We're Bringing Sexyblack | High tea at M Marini Caffè

February 17, 2015

...We're bringing sexyblack (yeah) them other girls don't know how to dress (yeah)...

Will you just look at my girls all lined up like a girl band? I want to say K-Pop girl group but there's only seven of us - we need at least two more members to make the numbers, ha. Hot damn, are my girlfriends bringing sexy-black or what - and we're all black everything, all black all black 'cos Michiekins said so. That's right. On Sunday we, the Backseat Girls (I'll explain later) synchronised and dressed more or less head-to-toe in black for Michiekin's birthday high tea at the swanky new-ish M Marini Caffè in Suria KLCC. You know what that means - lots of fashion outfit photos! *flexes*

"Selamat pagi, boss. Nak pergi mana, boss?" Where to, sir? Chauffeur Jasiminne at your service. The 7 of us piled into Jumbo - my big bitchin' lane hogger - and rumbled from Mont Kiara to the city. Ever seen a chauffeur in designer threads and red lips? Yeah, there's a first for everything.

With Sheena in the front and playing DJ with my Spotify, the entire journey soon degenerated into a Backstreet Boys sing-a-long session...for two. The rest of the car absolutely refused to participate. Hence, our 90s/00s pop tribute band was born - Sheena, Jasiminne & The Backseat Girls.

You see you see you see! Look at this Michiekins and Sukins ah. Muka tak layan (not having any of it). Guess it's just me and Sheena...and the Backseat Girls. 'Everybody yeah! Yeaaaah. Rock your body yeaaaaah'. No? OK fine haha. 'Am I original? Yeaaah. Am I sexual? Yeaaaaah!'

By some stroke of luck we pulled up to a quiet street just outside KLCC (where Cartier is), mere seconds walking distance from M Marini Caffè and found a space between two cars illegally parked on a street. I took a chance and wedged my car there - in Kuala Lumpur it's legal until you get a ticket. When we went back for my car, the car in front of mine had a summons...but not me! Oh yeaaah! ...Roadhouse.

While M Marini Caffè is tucked away in a discreet (but admittedly high end) corner of KLCC's concourse, once you come upon its neighbours Cartier and Chanel there's no missing it.

 Rising from the baroque gilt and marble furnishings of the caffè stands Michelangelo's David - his modesty protected by an artfully draped gold sheet - against a backdrop of a photo panorama of Venetian water ways. 

Press photo courtesy of M Marini Caffè

Press photo courtesy of M Marini Caffè

The entire cafe is drenched in gold light - befitting of the luxurious surroundings - which makes for a gilded ambience but not so great photography, which is a shame because M Marinis is the sort of place to see and be seen. With an emphasis on 'la dolce vita' (the good life) and the tagline Caviar. Champagne. Caffè, M Marini Caffè is Malaysia's first champagne and caviar cafe - a new concept  of 'Italian Caffè culture meets the spirit of Italian couture' from Modesto Marini following the success of Marini's on 57. Kuala Lumpur's best dressed, well-heeled socialites, clusters of gossiping Datins stopping for a tea break from exhausting shopping sessions at the nearby designer shops all flock to M Marinis for lobsters from the frutti di mare (seafood) bar, cold pasta topped with caviar, cocktails; or like us - the high tea and the all day breakfast. 

Personally, I was unimpressed with the food. Our high tea offerings were unspectacular - both in presentation and variety - and relatively exorbitantly priced given what we ate - bog standard sausage rolls, macarons, and an uninspiring selection of average sandwiches and muffins. I ordered the eggs benedict for myself - while the unusual presentation of the eggs with a slice of toast, spinach, and potatoes was fairly innovative at first the novelty quickly wore off when I soon realised one of the eggs wasn't perfectly poached. Sheena and Michelle's spaghetti carbonara, however, was decent - perhaps M Marini's culinary strengths are not best displayed in their all day breakfast menu nor pastries but rather, as its Italian roots suggested, in the pastas and seafood. My verdict? Not the place to go for high tea - in fact of all the high tea I've had in Kuala Lumpur none of it meets my expectations but then again I have high standards as I live in London and have had some of the best - nor eggs benedict. Stick to the caviar (if that's your sort of thing), have a cocktail, go for the pastas, or try the seafood. 

