Chicago Rib House

We're not exactly lacking in pork goodness in KL these days and Chicago Rib House joins the ranks of porkilicious goodness in Kuala Lumpur with 2 outlets - One Utama and Cheras Leisure Mall while Penang folks have theirs in Gurney Plaza. Girly dinner with Michelle and Kelly some weeks back took place at Chicago Rib House. 

Star Cruise to Phuket & Krabi

The travel bug bites me again and this time around its off on a cruise from Penang to Phuket and Krabi. An interesting 4 days with a bunch of media pals and Datuk Aznil Hj Nawawi who is better known as Pak Nil. Here's a summary of the 4 days on board Star Cruise Superstar Libra with detailed stories coming up soon!

Cape Mentelle Wine Pairing @ Neo Tamarind

There is no denying that I love themed dinners and it includes wine pairing dinners. Being my very first visit to Neo Tamarind, I was clueless as to what to expect except it was a Cape Mentelle wine pairing dinner. 
Walked up a long flight of stairs. I arrived early but I can imagine that it would be quite a romantic walk:D
Thai and Burmese Cuisine! 
Feels a tad mysterious, Australian wines with Thai and Burmese food! My tastebuds are dancing with glee!
I must say I love the warm rustic settings that as soon as I walked into the courtyard.
While the dining room was all elegantly white with warm lightings to match. 
Hello to the 5 bottles of Cape Mentelle wines:
• Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
• Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2011
• Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2010
• Cape Mentelle Shiraz 2011
• Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
A fun and interesting game for us. 4 wines for us to taste and to guess the type of wine. I gave it a try. Did I guess them correctly? The answer is unveiled at the end of this post.
Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 was paired with a selection of canapes:
• Black Ink Risotto with Salmon Roe
• Deep Fried Crisp Calamari Cajun
• Spicy Sauce Angus Beef
• Tomato Bruschetta
Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 is a good start before dinner bearing refreshing citrus with hints of melon and a crisp finish that I thought paired very well with the canapes especially the black ink risotto.

It was 'free seating' and I had no idea that I was placed beside Ashley Wood the viticulturist from Cape Mentelle. Indeed an honour as throughout the dinner, Ashley was kind to share more insights to Cape Mentelle wines and his role as a viticulturist.
Ashley Wood walked us through the different wines from Cape Mentelle. Interestingly, Cape Mentelle’s sister winery is Cloudy Bay in New Zealand. 

Dinner kicks off with Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2011. Cape Mentelle is famed for their chardonnay and I was in for a treat! A pretty straw colour with a refreshing nose of citrus, peaches and vanilla. The nice clean finish certainly makes this a lovely wine that I will love to savour till the end of dinner!
Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2011 was awarded 97 points by the Australian Wine Annual 2013
Pale in colour with juicy flavours and a clean finish.
The Chardonnay was paired with Steamed White Cod with Coconut Herbs Reduction. It would seem that the dish looked pale. However the delicate coconut herbs reduction served well to enhance the delicate flavours of the cod. And when paired with the Chardonnay, we have a delicate balance of juicy flavours and a creamy touch.

Next up was Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2010. This blend is inspired by the classic red wines of Bordeaux is a blend of 44% cabernet sauvignon, 42% merlot, 7% cabernet franc, 6% petit verdot and 1% malbec.
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2010 was rated 96 points by West Australian, Ray Jordan.
This rich ruby red bears juicy berries and currants with hints of aniseed. Slightly smoky on the palate with a medium body and an easy finish to it.
The Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2010 was paired with Roasted Chicken served with Garlic Bulb, Whipped Potato, Apple Sauce and Chicken Jus. Love the roasted chicken which was perfectly executed giving each bite a nice smoky and juicy touch to it.
Interesting to see the garlic bulb being served here and the very first I took of this dish was certainly the tender and flavourful garlic bulb. Would certainly have been a waste to not touch this humble looking spice. Did a little playing of my own and added the tender garlic bulb to the rich and comforting whipped potato. 

We hardly have Shiraz when we dine because the hubster prefers a merlot in general. So the Cape Mentelle Shiraz 2011 was certainly a welcome. 
Cape Mentelle Shiraz 2011 draws inspiration from the Northern Rhone Valley in France.
This Shiraz is good on its own with rich berries and hints of chocolate. Almost full bodied with a nice long spicy finish. The wine is still young as I can imagine that after a few years, it will certainly be a very nice and elegant Shiraz.
Roasted Duck Breast served with Red cabbage Puree and Mustard Sauce is quite an interesting pair with Cape Mentelle Shiraz 2011. Love the colour coordinates:P I always enjoy a good roast duck and this was one of the interesting ones that I have tasted. Served medium, it was slightly chewy on the second slice but it nonetheless it was a beauty when paired with the spiciness of the Shiraz.

