Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Official Opening of NEO with STYLE ROCKS!


Style Rocks! Party, one of the most talked about parties in KL, was back. This year, The Melium Group celebrates Style Rocks! Party in full flavour by teaming up with The Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) and KL’s new it-spot Neo Global Tapas Restaurant & Luxe Lounge.

The stairway leading up to NEO which sits on the slope, was lit with flickering candles. Society’s A-list added sparkle to the venue which included local celebrities like Datin Su Day, Dato Farah Khan, Rohaya Smurthwaite, Maple Loo, Ning Baizura, Camelia, Shireen Zainuddin Lowe Lina Teoh, Carmen Soo, Serena Choong, Sophie Kamaruddin and Jesrina Arshad. Elaine Daly, a familiar face in the scene, was the host for that evening.

Everyone arrived in style, mostly dressed in the latest fashion runway trend, Juicy Couture. Eight Juicy Couture muses were hand-picked by Dato’ Farah Khan herself.

Guests were also entertained by ‘Juice Couture’ girls who sashayed their way into the party in dazzling, colourful and definitely over-the-top (OTT) outfits to ignite the renowned fashion line.

They grazed the floor in outrageously-juicy character, danced with guests and took photographs with everybody.

They even ended up on the bartop! Another highlight of the night was NEO’s pole artiste who relived the MIGF moment at the gala launch. Exemplifying the art of pole expression, she certainly kept the crowd in the dining room enthused and enthralled.

This night also celebrated the official launch of Samadhi Retreats’ latest addition to their four other established restaurants, Neo Global Tapas Restaurant & Luxe Lounge. Located in the heart of Kl City along Jalan Sultan Ismail (next to Tamarind Hill), Neo is a stylish restaurant and bar with an uber-cool concept inspired by nature. The domain boasts a galactic bar – the longest one in the city – and rendered by professional Scandia-mixologists showcasing their creative cocktails of strangely delicious sorts. Samadhi’s own group Sommalier Yuhei Teraoka, a popular and well-reputed Japanese wine specialist in Malaysia who has close to 400 labels, and eventually 50 by the glass, to be enlisted for NEO as well as all the group’s restaurants. The star of the night was also NEO's multi-award winning Food Designer, Canadian-Thai Chef Thiti Thammanatr who prepared interesting, flavor-layered neo-cuisine that left everyone famished for more!

International DJ Tony Montana as well as DJ Haze (who is also NEO’s Resident DJ) kept the party rocking with their slick sounds of house, hip-lounge and chill-house groove till late night.

It was a special evening to celebrate fashion, haute gourmet and lifestyle, by bringing people with the same passion to a much coveted event by The Melium Group, MIGF and KL’s it-place NEO Global Tapas Restaurant and Luxe Lounge. There were just over 300 invited guests at Style Rocks!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We won 4 awards and bagged another 3 for excellence!

The month-long Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2009 has finally ended, with a big bang for Tamarind Hill and the newest & hippest restaurant & luxe lounge in KL, NEO – both owned and run by Samadhi Retreats. Having bagged four festival awards this year, the group has proven their decade-long success in the Malaysian dining scene. Reputed for exquisite ambiance, quality fare and stunning locations, the group has wowed diners with their outstanding chefs and sumptuous cuisine, design originality and great service standards.

This is the 7th year Samadhi Retreats participated in the MIGF. In previous years, Tamarind Springs had garnered a lot of interests being a festival restaurant and had won the Most Creative Restaurant Display for 2004, 2006 and 2007.

At the advent of Tamarind Hill’s re-opening in the city after 2 years of relocation plan, and the birth of NEO which is a conceptualized restaurant-lounge that fuses gourmet, cocktails and music, the group decided to use the MIGF as a platform to launch the two restaurants into the dining scene. One very prominent feature of the new restaurants is their Food Designer. Chef Thiti Thammanatr represents both Tamarind Hill Restaurant and NEO Global Tapas Restaurant & Luxe Lounge. “I see dining as an art which consists of a fair balance of 3 most important elements: good food presentation, great ambience and of course ultimately the good taste. Tamarind Hill & Neo offer just the perfect balance of all these 3 elements and it gives me great satisfaction to be working with them” said Chef Thiti Thammanatr while proudly holding on to his trophies.

Originally from Thailand, Chef Thiti Thammanatr, the multi-talented chef moved to Canada at the age of 18, and began a hard but rewarding journey working his way through some of Canada’s most esteemed establishments. He was one of the few Thai chefs in the world to practice five-star Japanese cuisine at the renowned Suntory Japanese restaurant, which he then followed up with working at the Canadian Pacific Hotel Waterfront Centre Hotel as their Chef de Partie.
NEO Most Innovative Cuisine Award

Every year at the MIGF finale gala dinner, the Chefs’ Charity Auction is a ritual. This year, Chef Thiti Thammanatr had successfully raised RM8,500 for Tamarind Hill and RM10,000 for NEO, which will be donated to Mercy Malaysia, an international non-governmental organisation that provides medical relief and sustainable health-related development for vulnerable communities.

These are the awards Tamarind Hill and NEO had won for 2009 :

Tamarind Hill - Most Outstanding Dining Ambience 2009
- Most Creative Restaurant Station 2009

Tamarind Hill Most Creative Restaurant Display Award

- Most Innovative Cuisine 2009
- Most Creative Festival Menu 2009

NEO The Most Creative Festival Menu Award

NEO also received the Award of Excellence for the Most Creative Dining Experience, the Most Creative Restaurant Station at the Gala Launch and was nominated for the highlight-award of the evening, The Golden Cauldron award.

“Both Federico and I are so very proud of our team in Tamarind Hill and Neo who had worked so hard and smart to bring our restaurants to where we are today. What better reason to celebrate our 10 years in the industry! And I believe the sky is our limit. Gourmands out there, you really have got to journey with us on the ultimate 'fly & dine' experience. Be our Neo-Aerial Gourmand!" said the Creative & Marketing Director of Samadhi Retreats, Maple Asaro.