Naughty Nuri’s Ribs Master Challenge 2019

Cute-Esther

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love food. I relish scarfing down obscene quantities of grub at blazing speed. I have dabbled in the profane arts of competitive eating but I didn’t like how I couldn’t enjoy the taste if I had to stuff it down methodically. However, I do enjoy participating in food related competitions to see how I stack up against others. I’m a very fast eater.

HB-Eat

I also don’t mind eating for an audience, as my many Facebook live mukbangs will attest to. I revel in the interactive experience and pigging out in front of people doesn’t bother me. I will smack my lips and gobble my food with no shame. Thus, when I heard about the Ribs Master Challenge 2019, I knew I had to compete. You’re timed on how fast you can devour Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs and the fastest one in their outlet gets it for free!

Contestants

I went at it with several other bloggers and I’m proud to report that I’m the fastest one that night. I clocked in at a respectable 2 minutes 15 seconds. The fastest in the outlet was 1 minute 3 seconds and I needed to be under 1 minute 37 seconds to get into the Top 5 and the scoreboard. I’m quite sure I can do it. I was eating at a slower speed since I wanted to savor the ribs and let the delicious sauce dance on my tongue. I can be a lot faster if I just focus on getting the meat down.

TV

Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs are the most delicious ribs I’ve had in Malaysia. No joke. They’re so tender it falls of the bone with the slightest touch. I think it might even slide off if you look at it hard enough. The sauce is sweet and yummy too! It’s the reason I wanted to appreciate the flavors during my ribs challenge instead of smashing it at top speed.

Signature-Roast-Pork-Salad

We also had a few other dishes that night like Signature Roast Pork Salad.

Naughty-Nuri-Pork-Ribs

Naughty Nuri’s Signature Pork Ribs.

Indonesian-Nasi-Goreng

Indonesian Style Nasi Goreng.

Naughty-Nuri-Satay-Lilit

Naughty Nuri’s BBQ Satay Lilit.

Sizzling-Bacon-Chocolate-Cake

Mt. Buleleng Inspired Sizzling Bacon Cake.

Ribs-Master

…but nothing beats the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s. They’re delectable! My mouth is watering just thinking about them now. I’m really tempted by the Ribs Master Challenge prize of 1 year of free ribs. You can participate in any of the Naughty Nuri’s outlets at Atria, SS15 Courtyard, Life Center and Desa Sri Hartamas. The fastest person at each outlet will get their ribs free and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th will get 50% off. There will be a showdown after the 1st September to 30th November 2018 challenge period where the fastest in each outlet battle for 1 year of free ribs.

Bloggers

I’ll definitely go and try again.

Limited release festival beer Tiger Amber Lager @ The Great Brew Fest 2018

Tiger-Amber-Lager

I was chuffed to get an invite to the launch of The Great Brew Fest. I have not been active in the blogging scene for years and I half thought the summon was sent out in error. I’ve heard whisperings of a limited-release exclusive festival beer this year, and I was keen to try it. The Great Brew Fest is Heineken Malaysia’s ode to Oktoberfest and it’ll be a month-long celebration of the amber fluid.

HB

The event to kick things off was held at Souled Out. Heineken Malaysia’s portfolio of brews were on free flow and I indulged in a few I don’t usually drink like Strongbow Original Dry, which is a wonderfully dry cider. The ultra sweet ciders in the Malaysian market are not my favorite so this really hit the spot. I’m usually more of a Guinness type of person but I enjoy partaking in different brews.

Informative-Wall

There were a lot of fun activations like this informative interactive wall display which explains how beer is brewed.

Quiz

Promoter girls went around for an impromptu quiz session where you can win coupons for a complimentary pint or bottle.

Ee-Laine

The limited-release festival beer is Tiger Amber Lager. This is the first ever locally brewed amber lager and Heineken Malaysia came out with this for The Great Brew Fest. It’s 5% alcohol and it tastes very flavorful.

Heineken-Malaysia

I enjoyed the fruity notes, malty sweetness and deep flavors. Some people didn’t like it but I loved it. It’s not as refreshing as lager, but it’s way tastier. It’s a cross between Paulaner/Kilkenny and Tiger White.

Wings

It’s perfect with food! People like to pair Tiger beer with Asian food and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel it washes out the flavors of food instead of complementing it. I’m a bit of a food geek and it is my nerdy opinion that Tiger Amber Lager would go better with certain food. The fruity malt notes would be a smashing companion to most ingredients.

