Spirits of the Harvest!

It’s Oooooohaa time, coz there’s an event this Saturday organized by Sarawakians in KL. It’s a tuak appreciation one. How damn cool.

I absolutely love drinking with Sarawakians. They know how to party. And are the best hosts I’ve ever met anywhere in the world.

I also spent four years of my pre-drinking life in Kuching.

Ngajat baby, ngajat!

I’m a judge in the Tuak of The Year competition. Haha! I have no idea how many entries there are, maybe dozens. So long as its not mixed with langkau like my 2009 music festival vacation in Sarawak, i should be fine.

A dude i met upriver

But then i’ve been well-trained many times in the deep depths of Borneo, esp during my travel-writing years. Had to ngirop servings of tuak as i walk through longhouses, one shot at each family’s door. Cool thing is they all taste different.

Tuak is a really nice drink by any standards. Personally i prefer the sweet variety, as well as ginger tuak, and of course, the aged ones. Goes down smooth n easy. The extra dry ones? A lil hard to drink.

Anyway, no need to go to Sarawak to try the various blends and vintages, coz it’s come here!

Kicks-off at 6.30pm at a joint called Seduction on P Ramlee, KL, behind the dodgy Beach Club. Go on time if u wanna have samples. No entry fee, unless you wanna enter the tuak of the year shit. Submissions are still possible until the event, right until 7pm on Saturday.

Gosh. I’m screwed.

There’s a blowpipe challenge in da mix. I shd try dat coz i got skills. Maybe less skills when sengeted.


Sabah fly-by

Did five days in KK, one of my favourite cities. Coincided it with Kaamatan, which is the Kadazan annual festival of Harvest. Kotobian Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan Sabahans!

Was with Eddy, my housemate. Agenda was basically partying, checking out the highlands, islands, and ‘wildlife’.

I’ve basically covered Sabah, inland and off-shore, but dont mind more trips. Not many pictures tho. Camera fucked, n Eddy dont have one. So in d end most pix are of him, from my cheap-ass phone.

First drink of the trip at Irish Bar Shamrock. Not good happy hours tho

Had trouble getting around as Max who was supposed to show us around was in KL. So mostly chilled during d day.

Happy hours at The Loft, Waterfront. Good selection of ales

Got our butts down to the pier, which is downtown. In fact, the sea is downtown. Niice.

Checked out Manukan Island, part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park islands. They all lie by KK, just a speedboat ride away.

Had a beer with a giant leatherback turtle


Beach, beer, tunes

Some old bombs found on the island. Why did they bomb Manukan with a dick?

At the beach, chilled out with Absolut’s Global Brand Ambassador, Matt Pomeroy. Haha! He was in KK for an Absolut masterclass session, where i met him last year and took him clubbing.

Downtown graffiti

Squeezed in a kid's party

We crashed at KK Times Square, a new spot, which also has a few bars n clubs. like Firefly & White Room. But after-party n sleazier Razzmataz is quite a distance.


Party spot

Harvest Fest Eve @ Bed. The band wore traditional outfits n did d Sumazau. Haha

The cultural village, a venue for Kaamatan Fest

Did a road trip into the highlands. Pretty chilly up there, and u sometimes get a view of the summit of Mt Kinabalu.

Kundasang, foreground, summit background

Paulie, aka JB Paul, made a guest appearance

At Jarrod n Rawlins, our usual brunch spot as it was right behind our hotel

No shit

Ed's first toke of liheng, a local brew. Nice stuff

Outta there!


Brain damage: 8.5/10


DIY tuak!

I have had an unending supply of great tuak, thanks to my friend Mary Jane – not her real name la. To protect her identity. She’s afraid her front door will be kicked in by a SWAT Team or hordes of tuak junkies.

She’s been with me at Sarawak many times for the world music fest. We normally get our supply from this hotel in Kuching that’s got da best shit (and d best laksa). Me n my crew would order like 70-80 bottles for d festival n drink kao-kao. Sometimes tapau some back to KL – still got some 07’s left.

