When you think of gin, it's likely that you'd think of having it with tonic, or adding it to cocktails if you're feeling fancy.
Both are great ways to enjoy gin, but the folks from ThirstMag, Tanqueray No. TEN, HYDE 53M and DaBao introduced us a whole new way to enjoy the alcohol and we love it!
Spike the tea
Recently, ThirstMag partnered with Tanqueray No. TEN and organised an event which was hosted by DaBao, a new-ish restaurant and bar in Petaling Street.
The guests were introduced to the delights of tea infused gin by bar veteran Andrew Tan of HYDE 53M, who introduced us to five types of Westerns tea infusions — Chamomile, Earl Grey Lavender, English Breakfast, Darjeeling, and Rooibos Cinnamon.
The drinks were paired with delicious fare curated specially for the event by DaBao's chefs, including a 'Fried Ice Cream' dessert that will be available at the restaurant for a limited time only.
The evening started with a glass of Chamomile Gin and Tonic (i.e. Chamomile Tea Infused T10 Gin, Fentimans Indian Tonic), garnished with Lemon Slices.
Considering that chamomile generally has a mild taste despite its strong smell, this drink didn't taste too different from a glass of classic gin and tonic, so it's the perfect way to be introduced to tea infusions.
Next came the appetiser, Pork and Shrimp Dumplings paired with British Breakfast Soda (i.e. British Breakfast Tea Infused T10 and Soda).
We must say the Pork and Shrimp Dumplings, which is a crowd favourite at DaBao, was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
The accompanying British Breakfast Soda had a more pronounced tea flavour to it compared to the first drink, with just the right amount of "kick" to it.
The main dish was what DaBao is all about, 'bao'
which came with several choices of fillings — pork, lamb, soft shell crab and spicy chicken.
We choose the soft shell crab option and as expected, no regrets! While the 'bao'
is inspired by traditional street food often found in countries like Taiwan, the flavours are unique to the restaurant and the size of the 'bao'
is much bigger than the traditional ones.
'Soft Shell Crab bao'
was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and was topped with some vegetables, making it a balanced and satisfying main dish.
'Earl Grey G&T Float' i.e. Earl Grey Infused T10, Fentimans Indian Tonic topped with Genmaicha Ice Cream was served with the 'bao'
. DaBao has been serving ice creams they make themselves for awhile now and it's a treat even on its own. But served in a float, it leaves the person enjoying it floating in a sea of absolute bliss.
Although everything served thus far were a delight, our favourite was definitely the dessert course.
DaBao created the 'Fried Ice Cream Dessert' (i.e. Rooibos Cinnamon Infused T10, House-Made Bunga Kantan Ice Cream served with Pineapple Jam) especially for the event, but has promised that it will be available to its patrons soon albeit for a limited time only.
As someone who don't usually like ice creams because they are often too sweet, this writer was absolutely delighted by the savoury ice cream.
Despite the initial skepticism over the use of bunga kantan
(torch ginger) as the main ingredient for dessert, we were excited to try the creation and was rewarded with one of the best desserts we've tasted in recent times.
The pineapple jam tasted almost like the filling you'd find in a pineapple tart and worked very well with the rest of the dish.
Rooibos Cinnamon Infused T10 is served on the side so you can either drizzle it on your fried ice cream, or take it like a shot after a bite and be surprised by the explosion of contrasting flavours in your mouth.
A surprising ending to the evening came in the form of 'Spiked Tea' i.e. Darjeeling Infused T10, Black Tea with the option of sliced lemons added to it. We've never imagined having gin with a hot drink but the pairing worked surprisingly well especially as it came right after two courses that included ice creams.
By this time, we were quite buzzed and the hot spiked tea was really soothing. Luckily, the organisers also gave e-hailing vouchers to the guests so no one was driving under the influence.
Public Service Announcement (PSA)
: If you're drinking, even if you only plan on having one drink, don't drive. It's always better to be safe than sorry, as cliché as that may sound.
Supporting local businesses
This pandemic has been hard on businesses, especially small and medium ones. The event was the first that ThirstMag in collaboration Tanqueray no. TEN organised, with few more to come to help the local food and beverage businesses.
Check out DaBao's Instagram to find out more about the place and continue to support small businesses whenever you eat out or order in!