The meal at Neo Tamarind has thus proven to be totally delightful especially with the gorgeous Cape Mentelle wines. Sealing the deal was the final wine Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 which was paired with one of my clear favourites for the night Grilled Tenderloin.
There is a lot of raving reviews for this Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 with 98 points being awarded by West Australian, Ray Jordan in March 2012 and Wine Taste, Tyson Stelzer in February 2012. 
One of my fave photos of the night to pay respect to this glorious Cabernet Sauvignon. Full bodied with the richness of blackcurrants, cocoa, aniseed and fine tannins makes this the highlight of the night. 
Grilled Beef Tenderloin served with Eryngii Mushroom, Scallion Oil and Beef Jus is the perfect bold dish to go with the sophisticated Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. No complains as my tenderloin was juicy and medium rare the way I liked it. If I had my way, I would love to have extras of this dish and plenty of the cabernet sauvignon too!

Dinner comes to an end with lots of chatting with Ashley, Eiling and KY. No complains on the brilliant end of Green Tea Crème Brulee which wasn't overly sweet.

And the best dessert! Remember the wine guessing game that I mentioned at the start of the post? Well, this Missy got her wines right and I went home with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012! Brilliant! Congras to KY and Eiling too!
Reasons to smile: A good dinner with the good company of Ashley, KY and Eiling and definitely good  Cape Mentelle wines!
Congras Eiling! Happy hurrayday in Belgium!
Happy boy KY

Certainly a very interesting night of wines and learning about wine making. And I will add that this night has rekindled my love for reds. BTW do ask for Cape Mentelle when you next dine out. You will certainly be thrilled!

Cape Mentelle: 

Neo Tamarind:
19 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur
T: +603 2148 3200

 Love this post? Then do show some love at my FB Page Missyblurkit. The full set of photos from this dinner is available at Cape Mentelle with Ashley Wood

Cider Appreciation Dinner @ Ming Cafe

The recent Borneo Jazz Festival led me to a gastronomic adventure. This time around cider appreciation at Ming Cafe with Strongbow. While the name may seem a tad deceiving, Ming Cafe ranked number 1 in Trip Advisor out of the 36 restaurants that were evaluated in Miri.

This deliciously fun dinner was led by GAB’s Beer Ambassador Keith Nair who walked us through the many interesting aspects of cider.  While many of us are accustomed to having our cider chilled in a glass or the bottle itself, Keith reveals there is more to that. 
There are more ways to enjoy your Strongbow cider. Think beyond chilled bottles of Strongbow!

Strongbow is made from culinary and bitter apples with a rich golden hue to it. Slightly effervescence with the natural sweetness of apple, I love Strongbow during hot days. And I realise that its moderate sweetness and refreshing taste makes it a good drink when chatting with friends. For those who enjoy a good meal, then a meal paired with cider is totally possible as Keith showed us.

Our dining room was all set in a gorgeous warm setup with plenty of glasses set for everyone of us. Definitely akin to a set up during wine appreciation dinners. Am I excited? Super excited would be the correct answer.

3 glasses per person to be precise. Each glass was filled with cider but each at different temperatures. From left to right it is room temperature, chilled and served on ice (my fave style these days).

Its never easy to do pairings with local food especially when our local noms have such a plethora of flavours in every dish. Kudos to Ming Cafe and Keith for being such whiz!

This dish of Pork Lalapan served with vegetables is one of Ming Cafe's signature dishes. I will add that the sambal belacan that is served with this dish is such a memorable item that these days, whenever I taste sambal belacan, my thoughts will always be "I wish I can have Ming Cafe's sambal belacan".
Pork Lalapan is basically grilled pork served with a variety of vegetables which are normally blanched or raw. The grilled pork is good to be eaten on its own. Its gorgeously tasty, crispy on the outside and tender juicy inside. Dip it into the sambal belacan for an interesting twist and kick.
Here, our glass of iced cold Strongbow on ice compliments the saltiness of the grilled pork since the sweetness is now more prominent when colder. For me, Strongbow served in this manner seems to cut through the fat and cleanse my palate. 

Not much of a stingray fan because too often I come across foul tasting ones that seem akin to eating ammonia. Here at Ming's Cafe, its perfect! Our second dish of Grilled Stingray served with Midin (that I often read in Sir Arthur's blog) an indigenous wild fern that is only found in Sarawak. A little similar to our sayur pakis in West Malaysia.
Similar to the Pork Lalapan, this is also another full bodied dish (though I must say less intense than the salty pork and spicy sambal belacan) with the presence of belacan (shrimp paste) used in the midin. The chilled Strongbow gives this dish a refreshing explosion of flavours. 

