Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rothschild Champagnes Debut In Kuala Lumpur

On this last day of 2016, I guess it's only appropriate to leave 2016 with a pop of champagne, and what more "atas" champagne to do it with, than with Rothschild.  "Atas" is a local Malay word which means "Above" or "On Top", has since been used as an adjective to denote "finesse", or "upper class"-ness.

On the 23rd of November, we were gathered at the lovely Maison Francaise to witness the launch of Champagne Barons de Rothschild in Malaysia, and Natseas Corporation Sdn Bhd is the official importer of the said champagne here in town.

Champagne Barons de Rothschild is housed in Vertus, a grand cru village within the Cote des Blancs, south of Eperney. As the name (Cote des Blancs) suggests, this is where the most sought after Chardonnays of the region are found.  Interestingly enough, the pronunciation of Rothschild varies, in English apparently it's Roths CHILD, whereas in French it's Roths CHILLED.

Either way, it is a bubbly of fine distinction, and uses a signficant  of Chardonnay in its blends. This grape variety, which accounts for just 28% of the total vineyards in Champagne, is not only the rarest and most sought-after, it is above all a guarantee of a supremely delicate wine.

Photo courtesy of press release
Mr Thierry Le Baut, Executive Chef Maison Francaise; Mr Julian Poh, Chief Executive Officer, Bordeaux Liquid Gold; Mr Gobie Raju, Chief Executive Officer, NATSEAS CORPORATION SDN BHD; Mr Frederic Mairesse,Managing Director, Champagne Barons De Rothschild during the press session.

Photo courtesy of press release

Photo courtesy of press release

Nothing shouts out TONIGHT IS GOING TO BE A GOOD GOOD NIGHT better than seeing bottles and bottles of Champagne lined up for consumption.

Photo courtesy of press release
Mr Gobie Raju, Chief Executive Officer, NATSEAS CORPORATION SDN BHD; H.E Christophe PENOT, French ambassador in Malaysia; Mr Frederic Mairesse,Managing Director, Champagne Barons De Rothschild ; Mr Julian Poh, Chief Executive Officer, Bordeaux Liquid Gold;

Photo courtesy of press release

TAH DAH, presenting the Champagne Barons De Rothschild.

The history of the well-known Rothschild family dates back to more than 250 years. Champagne Barons de Rothschild is made up of the three French branches of the family which individually own a number of wine brands and Bordeaux classed growth estates, including Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Clarke.

Photo courtesy of press release

After the official glitterati launch, it was time to partay...we started with the basic NV Champagne Blanc de Blancs, which is an easy drinking Champagne, paired with the canapes served at the event.

The "drink responsibly" crowd....

My good chum, CCFoodTravel with the bottle of lovely Barons de Rothschild Champagne Rosé asserts gorgeous finesse. The Champagne Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay grapes from Champagne and the Pinots Noirs with a  minimum of three years cellar-ageing.

Don't mind a glass of Rose thank you very much.....

And finally the Brut..
The Barons de Rothschild Brut is aerial Champagne that is rich and complex. The blend uses three to four-year old Chardonnays and Pinots Noirs from the best land in Champagne.
This subtle blend produces a wine with fabulously fine bubbles, elegant golden colour and fine, delicate nuances of white fruit. Low dosage and at least six months’ time after disgorging gives this Champagne beautifully balanced structure on the palate that is highly appreciated when served as the aperitif or throughout the meal. - Source :

No, I did not finish the entire bottle myself....

Love this shot of the CEO of Natseas, Gobie Raju, and CCFoodtravel, that hawt mama and me.

Interestingly enough, the the Champagne business was set up only in 2005 and now produces around thousands bottles of Champagne each year. Its first vintage champagne, Champagne Barons de Rothschild 2006, was released last year at Vinexpo in 2015.

The distribution of such prestigious product in Malaysia, marks another milestone for Natseas Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Gobie Raju and Dato Prakadeesh Kumar are the founders of Natseas Corporation Sdn Bhd. They have a combined experience of more than 30 years in the industry, sourcing wines, spirits and beers. Along the way they have established valuable partnership with fine wine distributors, vineyards, wineries, distilleries and breweries worldwide.

Chris Low Kam Loong, an experienced wine professional and consultant in the Hospitality Industry, has been engaged as Natseas Corporation Consultant and Sommelier. Chris is also brand ambassador for Tarana wines, a premier Australian wine. Natseas Corporation Sdn Bhd is also the importer and distributor for it.

Natseas Corporation Sdn Bhd is now partnering with Bordeaux Liquid Gold Pte Ltd, a well-known fine wine trader with offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, shall successfully launch Champagne Barons de Rothschild in Malaysia, and will continue to bring many iconic wines into the shores of Malaysia.


Name: Gobie Raju
Designation: Chief Executive Officer
Telephone/Mobile No.: 012 3844007/ 0401501919

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Teeling Whiskey, The Irish Whiskeys (With an "E") Rise From the Ashes of Scottish Domination!!!!

Life really is a continuous learning process.  I did not know that before the great Scottish domination of whisky, was the golden era of Irish Whiskey, spelt with an "E"... and looks like they're poised to make a comeback.

We were privileged to have the company of Martin Lynch, from Teeling Distillery, Ireland, sharing with us about Teeling Whiskey, under the auspicious of local distributor, Single and Available.  A cosy gathering at LaBodega Lounge, it was a fun night with the usual suspects.

We were privvy to three types of Whiskeys that evening, ie, The Single Grain, the Small Batch and the Single Malt.


It was interesting to note that because of the separation of the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom, which I just read happened in 1922 under the Anglo Irish Treaty, there was a huge decline in the Irish Whiskey distribution.  Of course, as an ex colony of the the UK, we know how vital the British Empire was in as far as trade was concerned, and how they were effectively the distribution channels to the ends of the earth.  Simple logic dictated that well, since you're no longer part of us, why should we promote your whiskeys...and thus the rise of the the Scottish whiskies, (spelt whisky).

To make things a bit more interesting, instead of the usual food pairing, Martin Lynch decided to pair the whiskies with music, and specifically with music by Irish Singers and bands.

The Single Grain, made from maize and corn, was recently awarded Best Single Grain Whiskey in the World Whisky Awards. It is only one of a handful of single grain bottlings in the world, and is matured in California Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels.  Hence the strong spice and tannins in the taste, with a strong dry finish dominated by wood and spice.

Next, pairing with this  Thin Lizzy song, (this is when Martin asked the audience what was the mistake in the poster, and it was the missing "E") was the Small Batch, a rum finished Irish Whiskey with a distinct character.  Bottled in small batches with no chill filtration at 46%, thus allowing the capturing of all the natural flavours of whiskey.

Finally, the Teeling Single Malt, paired with music from the famous iconic Irish musical, Riverdance.  Made from 100% malted barley of different ages, including some from 1991.  Like all Teeling whiskeys, it's bottled with no chill filtration at 46%, and is vatted in 5 different wine casks, including Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cab Sauv.

It's always a fun party with Single and Available....

And check out this cool key chain.  The phoenix is the logo because like the mythical bird, it has risen from the ashes....

The Story of Teeling and Irish Whiskies is written so well, that I shan't even bother trying to paraphrase these excerpts:

Right in the heart of the Liberties, against the backdrop of a city steeped in whiskey history, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery opened its doors in 2015 as the first new distillery in Dublin for over 125 years. Once home to over 37 distilleries, Dublin is no stranger to the craft of whiskey making. Distilling is in the fabric of our city and our family, this is more than a beginning, this is a revival. With one eye on the past, but looking to the future, we’re the new generation of Dublin distillers. We approach our craft with a respect for generations passed but with the confidence to forge the next chapter. Here at the home of the Spirit of Dublin, the liquid tells the story.

For more information or to purchase, contact
Ms. Abigail Chua
Brand Executive
Single Malt Sdn Bhd

Office: (03) 62032151
Fax: (03) 62031972

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Mystery Unravels Through A Journey Through Penang, THE JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL CHINESE NEW YEAR EDITION 2016, Starring Ernest Zacharevic

On the 8th of November, a few lucky members of the media and blogging community were invited on a road trip to Penang, for the unveiling of the mysterious limited edition of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Chinese New Year Edition 2017.

And we got to eat famous street food....

Tah dahh.,....did that get your attention?


So, I was wondering, why Penang, and why a street tour of Penang, to launch a Chinese New Year Edition bottle.  Clearly, a  lot of thought had gone into this, and it wasn't just some random venue.  In fact, it was total genius.

Afterall, Penang is known as the "The Pearl of the Orient", and is one of the states that retains a strong Chinese flavour through its colourful culture, traditions, community, food and landmarks.  Whilst it may be a thorny issue in some circles, reality is the wealth of the history of Chinese ethnicity, and the Peranakans run deep in the veins of Penang.

And we all know that one of the main attractions in Penang in recent years has been the eclectice street art work who hitherto was just a name, the famous Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian street artist who fell in love with Penang years ago, and who made is mark in 2012.

A fun bus ride starting at Solaris Mont Kiara took approximately 5 hours including toilet stops, with narratives on the way, including the brief history of Penang, before we arrived at Ah Leng Char Kueh Teow for lunch.  This iconic CKT has been around for at least two generations, and we all placed our individual orders, which must have been a major headache, all the different cockels, with cockles, with mantis prawn, without, big, small, extra egg....

The wormy looking thing on top the CKT is a mantis shrimp...

You'd assume the chappie is "AH LENG" himself, but actually, that is Teoh Yeong Hee, who is the successor of the stall which was established by his father, Teoh Koon Leng back in the 1970s. Yeong Hee who embodies the Keep Walking spirit, prides himself on the hard work and perseverance of his father in making a name for himself, and to date, he continues to maintain high standards of the delectable dish through the art of refining his recipe from time to time and upholding the secrets to serve the best Char Kuey Teow, similar to how Johnnie Walker meticulously crafts its whisky blends.

