This is a rather distinctively shaped durian with 5 sides, like a starfruit (carambola). The seller told me it’s called “Five Star Durian”, he translated it from “mm zhi gor” (five seed fruit?). I found it rather intriguing and wanted to buy it but unfortunately it’s not for sale coz it’s unripe. I was told it’s popular in Gopeng, Perak.
It’s a huge one, this durian – 4-6 kilograms.
I got some XO durians instead. It’s the end of the season for XO. I opened 3, and bought two. You can actually return durians you don’t like it after it’s opened. I found one too dry and replaced it. I was a little dubious about the third one and was asked to taste it.
Free tastes are common and even if it doesn’t go into the scales, they don’t actually lose from it. Durian flesh is very light compared to the husk, which is the heavy part. of the durian. XO durians are bitter and it’s one of my default buys. It has loose flesh that slides right off the seed – it’s runny and creamy with medium large seeds and little fiber.
There is said to be an “alcoholic smell” to XO durians. That’s not right, it shouldn’t smell like ethanol, that would indicate fermentation (meaning it’s rotting). It’s more like an aftertaste – it just stays put on a bit longer, a mild alcohol-like lingering note.
Note that this is from an ex-alcoholic with no problems with drinking neat 40% spirits straight from the bottle so my description on this may deviate (quite) far from the norm of the population bell curve especially those who thinks Islay single malts are horrendous.
I was quoted RM 12 / kg as the end of season price (as opposed to RM 8 / kg last week) – asked for RM 10 / kg and got it. I bought 2 durians for 3.2 kilograms total. It got rounded up to 3 kgs so that’s RM 30 for a few pieces. XO is one of the more expensive durian clones.
It’s good though. It’s very bitter and there’s really nothing mystical about this – it’s named XO (after the extra old designation for cognac) but it’s not alcoholic (unless you ferment it). I can best describe it as you having a BITTER aftertaste in your mouth at the back of your tongue even hours after eating it.
XO durian season is over so if you want some late season ones, better get it now. It’s delicious! :)
This is one of the most awesome chocolates I’ve ever had – it’s made of over 80% cocoa, very dark and bittersweet, with a dusting to finish it.
I think a whole bunch of us in Singapore had way too much of these. I know I certainly did, totally ruined my appetite for dinner.
This is pretty good too – it’s a layered chocolate cake and almost impossible to dissect but let me attempt to describe it – it contains layer after layer of moist and fluffy pastry covered with chocolate. I was impressed, it was so light it felt like I was eating mostly air.
Lobster shooters. I liked this one too – awesomely concocted pieces of lobsters with the accompanying sauces and garnishes in one ready-to-drink (eat?) shot.
This were the chocolates that had liquor in it – it’s infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I preferred the original high cocoa content chocolate cubes instead but a lot of others liked these. :)
That just sounds downright dodgy eh? Heh. This photo was taken at around 3 am in the morning. There’s a rather funny story about how we got here from drinks at Orchard Road in Singapore.
…rewind to about 8 hours earlier
I met up with Fiona for dinner – it turns out that she lives quite near my sister’s apartment in Simei. Thus, we met at Eastpoint Mall. She got there about the same time I did and called me saying she doesn’t know if she’s at the right entrance – it’s at the place where there’s a lot of lingerie.
I pretty much knew where that was since I came to the mall the day before with my parents to the supermarket downstairs. :)
Anyway, Fiona is a flight attendant and I’ve known her since her words of encouragement when I was being all emo and shit after the last relationship I was in. I haven’t actually met her though so I only have a vague idea of how she looked like from my Facebook account.
We took a cab to Orchard Road and told the taxi we didn’t have any destination in mind, so he dropped us off somewhere near…er, I can’t actually remember. I know we walked for a bit and checked out the drinking holes around the Peranakan Place area before settling on Alley Bar.