Mmmm, golden rice juice. Sarawak laksa + tuak lunch

Mmmm, golden rice juice. Sarawak laksa + tuak lunch, Kuching. Perfection.


So she liked it so much, she decided to learn makin it here in PJ . Her 50% Sarawakian genes finally kicked-in.

The first batch was ready last year. It turned out good. Some of the following batches were as good or better than d Kuching one! The colour is perfect – gold. Not too murky like d longhouse ones, which are forced down your throat when u go upriver in Sarawak. Man i got some tales about that!


Some dude I met upriver. Nice hornbill feathers, hope d bird tasted good ol man

Some dude I met upriver. Nice hornbill feathers, hope d bird tasted good with tuak, ol man

Anyway, Mary Jane was kind enough to show me the tuak-brewing process. We”ll share it with yall – anybody can do it. Don’t ask me about d legality. Don’t know & don’t care. D way I see it, we’ve paid way too much booze taxes in this country already. According to The Star, Malaysians pay the second highest tax in d whole goddam planet for beer! Probably d same with other booze.

Like we earn a lot.

If u buy a can of beer for five bucks, about four bucks is tax. Stupid dam government, blowing our hard-earned money! Fuck em.

Anyway, ingredients are easily available. Maybe tedious but not difficult. I have yet to do it coz she’s just so nice to me – keeps me fed and supplied. Thanks Mary Jane! Ur da shit.

Anyway, if u start makin d product now, it will be ready in 3 months. No it’s not instant. Sorry.

Here’s d rundown on how to make tuak aka rice wine.


Mary Jane has a tuak logbook. With dates & measurements

Mary Jane has a tuak logbook. With dates & measurements. Respect

MJ fixin me a shot to test d latest stuff

MJ fixin me a shot to test d latest merchandise

Wat u need: (measurements based on 1kg of rice, but u can go for 5kg for more product. Multiply other ingredients by five too)

1. Uncooked rice (glutinous rice – can get everywhere, like Tesco) – 1kg

2. Fine sugar – 1kg

3. Yeast – 1.5 pieces – get it from a Chinese medicine shop. Mary Jane gets it from Centerpoint, PJ. It’s “sweet yeast for Chinese wine”. Aka ‘chao peng’.

4. A pot

5. A hose pump or a cup

and that’s it


Dates of each batch decorate the pot's cover

Dates of each batch decorate the pot's cover


Moonshiners these days have d latest bottling technology


1. Cook d rice (if u don’t know how to dat, quit now)

2. Pound yeast into powder, add yeast to rice (cooled down), stir it up in a pot. Always cover the pot (not air-tight, but make sure no dirt or insects get in)

3. Wait 2 weeks (that’s tough)

A layer of liquid will appear above d mix.

4. Boil sugar in water (make syrup), add into pot once cool. Stir it up. Wait 6 weeks (hang in there)

5. Sieve d pot’s contents thru a strainer. Dump the strained stuff, pour d brew back into d pot. Wait a week

6. Pump out the clear liquid which will float above the murky part with a hose / pump. Or u could scoop out with a cup, but that might stir up the murky shit

7. Sieve again. Liquid should be clear – it’s called tuak! Start bottling d stuff

8. Time to drink!


Rice - more handy than i thought

Rice - more handy than i thought

It’s legit. Have had many of Mary Jane’s bottles and am still alive. Most important part of d process is hygiene. Sterilize everything with soap (not d ingredients).

Actually she did say sumtin about – u gotta b naked when u do it. Hmmm… dunno la, she hasn’t given me any live demo. Yet.

U can probably brew five bottles per kg of rice. BTW, it’s supposed to taste either sourish-sweet or sweetish-sour. If u have no idea, ask someone who has tasted tuak before to sample it. Like me.

Get busy! Believe me, it’s worth it! Good tuak is awesome stuff, and the high is a real upper.

As they say in Sarawak when u cheers, OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Brain damage rating: 7.5/10


Tuak on Foodista

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