Even the words Diageo, and this entire sentence in the invite, "WORLD CLASS™ is excited to announce that Kuala Lumpur will play host to the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™, the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition" didn't seem to raise any alarm bells...all because it was a Monday night, and WHO, I ask you, above 40, parties on a Monday night.
Nevertheless, I dutifully make my way through the crawling Sprint highway, towards HYDE at 53M, Damansara Utama, venue of the event. The Sprint is anything BUT SPRINT, at that hour.
Miraculously, I arrive on time, ahead of anyone else, and fortunately spotted a familiar famous face, that of Kelly Siew. Who was drinking this pretty lil cocktail, that looked far too pretty for me. The cocktail, I mean.
Basically, the event is one of the industry's most prestigious mixology competitions, whereby Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ has trained over 15,000 bartenders worldwide, and for this particular event, 15 of the best bartenders in Malaysia are vying for the prize which will bring them to the Regional Finals in Bangkok and onwards to the Global Finals in South Africa. Needless to say, cocktails are made using the fine quality spirits from the Diageo Reserve Luxury Collection. The drink du jour was the Tanqueray Ten, and the theme was A HISTORY OF LONDON.
Technicalities aside, we were introduced to three of the fifteen bartenders for the night,
SHAWN CHONG from OMAKASE & APPRECIATE
INSAN SHARILY from TATE
OSMUND ILLAH, from HUBBA HUBBA
When I heard Robin Serchan of Restaurant Nepal was going to be there, I knew it was going to be a good night.
The Fifteen Bartenders in the competition are:
1. Arsenio Mariano Jr. - Nobu
2. Daniel Eman- Las Caretas
3. Dedi Pranata - Souled Out
4. Edward Tang - Skybar
5. Hafiz Hisham - Chamber’s Bar
6. M.Hanafi - Qba
7. Insan Sharily - Tate
8. Jeffri Sulaiman - Mr. Brooks
9. Joel Timis - The View
10. John Yap - Majestic
11. Khir Johari - CuBen
12. Naresh Kumar - Qba
13. Osmund Illah - Hubba Hubba
14. Samuel Mesol - Hubba Hubba
15. Shawn Chong - Omakase & Appreciate
Wishing them all the best, and hoping they make it to the finals and make Malaysia proud, or at leat the drinking section of Malaysia.
EPILOGUE: For a Monday night, let's put it this way, .... the following Tuesday was a total write off for me. Thanks muchly Evonne!!!