Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Play To Wine, at the "Casino" of Wine Trivia

When I got the invitation by Geometry Global and MHD  to a Wine Trivia afternoon, naturally I was INTRIGUED, ...in my younger days, I loved quiz games, and quiz and board games, so I had to look deep down inside to that forgotten youth to reignite the enthusiasm.

Held at Eight Gourmet Gala (EGG for short), the place looked like "casino", felt like a "casino" but wasn't a casino.  A "roulette" table showing the different categories of Taste & Scent, (Payout 3 to 1), Variety (Payout 1 to 1), Origin (Payout 2 to 1), Region (Payout 3 to 1), and Brand (Payout 1 to 1), with individual chips worth 10..a total of 80 wine points to each contestant, with an allocated number...

The Board....

The categories.....

 The rules...


NO MORE BETS, (bell rings).....

The first varietal, ......Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013.... where almost EVERYONE lost to the house, a vast majority placing their bets on the Sauvignon Blanc....a number of hhits and misses, with the tasting, I mean, who can really pick up lychee, lime, blackcurrant, honeysuckle....But once we knew the varietal, we knew immediately it had to be the Cape Mentelle.

Ooh, one contestant placed her chip on Pinot Noir....even the "croupier" looked surprise.

 For the blind tastings, bottles are draped in their Ninja costumes....after a few rounds, some "connoiseurs" had increased their capital to numerous 100 point chips...

The next major shocker came with the Malbec.... actually, faithful students of MHD under the careful tutelage of Cherry Koh, had they been attentive during class, would be able to identify most of the varietals...but for the Malbec, we chorused, I don't recall attending any Terrazas de Los Andes tastings before, so it was like sitting your SPM or A Levels without having finished the syllabus.  OBJECTION ME LORD!!!! ...

So yeah, I think the house won big time on this, as people staked their entire fortunes on this being a Merlot...and when the "M" was revealed as the first letter, there was great premature rejoicing...The Reserva Malbec 2013 with intense floral, fruity notes with rose, violets, ripe black cherry, certainly took everyone by surprise.

" Nah, you don't believe ah? See properly la..."

This must be another of those rounds where we broke the house, where everyone is winner.

Other wines featured but were distinctly identifiable were the Domaine Chandon Shiraz, 2012, the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and the Reserva Cab Sauv 2012...

Winners could use the points to bid for food vouchers at EGG, but most saved the best for last, a bottle....

Alas, no one individual had enough points to win a bottle on their own, so cartells were formed to merge and bid.... and I guess Walauwei's team won the bottle.  Did they share it I wonder?

A most fun way to spend the evening, congratulations Geometry, MHD and EGG on a funtastic wine-ing afternoon.

Christmas Dinner at Makan Kitchen, Doubletree by Hilton KL

We are assailed by a slew of Christmas dinner choices, it will be very hard to choose which one to go for IF I were around for Christmas, but thankfully I am not, so I shall just be grateful that I don't have to make difficult choices.

Laid out in festive decorations, Makan Kitchen is having 5 special roasts, but to my surprise, it's only going to be available on Christmas eve, 24th December, at RM145 nett per person.   They also have a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Hi Tea, at RM105 nett per person, whilst Tosca is also having a 5 course Christmas Eve set dinner under the newly appointed Executive Sous Chef Filippo Giunta, at RM260 nett inclusive of wine pairing.  What is a Christmas dinner with the odd tipple or two.

Makan Kitchen's 5 roast include a Roasted Trout with Tandoori Spices...

Five Spice Roasted Whole Turkey

Honey Glazed Turkey Ham With Caramelized Sarawakian Pineapple

Roasted Lamb With Rosemary Masala Spice Rub... and a curry rubbed Australian Prime Rib Roast...

Lovely sides of roasted potatoes, with blanced greens, including my favourite brussel sprouts and green beans, .... Bear in mind, you have the entire salad and buffet spread of Makan Kitchen at your disposal over and above these 5 roasts, so even if none of these greens tickle your fancy, you will get your fair share of fiber....

The Trout with tandoori spices is rather unique, and the skin of the fish is nicely crisped and exceedingly aromatic with the tandoori...you could actually request their signature cheese naan to go along with this.

Tureky stuffing, ....very filling, so proceed with caution...

Yorkshire puddings to accompany the roast Prime Rib, or lamb, whichever you prefer...

Lovely slices of Prime Rib .... Not overdone, and lovely marbling... Good enough on its own without any gravy.

Five spice roasted whole turkey, which I found dry, perhaps because I was having the breast meat.  Apparently it's roasted chinese style, hanging like a roast chook or goose, in the oven.

 However, the turkey ham, with Caramelized Sarawakian Pineapple, for as Chef Eric Siew said, how can they not feature the famous Sarawak pineapple which is so sweet and fragrant, was wonderfully moist and would almost give its non kosher counterpart a run for its money.  Needless to say, the pineapple is lovely.

If you ask me, this meal, because it is part of the larger buffet, is certainly very good value for money, at RM145 nett.

For reservations:
Double Tree by Hilton KL
Tel: 603-21727272

Strongbow Cider Launches Red Berries

As the sun set over the magnificent skyline of Kuala Lumpur, perched high above in Troika, in Cantaloupe Sky Dining, was the launch of a new flavour of Strongbow Cider.  It didn't seem so long ago they launched the elderflower, honey and gold flavours, and from experience, the Strongbow cider launches are always quite fun.

This time round though, I have to say GAB and the PR company totally outdid themselves... a fabulously elegant event, with fantastic food to pair with the ciders.

The super cool furniture made from cardboard....

The stage was set ...

And amazing almond panna cotta with avruga caviar and smoked maple syrup...to die for, and I personally thought it paired best with the elderflower..

Unbelievably plump oysters, with ginger flower and ceviche espuma.

Hans Essaadi, Managing Director, Guinness Anchor Berhad (Malaysia) and Bruce Dallas, Marketing Director, Guinness Anchor Berhad (Malaysia), without much ado, launched the limited edition red berries...

A lovely refreshing drink, (albeit a bit on the sweet side), the red berries cider has a very festive feel about it, and that gorgeous shade of crimson somehow is very conducive to a party mood.

The event is made even more festive with the presence of good company...

Paired with the Strongbow Gold, this perfectly seared scallop had met its match.  The sweetness of the cider together with the brininess of the scallop ...ah, wonderful.

Strongbow elderflower with the Smoked salmon on confit potato.... another stunning match, as the floralness of the elderflower cuts through the "fishiness" of the salmon.

And the sunsets on a lovely day, with the slight warm buzz by imbibing like 10 glasses of cider... here's the thing about cider, it really fills you up before your reach the kind of highs that is expected of alcohol.

Breaded organic chicken, paired with Strongbow Honey ...Honey is my least favourite of the lot, because it really is very sweet.

Hickory Smoked Wagyu tenderloin..... also paired with Strongbow Honey.  I guess the slight hint of smokiness did go well with the sweetness of the honey.

And finally, desserts paired with the red berries cider, which was a lovely end to the evening.

Watch out for Strongbow Red Berries cider, which isn't always available apparently, and is a limited seasonal edition.  Pity, it would make a good drink for the ladies.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Yikes, It's Christmas Already?? Christmas at Traders Hotel....

In the blink of an eye, the year has passed, and the advent month is upon us.  Whilst for the believers it is a celebration of a special birth, to most, it's a time for merriment and goodwill towards men, and of course, a time of feasting.

The first of a series of Christmas previews was at Traders Hotel, starting with cocktails at the sky bar.  Nothing like cocktails at happy hour to kickstart a great evening.

And of course, the stunning vistas from the Sky Bar make it a treat to come here every single time.

We were ushered downstairs to Gobo Chit Chat, wine glass in hand, in the elevator.

Beef wellington, lamb leg, and the quintessential Christmas turkey in a lavish meat spread at the Buffet.  As we were doing a "Food tour" of the hotel, we had to pace ourselves, and not get full on these delectable meats, which took a lot of willpower.

The succulent roast lamb.....

I didn't try the turkey though...but it looked interesting.

Apart from the Xmas themed goodies, there is the usual wide spread variety to choose from, and I particularly like the salad bar and array of roasted vegetables.

For the sweet toothed, you'll be spoilt for choice,  with the cakes and puddings.

We then moved to Gobo Upstairs, which is where the ala carte dining is.

A deconstructed Seafood tartare, paired with prosecco,...

Blue Swimmer Crab with Ahi tuna, fish cracker (keropok), caviar and honeydew... a delicious combination that is so unique.

Black Angus Fillet, aged 150 days.  Splendid cut of meat, with brussel sprouts, pomme puree and sauteed vegetables.

I LURVED this soup, I think it was chestnut soup...so rich and creamy and tasty.  Fortunately they were in dainty portions.

Turkey Breast with Mascarpone, brussel sprouts and apple stuffing with cranberry sauce.  Personally, I'm not really a fan of turkey, let alone breast.  But the embellishments to an otherwise boring piece of meat made this dish a real treat.

Chocolate indulgence, with gold leaf and crumbed cookies soil, pistachio coated cherries, and raspberry sauce.  Certainly was a very indulgent dessert.

Smoking Santa with a blueberry almond tart, beautifully presented, and a fabulous combination of sweet and tart (no pun intended)...

The last few remaining...

Thanks for a lovely evening, Theresa and Zhen.

For more information on the Christmas Menu, check out the hotel website, www.tradershotel.com

Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2332-9888
Fax: 03-2332-2666
email: thkl@tradershotels.com
website: www.tradershotels.com