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This bar Backdoor Bodega in Penang had forever been in my list since 2018. Not only till recently they have been crown at no.97 as Asia Best Cocktail Bar (a bar list which is reliable) then I rushed to book a place with them. Backdoor Bodega that also known as Best hidden Cocktail Bar in Penang.

asia top 50 bar

This is a bar where the founder not only form one of our well known best street wear – Lansi over the years now they have make another mark as one of the best cocktail bar not only in Penang but also in Malaysia too. 

This shop is operating right under your radar as they operates within their own street wear shop The Swaggar Saloon next to Hins Bus Depot. 

backdoor bodega

hidden cocktail bar in penang

hidden bar in penangbackdoor bodega menu

Their signature drinks that rank them over top 97 best bar is also a smart usage of local ingredients like nutmeg and others. 2 of their best signature seller drink that most of the people will start off with is :best cocktail bar in kl

nutmeg cocktail

There’s their signature Kelapa Hotak @ RM35 which is made of house-made coconut rum, pandan and a spoon of kaya.

One of their top best most ordered is Mango Martini @ RM38, which features strong gin flavoured with Pamplemousse Rose, mango and grapefruit, and sago.

asia top 100 bar
DSCF7142drinks to order in backdoor bodega

Tried  a few of their signature drinks. Turns out to be better than expected. 

Kawan Lama is an very interesting drink @ RM 50 – Makers Mark, Campari, Dolin Dry and Penang Pat Poh
best classic cocktail in penangold fashion

After trying out their basic drinks that pass in flying colors, next I move to my own classic again. I would always have Negroni and my palate was spoilt when I was in Bangkok 6 years ago. 

I must say they have serve me one of the Best Negroni that I have come across. Perfect, well balance and even it is punch with alcohol but it still balance out well.. Highly recommended.

Then I challenge the mixologist that I would love to have a Smokey Negroni that I had one of the best when I visited in Bangkok and told him to do it what he thinks he can. Fuh! the drinks come out, and I had 2 in a row. Customize is only at RM 50 which I think very reasonable and also the kick is up there. 

anything out from their menu is consider as Custom drink @ RM 50 (is my assumption)

negroni

old fashion @ RM 50DSCF7150All their classic drinks I must say I am certainly impress. This bar would be one of my frequent visit bar whenever my friend is looking for. 

classic cocktail 

best cocktail bar in penangIt is a small cocktail bar and do be prepare to cramp with humans. There is a strong support from local to international tourist and best advise to book thru their Insta/Fb as link below. Above 9pm is walk in and you will be seated in random ods places like stair case, talk to the wall, next to toilet door if you do not mind. One of a highly recommended cocktail bar for Penang.

So happy drinking for round 1. Next to their shop on the left is another hidden cocktail bar – Best Friend Bojio!

*NON-Halal

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 9/10, highly recommended, !!!~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Address: Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Opening hours: Thu – Mon 8PM-12AM (Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Telephone: 012-320 2218
Backdoor Bodega’s Facebook | Instagram

Operating hours: 8pm – 12pm (best advise to do bookings thru their FB/ Insta)

With over 500 entries across the globe, Hennessy has narrowed down their search for the world’s best sustainable cocktail. The world’s bestselling cognac has just announced the Global Top 40 winners in the #HennessyMyWay 2022 challenge. The cocktail challenge saw three Malaysians as among the Global Top 40 winning bartenders.

The global challenge is Hennessy’s third installment of the competition which encourages bartenders to be inspired by Hennessy to push their creativity to the limit. This year calls on bartenders across the world to create their version of a sustainable cocktail using Hennessy.

No-Waste Nucifera by Thanesh Joel_Backdoor BodegaNo-Waste Nucifera By Thanesh Joel (Backdoor Bodega – Penang)

“Every year the standard of the talent pool in Malaysia seems to be raised even higher. We are incredibly lucky to have such exceptional bartenders that can bring out the versatility of Hennessy by creating unique pairings to suit every taste,” says Nausicaa Charrier, Marketing Director of Moët Hennessy Diageo  Malaysia & Singapore.

Cassa(no)va Highball by Rolend Ten_Backdoor BodegaCasa-Nova Highball by Rolend Ten (Backdoor Bodega – Penang)

Beacons of the Malaysian bartending scene, Thanesh Joel (of Backdoor Bodega), Rolend Ten (also of Backdoor Bodega) and Chloe Tan (of Cabinet 8 by JWC) were commended for their strong understanding of ritual and role it plays in a great cocktail experience while demonstrating great ability to integrate sustainable practices in their expressive cocktails.

