I used to think that Malacca’s shopping centers weren’t as exciting at KL’s.
That was until The Shore Malacca opened.
And, we would not have known about this cool mall, had we not been invited for the opening of La Bodega in Malacca, last week.
That’s right, La Bodega opened its doors last Saturday evening to the good folk of Malacca – situated along Malacca River at The Shore Shopping Gallery, the opening marked the first ever outlet to open outside of the Klang Valley. Spanish cuisine is now another culinary attraction for Malacca’s residents and its visitors.
The house specialties are not unlike what you might find in La Bodega KL – Cecina, turkey chorizo & turkey salami served with pan con tomate & extra virgin olive oil, sizzling Gambas al Ajillo, meaty Albondigas, copious seafood stews and Paella laden with reliably fresh shellfish. All these and more tasty tapas, washed down with their strong yet delectable sangria. Can’t ask for more really.
Albondigas Saint Climent, Lamb meatballs in a rich brandy sauce and Olivas Marinadas, Marinated green & black olives with herbs & olive oil & Pate de Tomate, Sun-dried & fresh tomato pate
Pollo al Ajillo Classico- Sautéed chicken drummets with garlic & olive oil
Patatas Bravas – Potatoes in spicy tomato sauce & garlic mayonnaise
Paella Valenciana Mixta – Spanish rice cooked in a paella with squid ink, squids & tiger prawns, topped with garlic mayonnaise
Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli – Spanish rice cooked in a paella with squid ink, squids & tiger prawns, topped with garlic mayonnaise
Angus Tenderloin, Lamb Rack, Spanish Octopus – Drizzled in garlic olive oil & served with paprika mashed potato
There are also hearty Spanish breakfasts to choose from, such as the Bodega’s Big Breakfast.
Two farm fresh eggs done sunny-side up, breakfast chicken sausages, beef bacon, grilled tomato, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms, and a slice of toast served with freshly squeezed juice and an illy caffe, will have you clutching your sides in surrender!
Eggs Benedict – Two poached eggs on toast with Hollandaise sauce with your choice of Smoked Turkey Ham or Smoked Salmon
The Josper Oven is a traditional Spanish closed indoor barbecue using 100% charcoal heat and precision temperature control for getting the meats dones just right. It takes some skill to manage this fire, so I am told.
Johan Holmberg showcased his skills at serving sherry in the traditional way using the long-handled venencia tool.
On the night of the opening, it started raining cats and dogs. Luckily though, the rain stopped and the people started arriving for the grand opening of La Bodega. With the smell of fresh wood still lingering in the air from the newly installed woodworks, the crowd soon filled up the restaurant kicking things off with much enthusiasm.
Opening the show in true Spanish flair was Santi and Sergio of the Volando Boys dressed in traditional Spanish costumes and serenading guests from table to table with beautiful Spanish songs done in acoustic style.
The buffet setup comprised a freefllowing course of cold and hot tapas, Josper grilled meats and 2 large paella pans cooking up fresh batches of various paellas throughout the evening. Fresh from the bar, are shiny new beer taps served up ice cold pints alongside the La Bodega signature red sangria, and glasses of Torres Vina Brava red, white and rose.
Beers on tap, wines.. you name it.. they served it!
As the Volando Boys finished up their final set with popular Spanish and Latin dance numbers, the evening turned to the late night sessions with the gorgeous Miss SS taking over the stage spinning electronic dance music and setting the pace on the dancefloor.
Spanish-style entertainment that went down well with the crowd..
Some even started dancing!
Anyway we thought the contemporary, spacious feel of this La Bodega, the use of deep reds and rich yellows together with dark stained timber furniture, montage of black and white photos of Spain in the 50’s, was all very tastefully done.
The al-fresco part of the restaurant, overlooking the Malacca River will be popular with those who like the unhemmed in feel of the great outdoors.
Well the next morning, was an early start, but not too early for Cocktails, apparently.
Breakfast cocktails to be precise..
Well, Tio Pepe has singlehandedly change the way I perceive sherry. As of last week, my understanding of this tipple has deepened, just as my love for it. My mind and palate has been opened to bone dry sherry, completely dispelling my misconception of sweet sherry that I used to think, only old people drank.
Johan Holmberg has been creating cocktails since the young age of fourteen and has gone on to win many awards. He was the youngest person to win the Master Mixologist title and has started up and runs five bars and restaurants of his own. This famous yet modest head barman from El Coctel Shanghai has “shaken and not stirred” for more than 154 countries worldwide.
He made for us, the super tasty La Modena which had a delicious rim of balsamic vinegar, made with Gin and Solera 1847 Sherry, with lovely notes of basil and orange bitters. And also the Pepe Rosado – a photogenic rose petal, tio pepe, lime juice concoction, topped up with sparkling wine that’s guaranteed to hit the spot. All the cocktails were fragrant, balanced and had a lovely permeating Sherry core that was hard to resist.
González Byass is one of the “classic bodegas” of the Sherry Triangle (Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria). In the early 19th century, Jerez, Spain had become the wine capital of the world. In 1835, Manuel Maria González Angel put all of his savings into the founding of a small winery and within 20 years González Byass grew to become the leading exporter of sherry wines in Jerez.
From them comes the flagship Tio Pepe, Nectar Jerez Pedro Ximénez, La Concha, San Domingo, to name a few.
French Toast – Classic French toast served with maple syrup, butter & preserves
Good thing they fed us breakfast before we left.. otherwise my head would have been swimming in a cocktail of sherry all morning!
Yes, they definitely fed us well before sending us on our way. A terrific trip and grand opening. We wish La Bodega luck on their fine restaurant at The Shore Malacca.
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