five star durian

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.

xo durians

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.

xo durian flesh

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.

durian xo

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.

durians xo

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. smirk

xo durian

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.

xo seed

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! :)

chocolate cubes

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.

chocolate cocoa

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.

hors d oeuvre

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 shots

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.

liquor chocolates

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. :)

glenfiddich solera reserve

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 15 solera reserve gift box

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.

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whisky durian

Oh, I nearly forgot this photo.

trollface

oktoberfest

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! It’s like Christmas for adults. It’s…Oktoberfest!

Okay, maybe that sounded a bit anti-climactic considering it’s the title, but still, it’s great beer, good food, awesome fun – what else do you need to have a blast? It’s a celebration of the amber fluid that unites! :)

oktoberfest girls

Malaysia throws a damned good Oktoberfest bash every year! I make it a point to join in the celebrations each time, soaking up the food, fellowship, and of course, the suds.

oktoberfest group

There are events going on all over Malaysia. Check out the listings here. Here’s just a couple of them.

Camberwell Club (Bukit Damansara)
17 October

Jarrod & Rawlins (Bukit Damansara)
D’ Fortune Club (Dataran Menteri)
18 October

Laundry (Curve)
Lava Restaurant & Bar (Kota Kinabalu)
19 October

QE II (Penang)
Oktoberfest Special (Changkat Bukit Bintang)
20 October

Golden Sands Resort (Penang)
The King’s Arms (Kuching)
21 October

Cold Storage (Gurney Plaza)
Terminal One (Kuching)
Havana Café (Kuching)
22 October

Ming Cafe (Miri)
23 October

Deutches Gasthaus 5 (Bandar Manjalara, Kepong)
Mewah Club (Klang)
24 October

Switch (Kota Damansara)
Neptune Club (Petaling Jaya)
25 October

Odeon Club (Kepong Baru)
27 October

Regalia Ritz (Sibu)
KGK Annex Club (Kota Kinabalu)
28 October

KK Waterfront (Kota Kinabalu)
29 October

There also will be a Bavarian style Oompah band playing. The video above shows the celebrations during Oktoberfest last year, this time Die Dorf Fest Kapelle will be performing for the night!

oktoberfest 1 liter mug

The HUGE 1 Liter Oktoberfest Mug that everyone wants will be making a return as well – this time with special Oktoberfest 2011 embossing. I remember collecting all the limited bar editions and the generic ones last year – I still have it! :)

paulaner oktoberfest bier

I am also truly excited about sampling the exclusive Oktoberfest beers like Hopf Ice (and others like Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier and 111 Zwickl). Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier is a special brew for Oktoberfest that weighs in at a slightly higher 6% alcohol and I’ve been hearing lots of good things about it.

Enjoy happy hour all night long for any of these draught beers:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Guinness
  • Heineken
  • Kilkenny
  • Strongbow
  • Paulaner

kilkenny

It’s all on draft, at happy hour prices, all night long! :D

penang

However, one thing that I’m doing a wee bit out of the norm this year is to head up to Penang to party! w00t!

Why Penang, you ask?

guinness

Why not? I love the place, it’s the food capital of Malaysia! I can head out for a nice plate of char kueh tiaw (with extra blood cockles, and oh, a duck egg on top) to soak up the nights’ drinking before going for another round the next day!

qeii

I’ll be drinking by the beach in our very own Pearl of the Orient in a next week! I’m celebrating Oktoberfest at QEII (20th Oct) and Golden Sands Resort at Batu Feringgi Beach (21st Oct). Come and join the Oktoberfest celebrations at various places around the country! Check the Oktoberfest FB page for the full listing.

paulaner

I can’t wait to try the exclusive Oktoberfest beers! Oktoberfest in Malaysia has come a long, long way and you’ll feel like you’re in Munich with all the beer, German expatriates and the oompah band playing in the background.

oompah

Where will you be celebrating Oktoberfest this year? :)

oktoberfest arch

O’ zapft is!

oktoberfest band

The legendary festival in Munich, which is a celebration of the amber fluid in Bavaria, Germany is originally not about beer at all. The first Oktoberfest was a sombre (I think la, I wasn’t there since I wasn’t born yet) affair to commemorate the union of two royalty whose names are now relegated to the annals of Wikipedia (and historians).

However, it soon grew to become the beer festival we all know and love today! =D

oktoberfest tattoo

Oktoberfest was relatively obscure except to the ones who had more exposure but in recent years it has come to Malaysia and in a big way too!

It is not just about beer (although that is a main and important part of Oktoberfest) but the celebration of life! It has been a custom that Oktoberfest starts with a 12 gun salute and the tapping of the first beer keg to be presented to the Mayor.

oktoberfest us

Oktoberfest is all about entertainment, beer and more beer and I’m glad to see that happen in Malaysia now (so I don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to experience it).

