Sunday, April 30, 2023

15 years of Running with KLSCM 2023

When it comes to running events in Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) is the premier race to look out for. This 2023 heralds the 15th edition of the event when Minister of Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Hannah Yeoh officially launched the opening of registrations to the public on 28 April 2023. 

Malaysia’s premier distance running event, which will take place in Dataran Merdeka on 30 September and 1 October, has been awarded the prestigious Road Race Label by governing body World Athletics, making it the first running event in Malaysia and only the fifth in South East Asia to receive this recognition.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Hiking Bukit Guling Ayam

Easy hike with massive payoffs was how one of the blogs described Bukit Guling Ayam. And I agreed! 

With Bukit Tabur closed off to the public due to the danger it poses, Bukit Guling Ayam is perhaps the next best site for a hike along the quartz ridgeline. To even call it a hike seems like an overstatement but what else can I call it? 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

You can now stay at these 4 Castles and Temples in Japan

Ozu Castle, located in Ehime Prefecture, was the first castle in Japan that allowed guests to stay in the castle tower. This majestic castle was reconstructed in 2004 using UNESCO-registered traditional techniques which were revived for the project, and its doors were opened to guests from around the world in 2020. Discerning guests will be able to experience the grandeur and atmosphere the way that Sadayasu Kato, the first lord of the domain, did so in the 1600s, and even experience dinner in the style of the 17th century lords. Both the castle and Garyu Sanso, a historic tea house complex, have been declared as Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

[7D6N Tokyo Itinerary] Cherry Blossom and Mount Fuji

If visiting Japan at the peak of cherry blossom season is on your bucketlist then this is the post for you! 

Prior to Covid, I had an ambitious weekend itinerary planned to fly in and fly out of Tokyo to see their sakura season at its peak. Then of course lockdown happened and that plan was put on hold until 2023. Revenge travel applied here as I picked up on my original plan to travel during cherry blossom season and extended it to include Mount Fuji spotting as well.

Here's my 7D6N itinerary rundown: 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Celebrate the Spring Harvests with Roku Gin, the Japanese Craft Gin

In honour of the changing season, Roku Gin brings fresh flavours and experience this Spring, introducing a medley of mixology collaborations with six bars around Klang Valley to celebrate Spring harvests gathered in its “shun”.

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Honeydew at Rakh

Honeydew melons have been cultivated for thousands of years and prized for its tender juicy flesh and rich sweetness. The fruit requires warm and sunny weather to grow, and is typically harvested in summer, in its “shun”. This is when they are at the peak of flavour – they produce a distinct rich floral sweetness with a delicate musky aftertaste. These flavours are perfect to elevate a Roku cocktail.

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Plum at Bar Terumi

It could be said Japan has a fifth season – Tsuyu (梅雨), literally meaning “plum rain”. Tsuyu comes between spring and summer and is a time of consistent, gentle rains. This is also when the plum tree starts to bear fruit and is ripe for harvesting, in its “shun”. When tsuyu arrives, plums peak in aroma and flavour; they develop such a striking rich sweetness which adds depth to a Roku cocktail.

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Kumquat at Jann KL

Kumquats are a native Southeast Asian citrus fruit that taste like a mix between orange and grapefruit. They love warm weather and are ready for harvest between late winter and early Spring, in their “shun”. This is when bold tangy flavours come alive, resulting in the distinctly citrusy flavour of the fruit. The appetizing sweetness of the peel also makes it a favourite in desserts. The kumquat is perfect to elevate a Roku cocktail. 

Head bartender of Jann KL, Darwin Ng, chooses the citrusy Kumquat to pair with his Roku signature cocktails, the perfect experience for diners who are looking for something different and exciting. 

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Apricot at Concubine

The widely-loved Apricot was originally domesticated in China and now cultivated across the world. Closely related to the peach and plum, apricots are rich in vitamins and minerals. This sweet fleshy rounded fruit peak in flavour and are ready for harvest between late spring to early autumn, in its “shun”. This is when the Apricot develops an intense sweetness and a rich fruity aroma perfect for desserts and to elevate a Roku cocktail. 

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Sakura Flowers at Coley Bar

For this season, Eric Chang from Coley Cocktail Bar singles out the unique Spring botanical used to make a Roku to showcase his signature cocktails, the delicate Sakura. For cocktail lovers who appreciate refine, exquisite cocktails that exude simplicity, Coley presents its signature Roku Sakura cocktails; Hanami, Sa-Kura, and Nanoka. 

[Roku Gin Spring Cocktails] Grapefruit at Penrose KL

The grapefruit is a large citrus fruit that originated from Barbados and is now planted across the world, especially in hotter climates. From late winter to early spring, the grapefruit turns a beautiful orange and the flesh a deep pink. This is when the fruit is at its peak of maturity, in its “shun”. Its strong citrus flavour, coupled with an intense tart and bitter finish, makes it a very unique fruit to elevate a Roku cocktail.

Penrose KL’s Founder and Head bartender, Jon Lee, opted for the tropical grapefruit as his pairing for the Roku signature cocktails this season.