Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Natural Pairing, A Marriage That Should Have Happened Years Ago....Cadbury Dairy Milk ....AND.... GUESS WHAT??

The invitation was catchy enough to pique my interest, I have to admit.

"Ever heard of the idiom, it takes two to tango? It always takes more than one to make something great! Whether you're talking about great celebrity duos, unforgettable hero-villain rivalries and even food pairings like peanut butter and jam or “Cham”, a combination of coffee and tea.

Cadbury Malaysia would like to invite you to celebrate great things coming together as we unveil to you a new greatness coming to our shores!"

As cliche as it is that it takes two to tango, I was curious to know who else this promiscuous chocolate was going to hook up with, afterall, there's a myriad flavours, maybe not in our local lines, but in Australia there's like a whole range...But I guess those are more flavours, like peppermint, peanut butter, etc etc, rather than another Celebrity in its own right.

I guess perhaps they shouldn't have had this photo booth right at the entrance, which was already a dead giveaway, ... but I guess it's hard to keep such good news a surprise.


And the who's who posing with these hashtags...well, no suspense left per se....


An interesting concept, literally free flow art....these balloons are filled with paints of the Cadbury colours, and guests used darts to burst the balloon....Final product to be revealed below...



And gotta love the party pack....



A rap and a dance artistically representing the combination of the two entities...


Mr Vikram Karwal, Associate Director - SEA Chocolate said, “Our company’s purpose is to create delicious moments of joy for our consumers. Combining these two iconic brands to create the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo is a natural fit and builds on the best-loved features of each product. Cadbury Dairy Milk levels up your favourite smooth and chocolatey bar by adding a familiar crunch to your snacking time.


This salubrious combination was the brainchild of  MondelÄ“z International (MondelÄ“z), who had just the answer to the question, "WHAT WOULD CADBURY MILK CHOCOLATE AND OREOS TASTE LIKE TOGETHER" and  through the launch of its Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo – another product innovation in the premium chocolate category was born.  The local arm is of course snacking powerhouse Mondelez Malaysia.


The new Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo is available in major Hypermarkets and Supermarkets, nationwide with a recommended selling price of:
RM 3.30 for 40g
RM 4.20 for 60g
RM 8.90 for 130g


The finished art wall... Rather interesting concept I have to say...


I thought that oreo thumb drive dipping in milk was the cutest thing ever. ..



(L-R) Nikhil Nicholas - Category Manager of Cadbury, Vikram Karwal - Associate Director - SEA Chocolate and Nisha Nair - Brand Manager of Cadbury.

EPILOGUE and VERDICT:

Actually, the combination really rocks.  My kids LOVED it, and the samples were gone before we could say OREO, let alone CADBURY DAIRY MILK....
It is definitely going to be a hit.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Tete a Tete With Tetley Tea

The minute I arrived at the Tetley "Tea Party", I could hear the melody of RULE BRITANNIA playing in my head.  It's about as English as you can get, and Tetley tea is the 2nd largest tea brand globally, and is only JUST making its debut in Malaysia in a big way.


All that was missing really was a Monarch in a crown, sitting on one of these and sipping tea from fine bone china.



We were privileged to have with us that morning, Tea Master, Sebastian Michaelis, the world-renowned tea expert, who was VERY informative, and it really did turn out to be quite an interesting session.  For starters, I did not know that basically comes from one type of leaf, the young buds and unopened buds of the plant, Camellia Sinensis.  I always assumed that the myriad tea variety meant they were from different plants altogether, but lo and behold, from the classic English Breakfast to the exotic Assam, all nipped from the same bud so to speak.





Sebastian took pains to explain the different types of ways of cutting the leaves, and how the quality of a blend is graded by assessing the tea leaf and tea liquid using a unique language called UHURU.  It almost sounds like these tea people are from a Star Trek series.





A tea party table was all set up as well for after the briefing.


What's ethical tea partnership?  Well, Tetley is one of the founding members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, helping create a thriving, global tea industry that is socially fair and environmentally sustainable.  Considering the painful process of plucking only the young buds, it's not really a job that can be easily mechanised, so it is exceedingly labour intensive.



The other thing I found quite fascinating, by Tea Blender Sebastian was the fact that for black teas, to ascertain the correct blend, one uses MILK as the constant to bring out the colour.  Obviously one uses a fixed ratio,...it's all very scientific, not just jiggling a tea bag and lifting your pinky as you drink tea.

This however applies to black teas only.  Green teas are not given the milk treatment.


Another FASCINATING thing I learnt was that once you achieve your Master Blender level, you are awarded your own monogrammed SPOON, but these spoons are property of Tetley, so we were allowed to use these tasting spoons, some belonging to very dead people, from the 1800s....

And every Tetley Master Blender tastes 40,000 cups a week.  Their bladders must be flushed!!

At the end of the session, we were given some additional stuff for a blending competition, to see who could come up with the most original enhanced blend, given the four ingredients shown below (Basil, Ginger, Strawberry and Lemon) plus honey and sugar, and milk.  Of course, it was amusing to see some people add milk to their lemon, which curdled the mixture.