It has the most awesome pork burger ever! It’s called the BBQ Pulled Pork Burger and it’s a juicy and tender mess of 5 hours of smoked pork shoulder smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with a whole jalapeno chili pepper.
Fiona had a bite and she concurred. Actually eating it is a messy affair – it’s like a sloppy joe except it’s not made with minced meat but rather loose meat. It’s the best pork burger I’ve had to date!
We were seated outside at a place simply called Outdoors – Peranakan Place has three distinct areas built around a real Peranakan settlement. Outdoors is the al fresco zone which is a “Designated Smoking Area” (damn Singaporean laws) and there’s also Acid Bar and Alley Bar, which is the main place.
There’s a live band playing – the music is piped to Outdoors for those who’re not inside, loved this cover of Radiohead’s Creep.
I had two pints of Erdinger Beer – there are two, one dark and one white. The “dark” one is Pikantus and the “light” Weissbier. We were eating, drinking and talking and it was around 11:30 pm when the subject somehow changed to pool and Fiona found a place that’s open until 3 am.
We walked down the opposite direction at first before the GPS on her phone told us we’re heading the wrong way so we turned back. The pool place is at Concorde Hotel – somehow that place looks really seedy, it’s full of KTV hostess bars and dodgy characters loitering about who look like they would totally mug you if this was Malaysia instead of Singapore. HAHAHA
It turns out that Fiona is quite good at pool. I wouldn’t say that she kicked my ass but it was a really close thing. Tomatoe tomato.
Speaking of asses, Fiona is left handed, which I didn’t notice until we were playing. I was standing behind her trying to see how she plays. I thought she would think that I was checking out her butt. It turns out that she didn’t, she’s probably used to people ogling at her as cabin crew. :p
See what I did there?
It’s a masterful (wah damn syoik sendiri) way of neither confirming nor denying the statement, just like how Israel’s nuclear ambiguity works, except bombs and butts are two very different things.
Anyway, they don’t sell beer inside, and we were alternately playing pool and 9 ball before I suggested we head to the 7-Eleven outside to get some. It wasn’t a 7-11, it’s a similar concept called Cheers (how apt) and I told her to just scull the 500 ml can before we head inside. It’s a strong beer at 9% and you don’t exactly drink it for the taste.
Look at Fiona’s apprehensive face! ;)
I think we spent more than the 5 minutes we told the pool hall clerk we’ll be away outside, downing that beer and smoking in the rather unusual backdrop of closed shops, dark segments and KTV bars.
We went and played until it was nearly three before heading out for more beer. This time we brought it inside using Fiona’s bag, and using the same to discreetly conceal the two cans by putting it behind and out of sight. That was the first picture. Smart.
The place was supposed to close at 3 am but we were still playing so the clerk started cleaning up. I don’t think he cared about the alcohol anyway, we were the only customers in there at the time. Thanks for the beers Fiona! :)
It was 4:30 am when we finally shared a cab home. I could only spare one night coz I’m here for my mom so I only went out once. I had a lot of fun, one of the more memorable night outs in a long time despite only getting two hours of sleep two nights in a row to wake up for church. Say hi to Fiona if you see her while flying!
Glenfiddich is one of the most common single malt Scotch whisky there is out there. I believe I read somewhere that every 1 in 3 bottles of single malt sold is a Glenfiddich. However, just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it automatically isn’t good.
I *struggled* to choke that sentence out. I’m a huge Macallan fan, quite loyal to it since it was my very first single malt Scotch and I had it at a very special time.
Glenfiddich Solera Reserve can be had for around RM 245 – 285. There’s this promotional gift box that comes with a 700 ml bottle, a 30 ml miniature and a tumbler. The 15 year old is generally accepted to be a benchmark of sorts and has one of the best price-performance ratios. I first had it in 2006 and wrote about the Glenfiddich Solera Reserve which I got to celebrate a pay raise.
