Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Rising of Kirin Ichiban

Kirin Ichiban is now one of the beers in GAB's (Guinness Anchor Berhad) portfolio!
If you're unfamiliar with Kirin Ichiban, it is Japan's no. 1 100% Malt beer and is a premium quality beer that uses the innovative "First Press" brewing method or 'Ichiban Shibori' as it is known in Japan.
The "First Press" method is a brewing process that uses only the first pressed malt liquid, the clearest and purest strain of the malt. So only the finest ingredients are used in this process, exuding a crisper, richer and purer taste.
The momentous occasion was held with a Japanese-themed Cultural Festival type of event where it was officiated by Japan's Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Makio Miyagawa. Yatai food stalls were setup where as you enter the hall, you'll have some Japanese cuisine for you to take to go with the Kirin Ichiban beer.

These included some Japanese Skewers:
Some Sushi:
Tempura:
Some nice, delicious, fresh Sashimi:
And some desserts, Mochi and Green Tea Cheesecake:
During the celebration, Bruce Dallas, GAB's Marketing Director, shared that the company is pleased to be able to add Kirin Ichiban into the brewer's portfolio as it further enhances the company's offering to Malaysian consumers.
Hans Essaadi, Managing Director of GAB, gave an opening speech prior to Bruce:
His Excellency, Makio Miyagawa, also said a few words on the super-premium beer at the event:
"I am delighted that a great product like Kirin Ichiban has been added to the portfolio of GAB, the leading brewer in Malaysia. This will provide further opportunity for Japanese culture to be showcased in Malaysia, particularly by generating further appreciation for Japanese food and drinks amongst Malaysians."
By the way, Kirin is a mythical creature that is half dragon, half deer with a tail of an ox, a symbol of wellbeing that symbolizes happiness.
Other features of the event include some dance performances:
Kirin Ichiban is GAB's first Japanese product in its portfolio and it is the company's first new brand in five years. With its addition, GAB plans to increase the distribution network of the 100% Malt, First Press beer giving consumers greater accessibility to the product. The company will also be bringing world class innovative engagements for consumers to experience and enjoy Kirin Ichiban.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tokyo Pastry, Avenue K Food Review

Saturday April 5. An extremely lazy day for me where the sun never showed much of it's glory that morning. When I woke up eventually, it was already way past noon, just in time for me to freshen up and head on down to Avenue K. More specifically, to Tokyo Pastry:
I had not slept past noon for more than a year now and with that happening, it just goes to show a little change in mood. All I can remember during my commute from home to Tokyo Pastry was the relentless drizzles of rain.

As I approach the quaint and dainty looking shop, I just stood at the entrance for a second admiring at the woodwork and letting my brain register the scene into memory. The outside of the shop where most of it's seatings are had an adequate fill of patrons blissfully sipping on their beverage with some pastries to munch on, some tied on a good book or occupied with their gadgets while others chatter away with people they're together:
I headed on into the shop and it felt like I'm in an antique store browsing at items that were once brand new in the 18th and 19th century.
The time ticks away while I sit at the corner watching the busy world passing by until one after the other, the party of 5 had arrived.

Then the commencement of drinks ensued.
Cucumber Latte:
An unusual combination but neither the cucumber nor the coffee taste is overpowering the other.

Ice Blended Matcha:
With the price of RM10

Rose with French Vanilla Special Hot Tea (RM6):
You can taste the rosy taste of the tea which gives off a fragrant kick to it. The Victorian type of cup gives an English feel to me as well as a girly one since it's so flowery in design.

Ice Blended Oreo:
Priced at RM10

The first appetizer that came was the Hearty Mushroom Soup:
Creamy and smooth with bits of mushrooms to chew on, just the way I like it and a toasted bread to go with it. Priced at RM10

Another soup savored was the Salmon Chowder:
In contrast with the Mushroom Soup, this leaves much more to be desired. A watery feel to the soup and some chewy bits of salmon in it which could be better. With it being the same price as the Mushroom Soup, this needs drastic improvement to be on par with the Mushroom Soup.

