This evening, between 8-10 pm two artisan brands came together in The Red Beanbag to introduce their philosophy and products to a group of very willing participants.
But before we get into that, The Red Beanbag (RBB) is located at Publika, opposite Ben's, right above Dr. Cafe Coffee.
[The Red Beanbag]
If you haven't been there, you need to. They do good coffee, bring in good cakes and their Eggs Benedict has French Toast as it's carbohydrate element. You know you want it. It was lovely for them to host the event because I can't think of a better venue!
So, I got there early...can you tell I was excited? Which means I got to take lots of set-up pictures!
[***Please excuse the slightly yellow-tinged hue humans take on with this camera. Am still working out the kinks. All humans photographed today are within the normal range of human colouration and are not suffering from jaundice***]
[Complimentary Unlimited Juice from Smooshie Juice]
And of course, the lovely ladies introducing us to their exceptional products:
[The ladies behind Smooshie Juice & Fatbaby Ice-Cream (in no particular order)]
Of course, as everyone traipsed in there was mingling and chatting, as well as sampling of the juices.
Just after 8, the event kicked off and the ladies introduced themselves and their brands briefly before taking turns to delve deeper into their products including the challenges, mechanisms, etc. which are used to ensure that the integrity of it is maintained.
To backtrack a little, the main purpose of this event, as the name implies, is to expose attendees to the difference between mass-produced or "artificial" flavours, and what the real stuff is actually like. Undoubtedly, these ladies have faced the challenge of dealing with people being stuck in their comfort zone and not understanding the products which their brands embody.
First off, Smooshie Juice took the floor. This makes absolutely sense because it's difficult to taste the sweetness of juice after consuming sugar and more full-bodied flavours which ice-cream contains.
[Lin and Wan Chiun Introducing Smooshie Juice]
They provided us with a very brief history of how they got together (they were primary school classmates) and decided on this specific undertaking (they studied in Australia and there is a tangible difference in the quality of juices between Australia and Malaysia), followed by a tasting session which compared the flavours of packaged juices (Guava - Peel Fresh, Orange - Sunkist, Apple - Tropicana) which freshly squeezed juices.
They also handed out these handy reference sheets to further elaborate how horrifying the stuff out there truly is.
[The Lies that Companies Tell You]
[Can you see the disgust towards Peel Fresh?]
[Lin Explaining the Differences]
[Wan Chiun Juicing Fresh Apples]
[Distributing the Real Stuff]
[What apple juice should actually look like - Cloudy, not clear!]
The difference between the fresh juices and the bottled stuff is truly quite stark. You can taste the artificial sugars added to them in order to aid in both flavouring and preserving the product.
Their juices, on the other hand, and pure and pasturised in a manner which maintains the wholesome nature of juice. They heat the juice to 70 degrees for just 15 seconds, and immediately cool it to kill the unhealthy bits and bobs. The short window of heating doesn't affect the good stuff that you don't want to kill off though, which is the perfect amount.
Their juices were truly, truly delectable. They were incredibly sweet (naturally so) and the flavours were amazingly well paired.
These are some of the flavours I tried:
[Red Apple & Red Dragonfruit - Their Bestseller]
They mentioned that Red Dragonfruit was commonly found in Malaysia, while White Dragonfruit is usually imported from Vietnam. Definitely good to know! Extremely delicious, mind you!
[Red Apple & Red Dragonfruit; Orange; Guava (The Orange & Guava juices were freshly squeezed and in these containers for ease of distribution)]
[Mango, Pineapple & ____]
The mango flavour in this definitely stands out, and while I am generally not a fan of mango or pineapple, this was absolutely delicious.
Overall, their juices are fantastically fresh and well-paired in terms of the fruit combinations. It was quite lovely sampling all the different flavours and getting to mix my own concoctions when no one was looking.
They concluded their expose of the terrible-ness of mass produced juices with a mini Q&A which was extremely informative. On occasion they do launch special juices and there will be an upcoming blend for Chinese New Year which I shall keep a secret...it sounds like I will need a vat of it to be happy though. Stalk their FB page to find out!
This event was definitely very well balanced in terms of the yin and yang...Healthy Juices and Decadent Ice-Cream. Perfect combination!
Now, this isn't my first exposure to Fatbaby and let me start by telling you that I am generally not a fan of ice-cream. After trying their stuff though, I've realised that I'm not a fan of ice-cream which is not actually ice-cream, but rather a load of nonsense which is just called ice-cream. For example, Baskin Robbins just has 31 flavours of lies...terrible lies at that.
I discovered them before I went through a phase in April where I was craving coconut ice-cream. No, I wasn't pregnant, I just have a severely obese inner child. Unfortunately, coconut ice-cream is next to impossible to find in KL, but Fatbaby does a Coconut Candy flavour, which is not exactly what I wanted, but definitely hit the spot and formed a bond which will never be broken!