Special pigs in special blankets (RM 24)
The suggestive presentation is intentional. Heh. These are spiced oxfords wrapped in parma ham. Parma ham is a slow dry cured ham from Italy – it takes 12 months to complete and is served uncooked. The result is a sweet slice of heaven with a heavy pork fat aftertaste.
Asparagus under prosciutto (RM 22)
The steamed and buttered asparagus gives a little balance to the food pyramid. It’s quite refreshing after all the pork dishes and asparagus is one of the few vegetables I actually like.
Angels in parma (RM 32)
I love oysters and I love Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham). What could go wrong with a combination of the both? It’s delicious and the spicy sambal on top provides a fusion twist! I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to oysters – I still prefer it au naturale but this is horizon expanding stuff.
Peaches ‘n’ parma (RM 22)
This is a brilliant implementation that wraps parma ham around fresh peaches before grilling it. The sweet peach juices provides a nice contrast to the savory parma ham. It’s my personal favorite from the appetizers menu.
Racks of Ruin
These shooters comes in a rack of 12 for RM 200 and is also the part of the namesake of the restaurant (in addition to racks of pork).
This Shock and Awe shooter is made with vodka, tequila, Jack Daniels and…Tabasco sauce. The last ingredient will leave mere mortals gasping for breath. It’s one of the stronger shooters and it makes sense to put in Tabasco sauce as it masks the copious amounts of alcohol well.
Test Tube Babies
Vodka, peach schnapps and a dash of cranberry. This is to extinguish the fire caused by The Molotov. It’s sweet and a more traditional shooter.
The mix of Midori melon, pineapple juice, vodka and run is positively delicious. I think of it as a holiday drink, something to sip while lounging by the beaches.
Cut, pickles, jams, mustard and bread (RM 54)
This is a selection of cold cuts with jams and breads (all made in-house). I like the freshly baked bread – it goes very well with their apple-chilli jam and the slivers of cheese and cold cuts provides the savory twist to the sweet jam slathered bread.
Racks pork burger (RM 28)
Nestled among the buns is a 7 oz juicy home-made patty. The pork patty is juicy and tender, one of the best pork burgers I’ve ever had. Don’t be fooled by the deceptively simple presentation – this is great stuff. The burger has the works, the only beef () I have with it is crispy bacon. I’m a soggy bacon kinda guy but I’m sure they’ll switch it if you ask.
Racks big BAD sandwich (RM 26)
The BAD stands for bacon, avocado and dried tomatoes. The fascinating thing about Racks is that they use their own oven to dry the tomatoes – it’s not something you get off-the-shelf and it shows in the taste. I found the bread a bit too much though but that may be coz I’ve been eating a lot of it in the previous dishes.
Hot & Spicy Pork Ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack)
The piece de resistance. It reminds me of this pizza place near my campus when I was studying in Melbourne. They make the best hot and spicy pork ribs ever and I’ve struggled to find an equally good one since. This fits the bill. It’s really something you can get your hands into – a sticky, messy but delicious eating experience.
Sweet & Sticky Pork Ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack)
This is my favorite dish of the night. It’s the marmalade glaze and scallions that sold it for me. The pork ribs at Racks are slow braised and glazed on the spit for six hours and it shows – the meat literally falls of the bone and melts in your mouth. This comes highly recommended from me – the sweet marmalade sauce complements the pork ribs nicely.
Racks Bar and Baby Backs will be coming up with more varieties of pork ribs in the future. I can’t wait to try it – the Sweet & Sticky pork ribs had me craving for more. Thanks for the invite Winnie, Shu Min and Paul! They also have an an all-you-can-drink apple martini breakfast on weekends – just add on RM 48 for free flow drinks. I like how Racks makes their dishes to order and most of the ingredients are made in-house too.
Racks is located beside Finnegan’s on Changkat Bukit Bintang.
What makes people evil? What is evil? Does “evil” merely mean “different” e.g. beyond the norms of what society (which obviously means the majority) expects a person to behave? Or do you think there is a gene that causes pure evil to manifest?
