There was a cool competition among Malaysia’s best bartenders at The Bee recently, the Haig Club Pop-Up Bar Challenge, where top barmen faced-off to select the four who went to the South East Asian Finals in Bangkok last week.
And Shawn Chong from Omakase+Appreciate won a couple of titles: Best Bartender South East Asia, as well as winning the Speed Round Challenge – where he made 9 cocktails in 8 minutes!
As far as the Malaysian leg is concerned, this is the third time Shawn has won. He will now represent at the Global Finals which will be held in South Africa, versus 49 of the world’s top bartenders.
The Malaysian leg saw 12 of the country’s mix kings battle out to create cocktails that were judged to be the best, with each creating one iconic cocktail featuring Haig Club whisky.
It’s kinda tough creating good cocktails from Scotch due to its flavours. I guess the Haig Club would be a better choice as it’s quite neutral in flavours.
I didnt get to try all the cocktails the boys made, but my fave was a really unique mix – called Grassie Goat – Haig Club, goat’s milk, peppermint liqueur, bannoffee curd, & mint leaf. A unique combination of exotic flavours, perfectly-balanced. Nothing close to anything I’ve ever tried. It was made by Naresh, of Prego in The Westin KL.
Shawn made Siamese Link, – a spicy-savoury cocktail made with Haig Club, Siamese paprika syrup and lime juice garnished with pandan jelly.
The other winners were M. Hanafi of Prego, The Westin; Osmund Illah of Hubba Hubba (KL); and Insan Sharily of Tate, The Intermark (KL).
There were also a couple of bartendresses who were making guests cocktails.
Brain damage: 8/10