See Trust by Chloe Tan_Cabinet 8 by JWC

See Trust by Chloe (Cabinat 8 by JWC – Johor)

In demonstrating such exceptional skill the trio have earned a place in the Global Top 40, joining other bartenders from countries including Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Other ASEAN winners included one each from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, putting Malaysia firmly ahead in this region.

“It’s exciting to see how our Malaysian bartenders compete on the global stage. To have not just one but three winners, the highest number of winners from a single country in South East Asia, is a testament to why we must continue to nurture the local talent to their full potential,” adds Charrier.

The Global Top 40 winners will each receive a cash prize of 1000 EURO and 1 bottle of Hennessy X.O. The cash prize is in addition to the 200 EURO received for winning the Malaysia Top 10 challenge round. The Global Top 40 winners will also move into the final challenge round to compete for a spot in the elusive Global Top 5. On this level, they will stand a chance to win another 2000 EURO each, and their choice of either a Hennessy Experience in Cognac or a VIP NBA Experience.

The winners are among Malaysia’s Top 10 whose entries were submitted for the global challenge with three cocktail creations out of the 10 being further selected as the Global Top 40. The judging was done by The Maison Hennessy in Cognac, France, by a panel including Hennessy Global Ambassador Jordan Bushell.

Cocktail lovers can also taste the Malaysia Top 10 winning cocktails at the respective bars as part of the Hennessy Cocktail Trail:

  1. Backdoor Bodega – “No-Waste Nucifera” by Thanesh Joel
  2. Backdoor Bodega – “Cassa(no)va Highball” by Rolend Ten
  3. Bartailor – “Elixir of the God” by Mike Fan
  4. Cabinet 8 by JWC – “See Trust” by Chloe Tan
  5. DC Restaurant – “Henny-Ways” by Sebastian Jeremy
  6. Gekko Dining – “Queen With Benefits” by Raz Ng
  7. [email protected] – “Monkey Business” by Joshen Chew
  8. Moon Bar – “Method in Madness” by Arsenio Mariano
  9. Wetdeck W KL – “Henne-City” by Avai Saravanan
  10. 61 Monarchy – “Teguk Wangi” by Loo Hoong Xiang

For more updates and information, follow Hennessy Malaysia’s official Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/HennessyMalaysia/

#HennessyMyWay #HennessyMY

 

Penang dining scene indeed have turn up a notch. Not only well know for it street food, however I find that casual dining in Penang have also increase in its quality and more outlets opening too. One of the good feedback I heard is this fusion casual dining Island Problem in Lebuh Campbell is certainly worth to try. Island problem have quite a unique tweak with combination of Thai and Japanese. Turns out to be good!

beach street

To come here, best advise to make reservation as the place is super small. Open concept kitchen that you get to sit at the bar while watching the chef cook. Set back is what every they are cooking you will be very curious and keen to order. island problem penang

Look at the crowd, full house and this is weekday lunch!island problem menucasual dining in penangFor such dining, we start early with Australian white wine to go along with the food we order. wagyu beef donSteak & Butter Rice @ RM 49 : Australian tenderloin steak, range yolk, homemade butter rice.
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This is seriously good! the egg yolk that just ooze out perfect match with its butter rice. Beef cook to perfection medium rare and a bit of this with white wine is match made in heaven.
beef with egg
for the test best fine dine in penang

 

hotate
This certainly look like a normal dish, this is actually dish of the day.  It is more like a cold dish where the noodle is cook to perfection. Al-dante with bouncy yet just nice cold. Broth is chill yet very fragrant, clear and pack with flavour. Topped with torch burn scallop to add the umami flavour is chunz!
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classic japanese tamago

FInd that its Japanee Tamago is a huge twist. Turn to a special mix to make the surface silky smooth like near eating a tofu! burnt cheese cake penang

We were contemplating to order the Burnt Cheese cake or not yet after see the serving next to us, we make an order. Super soft in the middle, nearly melt inyour mouth, not too sweet, slight burnt and cheese taste is just nice. Not overpowering. Could be one of the best burnt cheese cake in Penang. Set back is expensive. If remember correctly is RM 19 for a small piece.

Fine dining in Penang sure gearing up its quality and I am happy that Island Problem is certainly one of my recommended restaurant dining in Penang. Quality and price I find it affordable. Dining experience some of you might not like it, but I certainly love this kind of ambiance. 

*PORK Free

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 8/10, veli good for Penang standard, lecommended!!!~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:

Island Problem

61, Lebuh Campbell,

10100 Penang

Operating Hours: 12pm – 10pm (close Wednesday)

Tel: 016-421 8633

Madmen in Tropicana Avenue  had been one of our regular hang out spot with me and my friends, even before MCO. Right till recently, they have revamp the place with Liveband and new Menu. It was then an instant hit as it is rare that you will find a bar with live band in PJ. Madmen certainly is one of them. Check out their daily different live band here: MadMen Live Music, Wine & Beer
madmen tropicana pj
Cozy ambiance as the aircon is on full blast. If you enjoy such environment like me, you will be lurvin it. Right after a few drinks, then you will star to feel warm. Do make bookings if you wish to seat in the mean live band area. It is constantly fully book not to mention especially on Friday and Saturday. On weekdays like Tuesday to T

hursday is often full house. That is why you see most of the table are with reserve.
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DSCF7344Chill out place that will never break your pocket and if you are a wine lover, this is one of a wine bar in PJ that you can go after. Not a huge selection but enough to hit your palate with price range from RM 109 onwards.
cocktail in pj
Often we are here for beers, and only till recently they starting off with cocktails. madmen pj menuFor that day, they were on from to order some food before the main famous Modern Jazz Band in PJ go live at 8.30pm.
italian cold cuts

So we start off with Madmen Platter @ RM70 combination of cold cut.  one of an easy combination to go with wine lovers
italian platter
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If you are a beer drinker like me then these 2 works well. Egg Plant Chips with honey coated @ RM 18. Perfectly goes very well with my Asahi.

Garlic Prawn @ RM 35. Grilled fresh tiger prawns, head fumet reduction, garlic bread and Chives
spanish food
spaghettiMains:

Mains we had Hudang Pasta @ RM 32, Spaghettini, Grilled fresh tiger prawns, cilantro, lime, prawn head infuse olive oil
spaghetti bolognese
Haram-Biata @ RM 28. Love the taste of it as it is generous with mince spicy pork. Spaghetti is cook to al dante. Goes well with wine or beer.

classic carbonaraEggcellent Carbonara @ RM 28. Simple and direct that will never go wrong. Tagliatelle, Smoked bacon, onsen egg, grana padano, white wine creme

wagyu burger in pj

Wah Gyu Brrr-gger @ RM 50. 200g wagyu patty, cheddar cheese, brioche bun,bacon,caramelize  onion.  Cook super  medium rare.wagyu burgerEnding our night with their signature Flaming Brownie @ RM 20
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live band in pjMain highlight for the night is this famous Modern Jazz live band in PJ. I didnt know that they do have such a strong follower that one of my friend is also one of their fan. The combination of saxophone : Eddy, Keyboardist : Lee Peng and singer Celist voice is pretty amazing. No wonder they have such strong follower. They are here for the whole month of mid May to June 2022 on every Thursday. Do remember to book a spot!

madmen tropicana avenue

could this be one of the best live band bar in PJ? I think so as every day they do have different genre of band. Check them out here : MadMen Live Music, Wine & Beer

Location:

MadMen Live Music, Wine & Beer

PJ 01-17 & 18,

No, Lot P, 12, Persiaran Tropicana,

Tropicana Avenue,

47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Operating Hours: 3pm–1am

Tel: 03-76606808

One of the latest hidden speakeasy bar in KL is this The First Chapter in TTDI. Be prepare to let the mixologist blew away our mind on their special mix. I find it quite interesting as some of their signature is its an infusion with Indian heritage.

the first chapter speakeasy ttdiUpon your booking, get the pin code from your reservation and at the secret door, just press on the pin code to enter. Upon waking up the stairs, look for a hidden book shelf that is able to pull outwards. That’s the place to go in.
hidden bar in pjYou will be greeted by the peeps herehidden bar in ttdi (2)

A place that you can certainly chill with your friends. Cozy and dim.

hidden bar in ttdi (2)hidden bar in kl
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speakeasy bar in ttdithe first chapter speakeasy klStarting off with some of their signature cocktails:

THE FIRST CHAPTER SIGNATURE CHRYSANTHEMUM INFUSED GIN @ RM42 : first on the left
This medley of sweet, warm and tangy flavours adds a twist to the classic Gin & Tonic.
bar in pj

cocktail bar in pj

THE SCOTTISH NUT @ RM 35 : orange base
The peatiness from the Johnnie Walker Black Label combined with creaminess from our House Infused Hazelnut Tincture leads to a well balanced, citrusy sweet cocktail.

THE RUSS @ RM 38 : pink base on the far right
Perfect for Gin lovers,this naughty cocktail
is infused with Tuak to give it that added kick!

DSCF6484

BEN’S MARGARITA @ RM 38
Ben’s version of the classic Margarita. With a healthy double shot of Don Julio Tequila, this refreshing cocktail will leave you wanting more. Ask Ben to find out more!

PAYASAM @ RM 30
Our take on the classic Indian dessert we all know and love, this dessert cocktail is perfect for mint lovers with a sweet tooth.

