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Tag / beer

Alcohol and food pairing is a combination as old as time, but for some reasons, the attention has almost always been on wine and “higher end” dishes. For a country like Malaysia where street food is our pride and joy, why not then beer and street food?

Well, here are a few dishes I like to enjoy with a bottle of cold Tiger beer.

satey with Tiger can't go wrong
satey with Tiger can’t go wrong

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy weekend nights is Netflix and chill, and sometimes all you need to go with an episode of great TV is a cold Tiger Beer and some satay from the neighborhood stall.

Those slightly charred chicken (or beef if you like) on stick plus peanut sauce is great to get washed down with Tiger beer for sure.

Eng Ann pohpiah with Tiger Beer
Eng Ann popiah, with lard!

First, popiah!

If you find yourself at Eng Ann in Klang, Tan Kee popiah is one to check out. The popiah has got lap cheong and lard, in addition to your usual seng kuang and lettuce. A cold Tiger Beer compliments those porky bits very well.

Aik prawn mee, Tiger beer
Aik Prawn Mee from Seapark, with Tiger

Being from Penang, I always enjoy a bowl of good prawn mee. For afternoon “snack” session, Aik Prawn mee  at Seapark serves up a rather good version, and what is better to wash down some spicy prawn mee with a cold beer especially on a hot afternoon?

What’s your favorite street food to go with Tiger beer?

These are my three picks of Tiger beer + Street Food pairing, what’s yours?

tiger uncage

If street food is your passion, like me, head over to Tiger Uncage Street Food Festival at The Gasket Alley, 1st & 2nd December from 5pm onwards. There will be over 40 distinctive street food delights to challenge your senses!

RSVP at their FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/302413323704742/

More details: http://tigerbeer.com.my/uncage/

I’m one of those tourists who love to go free & easy and almost never took up any sort of tour packages. Guided tours = wake up way too early in the morning, going to too many places, spending too much time in buses, and ended up buying things in overpriced places that give kick backs to the tour guide, or so I thought.

Then there’s short guided tours, which I was more open to but never really took the initiative to partake in one, until we were signed up for the East London Food Tour by the good people who organized our London trip. It proved to be one of the most enjoyable part of the trip.

Harry, our tour guide for the East London Food Tour
Harry, our tour guide for the East London Food Tour

We met up at Old Spitalfields Market, just a short walk from Bill’s at Clink Street, the place where we had breakfast (which was a mistake, note to self – don’t have breakfast, or anything, before a food tour.)

Our guide was a young half-hipster/artist gentlemen by the name of Harry, who was very entertaining and carries a wealth of knowledge about the local food & art scene in which he was very eager to share. Over the course of 3.5 hours, we walked around East London sampling some of the best foods and learned about local history.

Our group had American, Swiss, Malaysian, Norwegian, and even Londoners, and since it was only about a dozen of us, we manage to carry a good flow, which was great.

Here are the 8 places we went, and while you can try them individually if you happen to be at East London, I do recommend joining the food tour to sample them all at once, plus, it’s always nice to not have to be in queue.

bacon sandwich at St John Bread & Wine
bacon sandwich at St John Bread & Wine

Our first stop, bacon sandwich at St. John Bread & Wine. The back bacon was juicy and we really enjoyed the special apple infused home made ketchup that they have. Quarter sandwich for everyone to get us started, and while I usually prefer streaky bacon, this back bacon was juicy and together with the home made ketchup and fresh bread, made for a pretty good opening act.

Address:
St. John Bread & Wine
94-96 Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ
GPS51.519758, -0.074289
Tel+44 20 7251 0848

bread and butter pudding at the English Restaurant
bread and butter pudding at the English Restaurant

Our next stop was the restaurant that has the least interesting name in the whole of England – the English Restaurant. In this 17th century building we sampled one of the original “poor people”s food – the bread and butter pudding. Truth be told, this was the best bread and butter pudding I’ve ever had, it was rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious. I guess having them made in small batches makes a huge difference to the standard hotel buffet fair.

Address:
English Restaurant
50/52 Brushfied St, Spitalfields, London E1 6AG
GPS51.519731, -0.074310
Tel: +44 20 7251 0848

we tasted a cheddar and blue cheese at Androuet
we tasted a cheddar and blue cheese at Androuet

At Androuet, we had a short briefing about the few types of cheese made locally, and got to sample their cheddar and blue cheese on location. A glass of wine would certainly made this stop even better. Androuet carries a variety of European and English cheese.

Address:
Androuet
Old Spitalfields Market, 107b Commercial St, London E1 6BG
GPS51.519663, -0.075484
Tel: +44 020 7375 3168

fish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out's top 100 foods in Londonfish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out's top 100 foods in London
fish and chips at Poppies, listed as Time Out’s top 100 foods in London

Next stop was the inevitable fish & chips, and we had this at Poppies, rated one of the best fish & chip outlets in all of London. The fish used was cod (a luxury in Malaysia), with a light and crispy batter while keeping the fish moist & just-cooked, it was actually rather good. The chips did not illicit any additional revelation, it was okay.

