Get your Cocktail On @ Crime Cocktail Bar, TREC KL

What’s a fun-loving girl without a good cocktail in her hand? I was invited to check out Crime Cocktail Bara new speakeasy bar in town right here in TREC KL. Its founder, Soulmaker Mixologist Kevin Lee, has won numerous awards throughout his 7 years of being a professional bartender. 

Some of his latest awards include Martell’s Rise and Above Award 2015/2016 and Bols Around The World (BATW) 2015/2016.

Modeled after “The Godfather”, the concept of Crime was inspired by the alcohol prohibition era back in the 1920s and the trickiness to find Crime is one of the most refreshing approaches a speakeasy bar in KL could have. Hidden away from the prying eyes of the public, it’s located just above Crave Oysters and Seafood House.

16114033_1829568483923612_5195752631056190875_nCrime Cocktail Bar’s founder, Kevin Lee

16003174_1829568743923586_5889829006749702311_n

16174605_1829568470590280_1942813743121489065_nA cousin to the mojito, the Roselle Martini is made of Roselle jam, Beefeater Gin and lemon juice. This sweet and sour cocktail apparently helps with blood circulation, talk about the health benefits of alcohol!

16142593_1829568533923607_5870691873791385573_n

The Tiki was one of my favourite of the night! Light and refreshing, it’s made out of banana, fresh pineapple juice, speculoos syrup, honey, lime and Kraken Dark Spiced Rum.

16195053_1829568637256930_4674789967371700439_n

Jade of Thousand Layer was an interesting concoction of Puer Ginseng tea with Gin, Don Benedict and Chrysanthemum syrup. It was sweet and super strong.

16114941_1829568553923605_6302975256777190915_n

16142438_1829568653923595_7302546607819150845_n

If you’re craving for something that doesn’t tickle your fancy from the menu, feel free to request Kelvin and the team to whip you up something catered to your taste buds! After all, that’s what a speakeasy bar is all about. PS: Kelvin and his team loves challenges, so be daring!

Follow Crime on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @crimecocktailbar

They’re open daily from 6:30pm-1am (until 5am on Fridays & Saturdays!). They can be reached for reservations and enquiries at 03-21105664 during their business hours too.

Thirst Magazine presents Beer + Chocolate pairing @ Ales & Lagers, Publika, KL

To tell the truth, I’ve always hated beer. The immense bitterness and the bloating, gassy aftermath always makes me wonder, “How can anyone ever enjoy this, WARM especially?!” I’m thankful for this event as it totally changed the whole perspective of beer for me. And with chocolates? C’mon! Organized by Thirst Magazine, this intimate event was their first and was held at Ales & Lagers at Publika Shopping Gallery. The beers and chocolates were provided by Chocolate Concierge and Brewers’ Craft/Smith Street Taps.

Let’s get to the bottom of the ups, shall we! *sorry, lame pun*

We were first given an introduction of chocolate making and the differences in good vs bad chocolate by Ning from Chocolate Concierge. He explains that chocolates that give a bitter taste while consumption or aftertaste is a result of over-roasting the cacao beans used to make these chocolates. Over-roasting it means burning these beans and hence, the bitter taste.

P_20160416_150841

Menu of the day

13043712_888906191218845_7833890924334857028_nTaken from Thirst Magazine’s Facebook

(Beer: From left) Red Chair NWPA (6.2% abv), Americano A Roma (6.8% abv), Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (6% abv) & Stone Coffee Milk Stout (5% abv)

(Chocolates: From left) Ghana Origin Dark Chocolate Meltaway, Orange Zest Meltaway, Milk Chocolate Almond Rocher, Salted Caramel Slice & Mango Django 

After trying tiny 60%, 65% and 72% cacao samples, we were then given a little appetizer to start off the whole tasting event. We got to savor the Malted Hot Chocolate Espuma; it was a velvety rich Venezuelan chocolate paired with a dark malt, served warm. It was a wonderful drink to start off the tasting.

P_20160416_150718

“Frothy, rich and oh-so-good” – Warm dark malt with Venezuelan chocolate

P_20160416_151326

The first chocolate & beer pairing – The Ghana Meltaway was paired with Red Chair NWPA (6.2 abv)

The Red Chair is a pale ale with smooth, sweet caramel malt base and floral, citrus notes that smelled sweet and divine. Paired with the Ghana Meltaway, it really brought out both of its individual flavours. Don’t be fooled by the sweet-smelling Red Chair, it was a bit bitter for my liking.

Next was the Americano A Roma (6.8%abv) with the Orange Zest Meltaway. The Americano is a bready malt with light lemony taste and herbal aromas with a bitter finish. No pictures were taken here because this pairing was the one I enjoyed best.

The lemon hints from the Americano and the orange from the chocolate really complemented each other. Truth be told – I DON’T LIKE ORANGE CHOCOLATES but this one blew my mind away.