Hui Ming kicked things off by telling us exactly what goes into her ice-cream.
[Cream, Milk, Eggs, Sugar, Air = Pure Deliciousness!]
And what goes into most other ice-creams!
[Never good to have that many ingredients and such a large air bubble!]
[Explaining what's wrong with the competition]
In general, the more air goes into the ice-cream, the softer it is, which is why Fatbaby's ice-creams aren't that easy to scoop. They are densely packed with actual ingredients, and only 10-15% (depending on which flavour it is) of air...simply because it is a necessary component.
[Have you seen a more beautiful sight?]
She brought with her ice-creams from 2 other companies - Magnolia and New Zealand Natural (which is an oxymoron apparently) to compare with.
In order to provide the most comprehensive flavour analysis, she stuck with the three most common flavours of ice-cream: Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry.
[Fatbaby's Vanilla v Magnolia's Vanilla]
First of all, look at the colour...the slightly yellow-ish tinge is what you get when you use real cream. On a side note, the same goes for clotted cream...if it's white, it's not proper clotted cream. Secondly, you can see the actual vanilla beans in there. She used real vanilla pods as well as vanilla bean paste in order to get an extremely intense vanilla flavour which packs quite a punch. Hands down the best vanilla ice-cream I have ever had. It actually tastes like vanilla, and not "white ice-cream" (as my nephew calls it). This would make unbelievably awesome affogato...which is the plan which was in my head when I extorted a little tub from her at the end of the event.
[Magnolia's Chocolate v Fatbaby's Chocolate]
I know you can see the absurd difference in colour too! Fatbaby's is so deep (as it should be, because she uses proper dark chocolate (70%) to make the stuff, and adds cocoa powder to the mix. I can't even describe what this tastes like. Heaven would be an understatement. The only word to accurately describe it would be the "abyss" because it pulls you, then steals your soul. There is no going back after this. It is not only the most decadently amazing chocolate ice-cream out there...it's one of the best chocolate-anything I have ever had. I am currently in a relationship with Fatbaby's Chocolate Ice-Cream.
Thereafter, she gave out some fresh cut strawberries in order to expose us to the real flavour of them before tasting them in ice-cream form.
As I'm not a fan of strawberries in general, I added some to the chocolate ice-cream, which I was slowly polishing off:
And then there was strawberry ice-cream:
[New Zealand Natural's Strawberry v Fatbaby's Strawberry v Magnolia's Strawberry]
You can see the actual strawberry bits in Fatbaby's ice-cream! While I don't like strawberry ice-cream, I did give all of them a try just to see if I could discern a difference and the only one which actually tasted like strawberries was Fatbaby's! Her secret is that she adds a hint of balsamic vinegar to bring out their full flavour...and it obviously works!
[Between the 4 of us, this was gone not long after]
Overall, the event was a lot of fun and very laid back. Everyone seemed to have an amazing time and I really did learn a lot about both juice, ice-cream and the evils of capitalist mass production!
If you've never tried their stuff, you really need to. If you don't want to order it per se, and would like to sample it first, Fatbaby will be at Coffee & Art Fringe Festival Asia (CAFFA) at Publika on the 28th & 29th of September and Smooshie Juice will be at Markets at Jaya One on the 28th of September.
Without a doubt, I left with a sugar high, but I also left with lots of treats!
Earlier this week, I placed an order with Fatbaby for a pint of their Peanut Butter & Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream which Hui Ming was lovely enough to bring with her. At the end of the event, she had little complimentary tubs of assorted flavours which everyone could take home with them. I asked her if I could try all the different flavours and she obliged more than willingly.
[My Ice-Cream Hoard]
[Vanilla, Orange Choc, Banana Toffee, Coffee Toffee Sample Tubs - These are the sizes they are sold at in various locations around KL]
[Peanut Butter & Fudge Pint (RM30)]
Mine! All mine!!!
And, of course, the lovely ladies from Smooshie Juice gave us our pick of juices to take back as well. I really wanted to try these two, but I had consumed wayyyy too much by the end of the night and I brought these home with me:
[Guava & Lychee; Passionfruit, Orange & Yoghurt]
They sound SO good! The Passionfruit, Orange & Yoghurt smoothie is going to be my breakfast!
I love the fact that they were all so friendly and you can see the passion for their products shining through. 2 very different ends of the food spectrum, both equally as fantastic. If you see them around, you need to try them both!
Fatbaby Ice-Cream and Smooshie Juice are currently available at the following locations:
In the mean time, for more information, you can find them at the following sites:
More information on CAFFA can be found here:
More information on Markets can be found here:
Hint for the upcoming 100th post giveaway:
There will be tea for all 3 gifts!