Interestingly, the fish & chip is now served in a food safe paper with newspaper print instead of actual newspaper.

Address:
Poppies Fish & Chips
6-8 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
GPS: 51.520236, -0.073956
Tel: +44 20 7247 0892

Pride Of Spitalfields - a local pub for some beer
Pride Of Spitalfields – a local pub for some beer

Pride of Spitalfields was next on the agenda, we got a taste of the life at local pub for a bit, sampling a couple ales and even got to pet Lenny, the pub cat, who was fat, lazy, and seemed rather used to being around strangers.

Address:
Pride of Spitafields
3 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ
GPS51.518942, -0.071205
Tel: +44 20 7247 8933

Aladin at Brick Lane for UK's national dish - curry!
Aladin at Brick Lane for UK’s national dish – curry!

After a short stay at the pub, we moved to the national dish of England – curry!

With the heavy influence of South Asian in the region, East London, and especially Brick Lane, has a whole slew of curry houses, with each of them having an intimidating looking Indian guy trying to convince you to get into their restaurants that are often decorated not entirely unlike a strip club.

That being said, the dishes we had at Aladin was excellent, I remember the chicken tikka masala to stand out and went really well with garlic naan. It wasn’t very different from the North Indian cuisine we got back home, but this was certainly among the better versions.

Address:
Aladin
132 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
GPS51.520504, -0.071795
Tel: +44 20 7247 8210 

Beigal Bake, Jewish bakery with the best bagel with salt beef
Beigal Bake, Jewish bakery with the best bagel with salt beef

Our penultimate stop was my favorite – bagel with salt beef at the Jewish bakery, Beigal Bake. The 24-hour bakery had quite a long line extended to the sidewalk when we were there, and it was easy to see why, while the bagel was fresh and had a balanced taste, the salt beef was super succulent, juicy, and just perfect. The combination was irresistible.

If there’s a must-have in this list of 8, it is this.

Address:
Beigal Bake
159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB
GPS51.524496, -0.071743
Tel: +44 20 7729 0616

salted caramel tart with some English tea at Pizza East to conclude the tour
salted caramel tart with some English tea at Pizza East to conclude the tour

Finally, after some 3.5 hours, we concluded the tour at Pizza East sampling their famous salted caramel tart, and of course, a glass of English tea to go with. The tart was rich and those salted caramel really brought out the flavour of the chocolate. Tea was, well, tea.

Address:
Pizza East
56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ
GPS51.523665, -0.076442
Tel: +44 20 7729 1888

I want to thank Harry for the excellent tour and Micaela & gang for organizing it. It was an excellent few hours and certainly very entertaining and provided much food for thoughts and for my stomach. Still wished we didn’t have breakfast prior to this though.

Note: This UK – Malaysia Influencer Exchange programme was organised by Malaysia Airlines.
However, opinions are of my own. Malaysia Airlines flies between London and Kuala Lumpur
twice a day on the A380. There are 8 seats in the First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420
in Economy. Make your flight reservations today on www.malaysiaairlines.com.

After having a great time celebrating AhFa’s birthday at 42 East a few weeks ago with plenty of Kilkenny Draught, we decided to have an encore. This time our excuse was Suan’s birthday.

OK, maybe it wasn’t just an excuse, Suan is a dear friend and a big fan of Kilkenny (in fact, I first learned about this beer from her). Since she won’t be around on her actual birthday, we decided to get together a few days earlier.

Barfly, and these Kilkenny's reserved for Suanie
Barfly, and these Kilkenny’s reserved for Suanie

Our destination of choice this time was Barfly at Solaris Dutamas. A place where solving the parking puzzle requires a PhD, but hey, we do it for friends right?

Luckily we had the foresight in calling in a couple days earlier to book for a table.

Michael, Li Ling, Suan, KY enjoying some Kilkenny
Michael, Li Ling, Suan, KY enjoying some Kilkenny

The place was well packed with people when we reached there at about 9pm. I always like going to a busy place for draught beer, you know it will always super fresh.

In the case of Kilkenny at Barfly, yeap, the draught were fresh, fragrant, and every bit as how a good pint of Kilkenny should be. Something that we learned from the Kilkenny Masterclass experience.

some of the beer food we have to pair with Kilkenny beer
some of the beer food we have to pair with Kilkenny beer

Of course, when you have beer, you gotta have some beer food to go with.

Dark ale like Kilkenny pairs well with chicken, pork, and generally slightly stronger tasting food. Barfly happens to have quite a decent selection of snacks & even main dishes that goes well with beer.

Mike showing that all pint glasses hold the same volume
Mike showing that all pint glasses hold the same volume

We had their flaming chicken wings, superfly potato skin, pig in haystack (enoki mushroom + bacon), fries, ikan bilis with onion and chili, nachos, sausage kau, and commando chips.

Many of the dishes were a bit spicy, and when you wash down that spicy kick with a big gulp of cold beer, that feeling is just the best!

and.. we had a great time! Happy Birthday Suan
and.. we had a great time! Happy Birthday Suan

Awesome friends, great beer, and some food over a few hours – good times!

