Note from FoodFriends: Irish hospitality combined with Irish cheese and champagne created a memorable evening at Desmond's charming bungalow. An innovative welcoming entertainment of the Penang Swimming Club's synchronised swimming team performing in the garden pool had every one enraptured. Tables laden with the wide variety of irish cheeses and many other deliciously tasty tit bits. Busy Shangri-La staff serving fine champagne and wines. A gathering of guests from all corners of Penang and the world. Just another great Irish party!
Maggie T

8 July 2010


The General Manager of Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Mr Desmond Hatton hosted an annual get-together for elite members of Penang's corporate community, leaders of the hospitality and travel trade, and special friends of the Shangri-La on 2 July 2010 at his private residence.

This year's gathering, themed Irish Cheese and Wine Party, gave a nod to Mr Hatton's Irish origins and presented guests with the unique taste of Irish farmhouse cheese with complementary vintages of red and white wines from Australia and New Zealand.

L to R- Jenny and Robert Broinowski, Khoo Lingzie

Six types of farmhouse cheese which are currently not available in Malaysia were flown-in from Ireland for this occasion. Carrigaline smoked cheese presented a smooth finish to the palate with a rich and buttery flavour; the exceptional Wicklow Blue cheese which had claimed gold, silver and bronze awards and was recently awarded Best Irish Cheese in the World Cheese Awards in Dublin; handmade Wicklow Baun cheese with its smooth and velvety texture; Cashel Blue cheese - produced near Cashel, County Tipperary, had a thick, creamy and tangy flavour; Chulchoill cheese which was made from fresh and pasteurised goat's milk and the creamy and full-flavoured Killowen vintage cheddar from Southwest Ireland.

L to R- Michael, Ditte Andreasen, Edwin and Susan

Wines such as Cranswick Lakefield Shiraz Cabernet, Cranswick Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Cranswick Sarus Shiraz Barossa Valley, Mussel Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Chandon NV Brut were sponsored by leading wine suppliers Riche Monde and The Wine Shop by Giant Estates to accompany and enhance this sumptuous cheese spread.

L to R - Priscilla Dawson, Angela and Bruno Cristol

L-R- Sunny Teh, Wendy Goh and Peter Chung

The resort's chefs also specially prepared a selection of bread, crackers, marinated olives, fruit chutney and vegetable antipasto along with smoked salmon with horseradish. There was a wide array of sweet afters including cheese cakes, tiramisu, raspberry and cheese tarts, chocolate tarts and Ricotta cheese cakes.

L to R- Jenny and Robert Broinowski, Khoo Lingzie

On hand to entertain the guests were synchronised swimmers who dazzled the audience with their graceful performance.

"Instead of the usual event at the resort, I chose to host this year's special gathering in my own house to lend a warmer and more personal ambience that is reflective of our Shangri-La values and philosophy of "Hospitality from a Caring Family". I would like to extend my utmost appreciation and gratitude to my extended family members - both staff and guests- who have graced my home with their kind presence, and a special thanks to our valued sponsors who have made this event a success," said Mr Hatton.

For more information on The Wine Shop by Giant Estates Sdn Bhd, please contact (60 4) 226 1824 or fax (60 4) 228 5262. Riche Monde Sdn Bhd can be reached at (60 4) 390 7075 or email

For gourmet and fine food distributor, please contact Mr Soo Wei Chien of Pikzern Marketing Sdn Bhd at (60 3) 7845 2248 or visit

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 66 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 30,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has over 40 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Mongolia, Russia, Qatar, Seychelles, Turkey and United Kingdom. For more information or reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at

PRESS CONTACT: Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman
Communications Director
Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang
and Golden Sands Resort, Penang
Tel: (60 4) 888 8888
Fax: (60 4) 881 1800

For digitised pictures of the group's hotels, please go to http://www.shangri

Irish Farmhouse Cheese

Ireland's rich grasslands have produced something fine food lovers will appreciate, a sumptuous array of farmhouse cheeses. Irish farmhouse cheeses have earned the respect of chefs, retailers and distributors around the globe are frequently served on cheeseboards in some of the world's best restaurants.

Valued at approximately £2.9m the farmhouse cheese making history industry is a niche but growing industry and accounts for 11.3% of the total speciality cheese market.

Forty years ago Ireland did not have a living tradition of farmhouse cheese making but only a distant history. Due to historical factors, particularly the economic nature of sixteenth and seventeenth century Ireland, cheese making was one of the many areas of Gaelic tradition that disappeared. It wasn't until 1900s that Irish agriculturists began to look at cheese making again.

In the 1970s a natural revival of farmhouse cheese making began on lands that had been farmed by the same families for generations and on smallholdings bought by people who wanted to escape to the peace of the Irish countryside. The cheeses were first made to satisfy the family desire for more interesting food than was then available and because families who had moved from Continental Europe were missing their native cheeses. The cheese makers developed their craft, and enthusiastic friends, enlightened local chefs and shopkeepers put in orders for cheeses and the amateurs slowly evolved into professionals. Experience and knowledge passed to other interested farms and slowly a new food culture began to emerge.

In Ireland our farmhouse cheeses are unique to each producer. This has the advantage of allowing for innovation and creativity, while still respecting the values of traditional cheese making. Each cheese is produced on only one farm and is the result of the passion and dedication of one family. The personality of the cheese maker is often reflected in aspects of their cheese, from the wild and unpredictable to the precise and consistent. The large range of Irish farmhouse cheeses now is available is exceptional considering the youth of the industry and the small size of Ireland the sustainable food island.

Within the farmhouse cheese making industry there is a broad range of different types of cheese using cow, goat and ewe's milk producing washed rings, and mould ripened, blues and hard cheeses. Unlike other cheese producing nations, Ireland doesn't have a system of regional specialisations. Blue cheeses, goat cheese, hard and soft cheeses all are produced to exquisitely high standards by individual farm families often within quite short distances of each other. The one geographical pattern the cheeses do follow has to do with grazing: cattle are concentrated in the south where the richest pasturelands are while sheep and goats are more evident in the west where the landscape is hillier and more rugged.

What makes Irish cheese making special is the sense of local identity every variety carries with it. Each farm employs its artisan skills on milk that comes from a source known intimately to it. Not only the grazing lands and the animals, but also the time of the year and even the time of milking can all contribute to its distinct flavours.

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa

Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604-888 8888
Fax: +604-881 1800


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