Serving over 100 selections of wines, The Straits Wine Company won the hearts of many yet again with an experience that many won’t forget (or will they?). Representing the wine industry as Malaysia’s largest wine festival, Wine Fiesta 2016 brought in wines from various countries including France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa and – wait for it – China.

We can be certain that most of us were not even aware of China being a country that would find any interest in making wine let alone being known within the wine industry for their vineyards. French producers have had a relationship with China for a while now, utilising their internationally acclaimed vineyards in Ningxia. Apparently, China holds a strong position in the ranking of top ten global markets for wine – who woulda guessed?

Being the only outdoor wine festival in the region that caters to all levels of wine lovers, Wine Fiesta 2016 attracted a range of characters; from expats to local businesspeople, lovers of art and students with a mature palate. It is difficult to deny that this event was a cheerful one. The sound of laughter overshadowed what was then, a rainy day. A curious sense of joy that often comes with a good glass(es) of wine, the smell of hot saffron risotto whipped up by Riccardo Ferrarotti of Bottega Mediterranea and the ambiance that cannot be described without incorporating the word “friendly” – Wine Fiesta will always be an event to look forward to.

“In wine, there’s truth.”

Pliny the Elder, Natural History

Inspired by the gallant madness that comes with the night, Urban Decay’s new line of Vice Lipsticks put into colour what we couldn’t put into words. Coming up with names such as Heroine, Pandemonium, Frenemy and Perversion, these lipsticks tell a tale about the mysterious youth of our gothic generation.

Understanding that Urban Decay is a creative entity on its own, we at APW gave them the option of transforming our coworking space, Uppercase, into a city of light. Upon entering the space, one would’ve assumed it to have been an underground club reminiscent of San Francisco and Tokyo (San Fransokyo?). The DJ was in full view, being placed on a pedestal in the shape of a boxing ring (they didn’t let us keep that one) where the emcee lead the show, ring-leader style. Located at the back of the space was the No-Tell Motel… a makeshift hotel redolent of Uma Thurman’s room in Pulp Fiction. Laid out in a row on the platform behind the stage were makeup stations, where professional makeup artists were present to bring out the vice in every woman.

Each and every corner of every room was digested and regurgitated into something completely new. Shocked as we were, we could not help but feel impressed by the magnificent change created by the team at Urban Decay.

“Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light? Or just another lost angel… City of Night? ”

Jim Morrison

A movement that is inherently creative, Tiger Translate took to APW to showcase their vision of collaborative art. It was hard to mistake the event for another, what with the 2.5 meter tall tiger head resting at the entrance, giving the audience a brief introduction of what was to come. The geometric sculpture designed by Thailand’s very own Rukkit Kuanhawate was not all they had to offer, though. Dwelling deeper into the heart of APW, one would witness the many-faced nature of art revolving around the theme of Tiger’s – well, tiger. Upon noticing Louise Low’s rendition of the wild feline made entirely of shattered glass, it became clear to us that Tiger is an artistic avenue that believes in limitations, but ride with it anyway.

Tiger Translate’s definition of art was not limited to sculptures and paintings. A multitude of indie performers (re: Love me Butch, My Little Airport) graced the stage in the heart of APW, exuding a sense of fervent pride under lights of blue and orange. Creative individuals were also encouraged to throw paint-balloons (like water balloons but crazier) on a majestic acrylic glass made up of smaller glasses that could be taken home as a little souvenier. Needless to say, Tiger Translate was a wild night (geddit?).

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

Edgar Degas

At any Startup Grind, as the name suggests, you can expect to get straight down to the meaty points of dialogue. Setting up in our Bookmark event space, the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative gathered the local startup community to hear from Tim Marbach – Founder and CEO of Asia Venture Group (AVG), the private internet holding company responsible for investments in iMoney, TrustedCompany, KFit, and the ultra popular HappyFresh.

After captivating the audience with his stories of serial entrepreneurship, the floor opened up for a round of questions – with the guests picking Marbach’s brain for any morsels of advice that they could apply to businesses of their own. Acknowledging how lucky they were to get a moment with the HappyFresh Executive Chairman, much of the crowd (which filled up the room to the brim) stayed back to pick his brains even further, and to make connections with the rest of the KL startup ecosystem.

With so much valuable information on offer in one night, we’re looking forward to seeing the local startup community persist with their #dailygrind, and can’t wait until the next #startupgrind!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Chinese Proverb

We’d like to think that there’s not much else that can be done to APW to make it ‘better’ – but it turns out we aren’t always right (for once). The month-long addition of the myBurgerLab pop-up stand under our Canopy was the icing on the cake (or bun on the patty?) for both our members and guests visiting Paper Plates, who got to indulge in the tantalising tastes of the restaurant’s unique charcoal-bunned burgers.

The creative clan occupying our Uppercase workspace got to reward themselves for their hard work with a simple stroll downstairs – straight into the temporary home of some of the best burgers around. It didn’t take much effort to get the members down, as the hypnotising smell of freshly grilled patties encapsulated the compound. We reckon there’s some black magic going on in those black buns!

While we’ll miss our experience of burgers-and-business, it’s time for us to push extra hard in our Uppercase yoga sessions, and hop onto a treadmill… or run on the roads… to Jalan Telawi… Back to myBurgerLab.

“We’re out to make the world a happier place, one burger at a time”

myBurgerLab

Many of us would agree that as Malaysians, we are blessed to have Japanese food that is affordable and accessible. But many of us could also agree that the menu is getting a little old. You’ve got sushi and you’ve got sashimi, take your pick.

The team at Makirito might have taken note of this because they’ve decided to answer all our prayers with a simple solution – sushi burritos. Better known as “poke rolls”, Makirito’s seaweed wraps lay on the foundation of Japanese rice, fresh salmon belly and mixed salad topped off with tempura flakes. The fun doesn’t stop there though. Customers have an option of choosing one of three sauces; Shoyu Mayo (soy mayo), Spicy Mayo (speaks for itself) and Shoyu Ponzu (citrus & soy sauce). Needless to say, the Spicy Mayo stole the show – it was a good alternative to sambal.

Makirito (a play on the Japanese word “Maki” and “Burrito”) spent a full week as a pop up stall here at APW, and despite the fact that we gave them the space from 10AM to 8PM, they would usually close 3 hours early from running out of stock… Selfish fellas (no pun intended).

“Eat it raw before all else”

Japanese Proverb, Kotowaza

What happens when you take a professional racecar driver out of a racecar, and throw him into a series of traditional races around South East Asia? You get GoASEAN’s (Astro 737) latest travel/adventure series titled “Go Fast or Go Home”.

Usually accustomed to racing purpose-built Formula 3 racing machines, Young Malaysian Daniel Woodroof steps out of the clean-cut spotlight for something a little less glamorous. Literally getting “down and dirty”, the screening of Episode 3 of the series showcased Daniel literally strapping himself onto the back of two bulls, and going head to head with a local champion in Padang, Indonesia. What they lacked in horsepower, they made up in bull-power, as they were nothing short of terrifying for the Malaysian – who’s genuine fear had the crowd in The Bookmark in tears with laughter. It turns out the fear of one can translate into the amusement of many!

The simple arrangement of chairs in-front of the screen provided an intimate affair for the crowd composed of the crew, close friends and family, who all shared words of thank you’s and hard work through til the late night – they did not go home fast!

“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough”

Mario Andretti