When do we do this again?

Earlier this month was our good friend FireAngel (we call her ahfa)’s 18th birthday for the nth time, we decided to throw her a somewhat not-so-surprised party at 42 EAST, TTDI.

FA & me with my awesome t-shirt
birthday girl and me with my awesome t-shirt

It was just an old fashion type of evening, hanging out, enjoying some finger foods, and having plenty of Kilkenny draught to go around for everyone. Over here at 42 EAST they serve them in three pints for RM 66++, a rather good deal.

I love the aroma of the dark ale served fresh, something that’s only topped by the awesome company that we had that night.

FA's birthday with Kilkenny
with a bunch of friends at 42 EAST, TTDI

Among the attendees were the familiar faces – Haze, Michael & Li Ling, Lance & Melissa, Horng & Yuki, Suan, Terence & Celine, Sam, Whey Lu, and AhFa’s date – John.

good times, great beer
good times, great beer

I think we should do this more often and not just when someone’s ticker turns up a notch.

We’re gonna have another party real soon, can’t wait!

ALEmentary, My Dear!

November 30, 2012 10 Comments

Kilkenny is a popular Irish cream ale, and with a heritage dated since the 1710 century,it is now easily found in most pubs and bars around the country. Rich, creamy, and with its aroma and flavor of toasted malt, it is also easily one of my favorite.

Now what are the secrets in brewing up a good barrel of Kilkenny? It’s all in the ALEmentary Knowledge. Which incidentally, is also the name of the Facebook application that teaches and challenges you to a test of brewing quality Kilkenny Ale.

And as with any challenge worth its salt, there are prizes to be won, so let’s look at them:

  • Grand Prize – Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  • First Prize – Google Nexus 7
  • 5x Weekly Prizes – Exclusive Kilkenny T-Shirt
I don’t know about you, but I think the Galaxy Note 2 is a pretty sweet phone/tablet, and I certainly wouldn’t mind having it in my pocket (albeit it’s gonna be a bit snug, but I digress..)

In this post, I’m going to give you a short tutorial on how to play the ALEmentary brewing game, as well as some tips to become better at it and hopefully, you will at least beat the score Haze and I managed to end up with – 7790.

The game is a simple ‘complete tasks in one stage, move task to another within time limit’ genre similar to other business/time management games. There are a total of 5 stages to clear, and if you are raring to win this.. you’ve got to nail all 5.

Every stage is important, but some are more important than others.

The stages are:

  • Stage 1: Making Wort
  • Stage 2: Adding Hops
  • Stage 3: Fermentation
  • Stage 4: Packing
  • Stage 5: Pouring
There’s an in-game tutorial that teaches you how to complete each stage, go through that and you’ll be set to go. Now here are some methods we used to improve our scores.

First, don’t bother filling all 9 in one go when you start the game in Stage 1. That would means you put in the mashed barley in all 9 pots, add in the roasted barley and the water. This technique will only get you to about 50 pints before the time runs out.

Instead, focus on getting as many pots brewing as fast as possible, put in all 3 ingredients in one pot before moving to the next. Once the timer gets to red, proceed to the next stage and repeat this process. The idea is to have pots brewing as early as possible once the game starts.

Pro Tip: when you have less than 35 seconds left, don’t bother making any more worts, it won’t get through all the stages.

 

Another dangerous setback is right before you get to stage 3. You may have collected about 4-6 pots ready for stage 3, before you move any pots to stage 3, take a look at the temperature slider and make sure it is still in the green area. If it isn’t, press the burn button until it is green before you move the pots here. A wrong temperature will burn your current pots, rendering all your previous efforts useless.

Pro Tip: Don’t bother throwing away any burnt wort or hops if they aren’t interfering, but you shouldn’t have any burnt wort or hops anyway.

The 4th step would be to move the barrel into the truck. Beware of the slider again, if it passes green the barrel will overflow and will reflect in a lower point score.

Pro Tip: once it hits green, slide it to the truck as soon as possible, this ensures you to have more barrels instead of wasting extra precious ale (and time)

The last step is the most crucial. I always slide it all the way to the right till it hits the Kilkenny logo, then use the slow pour method (slide to left) to fill it up, you have to be careful not to let it overflow. This stage requires some practice, but it is crucial, since it is a multiplier that you use with the score you get from previous 4 stages. I managed a near perfect 99.975/100.

After quite a number of hours trying to beat this game Haze and I managed a total score of 7790. She’s better at making barrels, while I generally do better with Stage 5 pouring multiplier.

To be honest, most Facebook contest games aren’t terribly exciting, but we can’t stop ourselves from playing with this one. It has the element of frustration and excitement all roll into one, we still want to end up in top 10! Just need to be just a bit faster, gahhhh. Excuse me while I continue playing this.

The contest runs from 22nd November to 27th November, 2012, play it here – ALEmentary Knowledge.

Good luck!

By the way, another useless tip – having smaller screen might help since you reduce mouse movement.. hehe.