Tiger-Amber

Heineken Malaysia even set up a bus for people to pop in and get a free sampler of Tiger Amber Lager.

Selfie

This is a semi-related selfie that I took because I found this promoter girl arrestingly beautiful.

Brewfest-Mugs

Moving on, another highlight of the night was the introduction of The Great Brew Fest 2018 limited edition designer mugs. There are five (5) in total – one each for Apple Fox, Tiger, Guinness, Paulaner and Kirin Ichiban. Each mug is done by one designer, from CLOAKWORK (who is a graffiti artist) to Lynda of Pink Tattoos. I’ve heard a lot about her and one of my colleagues even has a tattoo by her.

Apple-Fox

I got the red Apple Fox x CLOAKWORK one. Pretty cool! You can get one by visiting one of the participating outlets. There’s also a MugShot Contest where you can win a bucket of beer! More details and list of outlets at The Great Brew Fest Facebook page.

Exclusive-Brewfest-Mugs

Tiger Amber Lager is only going to be available for a limited time so check it out at participating outlets during The Great Brew Fest. I personally enjoyed it a lot and will be redeeming the two complimentary coupons I won for Tiger Amber Lager. Part of my enthusiasm is undoubtedly due to my affinity for limited runs but it really tastes good too!

MIGF Macanese Cuisine Menu @ Samplings on the Fourteen

Samplings-on-the-Fourteeth

My famous Instagram personality/healthy living influencer/TV host friend Soo Yin extended an invite to a food tasting at Samplings on the Fourteen. This restaurant is a mere 4 monorail stops away from my office so I dropped by after work to check out their MIGF menu. MIGF is the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival. The festival was a huge deal in 2003 when I was a fresh grad working in KL. I would check out the participating restaurants with my meager salary at the time and most of the offerings were good. However, the inclusion criteria seem to have changed – there’s a few additions I wouldn’t think of as fine dining and the same few faces from Genting has an oversized presence.

HB-SooYin

That doesn’t mean they’re all duds though. The well regarded nadodi is one of the restaurants in MIGF 2018. I’ve also been hearing tons of positive things about the progressive gen in Penang. I haven’t dined at either, my experience tend to lean towards the Michelin Guide. I admit, I’m a Michelin star chaser and I’ve dined at world class Michelin starred restaurants in Paris, Hokkaido and more recently, Bangkok. I really enjoyed the dinner I had in The Lab at Gaggan two weeks ago. That said, there are very few places in Malaysia which I would consider world class restaurants.

This is the Light Macanese Cuisine Menu (RM 178 nett) offered by Samplings on the Fourteen. The Full Macanese Cuisine Menu is the same thing but with two glasses of wine pairing at RM 208 nett.

Portuguese-Squid-Salad

The appetizer was Portuguese Squid Salad, which was a cold dish of squid with a few brushed sauces. I detected a rather fishy smell emanating from the cephalopod and the sauces were not very intense. I didn’t think they added much to the dish. It’s not my favorite thing.

Potato-Kale-Soup

The soup course which featured Potato Kale Soup was better. It’s rich and has bits of crunchy elements and something which tastes like pork (though I’m told this is a pork free restaurant so it’s probably turkey ham). Decent.

Macau-Garlic-Prawn

The entrée of Macau Garlic Prawn was my favorite dish of the night. The prawns were cooked well and the garlic chips were excellent. I also liked the mash/puree served on the side – the flavors go swimmingly with the garlicky prawns. Good stuff.

Grilled-Fillet-of-Marble-7-Wagyu-Tenderloin

We were given a choice of two mains and I got to sample both of them since myself and Soo Yin ordered a different one each. I went for the Grilled Fillet of Marble 7 Wagyu Tenderloin. Unfortunately, the waiter who took my order did not ask me my preferred doneness so it came out medium. I usually go for blue or rare. I honestly wouldn’t have rated this as an M7 wagyu. To be fair, this is probably Australian wagyu, not the excellent marbled breeds from Japan (a steak of this size would cost much more than the price of dinner alone). However, this dish came across as one dimensional and flat due to the minimalist seasoning. This can only be pulled off if the meat is of exceptional quality and it’s not. I was hoping the pink lotus root would have been pickled more – adding an acidic touch to this dish would have saved it. I have had two excellent steaks in the past fortnight, once at Gaggan and another time at Upstairs at Mikkeler. But lest you think I’m a food snob (that’s totally not me if you have me on Facebook), I honestly think a dedicated local steakhouse like TTDI Meat Point would be a better bet if you like steak. Their chimichurri sauce is excellent.