Anyway, out of the media group of 10 or so people, Sebastian chose ahem, MY Blend as the winning blend, which won me at least a years supply of Tetley teas.

Time for a tea party ...


To end it all, a typical English High Tea spread, sandwiches, prawn cocktail, scones with cream and jam and sweet cakes... all washed down with any Tetley tea of your choice.


The inevitable groupie shot..   I have to say it was a pleasant way to spend the morning.




Monday, August 21, 2017

Sheer Decadence, At Lafite's First Sunday of the Month BEATS AND BRUNCH, Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur

To me, one of the most decadent ways to spend a weekend is to have a champagne brunch.  A glass of bubbly in hand, at noon, screams joy in my book. Ideally, I would prefer such an activity on a Saturday, to allow a full recovery on Sunday.  Why do I need recovery?  Well, you see, when you are paying good money for a free flow champagne brunch, really, the chinaman in me kicks into overdrive to get the most value for your money, and no prizes for guessing what is the outcome.  Of course, a prewarning to all you young people out there, drink responsibly.

When I got the invite for Brunch at Lafite, actually I did not read the text properly, and assumed it was a normal brunch, but well, the "Lafite" in the sentence was already a good enough incentive, so you can imagine the sound of chorus of angels singing hallelujah when I arrived at Lafite and was greeted by THIS!

With glass in hand, I proceeded to my table, which was adorned with one of these LPs....


A cursory walk to looksie at the buffet spread revealed these goodies, but clearly, the best was yet to come.   These freshly shucked Cadoret Oysters were just the starters.



Eggs with Smoked Salmon prepared ala minute by Exectuive Chef Olivier Pistre.


Eggs with Smoked Salmon....




Gratinated Lobster Thermidor, Foie Gras With Apple, Green Pea Veloute, Gazpacho, and Cold Cherry Tomatoes with Burrata Cheese.


Luscious lobster meat that deserves a picture all by itself.  I usually like lobster done simply, without any gratination,  but this was done very well, and the meat was still juicy and firm.

Delicious Foie Gras with apple...SOOOOOO good....if you like foie gras.  Which I do.

Smoked Cohiba Grilled Wagyu Beef.  The cohiba imparts a rather exotic aroma, although you can't really taste in within the meat.  The wagyu is a must have if you like beef.  Oh, how it works is, you choose  from a menu which offers 6 choices of mains, namely the wagyu, slow cooked lamb shoulder, seared hokkaido scallops, pan seared Atlantic Cabillaud, Eggs Parfait cooked at 63C, and Grilled Octopus.  And you can order several.



Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, looked good, but I didn't try it.


My lovely Seared Hokkaido Scallop, with a lovely artichoke veloute, cooked a la barigoule. I could easily have two or three of these.  Absolutely loved the broth....


Ever since I tried that 63C egg at another place, I have been longing for this paradisical method of cooking the perfect egg.  And as it's not something that can be done at home without a sous vide machine, presumably, the only place to eat this kind of dish will be, well, outside.  The asparagus ragout and veloute did kinda overpower the egg a little, but hey, I love asparagus too.

The pan seared atlantic cabillaud, which is a fancy French way of saying, COD.  It's all in the marketing.  Not my favourite dish, I thought it was a bit overcooked, and had too many things going on, that we lose sight of cod.

A most unexpected stellar performer was the grilled octopus....tender, juicy with all the flavours of the sea, so much so we ordered more for our table to share.

I was almost tempted to check if there was any suction left in those tentacles.  So basically, on our table of four people, we managed to sample all the six choices of mains.

For dessert, Chocolate Surprise,....



Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate Sauce, Chocolate Syphon, Sable Breton Crumble.

I opted for the French Rum Baba ...which I've heard about, but to be honest, is my first time trying.



It's kinda like profiterole meets cake, a lot denser than a profiterole, but lighter than cake, with some filling.  It was a nice end to the meal, although theoretically, we had another slice of octopus for our one for the road.


Some of the Belvedere Spritz Collection Cocktails that are available with the brunch.

Still look kinda sober here, thanks to the lighting...

A summary fo what's available...juxtaposed against the lovely garden view...

The free flow white is the Terrazas Reserva Chardonnay, while the red is the Terrazas Reserve Malbec.

Not sure if he's always there, but that's the Celebrity Mixologist, Osmund, who's won many accolades.

So, WHAT IS THE DAMAGE?

Beats and Brunch at Lafite is priced at RM499 nett per person, 12noon - 3pm, every FIRST Sunday of the month only... the next one being on 3rd Sept, followed by 1st October, 5th Novemeber and 3rd December.

For the drinkers, you'd know that a bottle of Verve retail is already between RM220-RM250, and that's from the shops....Drink any bottle at a 5 star establishment will probably be around RM400...so from that angle, if you love food and bubbly, its a reasonable deal.

For reservations, call 03-2074 3900.

Lafite
Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur