When my good buddy Ralph asked me for Happy Hour Cocktails at Al Amar Express, alarm bells rang in my head. The combination of Ralph, Happy Hour AND Cocktails sounded dangerous. As lethal as some of the combinations in the cocktails, I was to find out later on.
It was a gargantuan task, trying to get together a group of people to come and sample their new offerings, dates kept changing, some people pulled out, then the Grand Prix came to town...(what has that got to do with anything? Well, Al Amar Express IS located at a PRIME PRIME location, and when the Grand Prix is in town, I can imagine that place will be choc-a-bloc full of people). Finally, we managed to make it, the famous KY Speaks, the inimitable CumidanCiki, the crazy fun Marcky, the soon to be leaving us IamtheWitch, and Iamthewizard, that hip and happening Quay Po Cooks, The very inaptly named Baby Sumo, who must have been an anorexic sumo wrestler, that shy demure Memoirs of a Chocaholic, Suanie and Haze, and a couple of other non blogging people. Ralph, and the owner Joseph, were kind enough to host us to sample their latest offerings....
Happy hour at Al Amar is a most happy affair, I have to say. I felt like I was on holiday, like a tourist, because the atmosphere along that stretch of Jalan Bukit Bintang does make you feel like you are on holiday. A comprehensive list of cocktails are available, and the happy hour is buy two and get one free. Priced at an average of RM28 per cocktail, its pretty good value to get one free one. And boy, they do not water down the cocktails. After my first mojito I was feeling a light buzz and felt happy. Then again, I dont really drink alcohol, so I am a lightweight. Above is the strawberry dacquiri. A woman's drink, judging by the color.
They also sell a range of highly drinkable wines, under the Chateau Musar Jeune label. We had the rose (priced at RM135 per bottle) and the white. Both are served chilled, which is appropriate for our weather. Rose, white, and mojitos. I was beginning to be really happy.
There were a few attempts at smoking the shisha, but most of our friends aren't really very good at sucking, and generally have not managed to get the hang of it, what a pity. However, it does seem to be very popular on other tables, and there is a variety of flavours you can savour.
By sundown, this is what everything was beginning to look like to me, intoxicated with margaritas, white, rose and mojitos.
This haloumi salad is really excellent. The pan fried haloumi cheese is crispy on the outside and cheesy in the inside, and complements the generous helping of watercress and rocket. A very healthy salad too, and owner Joseph wolfed down an entire plate himself in under 3 minutes.
The delicios pide breads that go with the array of dips...
The unhealthy juxtaposed against the healthy....quite like life.
Tabbouleh, my favourite middle eastern salad, with italian parsley and bulgur ...not cous cous...the latter is apparently more Moroccan.
Grilled Chicken Salad With Aioli Dressing and rocket. I really wouldn't mind having these kinds of salad on a regular basis. Except the chicken is breast, and I am so not a breast person...when it comes to chickens.
Very very good moutabal, (or baba ghanoush, known elsewhere), made from egg plant, tahini...gorgeous. I told Ralph they should bottle and sell some of these dips....especially
The hommos....Argh, so excellent, so smooth, so creamy. Despite having top ups, we kept finishing it, using the pita to lap up every last bit. Marcky declared "this is so good, I feel hommos-sexual". Yeah, he can be rather witty.
The affable Chef of Al Amar express...
Lamb sambousik. Kinda like our curry puffs, sans the curry, and they make gorgeous snacks with alcohol.
My favourite pastry, cheese rolls. A mixture of mozarella and other stuff, and dip your stick in the creamy hommos for an even more enhanced taste to titillate your palate.
Warak Enab, rice wrapped in vine leaves. Now, I have to say I have not developed an appetite for this yet.
Beef Shawarma Platter. It's like a steak and chips, only easier to eat. The beef is moist and tender, and full of flavour.
My drink of the day, margaritas. Seriously, very good margaritas. Just the right amount of alcohol, not overly sweet, (sweet cocktails are deceptive, and hit you like an on coming train. This one just hits you anyway).
We also had the Roast Chicken, which was also very delicious. Moist, flavourful and a rather large portion. Actually, the way the food served in Al Amar Express is very Asian and communal type eating. Very compatible with our Malaysian way of life. Lots of sharing, and lots of laughter over the dinner table.
Time went by in a jiffy, and before I knew it, I was lost in the carpark. Now that is a sign of a GREAT party. Immediate memory loss!
A special thanks again to Ralph for having us, and of course to the owner Joseph, and to all the uber friendly staff at Al Amar Express, the PR Esther, the bubbly fellow Roger, the chef etc. It was a fantastic night.
I can't wait to happy hour there again soon!