This dish here is the Salmon Salad:
A tad saltish on the Salmon, I can see why it counteracts it with mango lime salsa to go with it. The greens were a teensy bit bitter. Priced at RM15

Over for the mains, here is what we savored.
This is the Japanese Curry Chicken Burger:
The patty is grilled chicken and there is a splatter of Japanese Curry on top of it. However, it didn't taste much like Japanese Curry but had some slight similar taste to it and as you can see, it's with Charcoal Bun. The grilled chicken patty is nice and juicy. Priced at RM15

This is the Mushroom Garden Spaghetti:
The broth that the mushroom spaghetti comes in is Miso base. There are assorted types of mushrooms in it. Priced at RM15.

Other spaghetti tried is this Prawn and Baby Octopus Spaghetti:
Fresh sauteed prawns with baby octopus in tomato basil sauce. The prawns had it's fresh taste to it. The baby octopus has a sweet taste to it that goes well with the spaghetti. RM19.

This here is the Kikkoman Salmon:
Pan seared salmon glazed with Kikkoman sauce. Nice presentation. It's priced at RM23.

And the last main we had was the RM19 Pan Seared Chicken:
The truffle sauce was great which I dipped it with each bite of the chicken. Recommended to try if ever eating at Tokyo Pastry.

Moving onwards from the main we had a handful of delectable desserts presented to us.
Yamaimo clearly was the most interestingly presented among all the desserts.
Individual strands and strands of cream being laid atop a layer cake which overall has the yam taste. Creamy texture and light tasting.
We also had this Mini Macaroon Cake:
A crusty foundation. Very sweet and sugarish. Too sweet for my taste.
Oreo Crepe Cake:
All I can say is that it's really creamy but surprisingly, not much of the Oreo taste although you can see the flakes of it on the top.

Choko Brownie:
My fave dessert that was served to me that day. Walnuts, ice cream, hot fudge - all of the ingredients worked nicely on the brownie. Priced at RM13.

Matcha Redbean Crepe:
Not bad. Especially loved the crepe itself. Got an egg flavor to it and very soft.

Tokyo Pastry main place is at Kota Damansara while these that I had were at the Avenue K branch.
The full address of the Avenue K branch is at:
M-20 & SAC-M-1, Mezzanine Level, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opened daily from 10am - 10pm.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Stoli Gets Social Launch Party

The day started off terrible for me and was one of the worse day I had for a long time. From the moment I stepped into the office, I was scolded up until minutes before I was leaving office with some reprieve coming from lunch break. Planned work for the day didn't budge a millimeter because I was halted by other matters. When I was driving to the party, it started raining heavily and I could barely see the roads. Even unwittingly broke the clips of my car's side skirt because I couldn't see the bump on the narrow streets of KL in the downpour.

I arrived at the party wet and it seemed to be a boring one but later was proven otherwise and am glad that I had went to this party. It melted my anguish and sorrow away and however bad the day was earlier didn't matter anymore.

The Stoli Gets Social Party was held at a place called Mango's Tropical Café:
Located at the busy streets (but not so busy that evening) of Changkat Bukit Bintang:
This is the street where I have the impression expatriates, foreigners and tourists throng. Where you find more of them than locals around and that what turns this vicinity into a bustling nightlife.

Back at the Stoli (short for Stolichnaya) party, I congregate with familiar faces and with the nice cool drink of Stolichnaya Premium Vodka, I was gradually having the blues melt away. Understandably, the opening speech didn't come on till very much later than the stipulated time since it was raining quite a bit.
So what else to do but indulge in more excellent cocktails that contain Stolichnaya Vodka in it and mingle with friends and make new ones.

I started off and ended off mostly drinking this concoction:
Called the Stoli Gimlet where it's comprise of Stoli Vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

Also tried the Stoli Salted Apple:
Tasted exactly like the green apple that I took from the buffet table, salted and.....apple-ish. LOL.
For this cocktail, it's made with Stoli Salted Karamel instead Stoli Premium Vodka.

