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Hosting friends at our place

by Bangsar Babe

When Jien and I built our home, we insisted on an additional floor for a wine lounge and bar – so we can enjoy happy hour at home and host friends over whenever we like. I tend to prefer drinking at home even before the pandemic, because I feel more relaxed and “in my element”.


Charcuterie Platter


With Marsala wine

Both Jien and I enjoy hosting friends at our place over dinner and drinks, sometimes, brunch or lunch. It really depends on our food and the type of food we cook. More often than not, dinner is accompanied with wine. One of my favourite wines to entertain with is Italian; because it’s easy-drinking and goes well with just about anything.


May Anne loves this


Ingredients prep for the platter



A toast to friendship

I recently invited a few friends over to dinner where I rustled up a simple charcuterie board of salami, prosciutto, Galbani mozzarella and Luretta Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, paired with Marsala wine. I also prepped some baguette, toasted almonds, cherry tomatoes and grapes as they go really nicely with the robust wine.


Lamb ragout, cooked for 4 hours till tender


Adding in the pappardelle


Brunello to pair


We also opened a Brunello – one of my favourite Italian reds. This one, I paired with a lamb ragout, served with fresh pappardelle. It’s pretty easy to make; lamb shoulder, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, crushed whole tomatoes and red wine. I like using a Chianti for this. Also because I tend to pour myself a glass or two while cooking!


One of my favourite Italian wines



Plate up!


Dinners at my place usually run long because there’s so much to talk about and plenty to catch up on. My friends would usually bring dessert since I’m not big on making them. That night, we had a boozy tiramisu, paired with the remaining Marsala wine.


Tiramisu from Luretta DOP


Goes well with Marsala wine



I usually get my wines from selected distributors depending on the range and brands they carry. But of late, I prefer buying from Happy Fresh since they have a “Made in Italy” section so I get my wines, cheeses, olive oils and dry pasta there.

If you’re looking for authentic Italian products and don’t want to head out to grocery shop, you can now do so via Happy Fresh. I like that they shop for me and deliver to my doorstep. Yes, I’ve pretty much morphed into a hermit since the pandemic!

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