DSCF6530

WAKE ME THE F*CK UP @ RM 35
One for the coffee lovers out there! A cocktail sure to Wake You The F*ck Up! (Pardon the French)

Gula Melaka Chicken Bites is one my recommended bites. Simply juicy and crispy. Gula Melaka sauce its kinda itneresteing that is not overpowering yet do pair well with the cocktail.

3 Beef Sliders is filled with Australian beef brisket, caramelized onions, homemade anchovy oil, Monterey Jack cheese sandwich within two toasted bun. 3 in a serving. Share share is caring as the bites to some of you might not be enough.

there are some other bites too like Deep Fried Mushroom & Onion Ring

Get your reservation to have a table with a special pin code. Have fun.

Location:

The First Chapter TTDI 139a, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur (the row behind CIMB TTDI)

Operating Hours: 5pm – 12pm (temporary) Tel: 011-2319 2556

It has been a while since I last dine in an upscale restaurant where MCO just took our 2 years away. I have seen alot influencers in this casual dining resturant in KL known as Blackbyrd KL in Naza Tower which is just a stone throw away from KLCC Petronas Twin Tower or in this area Platinum Park KL.

Blackbyrd KL

It was special treat for me on my special day, was just brought here to enjoy the view, ambiance, food and drinks. Just head all the way up to 55th Floor if I remember correctly.

restaurant sky bar in kl

We are here for early bird as it is still so called “endemic” reservations are divided into 2 sessions. 6-8pm / 8pm till late.

  1. if you choose early session and if you are lucky, you get to see sunset
  2. night just enjoy night view and drink all the way

casual dining in kl

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cocktail bar in kl

Dining area are divided into 2, as I was seated in both dining and bar area. I would say you enjoy early dinner then you move to the cocktail bar after 8pm to continue your chilling at the counter or high spender table with the perfect view.

sky bar with klcc view

 

restaurant with klcc view

The VIP table with the view where you get to see Petronas Twin Tower, KL Tower and Merdeka 118 Tower, KL.

Blackbyrd KL menu 2022

I guess to our sheer luck as this would be their new menu of 2022 and was told that what we previously wanted to order is no longer available and it seems that they have new head chef on board.

after looking at the menu, Blackbyrd food seems more like fusion with towards Asian, Indonesian local inspired cuisine. Of course there are a few items that caught my attention.

Blackbyrd signature dish

This is Blackbyrd all time signature: Crispy Nori Crunch @ RM 29 – tempura nori seaweed, spicy salmon, salmon roe and parmeson cheese.

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Nicely presented that have colour to it, however I find that it lacks of flavours. Cripsy inside out with a bit of saltiness from fish roe and hint of parmesan.

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Of course by name itself, I imagine it sounds simple that caught my attention. Truffle Tagliolini @ RM 59 – fresh truffle and truffle butter.

truffle spaghetti

Upon serving, the smell of truffle is already pretty strong. Topped with 4-5 thin slices of fresh  fresh truffle to make it look more solid. Taste is indeed spot on. Creamy to my liking with a punch of Pretty strong truffle taste. Felt that tagliolini is made fresh with cook to perfection. Slight chewy and al-dante – recommended

truffle

indonesian inspired food

After staring for a long while, nothing that caught my attention as I find the rest are quite normal. So I pick something familiar to me. Iga Bakar Sambal Idjo @ RM 145 – Black Angus Short Ribs MB 2, green chili, gurih Rice.

This is certainly one of a atas Indonesian or Balinese kind of food. Flavours are pretty spot on as I just find that the Sambal could be spicier like the one I had in both Jakarta and Bali. Black Angus ribs is marinated and cook well . Certainly do have the taste of atas Indonesian street food version.

bali food

risotto

Since I have heard Gordan Ramsey or some cooking show keep using saffron. Originally was suppose to go with King Prawn Saffron Risotto and it was not available. Changed to this Rendang Saffron Risotto (If i remember correctly  which is special of the day)

Risotto is spot on. I have not tasted Saffron before so do not know how to describe.  First time doing this Rendang and risotto apparently the taste seems to blends well.

cocktail in the sky

restaurant for birthday celebration

Was here for my Birthday celebration in Mid February 2022.

Blackbyrd night view

This is the night view of Blackbyrd Skybar KLCC view.

Overall, If we guess correct as since most of the dishes wanted to order on that day menu no longer available and assuming the chef just reported, with its cooking I am impress.

If you are in the mood for atas ambiance dining or for celebration with Asian inspired food flavour with KLCC view then can consider here as one of the options.

*Pork FREE

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, okay la good pun but expensive! Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk–

Location:
Blackbyrd KL
Platinum Park,
Naza Tower,
10, Persiaran KLCC,
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-689 8576

Operating Hours: 12pm–12am

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