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Tag / guinness

How time flies, while many of us were still contemplating about 2015 new year resolution, the calendar indicates that it is already past mid of January, so I guess it’s time to forget about what you promised yourself one the last day of 2014 and start getting ready for Chinese New Year.

One of the things we worry about when it comes to CNY is the big “sau kong”/reunion/”hoi kong” dinner. Where to have the dinner? Is it going to be awesome? Expensive? Good? etc etc.

I’m quite happy to report that the first of such dinner I sampled this year turned out to be a gem.

Special 2015 CNY Guinness dinner menu at Grand Imperial BSC
Special 2015 CNY Guinness dinner menu at Grand Imperial BSC

I’ve been to Grand Imperial BSC before for a few wedding dinners and generally were quite impressed with their food. So when Guinness invited me to sample their “Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu” that’s available at BSC, I was quite happy to oblige.

Haze performed a caligraphy piece for the opening of the event
Haze performed a caligraphy piece for the opening of the event

Making the trip even more worthwhile is the fact that Haze was the performer of the night, showcasing her Chinese calligraphy skills on the stage. If you want to make your event/annual dinner/etc more interesting, consider hiring a speed painter/calligrapher like her, not only the performance is interesting, you also have a piece of artwork to bring back to the office.

You can contact Haze via artmisfits.com, other than speed painting, they also provide wall murals and other art related services.

yee sang with silverfish
yee sang with silverfish

Anyway, lets talk about food. Here’s the Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu, available for table of 10 and come with 2 large bottle of Guinness for RM 1,888++

  • Yee Sang with Silver Fish
  • Braised Bird’s Nest with Fresh Crab Meat
  • Roasted Whole Suckling Pig
  • Steamed Pomfret “Traditional” Style
  • Fresh Water King Prawn in Casserole
  • Braised Sliced Abalone with Black Moss and Dried Oyster
  • Clay pot Rice with Chinese Sausage and Dried Meat “Hong Kong” Style
  • Chilled Fresh Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo
  • Deep Fried Nian Gao and Deep Fried Sweet Potato Pastries

The menu is available from January 13th until March 5th, 2015.

braised birds nest with crab meat, roasted whole suckling pig
braised birds nest with crab meat, roasted whole suckling pig

As every CNY dinner goes, we started off with yee sang (which is invented right here in Malaysia). I really liked the interpretation of yee sang here with the usage of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as deep fried silver fish to create a crunchy and fresh feeling starter. the minimal plum sauce used also ensured that the dish did not turned out to be overly sweet. It was a good starter.

The braised birds nest with crab meat, to me, was one of the highlights of the night. The soup was infused with bits of black truffle to give it that distinct aroma, birds nest gave it the character and texture of sharks fin without the environmental impact, and fresh crab meat provided extra sweetness. I loved it!

Suckling pig was roasted to perfection, and I think we finished it in less than the time you’d take to boil a bowl of instant noodle.

steamed pomphret, fresh water king prawns, braised abalone with black moss
steamed pomphret, fresh water king prawns, braised abalone w/ black moss

The huge pomphret was abit of a concern to me as most restaurants tend to over steamed a fish this size, but fortunately the chefs at Grand Imperial seem to know exactly what they’re doing. It was prepared expertly with top grade soya sauce and we really enjoyed the seafood.

Fresh king prawn was a pretty good dish too if not a bit messy to consume. The head of the prawn had all the right juices that’ll clog your artery, but that’s the way we love it.

Braised abalone slices with black moss and dried oyster is another well prepared traditional dish that I always enjoy having, though sometimes I wish there’s a chef somewhere who’d be bold enough to replace those dried oysters with fresh ones, or even with scallops.

clay pot rice with dried meat, Chinese desserts
clay pot rice with dried meat, Chinese desserts

Stomach filler in this CNY menu was the clay pot rice with Chinese sausage and dried meat “Hong Kong” style. The rice was alright, but those dried meat were great! I especially love the darker “lap cheong” that’s made from duck liver. If you haven’t had those, try it! It’s literally like the foie gras of wax meat.

Desserts were chilled mango puree with sago & pomelo as well as fried nian gao and deep fried sweet potato balls. I love the mango puree as well as fried nian gao that was coated with a layer of dried coconut meat, the potato balls pastries though, would be great for afternoon tea time snack instead of dessert.

I think we were the noisiest table at Grand Imperial BSC that night
I think we were the noisiest table at Grand Imperial BSC that night

Overall, it was a pretty awesome dinner, we had plenty of Guinness to go along with those awesome food. There are also other CNY menu available at various Grand Imperial branches, so be sure to check them out.

map to Bangsar Shopping Center

Address:
Grand Imperial Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,

285 Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.142808, 101.667448
Webwww.grandimperial.com.my
Tel: 03-2283 1118

There are few things I like more than having a good time, and my version of having a good time usually involves being among friends, over food, good drinks, and if you would, is to be out in the open sea under an infinite ceiling made up of billions and billions of stars.

party with Guinness

Over the years, I’ve attended quite a fair share of Guinness events and have always had a great time enjoying my favorite black beer with great friends and acquaintances.

Such events are usually held in pubs, bars, and sometimes even on the streets (Oktoberfest anyone?), and while they were awesome, it got me thinking about taking it to the next level with another one of my favourite activities – to be on a private cruise!

fun on live-aboard cruises

Now personally I’ve never been on a big cruise before, however, I’ve spent some awesome diving trips on live-a-board cruises to the Similan Islands in Thailand and to Maldives. Be out in the open with a couple dozen friends and crews were some of my most memorable trips.

So what if I could put two and two together and throw a cruise party? Now that would really be a party like no other!

If it were me, I’ll make it a themed cruise with black and gold, plenty of drinks, and epic music. There will be little sleep, and whole load of fun.

Everyone will dressed up in the glorious colours of black and gold, and we will create a playlist with awesome hip hop tunes, and of course there’s the dance floor, and Guinness for everyone till the morning comes.

Then there’s decoration that is in tune with the theme color, black and gold drapes, with gold x’mas trees, balloons, and masquerade masks in matching colours for everyone.

Of course, no Guinness party is complete without some awesome food. For this we shall go all out with wholesome dishes such as roast lamb, bratwurst, meat pie, and more. It’ll be epic!

The good news is, Guinness is actually giving us the chance to win a PRIVATE cruise party for you and 29 friends! It will be a super awesome way to end the year now wouldn’t it?

Guinness Cruise Party

Contest starts on the 19th December (10am) and ends 21st December (6pm).

All you have to do is to complete this slogan on this Guinness Facebook post (here) – ‘I deserve to win a #CELEBRATIONOFMORE because…’ The most creative answer wins! (T&C applies)

What are you waiting for? And don’t forget to invite me if you win the private cruise party!

And we did it! The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the whole Asia happened right here at Changkat Bukit Bintang with a total of over 10,000 people turning up for the event, painting the entire street and bars with a sea of green.

I was there, and I hope your St. Patrick’s Day was as eventful as the one we experienced.

St Patrick's Day at Changkat Bukit Bintang, getting started
St Patrick’s Day at Changkat Bukit Bintang, getting started

Amazingly, we is only the 6th installation of Guinness St. Patrick’s festival here in Malaysia, and we are already on top of Asia. Perhaps in a few more years we’ll have it as big as the big boys over at Europe and America.

Suan, FA, and myself arrived at the scene pretty early to beat the crowd (and to allow ourselves to have more Guinness, of course), and things are already starting to get busy by around 6+ in the evening. The street was blocked from traffic, and everywhere was decorated black and green.

plenty of friendly servers on stand by
plenty of friendly servers on stand by

I give credit to the event organizer for hiring plenty of help for the event. Friendly servers everywhere, and most importantly, Guinness stands being set up right along the street at practically every 10 meter or something. There were tables and chairs on the road as well.

It was everything you’d need to have a good time, and more.

looking the concentration Huai Bin has
looking the concentration Huai Bin has. Robb was there too

A bunch of us also dropped by Arthur’s Lounge (converted from Frangipani for the day) and got to try pretending to be a waiter and pour a perfect pint (in which we got to drink right after).

Check out the level of concentration on Huai Bin’s face in doing just that!

and that's how you pour a perfect pint
and that’s how you pour a perfect pint

We then proceed to go upstairs and hanged out a little while our personalized Guinness mug was being prepared, and best of all, there were food served as well. Little servings of salmon on bruschetta, meatball on toothpick, spaghetti in a soup spoon. You know, those tiny fine food, which went well with the beer, of course.

and the party is on, full blast
and the party is on, full blast

All these while, the party right outside was going on full blast. The parade with clowns, stilt walkers, Irish dancers, and lots of other entertainers.

As I was chilling with some of my colleagues from four other countries, the Guinness bikers strolled by with their Harleys, instantly triggered a flood of flashes as party goers were eager to take photos of them. (by the time I got out from the bar, they were gone, garhh.)

HB, Suan, FA, Michael, Marcky, and more!
Huai Bin, Suan, FA, Michael, Hitomi, Marcky, yes we obviously had fun.

At the other end of Changkat was a stage where you can near laughter from the crowd as you go nearer. That’s where the comedians were at work. Serena C and Prem were on the scene hosting the entire event, it was really a massive party.

And then the fireworks came on, and the crowd literally went wild with their cameras. Good times!

some fine folks from all around too
some fine folks from all around too

So that pretty much summed up my St. Patrick’s Day. Good beer, great time, and even better company. How was yours?

If you’ve missed the big one at Changkat, there are still a few upcoming Guinness St. Patrick’s celebration for this year yet!

  • Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh – 24th March 2012
  • Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuching – 24th March 2012
  • SOULed OUT, Sri Hartamas – 22nd & 29th March 2012
  • Backyard, Sri Hartamas – 29th March 2012
  • Jonker Street, Melaka – 31st March 2012
  • Pelita Commercial Center, Miri – 31st March 2012

After the public off days in January and February, one of the most common theme at the office is people complaining about the lack of holidays on March and April.

Well, so far as government sanctioned holidays, that might be true, but for anyone who likes to enjoy a pint of Irish goodness every so often, there is always the 17th of March – Saint Patrick’s Day!

The 18th is a Sunday, which makes this year’s St. Patrick’s Day ever more convenient, since we can thoroughly enjoy the drinks without worrying about having to get up early the next day. Yeahhhhhhhh!

st patricks day 2012

For those who isn’t familiar with St. Patrick’s Day, there’s a wikipedia entry on it; for those who already know what it is all about, here are some extra fun facts:

  • St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most observed celebrations in the world, enjoyed with over 100 countries. For the past two years, GUINNESS organized the celebration in Malaysia.
  • It is a national holiday in Ireland and  island of Montserrat in the Caribbean
  • St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737, which has a lot of Americans with Irish ancestry
  • Everything green is used during St. Patrick’s Day – green beer, green food, green outfit, you name it
  • Last year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Changkat Bukit Bintang attracted over 8000 people here in Malaysia
  • Cities that organized  St Patrick’s Day parades include Florence, Oslo, Munich, Copenhagen, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Birmingham, Sydney, and the biggest of them all, in New York City

st pat's day 2012

As with the previous two years, on this 17th March this year, GUINNESS is bringing back the St. Patrick’s Day Street Party at Changkat Bukit Bintang.

The whole street will be transformed into an iconic St Patrick’s street party from 6pm till late, there will also be the “Comedy Court’ with some of the funniest people in the region with their hilarious performances.

Do not miss out!

Other than Changkat,  GUINNESS is also bringing St. Patrick’s experience to the following cities:

  • Upper Penang Road, Penang – 10th March 2012
  • Mount Austin, Johor Bharu – 23rd March 2012
  • Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh – 24th March 2012
  • Jonker Street, Melaka – 31st March 2012
At Sabah & Sarawak
  • KK Times Square – 16th March 2012
  • KK Waterfront – 17th March 2012
  • Kuching (Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman) – 24th March 2012
  • Kuching (Brighton Square) – 10th March 2012
  • Miri (Pelita Commercial Center) – 31st March 2012

Guinness and friends

All throughout March, there are special promotions in more than 2000 GUINNESS outlets nationwide. Get a GUINNESS St. Patrick’s miniature glass (5 different designs) with every 4 glasses of GUINNESS draught or a bucket of GUINNESS Foreign extra stout. There’s also limited edition GUINNESS St. Patrick’s t-shirt available every Thursday from 8th March till 31st March 2012 for just additional RM 10 in 178 selected outlets.

It is simply the best month for Guinness lovers. From the photos above, you can sorta tell that I am one of those people. 😀

Hop on to  www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia for more information!

the friendlist day of the year

As with every celebration that matters, there is also a pledge that I urge you to take part in.

GUINNESS wants to make St. Patrick’s Day officially the “The Friendliest Day of the Year” by getting 1 million people from all over the world to pledge. I’ve put in mine, how about you? If we  hit the targeted number, this will also go into Guinness World Records title for Most pledges for a campaign, be a part of it!

Head to St. Patrick’s Day Pledge on Facebook to do it.

See you at Changkat Bukit Bintang on the 17th March!

This post is a little bit late, considering Christmas is actually sorta.. well, over, but better late than never, right?

A couple weeks ago I was invited to probably the biggest Merry Guinness event at Double Tree by Hilton in KL, featuring the winner of MasterChef Australia season 2 – Adam Liaw. Guinness & good food? I can’t resist, even though it meant that I had to braved the KL traffic on a weekday to get to this place.

Merry Guinness with chef Adam Liaw
Merry Guinness with chef Adam Liaw, Kelly Siew at lower right

A kitchen was set up in the main banquet hall, with chef Adam Liaw demonstrating how many of the Guinness infused dishes served for the night is created. While we waited for the dishes to get ready, unlimited rounds of Guinness were being served.

Good life yah?

oysters, chicken and egg terrine, squid, lamb shank pie, graved lax
oysters, chicken and egg terrine, squid, lamb shank pie, gravad lax

As for the food, we were actually served over a dozen different dishes over the course of the night, and yes, I was stuffed at the end of the night. Here’s the menu in two parts:

Chef Adam’s Inspired Menu

  • Farmhouse chicken and egg terrine with Guinness mustard
  • Oyster with Guinness cream
  • Crispy squid with chili Guinness salt
  • Open Guinness lamb shank and mushroom pie with champ with watercress salad
  • Guinness butter roasted chicken
  • Guinness BBQ wings apple slaw
  • Guinness and fruit Christmas pudding
  • Sweet Guinness damper with blackberry maple compote

Guinness butter roasted chicken, Christmas vegetable
Guinness butter roasted chicken, Christmas vegetable

The second part of the menu, Christmas Feast:

  • Gravad lax with dill honey mustard
  • Roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck
  • Roast turkey roulade with chestnut stuffing, giblet and cranberry sauce
  • Christmas vegetables
  • Christmas pudding with vanilla sauce
  • Christmas minced pies
  • Black forest pudding with cream cheese frosting

roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck, Christmas pudding, BBQ wings
roast pumpkin soup with julienne smoked duck,
Christmas pudding, BBQ wings

Many of the dishes were excellent, I particularly think that the sauce for gravad lax and oysters were executed to perfection. Chicken and egg terrine were interesting but tasted slightly foreign to me, and the wings & buttered chicken would perhaps be that much better if served warm (the room was too cold I guess, and they didn’t really serve it with heated plates).

The squid too was perfect as finger food to go with Guinness, but ultimately there were really just way too much food for my stomach that I actually skipped desserts.

desserts & drinks, Nigel, Michael, Wilson, and yours truly
desserts & drinks, Nigel, Michael, Wilson, and yours truly mucking around

This was another rather awesome event by Guinness, and it is a shame that we can’t order some of these creations by chef Adam Liaw anywhere in the country. Perhaps some pub owners will take note and incorporate some of the ideas into their menu (oysters & the gravad lax please!)

And by the way, hope you had a great xmas and Happy New Year!