Tag Archives: malaysia

Serving up the Finest Wines up above 40,000 feet

Traveling on Emirates should be about a Total Experience. Like a “jigsaw puzzle”, from the moment the chauffeur pick you up from your hotel, to the checking-in process, right up to boarding the plane and enjoying the in-flight entertainment, everything revolves around our Clients’ Experience and every part of the “jigsaw puzzle” should be complete – Mr Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering, Emirates.

Last week, our writer at The Drinking Market had a long-distance phone interview with Mr. Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering at Emirates. Let’s hear what he has to say:

Qn: How does having a whole range of reputable wines benefit a consumer? Is there a wine pairing option on-board the plane?

Ans: In Emirates, we always believe in giving our clients an experience just like a night out in a fine-dining restaurant. Balancing our wine list, we carry wines from both New and the Old World, focusing on both quality and balance. In fact, we normally buy our wines 8-9 years prior to serving them, this does not only ensures that we have the sufficient quantity, but it also ensures that there is a proper storage facility and minimal movements to the wines when we keep it at our private cellar.

Back to the question, Emirates does something a little more interesting, for instance, a trip to Europe, we will feature a more popular wine from the particular country or region, such as a 1996 Chateau Montrose for a flight to Europe! Our clients would not only be able to experience a whole list of well thought through wines, but also some interesting vintages from the wineries in the country they are visiting. Having said that, we do not have a fixed wine-pairing menu on-board the plane, however, our team of air crews have been through strict trainings on wines and spirits, and should be able to do a simple pairing with the meals provided. On top of that, we also recommend our clients to have fun with the pairings, a seafood dish does not necessary have to go with a white wine, try a pinot noir (red) from Burgundy, it’ll definitely go well as well!

Qn: Can the consumers be expecting reputable wines from back vintages?

Ans: Definitely! As mentioned earlier, we often purchase our wines at least 8 to 10 years prior serving them, and we usually store it at our private cellar in Bordeaux or Dubai, a good example is the 2000 Cos d’Estournel that we are currently serving, it was bought 6 to 9 years ago.

Well, since you’re based in Singapore, let me share with you an example of what we serve on-board Emirates on your flight home.

  1. 2000 Dom Perignon
  2. 2006 Domaine Bouchard Pere, Meursault
  3. 2000 Ch La Lagune, Haut Medoc
  4. 2005 Yabby Lake Vineyard Pinot Noir
  5. 1985 Dow’s Vintage Port

Wine Cellar at the First Class Lounge at Terminal 3, Dubai Airport(2)

Qn: Storage of wines on board the plane

Ans: This is definitely one of the best questions, and i am glad you asked that. In Emirates, we take very close attentions to the quality our wines, in fact, we have a strong supply chain system from Dubai which transports the wines on-board the plane through a temperature controlled cargo, which our crews ensures minimal movements to the wines, so as to provide our clients with the best and the most optimal wine experience.

Qn: What triggered the move to go into fine wines on board a plane?

Ans: We have always been serving great wines on-board our planes, however, on a recent note, we are consistently finding the best solutions and strategies to improve our wine programme. The in-house team is one great example, we believe in the “jigsaw puzzle” concept, and wines are part of the “jigsaw puzzle” for a Total Experience

First Class & Business Class Onboard Lounge(5)

Qn: How does a palate differs at 40,000 feet in the sky compared to tasting a wine on the ground? Do the in-house wine team fly to taste?

Ans: There are many school of thoughts about one’s palate that will be affected on-board the plane, however, we do not see that as the main issue, in fact, all our wines are chosen on-premise. Nevertheless, our panel, that includes the President of Emirates travels alot, thus, if any one of us were to spot a wine that does not taste necessary well or doesn’t justify the wines’ potential at 40,000 feet, we will definitely have it replaced.

Having said that, it is uncommon and extraordinary to have a wine that “does not fly”, therefore, we’re glad that the wines we choose have been well-received so far!

First Class & Business Class Onboard Lounge(4)

Qn: What can consumers expect to get in the future?

Ans: I hope that our clients would happy with the service and in-flight entertainment we have on-board Emirates. In the near future, our passengers would definitely be able to enjoy and experience more interesting wines and back vintages from both renown and artisanal wineries. The World is our playground, we will consistently find the best wines to list on board the plane.

Qn: Anything else that you wish to tell our readers?

Ans: Yes! I would like to encourage our passengers to go through our wine list, and flip through it, there are definitely more interesting wines and spirirts that is worth a try. Do not just stick to the common ones that you have heard or seen, try something different, whatever you taste on-board, would definitely taste just as well on land.


