Alison Khong

Alison Khong

Articles (16)

The best egg dishes in KL

The best egg dishes in KL

Whether you like fluffy omelettes, hollandaise-drenched poached eggs or roti canai banjir special, we’ve compiled the best egg dishes in town. Time to get cracking.

Guide to Plaza Batai

Guide to Plaza Batai

We’re calling it: Previously a hidden gem in the crown of Damansara Heights, Plaza Batai is now a yuccie enclave. The two rows of two-storey shophouses built in the ’70s have had, in recent times, a revival of sorts involving closures and new openings, new tenants and relocations. Its charm now comes with commercial corridors; its streets lined with inventive modern eateries and shops. The development has brought more foot traffic to the neighbourhood, and for better or for worse, Jalan Batai has fallen to the forces of gentrification – but there are still traces of residential calm, and you can still get your kopi peng from a classy kopitiam. Here are the must-go places at Plaza Batai. 

Alcoholic ice creams in KL

Alcoholic ice creams in KL

Your favourite dessert gets an alcoholic upgrade. We get the scoop on where you can get the best boozy ice creams in town.

The best independent art galleries in KL

The best independent art galleries in KL

What makes an art gallery stand out isn’t just about the artwork that’s exhibited – the space matters too. The possibilities are endless with a versatile space; the lighting, the furniture and of course the way the art pieces are displayed, they’re all factors to creating a great art viewing experience. These newer independent galleries check all of the above and are worth exploring this year.

Best cafés in Shah Alam

Best cafés in Shah Alam

If you thought Shah Alam was just home to the bright lights at i-City and the Blue Mosque, and has more roundabouts than necessary, you'll be surprised at what the sleepy town has to offer when it comes to cafés. We suss out the best places for coffee, desserts and laidback brunches so you don't have to go the distance.

The best Japanese bars in KL

The best Japanese bars in KL

Saké, whisky, Japanese-inspired cocktails and more, get familiar with these bars for the Japanese drinking experience. RECOMMENDED: Best yakitori bars in KL

Why the ice matters as much as the liquor and cocktail

Why the ice matters as much as the liquor and cocktail

In the cocktail scene today, bartenders have upped their game by ensuring that you have the best possible drinking experience. From making their own syrups, infusing spirits and dehydrating garnishes, bars are constantly coming up with ways to make their cocktails stand out. And, one essential element to making a good cocktail a great one is ice. Handcrafted ice is big in the scene now, even though it’s not an easy process. However, the method is more or less the same across different bars. When it comes to good ice, the key is to use clear, pure water that’s as free of air and impurities as possible. This is done in either one of two ways: boiling the water first, or using filtered water. The boiled or filtered water is then transferred to an insulator bin and left to freeze. Ice is generally formed from the top to the bottom, and in the insulator bin the water goes through an even freezing process. This pushes all the air and impurities down, which results in a cloudy layer. This layer is removed, and the remaining block of crystal clear ice is carved and moulded to the bar’s preferred shape. The main reason bars make their own ice? Good ice is pure and almost free of impurities, while different shaped ice will have different rates of dilution – these will eventually affect the flavour of the cocktail. We visit three different bars to learn more about how these different ice shapes affect our drinks.

A Little Farm on the Hill

A Little Farm on the Hill

When I first heard of A Little Farm On The Hill, I was intrigued. Here was this farm, a mere 45-minute drive from KL (it takes me longer to drive into the city), where fresh organic produce is grown, harvested, and then used in its seasonal lunches. Visitors can book a slot (but they’re usually sold out months in advance), or book the space for personal events. Owners Pete Teo (filmmaker and musician) and wife Lisa Ngan (architect) left their city lives and leapt into a whole new trade, taking over the decade-old farm three years ago and adding a dining area. In the simplest explanation by Pete, the farm is an extended retirement project. Prior to this, the duo had no farming experience; Pete says they’re farmers who learned everything from the internet. ‘We had to learn from Google; how to grow this and how to grow that. We’ve been city people all our lives. We didn’t even grow potted plants.’ It’s constant trial and error with the planting and the nurturing, and both Pete and Lisa are still learning about the land. ‘At my guess, right now we’re only at 50 percent of what we can produce. It’s been three years of trying and Googling,’ says Pete. 'It’s always important to be reminded where your food actually comes from' Photo: Daniel ChanLush green grounds This seven-acre farm is filled with beds of crops – think organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. Here, there are about thirty-odd varieties including herbs such as basil and rosemary, Chinese leafy vegetables, corn, kale