P_20160416_154711

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (6% abv)

Listening from the crowd’s comments, some can taste the hazelnut in this, some can’t. It’s a brown ale with hazelnut extract that has a rich, nutty flavour with hazelnut aromas, roasted malt and sweet chocolate.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste the hazelnut but there was a very light hint of sweet chocolate. I’m a super huge fan of hazelnuts and this didn’t really tickle my fancy as I was looking forward to taste the hazelnut in this. The Milk Chocolate Almond Rocher was a sweet treat to end things with the Rogue.

The last pairing was the Stone Coffee Milk Stout with the Salted Caramel Slice. Many thought that the Salted Caramel piece was a bit too heavy to go with the stout and funny enough, it was wonderful with the Mango Django!

The stout was smooth, bittersweet and creamy while the mango-centered cream in the Mango Django burst with robust tastes of mango and passion fruit. Paired together, the stout’s taste mellowed and the sourness of the chocolate’s creamy fruity centre amplified – the Mango Django saved the day!

Definitely more chocolates for me!

Steph

Sweatin’ It Out @ Sweatspa with Ning Baizura

Yes, you guessed it. The gorgeous songstress is the new ambassador for the up-and-rising wellness brand, Sweatspa! I took the opportunity to attend Sweatspa’s media launching and Q&A for the opening of its latest branch at Atria Shopping Gallery, PJ.

*inserts fangirling moment here: NING BAIZURA IS FREAKIN’ GORGEOUS*

For those who aren’t familiar with the latest and safe infrared technology used in Sweatspa’s wellness centres, they utilize the medical grade Sunlighten™ Full Spectrum Infrared Therapy and it helps detoxifies the body. Sweatspa aims to help people gain health and beauty through doing nothing but SWEAT!

How is it different from regular saunas?

At Sweatspa, sweating is all about getting healthier; feeling and looking better! The difference with traditional saunas is that every cabin at Sweatspa uses the Sunlighten™ Full Spectrum Infrared Therapy with emphasis on safety, comfort, relaxing and rejuvenating the body at the same time.

Sit back and enjoy as anyone can enjoy Sweatspa. On contrary belief, saunas are not advisable for people with heart problems and/or high blood pressure but Sweatspa is completely safe due to its modern infrared technology!

P_20160406_152135

2a

3a

1a

For more information on Sweatspa, log onto www.sweatspa.com to find and visit the nearest branch near you!

Sweatspa BSC 

S122, 2nd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Center,
285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya,
59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone : 603 2011 6088
Fax : 603 2011 6088
E-mail : info@sweatspa.com

Sweatspa Atria 

F41, 1st Floor, Atria Shopping Gallery,
Jalan SS 22/23, Damansara Jaya,
474000 Petaling Jaya,Selangor

Telephone : 603 77318248 / 6012 5306 088
E-mail : info@sweatspa.com

Sweatspa Plaza Gurney 

170-04-80/85, Plaza Gurney,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250
Penang, Malaysia
Telephone : 604 229 1088 / 6012 475 2088
E-mail : info@sweatspa.com

Sweatspa Too 

L2-05, Level 2, Gamuda Walk,
No. 12, Persiaran Anggerik Vanilla,
Kota Kemuning, Syeksyen 31,
40460 shah Alam, Selangor

Telephone : 603 5525 8788 / 6012 8388 322
E-mail : enquiry@sweatspa.com

Senja @ The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur

I had a beautiful and intimate birthday dinner on a quiet Wednesday night with my boyfriend. I enjoyed the ambiance and food more than I could imagine and plus points were given for its tranquility! The crowd was small – only a few tables were occupied on a calm weekday night and I would most certainly come back to try out more of their authentic Italian cuisine!

P_20160120_193702

A jazz live band in the front serenading Senja’s patrons 

P_20160120_194911

Complimentary Italian bread

I would appreciate it if the bread was hotter- it was cold although warmed up in the fireplace oven! The sauces and olives were pretty good, fortunately.

P_20160120_200058Risotto con Crema d’Aglio, o, Petto d’Anatra Scottato e Salsa al Vino Rosso or known in English as a garlic cream risotto with smoked duck breast in Barolo wine sauce

My boyfriend and I both had the risotto. It was cooked just right and absorbed the cream very well. The duck breast was also seared perfectly- it was juicy and tender.

P_20160120_202132 (1)Tiramisu with strawberry compote

The tiramisu was as authentic as it could get. Although the ladyfingers were a tad too wet for my liking, the coffee and rum syrup soaked in it wasn’t too sweet and the mascarpone cheese was light and fluffy. Topped with the not too heavily sugared strawberry compote and dark chocolate on top, it was a wonderful dessert that filled us up for the night.

We wanted to try their pizzas and other antipasti dishes, but we were so stuffed with just the risotto and the tiramisu on its own. It’s definitely a place to visit for a romantic candle-lit authentic Italian dinner experience 🙂

Check Senja out here

They’re closed on Mondays and open everyday. Do note that the dress code for Senja is smart casual and no athletic wear, shorts or sandals.

Tues – Fri  

12.00 pm – 2.30 pm (last order at 2.00 pm)

6.30 pm – 11.00 pm (last order at 10.30 pm)

Sat, Sun & Public Holidays        

6.30 pm – 11.00 pm (last order at 10.30pm)

#FridayFavourites – Coffee is life: Share your stories with me!

I have a confession to make: I’m having an affair. Yes, an affair with CAFFEINE. Caffeine makes my hearts race, my pupils dilate and most importantly, it makes me happy. I don’t sound like a junkie, nah-uh 😛 But good coffee, mmm, good coffee makes my emotions swell and my journey with CofeeStory has been remarkable.

One thing I love so much about my job is the enthusiasm and passion in cafe owners’ faces when I interview them. You could actually see their faces brighten up; the conversations I engage with these cafe owners are remarkable and the way they talk about coffee is like how a newly-met blossoming couple have intimate sex. In my opinion, CAFFEINE is SEX anyway.

 
If you have any queries on advertorial opportunities to feature your cafe that’s located in the KL region or whether you’re simply just a coffee enthusiast, email me at stephanie@cofeestory.com so that we can chat about the one thing we both love: good coffee!
Other blog posts or write-ups can be discussed at my personal email: stephanielkm@gmail.com. I always look forward to freelance copy writing and writing opportunities 🙂

#FridayFavourites Revisiting The Malayan Chinatown – Merchant’s Lane @ Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

Even before its opening, Merchant’s Lane has been receiving a lot of love and hype due to its nostalgic décor and hipster-looking Instagram shots! They debuted on Instagram even before they officially opened doors. Their pictures sure looked captivating enough for me and many other café enthusiasts to take a trip down memory lane for a visit.

How does one transform an old building (I read it used to be a brothel), combine it with ‘old’ Chinatown décor and create a very VSCO & Insta-worthy hipster space into one newly-opened café? If I’m not mistaken, they’re barely 3 months old and are doing pretty well.

Merchant’s Lane is situated directly opposite of an open car park where you can park your car for a few ringgit. It’s next to ATC College and watch out for the stationary shop below. It’s right on top of it and you’ll be greeted by a subtle sign that reads the café’s name and opening hours. Walk up the stairs and you’ll see this display of antique-looking accessories as below;

IMG_20150825_133922IMG_20150825_133822IMG_20150825_133814Initially, I was very surprised with the spaciousness they managed to acquire. I didn’t know that old Chinatown buildings could cater to this much space! The ceilings are all brand new and renovated very well.

There is a little gap at the side where natural sun-light comes in. The whole place is well-lit, perfect for pretty pictures! Don’t worry about the heat though; the whole place is fully covered and air-conditioned. It wasn’t too hot nor cold which is just right for a very easily flu-prone person like me.

There is also an outside area which is sandwiched in between of 2 indoor areas. That’s right, there are more seating areas!

IMG_20150825_134620The outside area where patrons can enjoy a smoke or simply be enchanted by its rustic and minimalist wooden furniture.

IMG_20150825_134350

IMG_20150825_134547Floral Love – The tall, white walls are covered with beautifully floral-painted cloths. Chrysanthemums and peonies are very symbolic flowers in Asian art. Simple, unique and no painting is required if they want to decorate the walls with other art in the future.

IMG_20150825_133724IMG_20150825_134655The Taukay (RM20) – It’s a juicy beef patty stuffed with peanut sauce, pineapple compote, cheese & fried egg sandwiched with a charcoal bun. Comes together with tandoori-like fried mushrooms! SERIOUSLY YUMMY!

IMG_20150825_134710Hongkie Beef Stew (RM19) – Presumably stewed for 12 hours, this Cantonese-style stew was a surprise to the taste buds! I was curious of how Cantonese and Western could go together and it was great! The broth was thick and flavourful and the mash wasn’t lumpy. A very hearty meal for one.

IMG_20150825_134849Eat Die Me with lamb sausages (RM27) – There are other choices of chicken or beef sausages too for RM26. Although the lamb sausages look dry and unappealing from the picture, do not be fooled! It was decently juicy with toast on your choice of eggs (poached in the picture), creamy corn, sautéed mushrooms with ginger, cherry tomatoes & homemade fried hash. I personally enjoyed the fried has a lot.

IMG_20150825_133649Chrysanthemum tea with Rose for 2 (RM15)

IMG_20150825_133704The famous Rose Honey Milk (RM12) – According to my sister, it was frothy but not very special

LOCATION

Next to ATC College & directly opposite an open-air car park

(First floor, upstairs) 150, Jalan Petaling, Off Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur

OPENING DAYS & HOURS

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10.30am – 6pm

Friday & Saturday: 10.30am – 10pm 

CLOSED ON WEDNESDAYS