4th South East Asia Best Sommelier Competition-Results!!

Lining in formation like a platoon of trained soldiers, the finalist stood together for a final group photo before the competition began.

Soon… the time was up, it was the moment of truth. Three stations made up of panels from the food and beverage industry, the top 3 finalist were put into a series of test hosted individually by a whole panel of judges who presented the questions to them from their table.

Table 1: Hosted by Mr. Yohann Jousselin, M.S. – Master Sommelier

Table 2: Hosted by Mr. Abdul Hafid, Director of F&B, Traders Hotel

Table 3: Hosted by Mr. Frank Kammer, M.S. – Master Sommelier

The finalist were put to a series of test of which Table 1 focused on asking questions about Aperitif and Sparkling wines. Table 2, hosted by Mr. Hafid was focusing more on Food and Wine Pairing and Wine List correction. The participants basically had to look through a wine list with errors and figure it out before telling the panel their answers. Apart from that, they were given a set of menu to pair two wines of which one had to be a New World Wine and the other, a Old World.

On the third table which was hosted by M.S. Frank, the finalist had to do a series of table service such as; opening a bottle of “89′ Mouton Rothschild” – obviously it is not! and doing a series of blind tasting. Tricks and situations such as shaking the “89′ Mouton” which was said to have been standing in the cellar for a night makes it tougher for the participants to apprehend the situation recovery on the spot.

Definitely not an easy competition to stand out from, especially when you are in a “hall of anxious eyes” looking at you perform your thing on the stage. If you can’t pass your personal round of stage fright, you probably would have lost the first half of the game.

All in all, what M.S. Frank said was really true and i second that. “whoever is here today, standing on the stage is already a winner”.

After a whole series of test which started as early as 8am in the morning, the winner was announced!

Mr. Han Yew Kong (Malaysia), a current Sommelier at the Osteria Mozza by Mario Batali in Marina Bay Sand won the title of the 4th South East Asia Best Sommelier Competition 2013.

On behalf of TDM and the trade, we wish him all the best and to the rest of the participants, because you took a step to realize your dream, you too are winners in our field of wine people! Your professionalism, enthusiasm and strive for success is clearly visible in all of our eyes! Cheers to that and All the best to all of you!!


TDM-ASIA makes your trip PAID for!

Seen that? Yes, it’s all true! TDM-ASIA alongside WorldVentures and Rovia, an award winning travel agent is bringing you to travel to be paid!

Let’s see what has ROVIA achieved, just in 2012!

  • Honoured with the Golden Apple. Premier Apple and Platinum Apple award for exceptional quality & service
  • Recognised by TRAVEL WEEKLY in 2012 with a GOLD Megellan Award for best community involvement programme
  • Recognised by TRAVEL WEEKLY in 2012 with a SILVER Megellan Award for best travel guides, ratings & reviews

Unheard of? You’ve seen the video, by now you would have realised how many people in the WORLD, yes WORLD have joined us in this PAID to TRAVEL lifestyle programme!

Interested to join us in this journey of travelling to be paid?

Don’t hurry to do it! Like all businesses, there’s always a term and condition. Let’s meet-up over SKYPE, VIBER, FACE-to-FACE, whatever! I just want you to know the whole idea of TDM-ASIA & WV!

Before you leave, let’s see another video of what some others are doing NOW!

CLICK on the PHOTO to view!

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 3.08.29 PM

Now, what’s your idea of fun? If you’re a self-confessed travel fanatic, LIKE ME, fill up the form at the bottom of this page and let’s keep in contact.

But… If you’re certain of joining the team of travellers, sign-up NOW !


Weekend Khakis – A mid-night trip to Johor Bahru


In this week’s Weekend Khakis, we took our wheels out and headed to Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Johor, or JB an acronym that we call the country, a place that many Singaporeans visits for grocery shopping, refuelling petrol, car wash, massage or just for a meal.  Simple as it is, we’re just 3.3km (Google Maps) away from each other, better still? it’s just SGD1.20 (Land Transport Authority) to get into Johor Via the Woodland’s Checkpoint.


Currently, the exchange rates as of 3rd Aug 2013,  SGD to MYR is at 2.49 for SGD100 and above, so what’s stopping you? NOTHING!