Jungle Bird cocktails in KL

Jungle Bird cocktails in KL

The Jungle Bird deserves more recognition in Malaysia: While it’s served in bars the world over, this cocktail was, after all, created here in KL. In the 1970s, a bartender at Aviary Bar in Hilton KL (the former one, located on Jalan Sultan Ismail) came up with this concoction during the tiki cocktail era, an era that emphasised tropical fruity flavours. The ingredients of this cocktail are rum, fresh pineapple and lime juices, syrup and Campari. You’ll first detect the sour hit from the lime, but it’s well balanced out with the molasses-like sweetness of the rum and the fruity acidity from the pineapple. But the most distinct flavour in a Jungle Bird, however, is the bitter finish (thanks to the Campari) that pulls it all together. Throughout the years, we’ve seen Jungle Bird evolve into something spectacular; you can find numerous variations of the cocktail in bars around the world with their own individual tweaks. That being said, here are five bars in the city that serve this iconic cocktail, some with their own twist to it. It’s time we celebrate this quintessential Malaysian cocktail.

SK!N: Raising awareness on human trafficking through theatre

SK!N: Raising awareness on human trafficking through theatre

Human trafficking is an issue we’re all familiar with; we read about it in newspapers, watch it on the news. But how much do we really know? TerryandTheCuz along with Australian choreographer Ashley Dyer attempt the unimaginable with ‘SK!N’ – an interactive theatre that will immerse you in a human trafficking scenario. The name ‘SK!N’ is particularly memorable. How did you come about that?We wanted a name that would immediately explain what the show was about – the commodification of human beings. We wanted to make a piece of work that will get under people’s skin; we wanted to take only 50 minutes of the audience’s time to feel something someone may have felt for six weeks. Producing a show like this must have involved intensive research. What was that process like?We thought we would spend a couple of months researching and then we’d have a show. It’s been two years. Initially we started reading material off the internet, and then we started getting in touch with local NGOs like UNHCR, CARAM Asia and Tenaganita. We followed them as they interviewed victims and we met survivors who have been trying to rebuild their lives. It took a long time because we realised how sensitive this subject was. It was very personal stories that people shared with us; we had to be very careful with how we present them. ‘The idea is that we wanted the audience to carry that fear because that's what happens when people are trafficked’ How did you convert all of that into creating ‘SK!N’?What de

The DPAC Arts Festival 2016

The DPAC Arts Festival 2016

Calling all theatre fans! The DPAC Arts Festival is back once again for seven full days, featuring 23 performances in eight different programmes. This festival will run from July 25 to 31 throughout DPAC’s entire premises and there will be various shows including an art exhibition, dance programmes, music performances and workshops.

The best of Ben's Independent Grocer at Plaza Batai

The best of Ben's Independent Grocer at Plaza Batai

The second Ben’s Independent Grocer has all but taken over the block facing the main road at Plaza Batai; Benjamin Yong’s second supermarket outpost is also affectionately known as ‘Little Big’. The development has brought more foot traffic to the neighbourhood, and for better or for worse, Jalan Batai has fallen to the forces of gentrification – but there are still traces of residential calm, and you can still get your kopi peng from a classy kopitiam. Looking forward: We hear that Ben’s Independent Grocer will be opening its doors at Glo Damansara later this year. Damansara folks, that’s your go-to grocer.

Listings and reviews (17)

Gold Bar

Gold Bar

Gone are the nights when you and your friends have to pick between a wine bar and your favourite neighbourhood pub. At Gold Bar, you’ll get the best of both worlds, and more. The space is divided into a roomy dining area and the bar, where you’ll find fresh beers on tap. Craft beers primarily rule the drinks menu, but the wine list is something you shouldn’t turn away from either. The bar currently has seven beers on tap including pale ale, Goldie (lager) and wheat beer, with plans to expand their selection. If you’re not too sure what to order, the blackboard above the taps provides basic information like alcohol content and flavour profile; if you want a small tasting, the beer flight goes at RM50 for three different varieties. Bottled beers and ciders are also available. If you’re not up for a pint, Gold Bar has an attractive wine collection. The prices here are pretty affordable; the house red, white or rosé goes for only RM18 per glass. Other selections include champagne, sparkling wine and dessert wine. Don’t fret as non-alcoholic options are also available, including coffee, tea, handcrafted sodas and more. Gold Bar is looking to introduce a beer dining experience, where craft beer is paired with food specially made in-house. There will be tapas (skewers, and fries with truffle and parmesan), mains (like duck and fish dishes), appetisers (featuring ibérico pork sliders and confit onion tarts) as well as desserts. However, best leave the pairing to the experts. Do note