Still on an intense trail, we are next served a dish of spiced free-range Iban chicken and a medley of flatbread. I would have loved this with a glass of chilled Strongbow. However Keith in turn had this lovely dish paired with a mojito! 
Free range chicken is certainly tastier. There is more bite and flavour to the meat. Needless to say the flatbread or naan came in handy as I was actually famished after my run.
Strongbow isn't meant to be drunk on its own. This lovely concoction of Strongbow Apple Mojito is nice and cold. The refreshing and slightly minty mojito works brilliantly to contain the masala and curry leaves from the chicken. 

The last dish of Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Cangkok Manis and Anchovies is also paired with Strongbow Mojito. Perfect pairing too especially with the salty and crunchy anchovies. Though honestly, I was contented to eat this with a glass of chilled Strongbow!
Plain looking but its one of the best stir fried noodles that I have had. 

No meal is complete without dessert. I was expecting to have a local dessert but Keith sprung the surprise with with an Apple Tart with Matcha Infused Strongbow Crème. A delightful and pretty little tart! Much say that I never in the world expected macha to go so well with Strongbow cider. The result is something light and refreshing. 

In the good old fashion days, ciders were served in flute like champagnes. Taking us through an interesting experience is the Neo Classic Black Velvet which consist of Strongbow cider and Guinness ice cubes. No complains at all as these are two of my favourite drinks made into one very elegant cocktail!
Something that takes a bit of time to make but it will be one of my celebration drinks soon.

The dinner does not end just like that. We learn that ciders make awesome party drinks too e.g. the interesting train below:D

On a serious note, this cider appreciation dinner showed me a new perspective of cider. Its not just a girly drink. Paired correctly it can be an awesome experience like a wine appreciation dinner. I had recently replicated my experience with cider during one of our pool side dinners with the besties. Stay tuned as I will be sharing it soon.

Love this post? Then head on to my Facebook page Missyblurkit to show some love!
Also do check out more pictures from this Miri trip!

Borneo Jazz Festival 2013

Attended my very first Borneo Jazz Festival last month in Miri. Coincidentally its also my very first visit to Miri and its all possible thanx to the Strongbow folks.

This year is the 8th year for the Borneo Jazz and was an energetic 2 nights of performance by with 8 international bands including West Jazz Band from Malaysia. No one performance is the same and we were certainly kept entertained by their lively performance. Acoustics I must say was lovely for an open spaced area! Managed to snap some pics and record one performance by The Nylons. Sorry folks but I was too busy chilling to the 2 nights of amazing perfomance.
Canadian band The Nylons @ Borneo Jazz 2013
A shot of Canadian acapella quartet The Nylons:D
American band Hazmat Modine 
Not the best pic but here's one hottie André Seidel from soul funk jazz Mo' Blow
For more official pics, hop over to Borneo Jazz website!

Flew in to Miri with a bunch of amazing folks some of whom I met for the very first time. But the world is certainly a small one and it turns out that we all have more than one friend in common. Six degree of separation?

In short, it was a weekend of fun and laughter...not forgetting lots of Strongbow for some very memorable Strongbow moments and experience. A sneak peek of our Strongbow moments (with the the first of 4 posts beginning tomorrow:D)
Our welcome drink at Miri Marriott Resort & Spa is aptly a bottle of cold Strongbow each:D
My room @ Miri Marriott Resort & Spa.
Surprise surprise! A gorgeous basket of Strongbow goodies, apples, gold notebook and Sephora body care. THANX Strongbow Malaysia for the awesome gesture!
Truly an eye opener! I was treated to a cider food appreciation experience at one of Miri's most happening restaurant and pub Ming Cafe
Strongbow Mojito! 
Lots of Strongbow during the Borneo Jazz Festival @ RM13 each.
Let loose and enjoy! We had our own mats and lying down while chilling to jazz is certainly a good idea!
And more Strongbow in our ice box. Amazing!
It rained on the second night but our spirits are not dampened! Raincoats, jazz and Strongbow! No reason for Evangeline and I not to smile:D
Sightseeing around Miri. Miss that sunny blue sky. Weather is hot and it calls for more nice and chilled Strongbow!
Strongbow moments by the beach!
Strongbow moments on a hill!
BTW, this is also Yochana's very first trip to East Malaysia! She is a happy dragon and I believe the very first dragon who has the Borneo Jazz Festival and had her share of Strongbow!

DO stalk this blog for the continuing 3 posts on my Strongbow Moments and remember to check out Strongbow Malaysia for your share of Strongbow Moments!

Love this post? Then do show some love at my FB Page Missyblurkit. Photos of my Borneo Jazz trip:
Borneo Jazz Festival
• Jalan-jalan Miri
• My Strongbow Moments