So, last night, we decided to drive-in to JB for a massage cum car-wash kinda thing. KSL, Holiday Plaza and JB Sentral these are just some examples of the common places we Singaporeans visit. This trip, we headed further down from into Taman Sentosa and decided to stop-by Tianyu Foot Relaxing Centre (address at the end of the post), for some of you who are more frequent travellers into JB, you probably would have known this place, it’s actually one street down from the usual makan place at the Hawker Centre that serves fantastic “Zi Char” just beside Shell Petrol Station, a 5min drive down from Holiday plaza and probably 3min drive from KSL.

What can you get there?

Well, if you’re afraid that your car will go missing during a car wash, especially with all the negative news you hear about your friends losing their cars in Johor, but you’ll still like to grab a cuppa traditional coffee and toast, then this is the Place to go!


Just less then 50metres away from Nanyang Kopitiam is a 24hour car wash service that i reckon is one of JB’s best car grooming centre. With just MYR10, you get a snow-wash, vacuum, dusting, etc… Yes, i know the other car grooming services in JB does that as well, but trust me, i’ve went to quite a number of them this year, especially with my frequent visits to Malaysia, but this particular one beside Nanyang Kopitiam deserves to be listed as one of my top choices!

My apologies, as it was really late at night, i didn’t really take a picture of the exact place, but fret not, once you’ve found Nanyang Kopitiam, it’s just beside it, clearly visible and obvious – possibly the only one at that area.

Nanyang Kopitiam serves up delicious local delicacies that goes as low as MYR3 per “small bites” , you can enjoy the traditional Kaya Toast, noodles, rice dishes, etc… Most importantly, for the smokers, you can smoke anywhere at the alfresco area, while looking at the car groomers washing your car!

Oh Oh Oh!! Yes, just in case you’re wondering if you’re short of MYR, there’s a couple of Money Changers just along the Nanyang Kopitiam, in fact there’s one just beside it!


Right after we left the keys and the car with the groomers, we headed-off to Tianyu Foot Relaxing Centre, just across the Nanyang Kopitiam. Again, apologies for the lack of Pictures because by the time we were there, it was already past Midnight!!

This time round, after our previous experience doing the full-body massage, we recommended our Khakis to try-out their massages there too! No complaints at all!! They enjoyed it!

But my recommendation is, if you were to visit them, try out their Chinese Massages instead of the Thai Massage. It’s not that the Thai Massage is bad, it’s just that the employees are made-up of mainly the PRCs, and many of them were previously trained in Chinese Massage and TCM in China, having said that, i think my point is rather obvious which to choose right?!

* try getting these two masseuse, [123] & [118]… they did our full-body massage for Ms Small Girl and myself and we thought that they were really good!

One more hint!

Try going there earlier… recommended to go around 12pm to 5pm. As per what the masseuse said, it gets busier at night, and they do get quite tired because they only work one shift, which is from 12pm – 2am (last call)… meaning if they have a client coming in at 2am for a massage, be prepared to be cursed and swear-ed by them while you “enjoy” your massage!

After the Massage, if you’re feeling a little hungry, Don’t worry!

If you’re there early, street stalls just beside the Tianyu Foot Relaxing Centre opens for business at around 6pm, mostly local Chinese delicacies, you’ll be overwhelmed with choices such as the Chinese “Zi Char”, Ba Kut Teh, Fried Kway Teow, Wonton Noodles, Chicken Wings, etc… approximately a 100-150m stretch of street stalls serving up piping hot food that could easily satisfy your cravings!

For our dearest Muslim friends, do not fear, there’s definitely something for you too! Just directly opposite the Chinese Street food Stalls, or directly along the stretch of where Nanyang Kopitiam is at, there’s also a whole stretch of street food stalls that serves only Muslim Food! Things like Nasi Lemak, Gado gado, Satay, etc… literally the Simpang Bedok of Johor!

However, if you happen to finish your massage past 1am, which we did this time round, at the first floor of The Store (a shopping centre) in Taman Sentosa, there’s a franchise of the Old Town White Coffee which is 24 hours! Serving hot coffee and comfort food, you never have to worry about being Hungry! If that doesn’t satisfies you, you can always make a trip back towards the food stalls behind Shell Petrol Kiosk, 2 minutes from KSL for your abalone noodles!

Well, i hope i’ve fed some of you with some useful information about our trip to JB for the Weekend Khakis, if there’s nothing else, i’m attaching a map to guide you into where the places are and i hope you’ll enjoy your short little trips to Johor like how we did!

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 4.07.50 PM


Nanyang Kopitiam

63, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru

Tel: +607 333 1788

Old Town White Coffee (Taman Sentosa)

Plaza Sentosa, Lot 8-10, Block A, Ground Floor, Jalan Sutera, Taman Sentosa, Johor Bahru

Tianyu Foot Relaxing Center

34, Jalan Sutera 2, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru

Tel: +607 332 8898


* Pictures of VW are compliments of Mr Drummer!


