Saturday, January 19, 2019

Prosperity Begins With a Pop, Carlsberg Ushers In Chinese New Year 2019

As usual, Carlsberg kicks off the Chinese New Year celebrations with much aplomb, from lion dances to pole dancers, beers paired with their signature succulent roast pork, and this year a whole chinese banquet paired with the different Carlsberg products.

Held at the HXC Grand Ballroom in ICC Pudu, this year's Prosperity Begins With a Pop promised to be a fun event even from the entrance.

Nothing more welcoming than the Carlsberg signs at the entrance...



The behemoth of Carlsberg products on display



The signature succulent roast pork which graces quite a number of events was a great starter to the night, and helped "line the stomach"



This year the bottle caps come in 4 colours, representing Happiness, Prosperity, Wealth and Good Luck, with a chance for lucky winners to win stuff if their cap is the winning cap. Some of the more interesting prizes include an E Mahjong table, Groceries of up to RM800, etc.



Proud to be in the forefront of innovation, we celebrate this CNY with not just one colour – red but three, adding vibrant green, pink and blue - to Carlsberg and Carlsberg Smooth Draught bottles and cans, giving a modern twist to the four Chinese greeting messages of Prosperity, Happiness, Wealth and Good Luck!” Lars Lehmann, Carlsberg’s Managing Director, said in his opening address.



Back by popular demand for the third consecutive year, “Probably The Best CNY Shopping Experience” activations will be held at participating supermarkets and hypermarkets on 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26 and 27 January 2019. Thus far, 65 winners got lucky at the activations that took place on 30 December, 5 and 6 January winning the Grand Prize of groceries all paid for by Carlsberg!

Campaign. Do check out their website for details on how to win.



The first Yee Sang of the year for me, and it was delish, I have to say.  In fact, all the food at the hitherto unknown HXC Grand Ballroom was pretty good.



One of my favourites in the Carlsberg portfolio.













Definitely the highlight for me, this decadent abalone stew infused with Carlsberg smooth draught, although I couldn't taste it in the actual dish...but hey, there was more than enough from the bottle to make up for any lack of draught flavour.



For more info on the various competitions, check out their websites at

www.facebook.com/CarlsbergMY

www.probablythebest.com.my




Sunday, January 06, 2019

Brooklyn Brewery Comes To Town On Tap, at TGG Plaza Arkadia

It's always a pleasure to be invited to Carlsberg events, and when the invite is for the opening of a new craft beer bar at TGG, Plaza Arkadia, one cannot say no.  The entire upstairs of the TGG place has been decked up as a Brooklyn dedicated bar.






So what is Brooklyn? (Apart from being a place)
It was an educational session for us, to learn that Brooklyn Brewery is the no. 1 American craft beer exporter and is available in more than 30 countries.
It was founded in 1988, currently ranking #11 in volume among United States craft breweries. It has received numerous accolades and awards for its brews, including the 2018 Beer World Cup Gold Medal for Brooklyn Lager. Now who knew there was a Beer World Cup...that would be a match I wouldn't mind watching.

Carlsberg Malaysia is the exclusive distributer for two of their most popular variants – Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn East IPA.  Hence their presence here.

The host for the night was Thomas Teo, the Commercial Development Manager of Craft and Specialty of Carlsberg Singapore, interviewed by Kim of Thirstmag, who shared with us interesting insights on craft beer and food etc.  It's exciting that these are going to be monthly events hosted by Carlsberg Malaysia, with thoughtfully paired foods from selected Carlsberg partner outlets.




At TGG, the food pairing was with five specialities including the TGG Special Fried Rice, TGG Spicy Steamed Pork Ribs, moo ping (BBQ pork skewer), salted-egg chicken, and Thai mango salad.

The pairing of Brooklyn Lager with it maltiness paired splendidly with the Moo Ping, which incidentally was superb.  I would have been happy just to eat that all night paired with the Lager. 






One of the most beautiful sounds in the world is the sound of clanking glasses to a spirited Cheers or Yam Seng, especially amongst friends.


The TGG Spicy Steamed Pork Ribs and Thai mango salad were paired  the robust, hoppy aromas in Brooklyn East IPA.  Actually food pairing is rather subjective, and to me the differences were minimal, and I felt that both the Lager and IPA would have gone well with any one of the dishes.  In fact, the IPA with the Moo Ping was also superb. 

So what are craft beers?  They're usuall brewed in smaller batches by Independent Brewers, and usually would have their distinct richer flavour which would appeal to various types of beer drinkers.  The brewers can obviously play around with their recipes to produce beers that are unique to the brewery, by playing around witht eh combinations of hops, malt, etc.




For now, craft beer lovers in Malaysia have two Brooklyn Brewery beers to choose from: the award-winning Brooklyn Lager and the hoppy Brooklyn East IPA – available in bottles since Dec ’17, and finally in draught this year!

The Brooklyn Mega Set comes with your choice of Brooklyn Lager of Brooklyn East IPA in a frozen mug at a special promo price of RM40++ (normal price: RM50++). You can also enjoy more frozen mugs of Brooklyn Lager / East IPA all night long at RM15++ only (normal price: RM19++). Both promotions are available until 28 February 2019 or while stocks last.

Visit carlsbergmalaysia.com.my for more information on Brooklyn’s craft brews!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Gobo Chit Chat Festive Buffet, Traders Hotel KL, Till Year End

Gobo Chit Chat's buffet has always struck me as good value for money.  At RM149 nett, and for the variety of food, what can I say.  And this year's festive spread together with the free flow seafood really puts you into a food coma after the meal.  I am actually intrigued by how much some people can tuck away at buffets like this.  I find in my old age, I can only very selectively zoom in to a few items of desire, and ignore the rest.  I guess this is applicable not only to food, in a buffet, but life in general.

In keeping with the season, I zeroed into the Christmas Turkey.  Okay, I am not really an ardent fan of turkey, but hey, this IS the dish that only comes round once a year, and if you get a nice piece of juicy thigh, it can be rather palatable.  Of course, I find the breast meat totally redundant, and I wait for genetic engineering to create a turkey that is all leg and thigh and no breast.


Chef holding up the freshly brought out turkey


That's one good looking bird...and with the ample brussel sprouts as accompaniment, I would have been happy just to stop here.


The beef wellington was also pretty good.  Flaky puff pastry, tender meat.

The next highlight would have to be the vast array of seafood, which you collect in a bucket, and using the tag from your table, specify how you want the bucket cooked.  There is a choice of different sauces, like cheese curry, sichuan, etc.  They then bring the cooked bucket to your table and plonk it onto a silver platter, with much aplomb.

...This would be the Sichuan style

This one is the creamy cheese curry sauce I think....

The oysters don't get any fresher than these, in this lavish seafood spread.  Freshly shucked with demand, very rare to find in other buffets.


I'd say these crepes were the highlight for me in the dessert section, although they also did have the essential mince pies for Christmas.

For me, if I can find 5 or more items that I like and that I can zero in in a buffet, I am already a happy camper.


Some other dishes worthy of mention are ..

The Satay, both chicken and beef....

The beef cheek, exceedingly tender,

The chicken roulade, with a rich creamy sauce..

The large variety of roasted vegetables, which is always a must for me,

The roast lamb which I didn't try, but everyone else was raving about it, so I guess it must be good.


Too full to even attempt the noodle station, and mind you, I am a numero uno noodle fan.


Freshly fried prawn tempura, ah, yes, one of my favourites too, especially if you catch it freshly fried.

We are all mystified how this platter of plainly blanced seafood ended up on our table.  It really does need the sauces.

And finally Walauwei's method of eating Yorkshire Pudding...with chocolate ice cream.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tanzini and The Club's Yuletide and New Year's Offerings, G- Tower

Where has the year gone?  It seemed like yesterday that we were celebrating Chinese New Year, and now the hum of carols is prevalent in malls with Christmas decorations to boot.  Having said that, I'm not sure if it's just me, but the festivities seem a lot more toned down.  Nevertheless, one mustn't forget the reason for the season.

An elegant dinner table was set up in boardroom 2 of The Club, in G Tower, next to Tanzini, where we were privileged to sample the Christmas and New Year offerings of both restaurants.  I have to be frank, in the portfolio of the IGB owned restaurants, Tanzini is my least frequented, cos I always never go beyond Sage and Cilantro.  Ambience wise, Tanzini and the Club offer superb vistas of the city, and is rather posh all round.


The trinkets on the table to remind us what the dinner theme was to be.

The food was served together, ie, both the menus from Tanzini and The Club were served in order of appetisers etc.



The Club starter, SCAMPI & FIDDLEHEAD FERNS SALADOR
Marinated grilled sea prawn infused with classic “kerabu pucuk paku” salads, served in a pie tee shell, which kinda set the them for the Club's menu, which is basically Asian crossover (I hate to use the word "fusion").  The prawns were succulent and fresh, and the bite size morsels were easily devoured in one mouthful.  By the way, I believe FIDDLEHEAD FERNS is just a fancy name for our pucuk paku.

SCALLOP AND COCONUT TIMBALE (Tanzini)

A really photogenic dish, I am always fascinated with dishes that have blue in them. I would hazard a guess that the chef is trying to convey an oceanic and beach theme in this dish, with the zesty scallops, the sweet coconut and refreshing salad.


AGLIO-OLIO ANGEL HAIR WITH BACON, YABBIES AND CAVIAR (Tanzini)

This was one of my favourite dishes.  The angel hair, which is not easy to get right, was just nicely al dente-ed, and chockful of flavours, with the drippings of the seafood.  Encased in a beef bacon basket, it does make for a rather pleasing to the eye dish.  I was glad that two of the other guests were on KETO diets so that allowed me to have more pasta.

ZUPPA DI PESCE (Tanzini)

A seafood soup, tomatoey broth, well, it's almost a comfort food kinda dish.




G TOWER DELIGHT OX TAIL SOUP (The Club)

The corresponding soup for The Club wins hands down, compared to it's Seafood soup counterpart from Tanzini.  Lovely aromatics reminiscent of our traditional soup ekor, with a peppery heat to titillate the senses.  I wonder if one can mix and match, cos I'd pick this soup anyday.

Might be strange that the sorbet should be the highlight of the night, but it was.  This palate cleanser really wowed all present.  The strong tangy bold flavours really hit the spot.



For the mains at The Club, a choice of either the PESCE AL CARTOCCIO
Brined king barramundi fillet infused with ‘asam pedas’ salsa verde style, which I personally found a bit too complicated, and too many things happening in one dish, though the familiar taste of assam pedas did add some "spice" to the dish

OR

CAPONE DIRIENO PERCIK STYLE - My main grouse which I think will be acted upon, was the choice of breast meat for this dish, which was otherwise rather tasty.  I hope when the time comes, there will be a breast or thigh option.

Lamb
Both the mains for the Tanzini menu were good, the
SOUS-VIDE LAMB ROLLED WITH POLENTA, CANNELLINI BEAN PUREE AND AU JUS, 
which I enjoyed despite not liking lamb these days with age.  Tender and succulent, without that lamby smell and flavour.



STUFFED ROLLED TURKEY WITH POLENTA, STEWED LENTILS AND CRANBERRY SAUCE
Yay to the fact that turkey is served in a different non carving the whole bird way.  Moist, tender and tasty, unlike some cooked to death Christmas turkeys you get .   Definitely my choice of mains.

Ok, in case the sequence was altogether too confusing, these are the menus for Tanzini and The Club respectively.  The Tanzini menu for Christmas and New  Year  is priced at a very affordable RM245 nett. The Club's menu is priced at RM155 nett.


The club's plush interior....

A very interesting photo wall with all the historic moments of Malaya and Malaysia. There is an interesting catch, if you are observant enough.


And to end the night, dessert...

CHRISTMAS SWEET TEMPTATIONS “BANDUNG POACH PYRUS” (The Club Dessert)
The poached pear was very very good... Poached in Manuka honey and bentong ginger.   Why bentong ginger?  Because all ginger lovers would know that Bentong ginger costs 4 times more than normal ginger, and really packs an oomph.  Whilst the pear was bordering on sweet, the ice cream kind of neutralised the sweetness.


ORANGE CRÈME BRÛLÉE AND MIXED VALRHONA (Tanzini dessert)

I found the creme brulee a bit too coarse, cos in my mind creme brulee's are silky smooth.  But like all foods, one man's brulee is another man's err...poison.  The valrhona offerings were lovely.  Bitter sweet...

Overall, for that price point, I'd say it's VERY reasonable, for that quality of food.

Make a reservation at:

Tanzini and The Club
GTower, 199, Jalan Tun Razak,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.



Telephone: 03-2168 1899

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TanziniKL/