Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Event Organiser


In conjunction with the 54th Merdeka Celebration, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and GourmetGarden.com.my are partnering to deliver this exclusively for bloggers contest that will test the writing skills and popularity of our blogging peers. Joining is easy, you just have to sign up on our Facebook Page and wait to be notified through email. And details of the contest can be found on our “event & contest” page.

The 1st batches of bloggers who have attended Sunday brunch on the 7th of August were:

The 2nd batch of bloggers who have attended Sunday brunch on the 14th of August were:

The 3rd batch of bloggers who have attended Sunday brunch on the 21st of August were:

The 4th and final batch of bloggers who have attended Sunday brunch on the 28th of August were:

For the 54th Merdeka Sunday Brunch at Spice Market Cafe in the month of August, each week brings a different menu that is painstakingly prepared and presented by their chefs in to the dinners. Each week we get to try different dishes and meet different (almost) Chefs that will be manning their respective stations, we even get to meet interns who aspire to join the ranks of top chefs in the F&B industry and leave their mark in, what they have chosen, a hard and challenging career that demands dedication and long hours.

Through this contest and event organised for the bloggers, we try bringing the bloggers and chefs or food providers closer and bridging a better understanding of what we eat, how they prepared and most importantly hygiene and safety demands that we as consumers should ask for. And likewise, we also hope to change the perception of what business owners have about bloggers that have been tarnished by a few bad apples in the community, and also the purpose of bloggers in this modern age of technology. Bloggers play the role of check and balance and distributor of information.

Chef Lim briefing the bloggers of the SOP (standard operating procedure) in the Shangri-La’s kitchen.

The chefs answering questions fielded by the bloggers.

If you like their review(s), vote for their “links” at our Gourmet Garden Facebook Fan Page, give them words of encouragement to churn out better and better reviews. Or better still, join in the fun with us and celebrate the 54th Merdeka with a tummy full of good eats and be entertained with the appearance clown(s) that tries to put a brighter smile on everyone’s face.

Prizes up for grabs include:


  • Weekly Most Facebook “Like” Blogger (1 Prize each week for 4 weeks) Exclusive Spa Treatment for 2 Persons (1 hour 15 minutes) at Chi – The Spa at Shangri-la, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang  (worth RM699nett).
  • The Ultimate Facebook “Like” Blogger (1 Prize) 2 Days 1 Night Stay with Breakfast for 2 at the Garden Wing, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang Deluxe Sea facing Room (worth RM1,322nett) and Exclusive Jewellery Cash Voucher from Vinstella Jewellery (worth RM300).
  • Best Written Article of Spice Market Buffet Spread (1 Prize) Candle Light Dinner For 2 at Feringgi Grill, with specially crafted menu By Chef David Pooley of Feringgi Grill, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang (worth RM1,160.00nett) and Exclusive Jewellery Cash Voucher from Vinstella Jewellery (worth RM300).
  • Best Photograph (1 Prize) Exclusive Jewellery Cash Voucher from Vinstella Jewellery (worth RM300).

View Gourmet Garden Food Trial in a larger map


Wine Tasting @Hardwicke House – They Have Closed Down-

Posted by Jason Wong On December - 9 - 20096 COMMENTS

Hardwicke House has met its demised one or two months ago due to unforeseen reasons

A few weeks back, we managed to arrange for some our blogging friends to try out Hardwicke House’s buffet offerings during diner time. The event also included a sampling of 3 labels of wine and an introduction to their in-house coffee brand. It was a shame that they were not able to meet up with the person behind Hardwicke House’s new eating outlet after ‘Khana’ and ‘Mr. Ho’s Fine Food’. Peter was unable to attend, thus we were hosted by Balan, their chef, and Kelvin.

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The evening began with each individual bloggers taking their time to creatively capture what Hardwicke has to offer in terms of atmosphere, food and drinks through their photo lenses.

