Looking for places to chill? Here are some of our recommendations!
1. The Rum Bars KL
With a centuries-long history that involves drunken sailors, sugar-cane laborers and uni students getting toasted on two-for-one daiquiri nights, rum has come to be regarded as little more than a party drink or mixing spirit. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a daiquiri, but if that’s all you’re willing to drink, you’ll be missing out on one of the world’s most versatile and underappreciated spirits.
Enter The Rum Bar KL, the latest specialty bar that stocks over 250 labels of rum from across the globe – the largest collection in the city; more than double the number stocked by JungleBird, KL’s other specialist rum bar. Owned by The Werner’s Group, which also operates The Whisky Bar, El Cerdo and Opium KL, the Changkat-based bar aims to elevate the rum’s rough-and-tumble image by presenting them in an elegant and classy setting, complete with premium cigars, lounge chairs and limited-edition rums proudly displayed in glass cabinets (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it). However, as you walk further into the space, what commands your view are the shelves filled with their impressive collection of rum.
Browsing through the extensive menu, however, can be an intimidating experience for the first timer. While the menu sorts out the rums alphabetically and geographically, you’re better off asking the bartender, who’ll recommend you a few types according to your preference for strong, dry or fruity rums.
Sun-Thu, 4pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 4pm-3am
Address: 47 Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, 50200
MAZE is the latest addition to KL’s long list of specialist bars. What distinguishes MAZE from the rest is that they are probably the only gin bar on that list.
Recently opened in Menara Lien Ho in Tropicana, they aren’t just a gin bar, but a coffee saloon too – they serve coffee in the day and switch to gin when night falls. The opulent decor is reminiscent of a Hollywood set of a mob boss’ mansion, which makes for an interesting setting to have coffee with friends. At night, the place transforms into a lounge by way of dim lights and loud music while the tall red drapes give a bit of a seedy French cabaret feel to the space.
The highlight of MAZE is the selection of gin they have on offer. They boast a collection of over 150 imported craft gins – probably the largest in the country. If you’re new to gin, you should know that cucumber isn’t the only garnish to pair your gin and tonic with. Here, you can purchase the services of a ‘gin sum’ cart (similar to a dim sum cart) where you can test your gin and tonic with all sorts of fresh garnish like blackberry, watermelon and many more.
Mon-Thu, 5pm-1am; Fri,10am-2am; Sat,11am-2am
Address: First floor, Menara Lien Ho, 8 Persiaran Tropicana, Petaling Jaya, 47410
Taking over Barlai’s old spot at Sekeping Sin Chew Kee is Pahit, the latest specialist bar to open in KL. Run by CK – the brains behind popular Bangsar watering hole Coley – Pahit specialises in all things gin, from gin-based cocktails to the classic gin and tonics.
The bar is hidden between two busy roads – Jalan Hang Jebat and Jalan Pudu – notorious for their never-ending traffic jams, a place one would never expect such a calm and quiet bar to exist. It’s located along a quiet row of old houses which date back to the 1920s; this location along with a small courtyard decked out with rattan chairs and short tables provide a quaintly charm; a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to travel too far. Perfect for after-work drinks.
Tue – Sun, 5pm – 1am
Address: 3 Jalan Sin Chew Kee, Kuala Lumpur, 50150