You can find M Marini Caffè at Suria KLCC, Ground Floor (beside Cartier and Chanel).

Group photo! Massive props to the staff (if you're reading this, thank you, and I'm sorry I didn't catch your name!) who was ever so fastidious with our cameras and took so many shots to work around the difficult lighting in M Marini's and get the best possible shot. Thank you! 

The yellow lighting proved frustratingly tricky - no amount of adjusting the white balance would help take portraits, and no amount of Photoshop would remove that jaundiced hue so I did my favourite editing trick - as mentioned in my blog post 'How To Shoot In Low Light' - and made the photos black  & white instead. I think it works! And it goes with the 'sexyblack' theme.

Birthday girl Michiekins! Aiyaiyai-yai-yai, so cute and pweetty my Ah Pin Pin-Pin. Can you believe she's 29 and just had a baby? Wait till you see her impossibly slim figure (with upsized bust thanks to baby) - life is so unfair. *puts chocolate bar down and renews gym membership* Love you Ah Pin!

Anyeong gozaimasu, Sheena-chan! (We love to mix up our Korean and Japanese) My doll-faced soul sister (but cuter than me) who secretly is just as tak jaga image (doesn't give a damn) and mengada (fanciful) as I am, hehe. Sarang hae!

Lovely, feisty yet level-headed (what a perfectly balanced combination), adventurous Lina! We all are thrilled to have you back in K.L - we're selfish and don't want to lose you to Singapore, we love you too much. Please never leave us again!

Hello Jill! Jillian's creativity and ability has evolved a lot in the last two years, and she has a real skill for DIY - you can read her amazing tutorials on her blog Jillian Undercover - and a great eye for curating beautiful things. See her selection of jewellery and gorgeous gold tattoos at her online shop Poppylab.

Nana xiao mei mei (little sister)! My little Leo and Gen-Z baby - although technically a Gen-Y I'll always think of you as a naughty but nice little sister. I'm so proud of how much you've matured in the past year and how hard you're working; not just on your career and life but also on your relations. Jia you! 

Suuuuusuuuuuu! Sukins is my homegirl, and before Nana came along the two of us were the original Leos who torment our sweet Aquarius Michiekins hehe. I love you so much babeh and you know it - can't wait for us to be neighbours! 

I am so lucky to call these girls, wait, women!...we be strong, independent, grown-ass women (even if we  still don't feel like adults yet) my friends. Even though I buggered off to London and only see them whenever I'm in K.L once or twice a year, whenever I'm with them it's like nothing has changed (even if we don't speak or update each other for ages, which I'm guilty of) yet we have so much to talk about. I'm so privileged to have girlfriends like these, let alone in a far-away continent I don't live in anymore, and I know that should the winds of fate carry me from England back to Malaysia I got ya'll to welcome me back and listen to my tasteless jokes and dramatic outbursts of song and dance. Love you ladies!

'Ok, ok' you say, 'we get it, your girlfriends are beautiful on the inside. Now can we see how beautiful they are on the outside?' Of course! That's why I carried my 600D and two lenses in my limited edition Lady Dior handbag.

...and then there's me. *Deflated sound* Not to blow my own horn, but I am pleased with my outfit. I'm wearing the same dress I did last year to my grandmother's birthday at Chateau, Berjaya Hills with one of mummy's handbags. The dress is the 'Kyoto Spring' from Chula by Laura and Diego who paint on silk dresses, making them wearable works of art. To compliment the hand painted cherry blossoms and red leaves, I matched with a limited edition Lady Dior and finished the look with red lips (which I let down by wearing nude wedged mules, hence the cropped photo).

But it's ok, because questionable accessories (and mediocre food) aside, life's a lark with girlfriends like these.

Call us the Backseat Girls, Sexyblack, F.R.I.E.N.D.S in The City (we have Michiekins to thank for that gem) or whatever you want. We're just girlfriends united by love - for love of Michiekins, for love of each other, for love of the finer things in life, and for love of my off-key sing-a-longs in the car.

Maybe not the last one, but let me just delude myself for a moment.


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