One of my favorite phrases is the one that go “True evil is defined by the antipathy of the common man to society’s ills”.
Well, I’m not about to go into a religious or philosophical debate but I’ve always been fascinated by the Italian/Sicilian Mafia in the glory days. They were villains, but somehow, gentlemanly villains. They were suave, dressed well and offers you…well, offers you can’t refuse. ;)
The omerta (code of silence) is a fascinating thing, sociologically speaking – it worked until the Mafia started to get into the narcotics trade which carries a far heavier sentence. I reckon the RICO act was the death of organized crime as it is.
I just came back from Australia where I went to the renowned Casino Beef Week 2011 in Casino, New South Wales. Casino as in the small rural Australian town, not the place where people wager hard earned money on. Anyway, the theme for this year was simply “Italian” and a lot of the residents came out dressed like Mafiosi.
I reckon the Mafia is the gold standard in villainy – a lot of people aspire to be like them (at least the ones who are still in their teens anyway ;)) but you have to hand it to them – it is an impressive organization.
However, there are much cooler villains – like the ones in DC comics. I have to say my favorite has gotta be Joker from Batman Begins. Who would have thought “Why so serious?” would become a catchphrase for ages and psychopathic (or at least sociopathic) behavior has become the embodiment of cool?
Who is your favorite super villain?
I’m asking coz there’s an awesome party coming up and you will get to dress as your favorite super villain!
Encore is back the themed event Super Villains where you get to test out 4 new signature cocktails (Captain Jack, Juggernaut, Lady Luck & Red Sonja) priced at RM 17 each (or two for RM 30). There will be only 100 of these to be served during the night.
You can also mix you own cocktails and after 11 pm, there will be 4 hot dancers to spice up the night. Super Villains will be the theme of the night so expect dressed your favorite villains to make an appearance serving you.
HORECA throws great parties; I’ve always attended all their events. In the spirit of the subject of villainy, let’s hear your thoughts on the Scared Pose Look (TM) that we thought up while we were down under.
Who do you think has the best scared pose? It’s the same set and setting, at an apartment we were staying at in Byron Bay:
Model #1: Ringo
Model #2: Alycia
Choose one and tell me why you think they have the most scared pose and I’ll give 2 free drink vouchers each for the 5 most creative comments. Just comment before 4 pm on 1st June!
I also have extra drink vouchers so if you bump into me there, tell me to buy you one of their signature cocktails…that is, if I haven’t already used it myself. ;) Come and have a blast with us this 1st of June. I’ve just got one question for you…
It was a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon – my girlfriend just came over to work in KL the night before and we stayed up late to unpack. By the time we hit the sack it was already dawn. We slept in and the clock blinked 2:00 PM when we woke up. I was famished!
The problem with finding food at 3 pm in the afternoon (after showering and all) is that a lot of places are closed for lunch, and dinner hasn’t started yet. It’s the period of limbo between the two main meals of the day when most places just hunker down to weather out the heat.
I decided to bring her to Island Cafe in SS2. It’s one of those HK style restaurants which offers everything from lamb chops to fried noodles and peanut butter toast in between. It’s open at odd hours, it’s near to my place and they serve beer. In my books, that makes it a great place. :)
Nothing beats a cold bottle of beer on a hot afternoon to go with your lunch.
I ordered my usual – Pumpkin Cheese Baked Rice with Pork (RM 16.90). I love this dish coz it’s slightly different from the regular run-of-the-mill cheese baked rice other places offer – it’s baked and served in an actual pumpkin.
I love pumpkin – it’s an acquired taste, I hear, coz a lot of people don’t like it. It’s sweet and the Pumpkin Cheese Baked Rice is made in such a way that the sweetness of the pumpkin is infused into the rice. It’s topped with two pork chops and melted cheese. You can even eat the pumpkin flesh if you dig into it with a spoon – the “bowl” is a real pumpkin.