The Berlin KL

The Berlin KL

To be a hidden bar (note: not a speakeasy), you need to be a well-kept secret with no ostentatious indication of your whereabouts. Roll in The Berlin KL, the coolest and edgiest hidden bar in KL today. Located in Chinatown, The Berlin KL would be easy to miss if it weren’t for its plain red door. Push to open and you’ll be greeted with a bright neon red sign that reads ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’. Berlin is known as one of the largest party cities in Europe, and the trio behind this establishment wanted to bring a part of that to the folks in KL. This dark bar is also lit up with another red neon sign of the city’s name just above the bar, which showcases the hefty liquor collection. In line with the theme, the walls are covered in graffiti tags along with photos of Berlin’s past. Also keeping things very European, The Berlin KL has a ‘back alley’ that doubles as the smoking area, but you can always sit inside to stay closer to the music; DJs spin every weekend with music ranging from urban, hip hop, R&B and more. If you plan on drinking, take your pick from the four signature cocktails, all named after famous landmarks in Berlin: The Brandenburg, JFK, Lustgarten and The Berlin Wall. Lustgarten – a famous park in Berlin – is the bestseller; a mild and fruity drink with a punch of sourness from the freshly squeezed lime. It’s pretty too, with its garnishes of fresh and edible flowers. Pair the cocktails with bar snacks (available until 10pm) such as hot dogs and bite-sized sirloin

H. by Hoppers

H. by Hoppers

Note: H. by Hoppers is now closed. Hoppers is still the in-thing in town; think atas appams topped with sweet and savoury treats such as cauliflower fritters, chicken rendang and mango – definitely a serious upgrade from regular appams. H. by Hoppers on the other hand is another venture by the team; it’s a bar that’s situated just above the café. H. by Hoppers may be located in a former lawyer’s office, but you won’t see mundane furnishings here. Instead, the team (with the help of creative agency pow ideas) has brightened up the space with vibrant pinks and blues – they tell us this is a nod to the peacock, which is the bar and café’s logo as well. In keeping with the laidback vibe, pots of leafy tropical greens have been placed around the bar. Cocktails here are simple yet tasty, but their names have nothing to do with the drinks. Before H. by Hoppers took over, the shelves were labelled with the names of the law firm’s secretaries, and that’s who the cocktails are named after. Mr Ahmad is a sweet and smooth cocktail with pandan vodka, gula Melaka, egg white and lemon; it leaves a very soft pandan note after every sip. Another cocktail to try is the Malaya Rickey, made up of gin, mint and kalamansi. Think of it as an adult version of your regular limau ais. Though the cocktail menu is relatively small, the bar makes up for it with other alcoholic beverages. You’ll find beers, ciders, wines (including local artisan wine),as well as whisky, rum, gin, vodka and more. If you’re

Corks Out

Corks Out

Doubling as a wine retail shop and a wine bar, Corks Out offers boutique wines from both Old and New Worlds. What sets Corks Out apart from other wine shops is that everything here is sold at retail price, whether you’re taking away or drinking in at the wine bar at the back. The team here personally handpicks the wines, and to date, they stock over 250 labels, some of which are from small wineries. Don’t forget to pair your wine with the kitchen’s tapas-style dishes. Though the menu will change often, staples such as Quesos (Ibérico cheeses), lobak and Chinese gyozas will stay on. If you’re keen on trying out new wines, look out for the highlight of the month, which is available at a discounted price. You’ll also find unusual wines in the chiller; of particular note is the small selection of Lebanese wines, a rare variant here in KL.

Lavo

Lavo

The M Group kicked off earlier this year with CHAZE, a modern lounge that offers tasty cocktails, good music and a homey space. Lavo, however, is the opposite of its older sibling. This resto-lounge is your go-to spot for a quiet night to wine and dine. The main focus here is wine, and the lounge is outfitted with shelves filled with bottles of wine from both new and old worlds, but more on that later. The look is clean and simple with big windows framing the space, allowing plenty of natural light to come through in the day time. There are two seating options to choose from, both offering distinctive vibes. The main dining area is where you can tuck into dishes from the fusion menu of Western and Italian favourites; while the sofas are tucked towards the back of Lavo, offering a cool chill-out spot perfect for enjoying a glass of wine. Now, back to that wine bar. Here is where you can take your pick from over 600 different labels of wine from all corners of the globe including Argentina, France, Germany, Spain and more. If that isn’t enough, the bar plans to add to the stock every quarter of the year.