Confit-of-Soon-Hock

The other main was Confit of Soon Hock. I like this one better. The fish was cooked decently and flakes off well. I thought the portion was a little too small to be a main but maybe that’s an internal food cost calculation thing. I would go for this over the beef. The addition of potato balls (?) was a bit curious though. I did not think it added to the dish and the texture doesn’t go very well since both are soft.

Serradura

Dessert was Serradura/Macarons. This was spelled as macaroons in the menu and all MIGF literature. That annoys me more than it should. They’re two different things. Macarons (the French meringue confectionary) should be spelled with a single o. I know some inclusive, vegan, body positive liberals have started saying both spellings are correct if you prefix it with “French” e.g. French macaroon but since there’s already a coconut biscuit called macaroon and the French spell it macaron, why would you invite confusion?

Mini rant aside though, the serradura was excellent. I had to convince Soo Yin to eat it coz it was so good. I love the malty biscuit dust – it reminds me of all the Marie biscuits I ate as a kid and goes very well with the whipped cream. Asians love textural play in their food and this checks all the boxes. Bonus points for also not being too sweet. However, the macarons that came with this dish was overly sweet.

Fourteenth-View

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a food review. I did enjoy talking to my fellow bloggers during the night. I had fun. The food wasn’t the best, if I were to be honest, but there were some highlights in the menu – the excellent shrimp entrée and the serradura were my favorites.

Cons:
Macarons is spelled with one ‘o’. Macaroons (with two o’s) is a different type of biscuit made with coconut
Food wasn’t very impressive

Pros:
The cute waitress added me on Facebook

Durian appreciation session @ Durian King TTDI

Durian-Sampler

Durian King TTDI partnered up with Fave to do a durian appreciation session last weekend with a flight of different durians. Yes, I’m calling it a flight, an appropriately atas word, like how high end artisanal coffee like to call their samplers “flights”. Hehe. I like the concept though, I believe this is the first time it’s been done in Malaysia.

Fave-Durian

There was a demonstration on how to open durians and how to tell a Musang King apart from the other cultivars. I already know this but I still picked up a few interesting things. Apparently if you hit a durian, it simulates it falling naturally and starts the ripening process. This is supposed to happen in a matter of seconds, so this is why you see some durian sellers smacking the side of a durian with the flat part of their parang before opening it!

D24-Durian-Cendol

The course reminded me of fine dining, and they had nice tablecloths and menus to complete the illusion too. The starter was Durian Cendol, one of the popular items Durian King sells. It’s usually RM 15 for this beauty topped with two D24 durians. I love how they use palm sugar from Sarawak instead of gula Melaka. It’s basically the same thing but we call this “gula apong” back home and it has a nice charred caramelized taste that goes very well with the cendol. Decadent. I’ll be back to eat this again.

Durian-Flight

Then came the selection (flight?) of durians. It’s neatly arranged from mild to intense, so I started out with the Durian Jantung. This is what Chinese call XO durian. It’s pretty good but I was blown away by the next two – one of my favorite cultivars of durian is D2 (Dato Nina) and this was a perfect specimen. Fruity flavors with a fibrous pulp. I also loved the Tekka (what we call chu kiok), it was intensely sweet and creamy. Musang King was the last and the best – very bittersweet and strongly flavored to bring a nice end to things. It’s an excellent way for people to eat a variety of good durian cultivars.

D24-Durian-Ice-Cream

There was also dessert after that, a collaboration between Inside Scoop (who makes ice cream) and Durian King to produce a D24 durian ice cream. It’s delicious! Creamy, cold, with clear notes of the durian shining though. I was actually quite full at this point coz the two girls opposite me couldn’t finish their durians so I helped them wallop it.

Durian-King

Fave is an app which gives you deals and discounts but it also has an epayment option where you can use their FavePay to pay for purchases using your phone. I’ve been using it since I found out about it. They have a wide range of partners but I usually just go to llao llao, Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner 2018

Yee Sang

I had the opportunity to check out Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner and Yee Sang last night. I’ve been in calorie restriction mode for 2 weeks now and I thought a buffet dinner would make the perfect cheat meal. I can eat all I want without worrying about gaining weight. That’s what Chinese New Year is about anyway, right? I might as well start early.