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After some minutes passed, all were seated and were given an introduction to Hardwicke by Balan, followed by the first introduction and sampling of the first label of wine.  The first wine we tried was Friulvini’s ‘Verduzzo Vino Frizzante’.  This wine was the most popular amongst the 3 that we sample for the night. The wine had a fizzy or bubbly texture, a pleasant light fruity fragrance with a light sweet and acidic after taste. I personally find Verduzzo to be light on the palate, and thus would be a good pair to light tasting dishes, sweet dishes, fruits or confectioneries.


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After enjoying our first round of starters available in the buffet line, we were given the second label of to sample. It was the second white for the night, Terranoble ‘s Sauvignon Blanc year 2005; the wine is from the Maule Valley in Chile.  Chile is a ‘New World’ wine exporting country which has a strategic geological location that has the right soil composition, climate and water hardness is getting much recognition in recent years for producing various types’ grapes that are used in making flavorful yet affordable wines.

The Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc had a more instance flavor compared to the first wine that we had. The wine had a tropical fruity fragrance with dash more hint of pineapple.  The texture was dry with a lingering presence of acidic sensation in the back of the tongue and throat. This type of full bodied white would be recommended to compliment seafood or other white meats that are lightly seasoned. The optimum temperature to enjoy Sauvignon Blanc is when it is chilled to between 7۫C to 8۫C. Any temperature below that would hinder the fragrance of the wine to evaporate into your sense of smell.

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The last of the night was Hardwicke’s very own house wine ‘Schubert Hardwicke Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002’. This bottle is the only red that we had and was not as popular as the first wine amongst the bloggers. This red is deeply coloured, has an intense aroma of blackberries, plum, hint of dark chocolate and spices. The taste was fruity and earthy with a little hint of sweetness. The Cabernet Sauvignon would be quite good with heavier tasting dishes that have spice in it or with red meats that have a more pungent flavor in itself.

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After introducing the wine that we had, lets talk about the basics of wine tasting so that you can learn to enjoy wine more, rather than just swallowing mouthfuls and wasting the sensational experience of wine enjoyment.

You start with Sight: Pour a suitable volume of wine in to a clean and clear wine glass; tilt it away from you, place a white background behind (eg. napkin, paper or table cloth) and check for the colour of the wine from the edges to the middle of the glass. The colour depends on the age and type grapes that are used. For reds you may find maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red, brick or brownish shades of red. And for whites you may be looking at clear, pale yellow, straw, light green, golden, amber or brown colour shades. After colour, you may want to inspect for its opacity and trace of sediments.

Then you would move on to Smell: Smell is one of the important criteria in wine tasting as the fragrance and aroma particles would be suspended in your nose and throat region while the wine is being swirled through the mouth. Thus, smell compliments the taste of wine, and is also one of the reasons of multiple sensation when the enjoying wine. To release the fragrance and aroma of a wine, it should be drunk at the specified temperatures to release the alcohol vapour that carries the aroma into the nostril and smell receptors.

After smelling we enter the actual Tasting phase: Tasting of a wine starts by slurping the wine and then swirling it around the mouth so that every inch of senses in the mouth are coated with the wine. Slurping releases additional aromas in to the region between the throat and the nostril to enable the sense receptors pick up particles of the wine. The swirling action allows the wine to move around the mouth to coat all four sensory regions on the tongue.

At the tasting phase of wine sampling, there are 3 stages of taste sensation; attack stage, evolution stage and finish stage. The Attack stage is the initial impression or sensation that the wine makes on your palate, alcohol content, tannin levels, acidity and residual sweetness which tells intensity and complexity (soft or firm, light or heavy, crisp or creamy, sweet or dry) of the wine.

The Evolution stage is the stage that tells of the wine’s actual taste on your palate, the flavour profile of the wine is revealed. For reds the common notes are fruitiness (e.g. berry, plum, prune or fig), spice (pepper, clove, cinnamon, etc.) and or woody flavours. For whites the common notes to look for are fruitiness (e.g. apple, pear, tropical or citrus fruits) , floral scents, herbs, and or earthiness.

Lastly you will reach the Finish stage where it will reveals to you the wine’s lingering flavour impression after it is swallowed. Was it light-bodied (like water that doesn’t linger) or full-bodied (like a viscous flavour that lingers long)? Does it entice you to have more or not?

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To be continued…..with Hardwicke House food and promotions.

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