Fatty Boom Boom

Fatty Boom Boom

It’s a two-in-one at Fatty Boom Boom: Firstly, they’re a cocktail bar serving quirkily named drinks (like The Brave & The Bold and Creamy Cat) fused with local ingredients; secondly, it’s a show lounge featuring stand-up comedy, music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. The lineup alternates every week; check their Facebook page to see who’s performing. We hear Madam Joanne Kam Po Po is a regular. Also, the performers do get interactive during shows, and apparently will take them off stage and into the crowd. So be a good sport. Asian ingredients take centre stage in the drinks menu, including chrysanthemum tea, sea coconut and kaya, to name a few. The menu is split into four sections. Go Home or Go Hoe is their bubble tea cocktail series; yes, it’s served like bubble tea complete with a plastic-sealed cup and straw. There are also shots with bold names like ‘Kentucky Bondage’ that go for RM20, along with a selection of classic cocktails with a twist. The Signature Teapots are perfect for groups as they each serves four; try the famous Boom Boom Tea – a combination of gin, vodka, campari, homemade ginger flower syrup, chrysanthemum tea and sea coconut. There’s no food served at Fatty Boom Boom at the moment, but we hear bar snacks will be introduced soon. We suggest having a meal at S.Wine before heading upstairs for the show. To get there, head towards the back of S.Wine in Tropicana City Mall and go up the flight of stairs. You can’t miss the ping pong table in the m

61 Monarchy

61 Monarchy

The space at 61 Monarchy is reminiscent of a holiday resort, what with the wooden accents (like rattan stools and furniture) and flora and fauna motifs highlighted throughout the bar. In case you didn’t know, 61 Monarchy is Hyde’s sister bar that specialises in whiskies from all over the world – Irish, Welsh, American, Japanese, Taiwanese and more. It’s a very unassuming bar; there’s no sign outside (it’s located right above Nara Kitchen & Co. by the way), and while you may think whisky bars are typically a little bit showy, 61 Monarchy has stripped those preconceptions away. The outside area (also the smoking section) epitomises the bar’s chilled and laidback ambience with a swing in a corner, long cushioned benches and low tables with stools. Inside, the wall behind the bar glistens with shelves of whiskies and other spirits. Upon placing your order at 61 Monarchy, you’re given warm hand towels to clean up. The waiter will come with three menus: the main spirits menu displaying their extensive whisky collection (in the hundreds!), a tasting flight menu (ranging from RM95 to over RM300), and also a seasonal cocktail menu. The staff here are well-versed with their offerings and will be able to help you with recommendations. Even if you’re not a whisky expert, they’ll carefully guide you through the menu, explaining what flavour would suit you best. Once you decide to call it a night, you’ll be offered a cup of Japanese green tea – they tell us it’s to freshen you up for the

Theatrethreesixty at Tommy Le Baker

Theatrethreesixty at Tommy Le Baker

Just over two years old, theatrethreesixty is a Malaysian theatre company that was founded to develop work pertinent to the contemporary Malaysian audience. They have recently moved to their new home on Jalan Ipoh, a space that comes complete with a black box theatre. Located next to Tommy Le Baker, theatrethreesixty at Tommy Le Baker is essentially a place for actors to rehearse and perform. It’s a humble space; a small waiting area located at the front of house lets guests congregate before a performance begins. Here you’ll also find a library of scripts, mostly from Western writers but there are gems from recognised Asian writers like Alfian Sa’at. Artist Nicholas Choong has left his mark by painting the company’s logo on its main doors. This black box theatre is a cosy space that sits 50 people comfortably. The audience is seated around the performing area, creating a more intimate experience that encourages participation and interaction between audience and performer. Due to the flexibility of the space, it can be used to host different events such as workshops and music gigs. It can also double-up as a rehearsal space. The theatre has a simple lighting rig consisting of theatrical and LED lights, a four-speaker sound system, and a curtain rig that goes all the way around the black box.

Coley

Coley

Coley has moved out from DR.Inc into its own swanky space just a few shoplots down the road. Its new home is much more spacious and relaxing, complete with new couches, a larger bar counter and even a dining table at the back.  The bar gets its name from celebrated female bartender Ada Coleman, best known for creating the classic cocktail Hanky Panky, which you’ll be able to order here. You might recognise the face behind the bar; Malaysian bartender CK Kho mans the spirits and with over 12 years of bartending experience, you know your drinks are in good hands. According to CK, the cocktails at Coley take a contemporary twist on traditional classics. For example, Coley’s Saffron Sour, inspired by the classic whisky sour, uses bourbon that’s infused with saffron and then mixed with lime, lemon, sugar, bitters, egg white and vanilla syrup – it’s sour yet very refreshing on a hot day. Local ingredients are also used, as seen through mixes of London dry gin with fresh coconut water and blended whisky with home-brewed barley lemon water. Apart from cocktails, Coley also offers tasting flights of the liquor they have and mocktails will be available soon. If you’re looking to enjoy a cocktail in a different way, there is the home-made cocktail ice cream, but with limited flavours. At Coley, the tiniest details are paid attention to, from dehydrating fruit slices in-house (for garnishes, which makes them edible too) to even making their own ice.

