Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Drift Dining and Bar, Uncorked, Gourmet Mix and Mingle, Kuala Lumpur

wine and tapas
Drift Dining and Bar

Uncorked, Drift Dining and Bar
Stanley Estates Wine, Tapas and Some Socializing


Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

An explosion of mid week and weekend wine tasting events is taking place in KL and I am so happy to partake in this development of wine enjoyment. Not just eating and drinking, socialising, but also meeting and learning from the wine makers themselves, is a delightful bonus for which I am truly grateful. Drift Dining and Bar, one of our favourite Bukit Bintang eateries, recognised for a fresh approach to eating and drinking, based on modern Australian Cuisine, is launching a monthly series of events branded as ‘Uncorked’. Well, I’m already loving the name.

The place is already buzzing when I arrive, slightly damp from the evening rain. Monday nighters enjoy an after work relaxation in this great central location and I weave through, glad to see Monica waving and wielding a big glass of wine. I join her and as if by magic, one is procured for me. Now that is what I call a great start to a night. This soft medium bodied wine is the Stanley Estate Pinot Gris 2013 emitting delightful aromas of pear and honey. On tasting, it is light and clean with just a hint of acidity to cut through the oil of the tiny school prawns we are munching on. The slightly spicy finish is echoed in the Thak Nam Prik dipping sauce. It’s a very cute pairing from Chef Angus.

Drift Dining and Bar
More Wine Please
drift dining and bar
Snacks to Accompany the Wine

Wine maker Steve Pellett travelled the world with his partner Bridget Ennals. An early trip was through the African continent in an old Landrover they fondly named Stanley, after the intrepid explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. The spirit of Stanley roams on as they continue their adventure at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, under the cool gaze of Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku (the footprint of the rainbow) in Marlborough’s spectacular Awatere Valley, home to Stanley wines.

Drift Dining and Bar
Uncorked

I’ve been a fan of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region for over 20 years now, and I’m excited to hear that Stanley’s wine maker has come through the ranks at Cloudy Bay and Kim Crawford, two quality producers of this marque. The Intrepid Sauvignon Blanc 2013 that we taste instantly fills the nostrils with a delicious aroma of elderflower and gooseberries, with just an underlying hint of citrus and green tomato. Obviously a great wine for fish, it nicely compliments the spoonfuls of Salmon Sashimi with Wasabi Mayonnaise that are being offered around. It’s not surprising that it achieved a gold medal at the Spiegelau Wine Awards in 2015. I’d give it a medal too.

Drift Dining and Bar
Intrepid Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Regular readers will know how much I love Drift’s aubergine pate with Haloumi, so I’m delighted to see it’s baby brother being passed around as a taste tempter. Eggplant with relish, goats’ cheese and tahini yogurt - who could ask for more? Well, perhaps a glass of red to wash it down. I mean that is what we are here for - right? New Zealand is less well known for red wine, but Pinot Noir is one of the more successful varieties grown in the region. The Stanley Estate 2012 is a balanced, slightly oaky wine, with a fruit driven palate echoing plums, and sweet berry fruits - which tastes even better after a mouthful of Chef Angus’s cherry tomatoes with balsamic and olives.

Drift Dining and Bar
Stanley Estate 2012 Pinot Noir

We are surprised by a soft brioche offering not on the menu, but who is to complain? We eagerly sink our teeth into crunchy fresh salad and soft fronds of chicken with a melting homestyle mayonnaise. I foolishly place my half finished one down as I look around for more wine, and Caning quickly wolfs it up. No matter, as I’m being offered a taste of Truffle mushroom Arancini in its place. Monica loves these big crisp balls with their soft warm centre.

Drift Dining and Bar
Brioche Burgers

Our final tipple of the evening is the Stanley Estate Merlot 2013, a beautifully fruit driven wine, with black plum and liquorice notes. Very silky with a lingering after sense of soft berry fruits, the smooth taste derives from the maturation process in oak barrels. This could have been my favourite of the evening were it not for that delightful Sauvignon Blanc, which surely pipped it to the post. I take a final mouthful of delicious jamon Serrano with melon and a balsamic glaze, and it is time for me to leave. It is only Monday after all!

Drift Dining and Bar
Merlot and Jamon Serrano

I’m liking the vibe, life is looking good with more pop events planned for the future. I am sure they will be a big, big hit! Looking forward to more ‘Uncorking.’ 

uncorked
Drift Dining and Bar
* The next Uncorked event is scheduled for October 13th. Check out the website for further details.

Reasons to visit: lively interactive space; buzzing atmosphere; great wines; tasty accompaniments. 

Drift Dining and Bar
38 Jalan Bedara
Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+60 3-2110 2079

12 comments:

  1. Wow!!! The crowd. Must be a great place to mix and mingle. Pass me the burgers, please!

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    Replies
    1. It has a really positive vibe. Definitely a place to meet new people and have fun.

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  2. Moncia, Kirsten and Junior!!
    Now look here - that dish of shrimp looks no more Aussie that I look like my Andalusian horse!
    (and I will tolerate no smarty pants comments on that horse business - remember Cordobes
    Junior may take sides - MY SIDE!!!!)

    What's this "Across the Ditch" wine promotion business? Is the Keys government giving you
    "under the counter" hand outs??? Looks mighty "sus" to me.

    No doubting that these wine tastings are popular - ex-pats or no expats by the size of that crowd!
    I note Cordobes Junior in the background - minus motor bike, chopping implements, horse, bull,
    sword, ski or cape. Very smart to be without these in such a social gathering.

    El Colin Cordobes, who would like to see more Aussie imports promoted.
    ( On behalf and at the insistence of the Federal Ministers for Trade and Agriculture - please note!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No smarty pants comments from me! How could you even suggest it? ;-)

      The NZ Aussie rivalry is just as strong across the oceans. I have to admit though this NZ winery sure does have some delicious wines. Perhaps not quite as good as the Aussie stuff... but worthwhile drinking.

      Jr. has an intriguing way of popping up in the background of a number of my photos. So much so I've even thought of collecting them into an album - Where's Hubby? (much like the children's books where you have to find a small character amongst an entire page of pictures).

      With the currency as is, I'd be happy to see a lot more Malaysian products promoted locally. We're paying a significant amount extra these days for anything imported.

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  3. Attractive and friendly ambiance and many people are enjoying it! :)

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    Replies
    1. They sure are! It has a very positive vibe.

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  4. Ha ha... Don't be so mean. ;)
    Give them another 20 years,
    I'm sure they will overtake yours. He he...
    Right now, they're so busy choosing a new flag to boost Kiwi nationalism.
    But I still can't believe they've spent so much public money on this trivial matter. ;) He he

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    Replies
    1. I think they are very sensible. Australia will be next!
      And a fine selection to choose from and not a Union Jack to be seen.
      El Colin Cordobes

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    2. Hmmm.... I wonder if anyone has any doubt left as to where Hubbybear is from! ;-)

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  5. Dreamy bar.
    I can't recall seeing any New Zealand wine on our island..I suppose there is some, of course their would be.
    A good crowd there, all seem to be having fun...

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    Replies
    1. This spot does have a very positive buzz. I'm itching to get down to Tassie and try some of their wines. I heard recently that Tasmania won a highly coveted award for their whisky last year! I was surprised as I had no clue that Australia produced any whisky of value.

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  6. Wow!!! What a lovely place...The crowd....The decoration.... And the yummy brioche burgers...All Sublime ;-))

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