.. so haven’t been updating for awhile. Will do soon!
June 16th, 2014 · ~ Alcohol & food pairing ~, ~ Bars / Clubs / Restaurants ~, ~ Cocktails ~, ~ Review (invited) ~
Mediteca Tapas Bar (2181 -2426) is one joint i never knew was there until i paid a visit. It’s got a great spot, smack downtown at Fraser Place, and occupies the front of the building. The set-up is stylish.
Checked it out on a Sunday afternoon for a cocktail session. The place has a little bar as well, but we opted for a table by the all-glass wall. As in floor-to-very-high-ceiling glass! Nice.
Mediteca’s Sunday Happy Hours here is one of its unique features. It applies a trend that began in bars in Milan, Italy, called Aperitivo alla Milanese, where patrons get complimentary buffet food when they drink.
When we were there, the Sunday cocktails were focused on aperitifs, mainly Campari-based ones. The cocktail specials changes every Sunday. Guests can opt for beer or wine as well for this unique happy hour.
The afternoon began with a Negroni (Campari, Martini Rosso & gin), which is a classic ol skool cocktail. Bittersweet, quite balanced, tho i let the ice melt a lil to dampen the sweetness. A slice of fresh orange adds some refreshment.
Campari is an Italian liqueur, an infusion of herbs and fruit, and to me, is very bitter.
A variation of the Negroni, the Negroni Sagliatio (or the bungled negroni), rocked my boat. There’s fizziness, with some prosecco taking the edge off, adding that light champagne sweetness; makes it fruity even. Awesome.
The Aperol Spritz is a mix of prosecco, Aperol and soda. It’s a tarty sparkling wine cocktail, with the Aperol introducing itself at the end with a bitter-orange finish, as it’s an orange liqueur.
We tried the Americano too, which tastes a lot like the Negroni, ‘cept gin is switched for Martini Rosso.
Mediteca’s strawberry daiquiri is well-made, strong, with a good consistency.
We tasted the outlet’s house prosecco, and it was quite pleasant – medium to dry, the right fizz, and a sweet-sour tinge that lingers for a bit.
Good marks on all the drinks. All spirits used are premium, none of ‘em moonshine many bars use.
The food: it’s light Mediterranean stuff; crowd-favourites like pizza, breads n dips, seafood paella, some interesting sauces n salads, and a couple of other light bites. The olive oil-drenched pesto salad was funky. Weird. Me liking a salad is like an alco liking a shandy.
Sumtin called a spelt salad.
Basically what’s laid out, changes. It’s whatever the chef can cook up on that day. It’s not meant to be a meal, but a snack with drinks, or as a pre-dinner session. However, food quality is decent. I had no issues with anything i had.
Loved the potato chips, which came in soft slices. Unreal.
To enjoy the spread of Mediterranean grub, all you need to do is enjoy the cocktails, which are generally about $28.75 nett.
This Milanese happy hours thing could grow on me. And i like the spot too. Should be hitting it again in the future. Very likely to blaze their Saturday Prosecco Brunch as well, from noon till 3pm. They got cheese too.
Cost is $135.70 NETT, with all-you-can-drink prosecco.
It’s a sweet deal, if i stay sober on Friday nite.
Brain damage: 8/10
May 28th, 2014 · ~ Bars / Clubs / Restaurants ~, ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Whisky ~
So, a whisky from Taiwan?? The main thing i saw in that country were some fruit wines!
But am open-minded, so i didnt think twice and wasn’t skeptical when i was invited to taste a range of Taiwanese malts. In fact, i sacrificed a much-needed nap. Haha
Was it worth it? For sure. All KAVALAN whiskies i tried were good. It was tough to pick a favourite.
On the firing line that evening at Whisky Tango Foxtrot in Damansara Heights were four varieties, out of a total of seven expressions! Quite a range.
The welcome drinks were the KAVALAN King Car Conductor (46%) ABV. I didnt ask how it got its name.
An easy-drinking whisky, a lil spice, a lil sweetish, with a medium finish. Good balance. Actually all the whiskies are easy on the palate.
The Classic is the best-seller, and gave me a nose of liquorice. It tastes clean and pleasant, with some fruit-spice in the mix.
The Concertmaster has a weird bottle. It looks more like absinthe than anything else. It’s richer than the rest, with some sweetness and some complexity. It was a lil difficult to figure out as i had a damn cold.
An interesting drink is the Solist Ex Bourbon Cask. The name says it all – it’s aged in those barrels. This deep whisky does give you a quick bitch-slap, but it passes quickly, and you’d never guess it rolls in at 57%.
Unsurprisingly, this is Taiwan’s first single malt, and it’s only been tickling livers since 2008. Very young.
But it’s whooped ass. Between 2010 to 2013, KAVALAN won an incredible number of gold medals – at the highly-respected IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Competition) and SWSC (San Francisco World Spirits Competition). It was also in the best-selling whisky guide, 101 Whiskies To Try Before You Die. Prices however are on the high side, more than most Scotch whiskies.
It’s named after the earliest tribe that ran the show in the Yilan Valley.
The barley is sourced from Scotland, and the distillery is an hour from Taipei.
You can get them at certain bars (Barn Thai, Whisky Tango Foxtrot) as well as retailer Single And Available in BSC (Bangsar Shopping Centre), where there are monthly tastings.
The whisky has no age expression, and since it’s not a Scotch, they can legally be younger than five years.
As long as they taste good and are balanced, I have no issue with age!
Brain damage: 7.5/10
May 16th, 2014 · ~ Booze news / new products ~, ~ Whisky ~
One of my favourite whiskies is The Glenlivet. It rocks.
The single malt from a glen near the river Livet (the t is not silent) in Scotland has been producing good stuff since 1824, and is the no 1 single malt in the US. It’s light-tasting and agreeable to most palettes, combining well with Asian food too.
It’s now owned by Pernod Ricard, who recently seem to be making up for their lack of Glenlivet events, fortunately. The latest was held at Barn Thai in the new Jaya 33 Tower.
They had pizza. Nice.
Glenlivet is whisky from Scotland’s rugged east coast, putting it under the Speyside category, whose whiskies are typically either light, grassy whiskies such as Glenlivet; or at the other end the rich, sweet, sherried ones like Macallan.
I’ve had various Glenlivet versions, but dig the 12 Years. Fruity nose, well-balanced in the mouth with no particular spicy tinge, ‘cept maybe a lil vanilla, and a smooth, medium-short finish.
The Glenlivet range consists of 12 Years, 15 Years, 16 Years Nàdurra, 18 Years, 21 years, and 25 years, with a number of limited edition whiskies, such as…..
.. the Glenlivet Alpha! A totally limited edition Scotch, with only 3,500 bottles for the planet, and 40 for Malaysia.
It’s awesome. Complex but smooth, with hints of fruit. Sweetish, but spicy as well. ABV is 50%. Power.
The black bottle is definitely not whisky-like, and all it says is that its from the Glenlivet Distillery – no cask details, no age statement. (Those keen can get it at $868 from Pei Wen -
We also enjoyed the 15 and 18. Both score, with the 18 being particularly bold and spicy, if you’re into that; and the 15 quite rich.
The Glenlivet 12′s got my back. I think it’ll always be a close buddy to me!
Brain damage: 8/10