Bang Bang Baller Bar at Brolly

Bang Bang Baller Bar at Brolly

At Brolly, there are nine different food concepts in one huge menu, providing a range of choices for every palate. You can find fresh seafood cooked Louisiana style, barbecued and grilled meats, Japanese curry rice, and even a vast selection of desserts. This is the place to be when you’re dining in a large group, what with the extensive food choices and the long tables scattered around the space. Decor-wise, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into an oversized garage. It’s in the little things: Giant screwdrivers as door handles, hubcaps as wall decorations, petrol pumps as taps, and even a car that’s hung upside down in one corner of the restaurant. The main attraction is what’s located outside of Brolly – a red minibus which acts as Brolly’s signature bar, Bang Bang Baller Bar. Though you’re not allowed to actually sit inside the bus, you can stand by the side and watch as your drinks are being made. We love the LED lights wrapped around the bus, lighting the way to the drinks come nightfall. If you hear a car honk, it just means that your drinks are ready to be served. Head to Bang Bang Baller Bar for their signature drink, the Beergaritas (RM28 & RM30). Basically a pimped-up margarita, it’s a simple combination of beer, tequila and fresh fruit purée – choose from a variety of flavours like green apple, passion fruit, maracujá (a South American passion fruit), pineapple, peach or wild berry. Another favourite is the High-Ballrus (RM21, RM26), made with whisky and homemade s

Gastro Bar, By Burgeon

Gastro Bar, By Burgeon

Both Seth Chong and his partner Ray Lim had a vision to start a brand that speaks through food, with the ultimate goal of attaining Michelin stars. You might have heard of their first endeavour, Ribs At The Burgeon, a barbecue-themed restaurant which they eventually closed as they felt it limited their opportunities to venture into more adventurous cuisine. After much thorough research and development, Gastro Bar, By Burgeon was born. It’s actually more of a concept change, really. Located in what was previously Ribs, the space is now darker and more intimate. The bar takes up an entire wall and is stocked with bottles of whiskies. The colours black and gold are used abundantly throughout the place, with contrasting pops of colour from the cushions. The decorations are kept minimal with hanging lights fashioned out of glass bottles and neon lights that glow on the walls, leading towards the bathrooms and kitchen. The cocktails on the menu were all created in-house. For the sweet tooths, the Strawberry Cheesecake (RM48) is a cocktail you can both drink and eat. It has strawberry, yoghurt, oolong tea, Scotch whisky and their house-made cheese-infused whisky. It’s sweet and it has crunch – just like a delicious cheesecake. A refreshing choice would be the Genesis (RM42) which has Sarsaparilla, yuzu, cilantro, sour rhubarb liqueur and gin. For fans of the Harry Potter series, Gastro Bar, By Burgeon has concocted their own version of the Butterbeer using whisky. It tastes magical

Hugo Steampunk Premium Lounge

Hugo Steampunk Premium Lounge

Hugo Steampunk is a specialty themed bar, whose owners drew inspiration from ‘Hugo’ the film. The decorations were custom-made especially for the lounge, and include exposed copper pipes, gears and brass doors, along with hanging bulbs. Upon entering, you’ll see a DJ console on your left and just next to it, a stage for the in-house band. Further up there’s a row of electronic dart boards, and the bar is tucked in the opposite corner. The cocktails here are created by bartender Joe with the lounge’s theme in mind. Think cocktails with names like Wild Wild West, Frankenstein and the housenamed Steampunk. One thing Joe wants focus on is the use of Asian flavours in his cocktails. For instance, the Paddy Field features Joe’s self-made lemongrass-infused vodka. Other drinks like Chrysanthemum Martini uses a chrysanthemum-infused gin, and Mr Bean has red beans cooked down in winter melon sugar. If cocktails aren’t for you, Hugo Steampunk Premium Lounge also carries an array of whiskies, including a Taiwanese single malt, wine and beers. Mocktails are currently not on the menu but if you do have a special request, Joe will gladly create something on the spot.