The Stoli range of products unveiled during that night includes Stoli Premium, the Stoli Indulgent range - Stoli Saltem Karamel, Stoli Chocolat Razberi, Stoli Chocolat Kokonut and Elit by Stolichnaya, the ultra-luxury brand of the Stoli family and the highest rated white spirit in the world.
Having a shot of the premium Vodka, I found that I am drawn to it's exquisite taste. It tasted like no other vodka I've tried before. It is smooth and had a strong sense of it's vodka taste even after it has went down my throat. I can understand why this is called a premium vodka and it had changed my opinion on it.

The night ended for me with more tasting of the alcohol and light chatter with some newfound friends as well as familiar ones and surprisingly an ex-colleague of mine.

Other than the launch of it's products, the purpose of the party too was to announce the launch of Stolichnoya's social media campaign.
Stoli social media platform for Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoliMalaysia
Twitter: @StoliMY
Instagram: #StoliMY

Friday, April 04, 2014

Ippudo Opens 3rd Outlet at Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC)

It was just a year ago when I went for Ippudo's first outlet launch in Malaysia (http://www.ktheblogger.com/2013/02/ippudo-ramen-malaysia.html) and now they've already sprouted to their 3rd outlet!
Launched and situated in the upscale Bangsar Shopping Centre, I returned to the familiar site with nostalgia but was quickly brought up to contemporary when my eyes caught Ippudo situated at the corner.

This outlet seems a little different then the ones I've seen. It appears to have a little western influence fit into it's design with an outdoor dining concept and a full-range bar that serves Ippudo cocktails, whisky, sake and wine catering for Bangsar's hip nightlife.
But venturing further in shows the well-acquainted Japanese influence incorporated into the design and once again I recognize the Ippudo territory.
When the event started, the emcee made a brief introduction before turning our attention to this video on the Founder of the Ippudo chain of restaurants, Shigemi Kawahara:

 Shigemi Kawahara also officiated the launch by performing the special Sake Barrel Breaking ceremony (Kagami-biraki) alongside Dato' Rosie Tan, Director of Ippudo Malaysia.
With that done, dinner is served! However, in order to enjoy their signature ramens, prepared specially on this occasion by the Ramen King himself, Shigemi Kawahara, that would be a bit of a wait so appetizers and drinks were served.
So we patiently waited for our orders to be taken while we explore the appetizer buffet.
Also had this cocktail named Blueberry Slushie:
The mixture of this drink is Blueberry Fruit, Blueberry Puree and Absolut Current.

While we were indulging in varieties of appetizer consisting of Grilled Eel Roll with Teriyaki Sauce, US Short Ribs with Wasabi Black Pepper Sauce and many more, the 4 delectable bowls of Ramen arrived in front of us.
Attempts on my part to keep from salivating were a struggle. Since Shiromaru Motoaji (top left), Karakamen (lower left) and Akamaru Shinaji (lower right) are all of Ippudo's Ramen that I've tasted before, I very much anticipated to try out Ippudo Kuro (top right).

Ippudo Kuro Ramen is their new ramen that is currently only made available in this BSC outlet.
It's noodles are not the same as the other 3 types but rather it's a thicker more chewy noodles. In Tonkotsu broth with chashu (BBQ Pork), flavored black fungus, spring onions, spicy blended miso paste and fragrant garlic. First few bites of it gave me a sense of oyster sauce kind of taste and that's one taste that I love. The thick noodles work well with the soup and the chashu is unusually tastier on that night. Although reluctant, I finally passed it on to the next companion seated at the same table and had a taste of the other 3 comparing of what I've tasted in the past at the Pavilion branch.

Needless to say, the Akamaru and Karakamen tasted the same as what I've tasted before in Pavilion but the Shiromaru is a little different. This time, this one seems to be saltier than what I can remember. With the rest at my table finish tasting the Ippudo Kuro, I quickly grab at the chance to savor back the delicious bowl of ramen and slurp it all up. LOL. This time, the bites of it has a stronger taste of spring onion being the prominent of them all but fades off with each bite nearing the bottom of the bowl. It is definitely leaps and bounds my favorite out of the 4.

The BSC outlet has a seating capacity of 30 and 50 people outdoors and indoors respectively. The private room is available via appointments booked in advance. For reservations or private functions, call 03-20116238.

Full address is:
Lot G110 Ground Floor,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
Jalan Maarof,
59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA