Monday, July 29, 2019

Retro Nights at Tujo Kuala Lumpur

I really take my hat off to the people behind the Tujo, Souled Out, WIP, Hubba group, for they really have been pioneers of sorts, changing the night scene in KL.  I recall fondly the original Souled Out in that little Shoplex in Mt Kiara, a cosy chill hangout place.

Tujo, for the uninformed, is located in KLCC, at the ground level of the Ascott building, (where Seven Ate Nine used to be), and is a trendy bar, whose tagline is EAT DRINK PLAY.  Pool tables and dart boards juxtaposed against a long well stocked bar accentuates their tagline.

The event of the night was to launch the RETRO BLASTS, which introduces different retro themes for different days of the week.

EAT, DRINK, PLAY...Well, we actually drank first, played and ate last.

The spacious and bright cheery interior makes the place very welcoming, and not intimidating despite its location at the well heeled KLCC area.

As part of the Retro Blast Launch the decor was bits and bobs from yesteryear, and the gift pack comprised ..

the quintessential Haw Flakes, that pok pok candy that pops in your mouth, polo mints, rabbit candy, ...the only missing thing was that bubble thing you blow from the end of a tiny straw.  I used to love inhaling the stuff.

The Mojitos Bar...

The week begins with CHILL on Monday featuring special acoustic performances and drink promotions.

Tuesday's child is PLAY, and as the name suggests, its game night.  With a brand-new pool table and dart machines, patrons will have the opportunity to take on the Tujo House Champ in their game of choice. Anyone who defeats the House Champ in pool or darts will receive RM30 Tujo dining vouchers.  For the more sedate, and averse to physical activity, it's also BINGO night.  Best part is, there's a  Beer Buffet for an hour (RM70++) or two (RM110++) .

WINK Wednesdays is Ladies Night, featuring special cocktails and promotions specially for the ladies.  Resident DJ, Sanjay Paramount will be playing the best R&B tunes from the 90s and early 00s. AND THE CLINCHER, Ladies who post their best poses with the “house hot hunks” on WINK Wednesdays also stand to win a bottle of bubbly every week. GASP.  Talk about discrimination, why isn't there a Man's night where  Men get to pose with house hot chicks.

Thursday LIVE nights, Tujo turns it up to full retro blast with its resident LIVE band, “Albert, Vijay & Bada”.  One the liveliest cover bands who will belt out tunes from The Beatles to Queen, it would be great dance music.  Thursdays at Tujo will also feature performances by Malaysia's Queen of Soul Elvira Arul ...

....and supreme songstress Joy Victor  on alternate weeks. There is also a Wine Buffet on Thursday LIVE nights.

The DANCE party continues when Friday night rolls around with DJ Jinggo serving up the best party hits from our favourite eras.

Saturdays sound particularly interesting, as my friend celebrity chef Sapna Anand, queen of spice will be featuring the Goan cuisine with Thali sets starting from RM35.  I really need to check this out.

Here at Tujo, its always been about the overall experience. Our patrons are all lively, fun, and know how to have a great time. So, we simply wanted to be the venue that enables them to do so by offering different activities and entertainment each night of the week. There’s something for everyone at the Tujo ‘playground’, and we’re excited to be able to showcase that more vividly through our new concept,” explained Brian Choo, Executive Director of SOUL Society.

Some of the lively and fun patrons Brian Choo was referring to in his speech...

For more information on Tujo and its latest offerings, visit or the TujoKL Facebook page:

Ascott Kuala Lumpur, 9, Jalan Pinang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

t : 012-210 3055
e :
w :

Monday, July 22, 2019

Marimbar, Finally A Happening Rooftop Bar in PJ

There's no denying the PJ Landscape is literally changing by the day.  As a boy growing up in PJ, (okay, okay that was like *0 years ago I know), the tallest structure was probably the pillar in front of Cycle and Carriage, which is across from PJ Hilton (today is it a PJD building I believe), on top of which perched the latest model of the Mercedes Benz.

Today, even with waze, I could not find the Pinnacle Building, wherein lies MARIMBAR, the fanciest rooftop bar in PJ I daresay.  So many new buildings in that area, such a maze, but anyway, for the uninformed, it is conjoined with the Sheraton PJ, kinda like how KL Hilton and LeMeridien are joined at the hip kinda thing.

On the 35th floor, a different world awaits.  Hip and chirpy bar with a really chill atmosphere,  nature-themed watering hole that boasts a panoramic bird’s-eye view of PJ city and part of Kuala Lumpur.

The name MARIMBAR is a combination of the owner's name, RIMBA (the Malay word for ‘jungle’), and ‘bar’.

At MARIMBAR, guests can expect good music, fun cocktails and the delicious Italian food that The Marini’s Group is well-known for.

The  venue has welcoming splashes of green and décor that gives that closer-to-nature feel. MARIMBAR’s indoor area has walls dripping with foliage interspersed by screens of simulated waterfalls. The deejay booth stands out like a pseudo stone ruin, a simple temple of music.

Signature Cocktails include:
Pisco Disco, RM38 - Chrysanthemum infused Pisco, lychee liqueur, lime juice, lychee juice & pandan syrup.. a palate cleanser, paving the way for heavier stuff....

The Red Rimba, RM40 - Lemongrass infused Gin, raspberry puree, lemon juice, pandan syrup, ginger & egg white... Refreshing, for want of a better word

Blue Moon, RM45 - Gin, sweet & sour, pineapple juice & blue curaçao.  I always have a fascination with blue foods or drink, and I guess this would be the drink of my choice.  Also because it is the least sweet.

Light bites include
Beef Crostini With Jalapeno Pepper & Goat Cheese, RM48
Chicken Quesadillas, RM32
Deep Fried Camembert Cheese, RM25
Fried Vietnamese Spring Roll, RM18
Duck Salami & Cheese Platter, RM38

Marimbar Truffle, RM42 - Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, arugula, parmesan cheese, truffle oil
Capriciossa, RM38 - Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, turkey ham, artichoke, mushrooms

Buffet station hot dishes
Pasta - Penne Arrabbiata With Spicy Tomato Sauce, RM30
Main - Boneless Lamb Shank With Sautéed Vegetables & Mashed Potatoes, RM58

MARIMBAR is The Marini’s Group first bar in Petaling Jaya and we felt it would be a refreshing change to have a TMG F&B destination with a tropical vibe. We hope to bring a vibrant burst of colour and energy to the Petaling Jaya nightlife scene with MARIMBAR and look forward to serving guests from the PJ community,” said Marini.

Stunning vistas of PJ in the day time....

Trendy floralled mixologists whipping up exotic cocktails...

A modern tropical paradise in the sky ...gorgeous view at night...with KLCC and KL Tower in the yonder.

Situated at the 35th floor of Pinnacle PJ Tower A, MARIMBAR is Petaling Jaya’s highest rooftop bar to date and the spacious

Guests can sit comfortably on wide couches with palm and lobster claw plant motifs or perch themselves on animal print bar stools by the tiger print bar. Above the bar, fibre ball pendant lamps dangle from the ceiling, reminiscent of weaver bird nests in the wild.

MARIMBAR is located at Level 35, Pinnacle PJ Tower A in Petaling Jaya and is open daily from 5pm till late. The bar’s weekly events include their ‘Sassy Ladies’ ladies’ night on Thursdays.

For reservations, contact +603 2386 6030 (before 8pm), +60129352098 (after 8pm) or email For more information on MARIMBAR, visit (@marimbarpj on Instagram). For information on The Marini’s Group, visit

About The Marini’s Group
Founded by restaurateur and entrepreneur Cav. Modesto Marini in 2012, The Marini’s Group prides itself on its F&B and entertainment brands for the different audiences – Marini’s on 57, Marble 8, M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza, MariGin Gin Bar and Marimbar. Each F&B outlet offers a unique dining and sensory experience.

Multi-award winning Marini’s on 57 is Malaysia’s most iconic rooftop destination with a rooftop bar, Italian restaurant and whisky lounge. It sits 876ft (267m) above sea level in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City and offers a close-up view of the Petronas Twin Towers and panoramic views of the city. A luxury establishment with an unparalleled level of service and exceptional contemporary Italian cuisine, it has become the preferred venue for numerous events and celebrations and a beacon for international celebrities, tourists, and socialites since its opening in June 2012.

The three distinct spaces at Marini’s on 57 have each been designed to encapsulate and project different moods and energy to enthral all five senses. The establishment houses an extensive cigar and whisky collection and is the only luxury F&B venue in Malaysia to have released its own Sunset Hours compilation albums with music greats Jose Padilla, Chris Coco, Afterlife, and Simon Mills.

Marble 8 is the city’s premier steakhouse specialising in dry-aged beef where their signature cuts are treated in their own custom-built dry-aging cellar.

M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza is a champagne, caviar and coffee establishment that combines Italian elegance with casual comfort to give guests a taste of Italian Caffè culture.

MariGin Gin Bar is a traditional gin parlour with a twist, which offers concoctions that capture the cosmopolitan spirit of gin but with a local touch.

Marimbar is Petaling Jaya’s highest rooftop bar with a panoramic view of the city skyline and part of Kuala Lumpur. This latest opening with its lush green settings and modern tropical vibe takes the concept of a refreshing watering hole to a whole new level.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Phraya Rum At Coley's With Supawit Muttarattana of Vespers Bangkok

I think this is the first time I'm posting about RUM.  Truth be told, in my mind, RUM is a drink of pirates, as per this little ditty here:
"Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum... Drink and the devil had done for the rest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!"

But of course, like gin, which was probably the common man's drink, Rum has arrived, in the world of trendy alcohol.

I was delighted when the good people at Single and Available invited me for this evening of cocktails at Coleys, featuring Phraya Rum.

Apparently it is currently the only luxury rum from Asia,and hails as the name suggests, from Thailand, land of the Menam Chao Phraya. 

It is produced by Sangsom Distillery, which was established in 1977, and is crafted in the province of Nakhon Pathom, the nation's first and oldest city.  ABundance of fresh sugarcane and climate makes it the ideal location for rum making. 

PHRAYA refers to one of the highest ranks bestowed upon a person by the King. 

The invention of Phraya takes inspiration from the oriental beliefs of the FOUR MAIN elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air, and it is based on this I guess the cocktails at Coley's were inspired.

The cocktail at the forefront is Earth, Phraya Rum, Sweet Vermouth, Neam Leaf, Bitters and Palm Sugar which I personally found too sweet.  The Pineapple one, WATER, is Phraya Rum, Pineapple, Coconut, almost pina colada like. 

 Because I was lucky enough to "know people" I managed to get a few shots of the Rum on the Rocks, which in my opinion is the best way to enjoy this almost cognac like drink. 

Phraya Rum is available from Single and Available .

Monday, July 01, 2019

Star of Bombay At Tujo With Mitchell Lam

Apologies to the organisers for this very belated post.

Sometime ago, we were invited to this event.  Now, because of my age, I have selective hearing and reading, and I only remembered seeing Mitchell Lum aka Kai, Bacardi Brand Ambassador, so I actually rolled up to Tujo expecting Bacardi.

Bombay Sapphire used to the THE gin in my younger days, the blue bottle gave it that classy look, compared with the pedestrian Gordon's and Beefeater of its time.  Now of course the market is inundated with all kinds of gin.  Nevertheless the brand is nostalgic, and it was also my first time trying the Star of Bombay.

Bombay Collins, which is obviously inspired by Tom Collins, was a spritzy refreshing cocktail, well, you can't really go wrong with basically gin, lemon juice and soda.  And syrup of course.  RM30

The STARITini, close cousin of the MARTini, also very drinkable.  Consisting Star of Bombay, Noilly Prat Vermouth, and Olive.  RM30

The Rowling, Star of Bombay, Cinnamon Stick and Orange Twist.  RM25.

What I liked about them were they were not overly sweet, and all very zesty.

A little info about the man of the hour, Mitchell Lum. 
BACARDI Brand Ambassador – South-East Asia

Mitchell Lum (aka ‘Kai’)  basically hails from Hawaii, (how exotic is that), bartending first from the basement of his family home in Honolulu and eventually ending up in Thailand, where he spearheaded the opening of 4 bars for a few hotels in a span of two years.  He won Top 8 spot worldwide when representing Thailand in the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2016, and was  offered the role of Brand Ambassador (Thailand/Philippines/Vietnam) to lead their advocacy and training programs.

Anyway, now that he's based in the region, hopefully we will find him teaching workshops or slinging cocktails in KL again soon.