News (12)

Sneak peek: 'Afterwork' exhibition at Ilham Gallery

Sneak peek: 'Afterwork' exhibition at Ilham Gallery

Ilham Gallery welcomes the New Year with a group exhibition – in partnership with Hong Kong’s Art Para Site – titled ‘Afterwork’. It explores the issues of class, race, labour and migration. Running until mid-April, this exhibition debuted in Hong Kong in March last year before making its way to KL. Artists from all over the world have taken part in this exhibition, including artists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The pieces in ‘Afterwork’ delve deep into issues and past experiences relating to migrant labour, making it a very relevant exhibition today. The artists have provided a voice for the oft-neglected migrant worker, showcasing the different practices and contexts that the public doesn’t often see. Here are some of the highlights you should not miss out on.   ‘Opening New Doors’, 1991, Alfredo Jaar‘The Vietnamese ‘boat people’ crisis began in the late ’70s and lasted for two decades at the end of the Vietnam War. ‘Opening New Doors’ came about after Alfredo Jaar heard about a possible mass suicide by the Vietnamese who were kept at camps.   ‘Imelda Goes to Singapore’, 2006, Brian Gothong Tan‘Imelda Goes to Singapore’ is a piece on the former First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. However, what we see here is another side to her: We see Imelda as a housemaid in Singapore performing her favourite song, ‘Dahil Sa Iyo’.   ‘Agama’, 2015, Pangrok SulapPangrok Sulap channels the topic of agama through this piece referencing Maphilindo (Malaya, Philipp

Party at the newest pop-up private lounge: DCODE 1A Private Lounge

Party at the newest pop-up private lounge: DCODE 1A Private Lounge

Want in on an exclusive invite-only party? DCODE 1A Private Lounge is the latest pop-up concept by experiential specialists DCODE. Happening until November 12 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, each party is limited to 100 guests per night. You'll find a bespoke pool table and a DJ deck featuring a resident DJ.  There will also be a 'science lab' where mixologists are on hand to help create customised cocktails based on your preferences. Here's where it gets interesting: You get to pick your own base cocktail from vending machines and mix it with your choice of ingredients that are displayed at the next station.            If interested, visit www.dcode.my to apply for an invitation. When you receive your confirmation, you'll also get a personalised QR Code and the details for the next party.  For more information, visit the DCODE page at www.facebook.com/dcode.my.

Wear this: #DrinkSensibly T-shirts designed by Pestle & Mortar

Wear this: #DrinkSensibly T-shirts designed by Pestle & Mortar

We shouldn't drink and drive, we all know that. To drive home that point while promoting responsible nights out, Heineken has collaborated with Malaysia’s cool clothing and lifestyle brand Pestle & Mortar to create a range of limited edition #DrinkSensibly T-shirts. Made from 100 percent cotton, the collection has four different designs, each with individual slogans and images: ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’; ‘Superheroes Cab It’; ‘Less is More – Know Your Limit’; and ‘Feed Me More’ (complete with a picture of a burger, because we all love a Ramly burger after a night out). To get your hands on these tees, visit www.drinksensibly.com.my to play the Drink Sensibly online game – only three attempts are allowed per day, so be sure to play smart. Better act fast as there are only 100 pieces per design, released every two weeks. Good to know: the T-shirts are unisex. For more info on the campaign, head to www.drinksensibly.com.my or www.facebook.com/drinksensiblyMY. Competition ends Nov 18.

Now open: New restaurants and bars at TREC

Now open: New restaurants and bars at TREC

As if we aren't already spoilt for choices the moment we step into the party hub that is TREC. There are now five new outlets that have opened in the entertainment centre, bringing you even more variety – think more spots for dancing, more places to eat and more cocktails to try. And that’s not all. We can look forward to more new openings happening this quarter. We also heard that a karaoke space will be opening here soon as well. Here are five new spots to check out in the meantime. The Social @ TREC KL   The Social has made a name for itself as a reliable spot for weekend hangouts and after-work drinks. From decently priced happy hour promotions and hearty comfort food to an extensive wine selection along with fun cocktails, there really is something for everyone here. Crave Oysters & Seafood House   Fish, clams, oysters, scallops; you name it and they’ve got it. Crave Oysters & Seafood House specialises in fresh seafood, while also offering Italian pastas, sandwiches, tasting plates and more. Pair it with a glass of wine or a cocktail and you’ve got yourself a meal. The Deck at Mango's   Boasting a tropical-like setting (trees and lounge chairs), Mango’s combines a restaurant, lounge, dance club and now, the addition of an alfresco deck. Listen to some of the top DJs in town spin while you sip on that rum cocktail and touch the sky – the view from up here is stunning. Vibes Club   Located just above MEJA Kitchen + Bar, Vibes Club is said to be the new party spot at TR