Loved the way JWB weaved that into the storyline.

The next item on the itinerary was rather unexpected and a rather pleasant surprise, a trishaw convoy to see the sights.

I learnt that the difference between a trishaw and rickshaw was that the latter was pulled by a person.  Like a human bullock cart.  Oh dear!!! But trishaws of course a pedalled by the trishaw man, and if it's just one passenger, be it fat or thin, it's quite manageable.

Meanwhile, our American friend was closely monitoring the US Election updates....

With the trishaw Mural.

The purpose of the trishaw tour was to highlight the murals of Ernest Zacharevic, as mentioned earlier, BECAUSE...

..... Ernest Zacharevic’s intricate design created for Johnnie Walker Blue Label 2017 Chinese New Year limited edition bottles stemmed from a love-affair with the rich heritage of Penang, and the contemporary work of art features a combination of graffiti and traditional mediums to depict the classic Chinese dragon dance with a playful twist. The blue dragon is especially inspired by the rarity of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, in which only 1 every 10,000 casks are of sufficient character to deserve the Blue Label blend. The blue dragon moves gracefully in the mist as it is controlled by dancers, performing in tandem to bring it to life against the backdrop of historical and cultural Penang landmarks.

So the bottle of  Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky is a slice of time and stature; a blending of prestigious histories, talent, and craftsmanship.

The tour continued to the last spot to quench our thirst (since there was no Blue Label in sight thus far) with the famous Penang Road Cendol.

The hotel where we did NOT stay in...enroute to Cendol...

This iconic stall was started 80 years ago by  Tan Teik Fuang and today is run by his 6th son Tan Chong Kim (in photo), who has expanded the business even out of Penang. On a side note, right across his stall is another chendol stall, which apparently is run by a feuding member of the family.

As they continue to embody Johnnie Walker’s Keep Walking brand belief of forward progression they have branched out nationwide in various locations, yet, still pride themselves on ensuring its quality excellence while remaining humble to their loyal customers.


As dusk approached, we were brought to Macalister Mansion, a gorgeous boutique hotel on Macalister Road,  and were greeted by this dragon dance, to complete the jigsaw we had been fitting together all day.

The exterior of Macalister Mansion, all lit up in blue...for obvious reasons.

Greeted at the door by Jeremy Lee, Brand Ambassador of Johnnie Walker Malaysia...

The banquet hall was set up with great aplomb, gorgeous place settings and high was the anticipation of a fabulous dinner ahead.

In line with the Keep Walking spirit to continue inspiring Malaysians to think about how they can make their tomorrow better than today, Rajesh Joshi, Marketing Director of Möet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia for Diageo Brands, announced that they will be hosting charity auctions in the first quarter of 2017.

The proceeds of the auction items which include three autographed sets of Johnnie Walker Blue Label 2017 Chinese New Year limited edition 1.75cl bottles...

and the Blue dragon a masterpiece by Ernest Zacharevic, will not only go towards the preferred beneficiaries of the successful auctioneers, but also to one of Ernest’s preferred charitable organization, the Sumatran Orangutan Society.

Together with renowned calligrapher from Penang, Master Wong, who was also featured in one of Ernest’s famous murals in Georgetown. Guests immersed themselves in the traditional art of Chinese calligraphy as they learned and wrote some auspicious Chinese characters including 春 (spring) , 福 (prosperity) , 财 (wealth) ,满 (abundance) , 喜 (happiness) ,富 (fortune).
My own piecing together of the jigsaw, taken from the different angles....

Q&A with Jeremy and Ernest....


Amuse Bouche...
I simply had to put in this statesmanlike pic of the Brand Ambassador...

Smoked Salmon with Watercress, Cauliflowere and Egg Mimosa

Foie Gras With Dark Chocolate and Orange....I could have had a few more slices of this, if it wasn't so rude to ask...

Palate Cleanser, White Snow Fungus, with Shaved Ice..

Black Cod with Miso and Blue Label Marinade...was wondering WHEN the Blue Label was going to feature in the food.  This was really excellent.

Wagyu beef....


Red Bean Crepe Cake....

JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ CHINESE NEW YEAR 2017 LIMITED EDITION BOTTLES is exclusively available in Malaysia, in conjunction with the 2017 Chinese New Year festive occasion.

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a remarkable signature taste, where only one in every ten thousand casks has the elusive quality, character and flavor to deliver its unique notes. As rare as the blend itself, the partnership with Ernest Zacharevic is a one-off collaboration and there are only less than 4,000 bottles made available for the local market. Celebrate the 2017 Chinese New Year responsibly with your friends and family with Johnnie Walker Blue Label’s latest collector’s edition that is available for purchase at selected distributors only.
For further information, please visit:-
Official website :
Facebook page :
Official hashtags : #johnniewalkermy, #johnniewalkerblue

For media enquiries, kindly contact:
Olivia Chan / Aloshana Pandair
+603 7494 0292 /

For purchase queries, kindly contact: