spread. Hurry, 24-27th March Only

If this post sounds a bit rushed, yeah, it's because it IS rushed.  I realised to my horror that the promotion had already begun, and time and tide, especially when it's a tide of seafood, waits for no one.

And since time indeed is of the essence, and I cannot churn out words as quickly as our local universities churn out graduates, I shall have to resort to cutting and pasting from the press release, or at least, to a certain degree.  Words not from this mouth are in italics.

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur signature all-day dining restaurant, Serena Brasserie is thrilled to present yet another exciting dining promotion to epicureans in the city. In collaboration with GST Group, the four-day promotion from 24 to 27 March 2015 will see first-class Norwegian seafood flown in and featured in Serena Brasserie’s selected international buffet spread.

An array of sushi, fresh seafood, octopi that looked like it might have been able to predict football scores the morning earlier, crabs that must have been serenading the Little Mermaid the day before, and an cornucopia of shellfish who believed that life is indeed better UNDER THE SEA....


Slipper lobsters, yabbies, blue flower crabs, mud crabs, even legs of Alaskan crabs....adorn the pyre of ice ...unfortunately, we had arrived somewhat late and the banquet had begun, rendering the spread rather sparse while photographing...

The seafood promotion will offer a taste of premium freshness and quality by Norwegian guest chef, Markus Peter Dybwad. The humble and young chef has a wealth of experience from Scandinavia as well as Europe including three Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck alongside celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.

Permeating local flavours into the delicacy, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur executive chef Sam Kung has come up with a range of variety for guests to have a taste of exotic local spices. The in the know specials will showcase fragrant salmon satay, salmon tandoori and green curry with Atlantic cod.

Dainty receptacles of various assortments of canape like seafood, salmon with egg roe...

Scallops on a bed of puree, which was lovely...

S
Norwegian Chef in action....

The end product of his cooking demo, seared salmon with leek ash, and a healthy dollop of salmon roe....

Speaking of roe (roe roe your boat), these little shrimp were deliciously sweet and succulent, and obviously pregnant.  Caviar within a prawn, so to speak...

I'm a prawn,...no a lobster, ...no a scorpion, heck, I dunno what I am...





Ah, I loved this customized mamak mee goreng, fried on the spot, with extra egg... YUMMEH...

Nasi lemak in case you are averse to seafood, in which case, no need to rush, because these I believe are usual fixtures in the buffet line... apparently the sambal was sublimely fragrant, but I wouldn't know, cos who eats nasi lemak at a buffet....


Outside of the aircon area is the Seafood BBQ, which also boasts a large variety of of seafood, from butterfish, to shrimp to scallop kebabs...







My plate of barbequed goodness....

For dessert, lovely Kapiti New Zealand ice cream, and I stumbled across this ethereal combination of BLUE CHEESE and BLUEBERRY ice cream,


This seafood culinary adventure allow guests to take pleasure in the dazzling array of seafood from the coastal waters of Norway that are renowned for its quality, natural taste and delicate flavours. Guests will be able to see Norwegian Chef Markus live at the action station preparing a delectable assortment of codfish, salmon, halibut and blue mussels. Other mouth-watering creations to savour include traditional Scandinavian specialities such as cold dishes of skagen salad (creamed seafood salad); smoked salmon with scrambled eggs; selection of herrings; smoked mackerel; smoked salmon; cured salmon trout ‘Gravalaks’ style; and hot signatures such as baked salmon fillet; halibut in cream sauce; Atlantic cod with soy butter and red fish with ratatouille.


The Norwegian Seafood promotion at Serena Brasserie is priced at RM120++ per adult, or toast to the coast at RM180++ per adult inclusive of a bottle of red or white wine and RM60++ per child.

For reservations, please call Serena Brasserie at 03 - 2782 6228 or e-mail foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my. Visit www.intercontinental-kl.com.my for more information. Follow us on www.fb.com/intercontinental.kualalumpur and Instagram @intercontinental.kualalumpur.