To all TDMers, have a great weekend and I’ll see you end of next week!!

Flying-off to Ho Chi Minh City on Monday!!! On a spree of Holiday Moods!




HEAL the WORLD – The Hazy Update

Taking a break from writing, i decided to flip through FB to see the updates on the haze that’s happening in Singapore, clearly, it has not changed. Though not surprised with the outcome, i was more pissed with the articles that i read about how our Indonesian counterparts reply to our sincere feedbacks and offer of assistance.


“Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise,” Agung Laksono, the minister coordinating Indonesia’s response, told reporters.

“This is not what the Indonesian nation wants, it is because of nature.”

The minister for people’s welfare also insisted that Indonesia did not want any financial assistance to fight the fires from Singapore unless it was a large amount.

“If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget,” he said.

What?! That actually came out of his mouth?! Where’s the thought that goes into his comments that he made?

To make matters worse, Hadi Daryanto, also attempted to shift some of the blame onto Malaysia and Singapore, saying their palm oil companies that had invested in Indonesia were also responsible.

– My Question Is –

If you decide to push the blame to the other countries, and knowing that this haze have been going on for more then a decade, then why are you not doing ANYTHING to it, but choose to point fingers and push the blame to anyone but yourselves?

The theory is that, even if a foreign country who throws heavy investments into Singapore, and if they do anything illegal or harmful to the country, they too will be PROSECUTED and dealt with accordingly! So what’s with this pushing of blame?

This is YOUR country, YOUR Indonesia, NOT MINE!

So why should i care?

The only reason why i care now is because you’re throwing your SHIT to us and limiting your own responsibilities!

“If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget,”  – Agung Laksono.

Isn’t this MONEY? You retard, how arrogant are you to make such claims and accounts! It’s probably time for you to wake up and let the our dearest LEE handle your situation, also, I suggest that you pay Singapore the half a million or one million to our Charitable Organizations who are actively raising funds to protect the well-being and health of our Singaporeans that you’re now RUINING!


For once, Be PRACTICAL and start working on it!

Meanwhile for our dearest Singaporean, here’s a great suggestion from our DJ Rosalyn Lee on the means to tackle haze:)


Leaving you again with one of Michael’s greatest piece: Heal The World!

All i wanna say is that they don’t really care about us!

Amidst the Hazy days in Singapore and a record breaking PSI level of 321, many of us felt how it’ll probably be like locked in Hell with burning hot temperature and smoky “backdrop” surrounding us. A good look over Facebook would see almost 90% of my news feed complaining about the haze that’s caused by our Indonesian counterparts who are happily burning the rainforest and ruining the entire eco-system for what we call, MONETARY BENEFITS.

Photos: courtesy of The Straits Times



No! That’s not photoshop, neither is it some computer effects, that’s my country, Singapore, a tiny island with a population of almost 6 million people – YES, that’s the amount of people you’re killing! For the past few days, we’ve seen it, we’ve felt it and we HATE it!

I’m pleading for the Indonesian government to do something to this, for the past years, we’ve been tolerating this SHIT, but why are they not doing ANYTHING? Even if they did do something, it’s clearly INEFFECTIVE!

This is not the 1st, not the 2nd, neither is it the 3rd, but it has been close to a decade of burning the rainforest after countless attempts from neighbouring countries to STOP it!

So my fellow HUMAN beings, WHY are you doing this?

Have you cared for the SICK

Have you cared for the OLD

Have you cared for the CHILDREN

Have you even spared a thought for your OWN loved ones!

STOP your burning, STOP your bribes, STOP your BULLSHIT!




Leaving you with a song from the Originals of Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us!

05-06-2013 | Updates of Life

Hi Tdmers!

Just wanna update all ya’ll that i’m currently taking a break from work! But that doesn’t mean i’m taking a break from Blogging! I’ll still be actively involved in the writing community with more updates and happenings that are surrounding me!

By the way, i’ll be travelling to Malaysia, then Reservist :(…. then to Bangkok, then…. Probably flying off to France by end July or August!

Meanwhile, for the students who are currently having their month-long school holidays in Singapore, enjoy yourself and remember what our prime minister said… “Today is the start of the June holidays. Happy holidays to all students. Enjoy yourselves, and don’t do too much homework!  – LHL”

I’m leaving you here with a beautiful video of Daries and Valerie, a really good friend who is extremely supportive to whatever i do, have a happy Honeymoon!