I noticed that Island Cafe has Kilkenny in bottles. I didn’t know they serve Kilkenny over here! I usually drink Kilkenny draft from pubs. I thought it would be nice to get a bottle to go with my lunch, considering the heat.
Jeanie had the Bamboo Rice (RM 15.90) which is basically fried rice served in a bamboo container with chicken wings on the side. However, it tastes surprisingly good with Kilkenny. I like experimenting food pairings with beer. It’s more common with wine but the more flavorful beers like Kilkenny goes well with certain dishes too!
Jeanie also had a glass of the Irish beer with her rice. She thought it was rather unusual but novel to drink Kilkenny outside of a bar. She loves Kilkenny too but like me, her experience is limited to bars. I just found out that it was only recently that Kilkenny produced bottles for sale in certain modern food courts, cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars that does not already serve Kilkenny Draught.
I think it’s great! The taste is pretty similar (although Kilkenny on tap tastes a bit smoother) and it’s nice to have the option of ordering an ale instead of the usual lagers while out eating local food.
I reckon it beats the hell out of the Mango Snow Ice (RM 8.50+) Jeanie had for dessert. I’ll prefer another bottle of Kilkenny as dessert. ;)
There’s nothing better than an icy cold, sweating bottle of Kilkenny in your hand while eating a long lunch during weekends. It’s good to see it come out of the pubs and into modern food courts, cafes and restaurants so that I can drink it when I crave for local food. :)
Lainey is not a beer drinker. She’s a liquor and wine kinda person. I have drinks with the bff regularly and the only thing even close to a fermented drink she’ll have is a Snakebite (Strongbow cider with beer – half and half).
I personally like my beer. I used to read Beer Connoisseur and I suspect it’s the magazine that made me a bit of an arrogant drinker. I started drinking bocks and ales right off the bat just to appear more sophisticated. Heh!
…but you know, it really grows on you. I started to appreciate the taste and complex flavors that goes into a fine ale.
Anyway, whenever I go out drinking with Lainey she’ll be drinking something other than beer. It was decided that last Friday’s watering hole would be Jarrod & Rawlins in Damansara Heights. She works in that area and I live in Damansara Heights but I don’t think we’ve ever been here together.
We usually go to watering holes in MidValley or TTDI so we headed somewhere different this time. I love Jarrod & Rawlins coz it’s a nice and chill place (and it’s very close to where I live – I could even walk home if I was so inclined). I also like the food there and their toilets are awesome.
Yes, their toilets. I know a lot of places have air conditioned toilets but where else have you seen a self contained unit inside the toilet? Not many places right?
It’s awesome. You can take a dump in peace in a place like this. Comfort max.
It sounds a bit wrong to segue back into food after that bit about water closets but I’ll do it anyway. ;) I’ve already eaten so we shared a plate of stew and mash. It was then that I noticed they have a lot of tent cards on the tables promoting Newcastle Brown Ale for RM 19.
I have fond memories of my two recent trips to England so I ordered one to try. I ended up drinking 3 bottles. Heh! It is really good. It has been around since 1927 – an unconventional ale brewed by Colonel Jim Porter in (you guessed it) Newcastle, England. He was looking to make a unique ale that’s full flavored yet easy to drink.
An ale is a man’s drink, I’ll like to think. I had a lot of ale when I went to England. They really take pride in their beer over there. It’s a lot harder for new and young drinkers to palate since they tend to gravitate towards the lighter lagers. However, Newcastle Brown Ale bucks the trend by being smooth and easy to drink.
Predictably, Lainey won’t drink the Newcastle Brown Ale. I insisted she try it – I told her to forget all the preconceived notions of beer she has and just sip it like a “blind taste test”. She did it for me, although I could tell she didn’t want to. If you know her, you’ll know she doesn’t drink beer.
I was half expecting her to spit it out or even grimace but surprisingly she had some good things to say about it.
