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The Sticky Wicket
Hitting A Six
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When The Sticky Wicket opened its doors a few months ago, cricket fans the nation over rejoiced, cheering as they would their favourite team had they won the Champions Trophy or the World Cup. At last, a watering hole devoted to the gentlemen’s game where the walls are lined with famous memorabilia and the flat screens beam matches from across the decades. The Sticky Wicket stands alone as the only cricket themed gastro-pub in Malaysia and it was here that the final MIGF Publicity dinner of the year took place recently.

Owned by acclaimed Sri Lankan restaurateur and lifelong cricket fan Abethan Kanthasamy, the man behind other famous eateries including Neroteca and Aliyaa, The Sticky Wicket is packed with historical collectibles that greet visitors immediately upon entering. Signed bats, framed jerseys, and cricket padding worn by legends embellish the interior. The menu boasts a hearty selection of homegrown fare from Great Britain and its colonies, bringing the nation’s favourite pub food to the heart of KL. Not to be overlooked, also, is the cracking cocktail selection to wash it all down, with plenty of Gin & Tonic variants on the menu.

Arriving guests received their first taste of true blue British cuisine with lamb sausage rolls, spiced and seasoned just right. These bite-sized delights were among the most popular tasting portions at Taste MIGF recently and it was no different here as guests eagerly consumed the savoury treats.

Amarjit Chhina, Dato' Yasmin Yusof

Madam Hilary Holger and HE Michael Holger

Datin Suraya Shamsul, Datin Lee Nai Yee and Amarjit Chhina

Sausage Rolls

Gracing the guest list on the evening was Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar, the current President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia who has enjoyed an illustrious sports career. A keen cricketer in his youth, he was a member of the national team from 1973-1976 and has done much to elevate the sport in Malaysia over the decades.

Also present was German Ambassador HE Holger Michael, Benua Mining Managing Director Tunku Mohamed Alauddin Bin Tunku Naquiyuddin, RP Group Executive Director Datin Lee Nai Yee, Beam Suntory Commercial Manager Jeremy Khaw and Malaysian Resource Corportation Berhad Chief Corporate Officer Amarjit Chhina and his wife Dato’ Yasmin Yusof.

As drinks were imbibed, guests mingled in the bustling pub to the sounds of classic 1980s hits. From Sade’s Smooth Operator to Starship’s We Built This City, it was a musical trip down memory lane for the group who remained in the main area of the pub, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the vibe.

MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day then called for dinner and the group moved to the first floor of the gastropub where brief introductions of the team and chef were made. Leading the team for the evening was Restaurant Brand Manager Alex Pay who welcomed guests, explaining the concept behind The Sticky Wicket.

Dato' Steve making introductions 

Brand Manager Alex Pay welcoming the guests

“With traditional pub grub and regional specialities from cricket playing nations, we offer something different to the deluge of sports pubs in KL and we’re thrilled to be able to bring that to MIGF this year,” he said. With the recent shift from Gourmet to Gastronomy, MIGF now reflects the evolution of the dining scene in Malaysia and its many dining experiences. The participation of The Sticky Wicket in this year’s Festival is a prime example of this.

Following a group photo in a hidden whiskey room accessed through a sliding door that opened from nowhere, guests sat down at a long table ready to tuck into a menu of whole-hearted, time-honoured pub food prepared with love.

Jeremy Khaw and Tunku Alauddin bin Tunku Naquiyuddin

With that, the first course rolled out of the kitchen – a Scots Cullen Skink. Comfortingly creamy and fully flavoured, this traditional fish soup is the epitome of Scottish cuisine and filled the room with a heady aroma. Served with A Ray of Sunshine – a Sauvignon Blanc based cocktail with orange bitters and bubbles (made by the effervescent Chief Mixologist Des Yatigammana), this superb intro to the menu set the bar high for the rest of the meal.

Scots Cullen Skink and A Ray of Sunshine

Getting stuck into the Cullen Skink

Next came the much loved Toad in The Hole, a homely dish consisting of sausages, or ‘bangers’, cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter. Nothing says ‘Old Blighty’ quite like this bizarrely named, 200-year old dish and just as quickly as it was served, it vanished from plates with guests lapping up every last drop of gravy.

Toad In The Hole

A culinary benchmark for any self-respecting pub is the quality of its chips - not stringy American fries, but good old-fashion English chip-shop style chips, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And that’s exactly what guests enjoyed with the glorious Sticky Wicket Beef Rib Burger, composed of braised beef short ribs, caramelised onion, rocket salad and topped with a mac and cheese waffle.

Chef Musharraf Hussain assembling the burgers

The Sticky Wicket Beef Rib Burger - with a basked of chips and a dollop of ketchup

This came paired with a refreshing frozen concoction of Tiger shandy, Beefeater gin and Monin elderflower aka The Frandy, which was a perfect complement to the meaty ensemble.

Rounding out the menu was The Sticky Wicket Date Pudding, a dish that received nothing but the highest of praises from the group. Upon finishing, Guernsey-born Madam Hilary Michael announced it was the best she had ever had while British national Amarjit Chhina later said it was the absolute highlight of the menu and that he would be returning soon to have more.

The Sticky Wicket Date Pudding - the Crème anglaise served in mini milk jugs

Mr Chhina pours a touch of vanilla sauce on his pudding

It was time for the customary speeches at the end of the meal and first among the guests to rise from their seat was the erstwhile President of the Malaysian Cricket Association, Tunku Imran.

“This year The Sticky Wicket has been brought into play and I think it’s fantastic because the Festival is now ‘Gastronomy’ not just ‘Gourmet’ – it is understanding what food is all about and not what food should be. The Sticky Wicket embodies this change and I believe it is going places,” said the Prince eloquently.

Tunku Imran with high praises for the team

“There have been many great places which MIGF has helped put on the map over the years and this is another shining example. Here’s to another great year,” to which everyone raised their glasses.

Next was the German Ambassador who spoke on behalf of the group: “It was fantastic meal and we all thoroughly enjoyed every dish. It was equally exquisite and unconventional for a dinner such as this – complements and congratulations to all of you,” he said to the gathered restaurant team. These thoughts were echoed by guests who clapped in agreement.

HE Holger expresses his thanks to a beaming restaurant crew

On that note, the final MIGF dinner of the year drew to a close with guests chatting away into the night over digestives before making their home.

For the Full Sticky Wicket Festival Menu, click here and to stay updated on all Sticky Wicket happenings head to stickywicket.pub.