FWC Connoisseurs builds a haven for discerning tastes
Since its founding in 2001, FWC Connoisseurs (the acronym stands for fine wine and cigars) has enthralled the Klang Valley scene with its unique array of products and a leading-class service. Its latest venture is the glasshouse-like Connoisseurs Café, located along the kinetic Jalan Bukit Bintang’s retail and entertainment precinct. “Our approach for this is to continue offering great food and drinks in a casual ambience, while giving patrons a chance to enjoy the life that takes place outside," says Ong Han Kwang, director of FWC Connoisseurs.
This new concept is part of a success story which stems from the group’s passion and expertise in the areas of cigars, food and drink. Ong, whose personal favourite smoke is the Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto (“for its consistent great flavours of dark chocolate and nuttiness") points out at the constant checking of cigar stocks. “The right level of humidity is essential in caring for cigars, and this requires a personal touch," he says. “On rainy days, you adjust for a lower humidity and we look in on our cigars between two and three times a week to ensure they are aging well."
With a huge portfolio of cigars originating from Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and other countries, one may walk into the Connoisseurs Lounge & Restaurant at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and discover momentous cigars such as the limited edition Cohiba Sublimes of 2004 (RM738). At 164mm and with a ring gauge of 54, this champion cigar is made with tobacco leaves picked off the top of the plant, and subsequently aged for two years before blending. It explodes with flavours of cocoa and coffee with a satisfying, aromatic finish.
At the same time, the ample wine list features wines from South Africa, Italy, Spain, Australia and the USA includes stellar vintages such as the Super Tuscan Terrestre Vendemmia of 2001 (RM3,800). Composed entirely of 100 per cent Sangiovese, this vintage is a complex symphony which undergoes five years of alternate barrel aging, from large oaken casks to chestnut and cherry barriques.
To this array of fine wines and cigars, the Connoisseurs Lounge & Restaurant possesses an inventive kitchen which provides the gastronomic complement; an appetiser of Australian asparagus is accented by a goat’s cheese puree and balsamic glaze, while the angus short ribs are barbequed and smothered with a rich sweet potato puree and mushroom confit. Meanwhile, its miso cod is topped with hokkaido scallop, crispy whitebait and citrus sauce, creating that sense of surprise and wonder which FWC Connoisseurs seeks to transmit to its clientele.