Tiffin teaser party

We had a great time at Taste of Tiffin, a two-day event at Publika organized by Freeform Untitled. Took my  mixologist Imran along as well, to check out the alcohol section.

It was certainly an experiential celebration of food and drink. Although we only attended one afternoon, it was obvious that it was a unique collection of food and drinks all in one spot, with a total guest count of 3,000.


The set-up outside

There were three parts of the event that we visited – the food booths outside, the ones inside, and the booze section. There was some really good grub all around, and we were spoilt for choice. I vaguely recall swallowing some Mexican stuff in the afternoon while buzzed.


The afternoon session

Anyway, my highlight was in the Black Box – the sampling sessions in the afternoon, as well as cocktail stands. I got so wasted at one point just from sampling the variety that was given, that i had to leave. Swallowed the Mexican stuff at the food section, then came back.

I enjoyed trying out some new gin from Australia, West Winds – the Sabre, and the Cutlass. Especially the Sabre – kinda tangy and sweetish. These gins are available at Locker & Loft.

There were about 40 different spirits to try at the event!


The Wholly Spirits boys



Some of the booty



Many mini-bars to select from

The best part of this event is that it’s actually merely a teaser to the main event, Tiffin Week. This goes down Sept 24 – Oct 3 at Publika. Expect a very interesting and fun ten days.

Launching mid-2016

Launching mid-2016 for Sept

But in the meantime, Tiffin is also organizing an F&B experience for Urbanscapes 2016. Locker & Loft will be involved in the final weekend of Urbanscapes in KL, May 7 & 8, where we’ll be making alcoholic ”daytime drinks!” from 11am on Saturday & Sunday.

Event details here. Day-drinkers, rejoice.


Brain damage: 8/10


44 Pops Up again

Pop-up bar 44 has reappeared, after going under for a coupla months. It first appeared at APW in Bangsar, a warehouse joint. However, it’s got a different set-up and look now. While the first one had a really interesting industrial theme, this one has more of a modern and minimalist look.

44 now hides in a downtown spot at The Row, and the lifespan this time is up to December.

Like certain newer bars now, 44 is now upstairs

Like certain newer bars now, 44 is now stashed  upstairs

The joint had a guest bartender, Yishu, from Jigger & Pony for a visit. I had the opportunity to try some of the cocktails he made.

Starting with the Sakura Sakura, which was a real treat for a first drink. I should have saved it for last. It was like a fruity dessert. Delicious, finely-balanced, tho i expected it to be too sweet.

But the ingredients are surprisingly complex – Owney’s rum, peach liqueur, sake, lemon juice, sakura syrup and egg white.



Next was the Godfather – Scotch & amaretto. Nutty, with some chocolate goodness. It had a sweetness, but it was a good kinda sweetness. Like the natural flavours u’d find in a fruit. That’s probably courtesy of  the amaretto, which is almond liqueur. Such a simple but amazing drink.

Comes with a piece of flamed white chocolate.

Uncomplicated like a guy

Uncomplicated like a guy

And then there was fire. Flames and alcohol tends to get my attention. Mai Tai ala Sugarhall. It was Bacardi 151 (a 75.5% rum) that provided the burn. Yishu sprinkled some grounded spices to add some fireworks.

In it is cachaca, rum, orgeat syrup, spiced apricot syrup, lime juice.  It’s spicy-sweet, with some cinnamon coming thru but not dominating the show.

We also had a tequila cocktail. Haha.



The lychee in this drink hits your palate off the bat. So i expected sweet shit, but no. It was fruity, but the lychee flavour flattens out quick, and surprisingly, you dont taste or smell any tequila. Fruity. It’s called Newton Flash.

We also tried some craft spirits – gins and American whiskies.

What stood out was a gin called New Deal – real strong berry nose, berry taste, but with quite a zing at the end.


Also another cool one was Green Hook. Distinctly floral.

But by then, my taste buds were too busy partying to provide anymore feedback.

44 also ages pre-mixed, simple and classic cocktails, like Negroni. They are on display at the bar, in cool bottles, and aged for a few weeks, with oak added in.

The regular menu

The regular menu

To find 44, head to The Row (Jln Doraisamy, KL), and go behind Mojo.


Just add ice..

Brain damage: 8/10


Diageo Reserve World Class Finals

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!

Shawn was the Boozepimp of the Month on this blog way back in 2011.

Shawn with his booty (pix by Ryan Tann)

Shawn with his booty (pix by Ryan Tann)

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.

Joel of The View Bar telling his cocktail's story to judges

Joel of The View Bar telling his cocktail’s story to judges

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 Siamese Link

The Siamese Link

The other winners were M. Hanafi of Prego, The Westin; Osmund Illah of Hubba Hubba (KL); and Insan Sharily of Tate, The Intermark (KL).

The lucky four

The lucky four

There were also a couple of bartendresses who were making guests cocktails.


Award-winning Angel Ng and Diageo World Class Malaysia 2014 champ Yin Ying

 Brain damage: 8/10

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