Lainey’s take on it: “It’s a lot smoother than beer, goes down a lot better and it doesn’t have a weird aftertaste.”
Now, if you know Lainey that is VERY HIGH PRAISE indeed since she doesn’t even like light lager…and Newcastle Brown Ale is (obviously) an ale.
Beer is serious business to the British. The Newcastle Brown Ale available here comes in bottles, and contrary to popular belief, you can bottle an ale and have it taste like draft beer too. There’s this ale called Kings Table Real Ale that’s only available in the Tower of London. It tastes just as good and fresh as the ales in local pubs.
I like the fact that Newcastle Brown Ale doesn’t have carbonation – it’s an authentic ale. The ales and beers in England doesn’t have carbonation too – it’s pulled from a pump like device – at least the local brews are.
It tastes real smooth and it reminds me a lot of England…sitting down with a pint and just relaxing. Newcastle Brown Ale will appeal to both new drinkers and the more sophisticated beer lovers – it’s easy drinkability will appeal to the younger crowd while the full body and flavor will find affinity with ale purists.
Newcastle Brown Ale comes in a 330 ml bottle with an accompanying glass and pours well with a golden honey color topped with a puffy white head. It’s 4.7% which is lower than what regular drinks over here weighs in at but about the same as British standard drinks.
I found it slightly sweet and I love the caramel aftertaste too. Just drinking one allows me to revisit the nice memories of going into a local pub in England and drinking a pint of ale…while in KL.
Try pairing Newcastle Brown Ale with cheeses, olives and deli meats like salami – all available at Jarrod & Rawlins. This ale also complements dishes like smoked salmon.
It truly deserves the title of The One and Only. I just wish it comes in a larger pint sized bottle coz I’m used to drinking pints instead of half pints. :)
I’ve never tried British mulled wine before and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. It seems rather hard to find, despite it being winter when I was there but I finally managed to track it down.
Mulled wine is red wine with spices like cinnamon added and served warm. It comes out of a pot – the glass of wine is filled by ladling the hot mulled wine into it.
The taste is quite extraordinary – the warm drink makes it perfect for sipping and the sugar and cinnamon tones makes it very palatable indeed…even for non-drinkers. It’s awesomeness in a glass during the cold days of winter! :)
It’s that time of the year again! The time where shopping malls are decked out with Christmas decorations and refrains of Hark the Herald Angels Sing echo through the centralized speakers. My friend Mel dropped by KL this weekend and we decided to have dinner at Finnegan’s.
I bumped into Jolene there who sagely commented that I always seem to have a beer in my hand whenever she sees me. Heh! It’s true, I’ve grown quite fond of Kilkenny lately and they have a RM 50 for 3 pints promotion going on in some outlets.
Dubbed the Cream of Irish Beers, Kilkenny has an interesting history – it didn’t originate from a traditional brewery but from the holy cellars (I presume) of St. Francis Abbey in the 14th century. Put simply, it was Franciscan monks who started making this particular beer.
Kilkenny is an Irish cream ale that’s smooth and rich – qualities which I rate highly. I’m a huge fan full bodied beers and stouts. It’s perfect for the festive season, although we don’t get very cold weather over here.
We shared a stew, open sandwiches, and a pork knuckle which nearly killed us (too much food for two people). I guess overeating is also part of the festive ritual.
Kilkenny promotions are available at selected outlets throughout the country. I’m going to try my hand at “Cooking with Kilkenny” (has a nice ring to it, eh?) next! I plan to use Kilkenny in a recipe to see how it goes.
Find out more about Kilkenny here. I have a feeling this beer is going to be big in the coming years! You can get it at most Irish pubs (Finnegan’s, Delaney’s, Malone’s) and it’s also available at on tap in WIP, Sid’s, Royal Oak, Bulldog, Laundry and Jarrod and Rawlins. Here’s to more festive seasons with Kilkenny!