Wan Muhamad Riezal, the chief mixologist at Rimba and MONSOON Langkawi, shares with The Yum List some stories from behind the scenes and future plans for the bar and restaurant.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am the chief mixologist at Rimba and MONSOON Langkawi. I have always been interested in creating unique tastes and flavours of beverages. After leaving school I had an opportunity to work behind a bar and learnt the art of bartending. Not long after that, I joined Ambong-Ambong.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
We had a guest from the UK who wasn’t feeling well and was due to fly back home. We made a special medicinal brew for him which consisted of Guinness Stout, brandy, whisky, rum, tequila and a secret local ingredient. This brew was potent enough for him to have a restful journey home.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is I enjoy making drinks for guests while chatting with them and asking for their feedback. The worst part is when I have guests who come a long way to RIMBA to watch the sunset and then it starts to rain.
What’s your favourite meal and drink at RIMBA?
My favourite meal is the whole fish bakar with air assam. Orange mojito is my favourite drink.
What’s a moment that you won’t forget from behind the scenes?
I once made a Thai Daiquiri cocktail for a UK guest who accidentally bit the chilli used for garnishing. Her face turned red and we had to give yoghurt and milk to cool her down.
The perfect day off would be…
… spring cleaning my home and doing my laundry.
A day in the life of a mixologist is…
Constantly thinking of ways to improve the guest experience.
What do you do for fun?
I like listening to live music and watching live fire shows.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about MONSOON?
We have invested a lot of time and effort curating locally-inspired cocktails to pair with our bar menu. In addition, guests can expect excellent service along with stunning sea views from above the jungle canopy. An evening at MONSOON offers a full sensory experience like no other!
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Raw oysters accompanied by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Simple but classic.
What’s your view on the hospitality industry in Langkawi?
The hospitality industry in Langkawi is growing fast but we should be careful not to lose our identity. We must continue to develop and position Langkawi as a sustainable eco-tourist destination.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
MONSOON is opening soon and I’m excited to hear feedback from our guests, I also look forward to continuing to create new cocktails and also to bring our service to another level.