Seafood

I love how they have a wide range of different types of foods. Desserts took up one whole row! There’s also a selection of seafood on ice which I tackled first. There’s scallops, mussels, prawns and also tuna and salmon sashimi to the side (with sushi and maki rolls). I love seafood so this was the ideal appetizer to whet my appetite. Yum.

Lamb

There’s also a lot of cooked foods so I’ll just go over some of my favorites. I liked their roasted lamb, which came with a variety of sauces to choose from. There’s also a station where you can get cooked to order meats and seafoods.

Peking Duck

There was a chef there making sure the Peking Duck has been sliced and wrapped with the thin pancakes (complete with spring onion and sauce) so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Tempoyak Patin

I’m also a huge fan of tempoyak ikan patin, which is a type of fish that’s been stewed in fermented durian. I used to eat a lot of this when I lived in Kota Damansara coz there was an outlet opposite my condo which brought in ikan patin tempoyak from Temerloh. The gravy is super appetizing, spicy, with mild sour notes. This version reminded me of that.

Fried Chilli Crab

The fried chilli crab was awesome too. It’s a different take on chilli crab, which usually comes with a sticky gravy. This is the dry version which keeps the taste but not the mess.

Marmite Prawns

The Marmite Prawns was a huge hit too. It goes very well with the nasi briyani ayam gam they had. Awesome flavor combination. That’s the best part about buffets, you can to create different flavors in your mouth. I love it.

Ulam

In case you were worried about the rich flavors, they also have an ulam (raw vegetable) station to the side. I thought this was a nice touch.

Baskin-Robbins

I was finishing my food when someone told me they also have Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Lo! They have not only one, but two of those ice cream carts filled with various BR flavors. I really love ice cream, especially good ice cream and since this was a buffet, I thought I’ll eat a whole plate of ice cream. Not a small bowl. A stacked dinner plate. I’m just greedy like that. Apparently, this was a lot of ice cream coz my table mates all oohed and aahed and some even took my plate to pose for a photo. I didn’t even think it was a lot! I finished everything you see here AND went back for seconds. Pistachio. Two scoops to finish things off.

Chocolate Fondue

And I still had room after that for dessert. The chocolate fondue had a selection of fruits (including unusual ones like jackfruit) and sweets for you to dip inside the milky chocolate. I liked coating the macarons on a stick and eating several of those.

Kueh

There was also an array of kueh which they’ve created for Chinese New Year.

Pralines

And pralines. You shouldn’t miss these. It’s delicious! The one with the Chinese character is a hazelnut chocolate type praline which I would rate as #1. Coming in a close second is the praline flanking the right, with a beautiful white-red edible cover. It’s a chocolate praline with crunchy bits inside and a hint of orange. Very moorish! I was tempted to tapao a few back.

Chef

We were also treated to a live food preparation by Chef Bustami Osman, the senior sous chef of Impiana KLCC Hotel. He cooked Fried Boneless Chicken with Black Pepper Soy Sauce, one of the signature dishes on the special menu for the CNY buffet in Impiana KLCC Hotel.

Cooking

Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Reunion Buffet is located at its all-day dining restaurant, Tonka Bean Cafe & Deli featuring special delicacies like Jelly Fish with Szechuan Paste and Sesame Seed, Braised Seafood Soup with Crab Roe, Fried Tiger Prawn with Special Soy Sauce, Fried Chilli Crabs, Deep Fried Lotus Paste Pancake. The buffet dinner will start from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm on the 15th February 2018 and is priced at RM 148 nett per person.

Macaron Fondue

Their signature Prosperity Yee Sang is also available from Tonka Bean Cafe & Deli starting from 28th January – 11 February. There are a few selections of yee sang such as Jelly Fish, Soft Shell Crab, Salmon, Abalone and Lobster for 5-10 pax. The yee sang is also available for take away from 12 pm – 10 pm daily.

God of Prosperity

If you’re still craving for Chinese New Year food, Yee Sang Hi-Tea is available on the 16th February 2018 from 12:30 pm – 4 pm. Priced at RM 98 nett per person (adult) and RM 48 nett per person (children), the high tea is inclusive of Jelly Fish Yee Sang and Roasted Duck.

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