Watch a play about a girl who sacrifices everything for change: 'Esther'

Watch a play about a girl who sacrifices everything for change: 'Esther'

‘Esther’ is about, well, Esther, a young girl who sacrifices everything to save her city, where chaos reigns and rumours of an assassination that’ll threaten thousands of lives abound. We speak to Deborah Tan, an up-and-coming actress who plays the titular character about who she is and how audiences can do their part to make a better change towards their city. We heard that this is a volunteer-based production. What made you want to take part in this production? I watched a show by Actspressions called ‘The Tailor Made Man’ and I was pleasantly surprised at how they retold this ancient story in a way that makes you think. Their stories have purpose, rather than just entertainment value without depth. I loved it and told myself that I would volunteer with them if they were having another production. Initially I volunteered to be part of the props team, but I somehow ended up auditioning for the lead role and I got it. I was terrified. Have you had any acting experience before? I once played Goldilocks in ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ at my kindergarten graduation. Does that count?   Who is Esther and what’s she like? Esther is a passionate young lady who loves helping people. She’s an interesting character; you get to see her develop throughout the show, reflecting in some ways how most of us are in real life when we have to make difficult but necessary choices. Do you think you could relate to her? I think I related to Esther most when I was asked to just ‘be Esther’. I

Out now: Taster Box by The Roast Things

Out now: Taster Box by The Roast Things

Here’s some good news for filter coffee lovers: The Roast Things are introducing their new Taster Box of filter coffee beans. At RM68 per box, you’ll get a handpicked selection of ten 15g packets (five pairs) of different single origin whole beans. Each packet is perfect for one serving, and they each include key information about the beans: its origin and region, which farm the beans came from, what altitude they were produced at, along with the processing method (washed or unwashed).  Note that the contents of the taster box will change every now and then, depending on the availability of the beans – just think of it as a surprise with every new box you buy. Plus, The Roast Things accept pre-orders if you’d like to give them as gifts. You can also pop by their café Cream to taste and learn more about filter coffee from the baristas. We like how they serve it here; the filter coffee is done two ways (hot and chilled), allowing you to taste the different characteristics of the beans at different temperatures. Another piece of good news for night-time coffee drinkers: Starting September, Cream will be extending their operation hours every Friday to 10.30pm. The Taster Box is available at The Roast Things and online at www.beanshipper.com.

Out now: IPPUDO saké pairing

Out now: IPPUDO saké pairing

IPPUDO’s latest deal will give you a crash course on saké without breaking your budget: You can now try out three different types of saké paired with finger food for only RM29+. Happening daily at IPPUDO, you will have the opportunity to find out more about saké, from the rice polishing rate to the different categories and flavour profiles. This is the perfect deal for beginners as it provides a good introduction to the various types of sakés and their individual characteristics. Here are the pairings and flavours you can expect: the first is the Shirataki Josen Junmai Ginjo that’s light and has a hint of floral sweetness, which pairs well with the Salmon Roll with Avocado, bringing out the flavour of the fish. The second pairing of the dry and fruity Nanbu Bijin Honjozo Karakuchi helps balance out the saltiness of the Mushroom Wrapped with Bacon. And finally, the bold flavours of the Ozeki Josen Kinkan Karachi cuts through the spiciness of the Spicy Chicken Wing, allowing you to dive back in for more. This all-day deal is only available at IPPUDO Bangsar Shopping Centre.

Three things to know about 'Potted Potter'

Three things to know about 'Potted Potter'

If you haven’t received your letter to Hogwarts, ‘Potted Potter’ will be the closest thing to your very own Harry Potter experience here in KL. This Olivier Awards-nominated production is presenting quite a feat; not only is the production condensing all seven books into one 70-minute show, it will be presented by only two actors, Daniel Clarkson and James Percy. Here’s what to expect from the show this month. 1. Don’t expect something straight from the books Rather than sticking to what JK Rowling has written, the duo presents an unauthorised version – sort of like a fan creation – of the stories. This basically means they can get away with anything, and that’s exactly what they do. 2. Dan and James will play ALL the characters Yes, that’s right – James (ironically) will be playing Harry Potter; every version of Harry from when he was 11 years old waiting to attend Hogwarts to the hero he becomes in the seventh book. Dan, on the other hand, will be channelling all the other characters (over 300 of them!), from a Voldemort with red devil horns to a 6’4” Englishman version of Hermione. We can’t promise anything about the Dementors though. 3. Did you say a fire-breathing dragon and a live Quidditch match? While not giving too much away, audience members will also be able to take part in a live game of Quidditch with Quaffles, Seekers and of course, the Golden Snitch flying around. There’ll also be a fire-breathing dragon. ‘Game of Thrones’ has nothing on Dan and James. '