I went to Souled Out for the first Oktoberfest celebration by GAB in Malaysia and it is a celebration that I’m proud to be part of – faithful to the Oktoberfest experience in Munich.

The best thing about Oktoberfest in Malaysia is that they have Paulaner! =D

oktoberfest paulaner

If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 6 years, Paulaner is the #1 German wheat beer in Malaysia and it’s all imported in all the way from…MUNICH!

Yes, the birthplace of Oktoberfest! It’s also one of the official beers of Oktoberfest.

oktoberfest german food

I’ve had Paulaner a number of times during Oktoberfest and the best part about it is the taste. If you’re a beer connoisseur, you’ll appreciate this brew – it’s not meant for the mainstream drinkers, but the more premium and discerning consumers.

oktoberfest food

The Oktoberfest event that I went to also had Munich inspired food which is always a good thing. Gotta line your stomach lest you become a bierleichen. There were sausages, pretzels and German food on offer – perfect to recreate the Oktoberfest experience.

I’m glad I managed to drink a real Munich produced beer during Oktoberfest in Malaysia.

oktoberfest jestina

Paulaner is an ale so if you’re a common Joe lager drinking person, it’s an acquired taste. I love ales since I’ve been studying abroad since I was 15 so I can appreciate a good one. Beer aficionados take note, Paulaner is going to be the next big thing!

oktoberfest girls

That’s the highest accolade I give to a beer. :)

angela beer

Sharing 5 pints in the afternoon…

angela flaming

…and having a Flaming Lamborghini at night. :)

138

13.8% alcohol. I stared at it in the 24 hour convenience store. I was getting some detergent after a late night at work and thought to myself: “Hmm…I don’t mind getting shitfaced tonight, since it’s a Friday and it’ll be a reward for the long hours I pulled the past two days”. It is the highest proof alcohol I’ve ever seen in a readily available beer – it’s actually “more than 13.8%”.

I opened the can, gulped down a few mouthfuls, grimaced and looked at the label. Made in GuangZhou, China. It tastes like rice wine mixed with beer. It doesn’t even have carbonation! Rice wine in China can be in excess of 40% alcohol with a few renowned brands weighing in at an impressive 70-80%. 95% alcohol is the highest proof alcohol possible in non-laboratory conditions before the ethanol starts to re-dilute itself from the moisture in the atmosphere back to 95%.

I’m talking crap. I drank without eating dinner. Supper beckons.

beer 5l 1

This is the (in)famous Hoegaarden 5 liter glass of beer available at Brussels Beer Café. It’s so huge, it takes no small amount of effort to even lift it. The size and girth of this “glass” is staggering! It holds 5 liters of the good stuff and it made me wonder…

beer 5l 2

…can a person drink (scull) 5 liters of beer?

beer 5l 3

I’ll just preempt you by saying it’s possible, but not recommended. You’ll live to regret it. :p

TGIF people! w00t! It’s been a super long week for me since I’ve been working my ass off. I’m thinking about paying homage to the 5 liters of goodness after work. ;)

absolut pears

I managed to get a 1 liter bottle of Absolut Pears for RM 43 thanks to Charlz. Her friend was in Langkawi and managed to bring back one bottle for me, which she passed to me just now. BTW, the beverage on her desk is guava juice – note that the seal to the Absolut Pears is intact. ;)

Charlz, we put it to Good Use (TM). =D

In sleep he sang to me
In dreams he came
That voice that calls to me and speaks my name
…and do I dream again for now I find
The Phantom of the Opera is there
Inside my mind

Sing once again with me
Our strange duet
My power over you grows stronger yet
…and though you turn from me to glance behind
The Phantom of the Opera is here
Inside your mind

I was browsing through my dSLR, looking at the photos taken last Saturday night and I noticed a very disturbing thing…

shalome montage

I remember most of the photos I’ve taken that night. However, there were a series of photos of Yiling drinking a full jug of water that I did not remember taking.

yiling scull

There were 32 photos in all – burst mode. I thought it was someone using my dSLR since I was pretty messed up by 10:30 pm so I checked the time on the photos.

12:01 AM.

It must be someone else since I don’t remember anything from 10:30 pm onwards so I assumed I passed out…

…but wait!

shalome mem loss

There’s a photo of me. The timestamp says 12:14 AM. I was apparently still awake (though the definition of “awake” is used very liberally here) then. I can’t for the life of me remember anything from 10:30 pm till 3 am in the morning.

shalome blackjack

I know I got home at 3:30 am and I must have survived the drive since I’m writing this and there are no dents or scratches on my car so I assume I didn’t run into anybody or anything. I can’t even remember driving home! Dahsyat-nya

I need someone to F5 my memory from that night. I have been through this before, and during episodes of ethanol induced amnesia I usually end up behaving very badly.worries

Oh well, to my credit, I haven’t drank a single drop since that night.

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