Go now: Singleton Selects x The Ice Cream Bar

Go now: Singleton Selects x The Ice Cream Bar

The Ice Cream Bar is the latest venture by the same people behind your favourite ice cream parlour, Inside Scoop. Things are done differently here as this bar – yes, we can call it a bar – specialises in alcoholic ice creams. Here you’ll find all your spiked Inside Scoop favourites such as Smoked Cognac, XO Cranberry and more. For a limited time, Singleton Selects has partnered with The Ice Cream Bar for a series of whisky-infused ice creams, each highlighting a different The Singleton blend. Take your pick from the three options available: The Singleton Whisky Cream – featuring The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 year old – that’s very creamy and almost custard-like; The Singleton Whisky & Nuts, which has The Singleton of Glen Ord Signature with sponge cake, honey roasted almonds and salted caramel (also available as a cake); and the must-try The Singleton Crunchy Coffee Whisky that packs quite a punch, with The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 year old with waffle cone bits, dark chocolate and Nutella. The Singleton Selects x The Ice Cream Bar menu is available until end July 2016.

Brussels Beer Café is now serving Hoegaarden Rosée

Brussels Beer Café is now serving Hoegaarden Rosée

There’s nothing like a cold pint of beer on a scorching hot day, and Brussels Beer Café has a new brew on tap that’ll help beat the heat. The Hoegaarden Rosée is its original wheat beer infused with raspberry flavours that make it refreshingly sweet and a pretty pink colour – it reminds us of Ribena. Come by during happy hour – there’s a buy two free one promotion – between 2pm and 8pm on weekdays and 11am to 8pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, it’s happy hour all day long. Note that Hoegaarden Rosée is only available while stocks last. We suggest calling ahead just to be sure. Hoegaarden Rosée is available at all Brussels Beer Cafés and Brussels Galeries. brusselsbeercafe.com.

Up your brow game with Benefit's Bling Brow service

Up your brow game with Benefit's Bling Brow service

The Bling Brow service at Benefit Cosmetics is the best way to glam up your eye game this festive season. As part of their collaboration with Swarovski crystals, there are various colours of crystals to choose from such as blue, black, pink and silver. You can even purchase your own Bling Brow kit of two colours at RM70. What we love about them is that the crystals come in different sizes, making them suitable for any kind of eye shape. If you’d rather not paste them on yourself, make an appointment at Benefit Cosmetics where it’s only RM5 per crystal. It’s best to have a brow wax one day before this service (which you can conveniently get done at Benefit Brow Bar outlets). Our tip: Ask for a container to keep the crystals in as you can reapply them up to five times. Available at 1Utama, Suria KLCC and Starhill Gallery. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/BenefitCosmeticsMalaysia.

Sneakerhead: Bryan Chin

Sneakerhead: Bryan Chin

Though his collection is relatively small with a rough estimate of about 90 pairs, sneaker enthusiast Bryan Chin likes it that way as it allows him to constantly update his collection with new steals. His very first pair was a limited edition New Balance 574 from his mother on his 19th birthday (he’s been collecting for ten years), which kick-started his collection. However, it was only in the past five years that he started diving deeper into the world of sneakers in terms of learning more about the shoe and its history. Starting out with limited editions and flashy sneakers, Bryan soon began to prefer the monochrome palette. His three current favourites are the Undefeated x adidas Consortium Superstar 80 ‘10th Anniversary’, adidas Ultra Boost and Nike Air Footscape Woven Chukka Freemotion. We talk to Bryan for some insider tips on being a sneakerhead. Where do you usually buy your sneakers? Sole What, Crossover and Hundred%. Occasionally from bundle shops like the one on Jalan Raja Bot in Chow Kit. Most of the pairs I have are from Facebook groups. You have to be very active and take the initiative to find deals. The biggest Facebook group now is Streetwear Stuff Malaysia. Do you sell your sneakers? I will if I’m not wearing them anymore. Usually at market price, but if I’m feeling like a Good Samaritan, I’ll sell it for cheaper. What is the most expensive pair you’ve ever bought? It’s a Be Positive x Stussy Deluxe collaboration, hand-made in Italy, with a vibram sole.