It’s that time of the year again, where we bid farewell to all that has passed and usher in new beginnings. As the door to one year closes, the door to the next opens and with that, a gush of hope pulses through us. It is the earnest hope for a better tomorrow – one of big dreams, great health and abundant goodness. Of course, all this is made even more magnificent when the year kicks off on a stellar note – what better way to do so than forgetting the humdrum and immersing yourself in a good ol’ bar.
Finding a bar is no challenging task, but when it comes to bars that are distinctly special, a little help might just be needed. But worry not as we’ve rounded up 5 unique bars nuzzled in KL city for a perfect final weekend and a thrilling boozy boost into your new year. Here’s to witnessing the start of 2024 amidst these one-of-a-kind scenes!
A charming lair residing in the heart of Jalan Kwai Chai Hong, Concubine is the manifestation of Chinatown revived. This hidden bar is precisely what you would imagine if funky and coy were to blend exquisitely – still holding onto the old-worn walls and aged wooden structures, the spot has now been dressed in striking pink and green hues. With old-school murals amplifying its uniqueness along with specks of neon rays, this bar offers bar-goers an array of creative cocktails (Pedro Wong if you’re one for something sweet and tart) and Asian-inspired snacks such as Smoked Duck Gyozas for their Foie Gras. The bold darling of KL’s bar scene, Concubine invites you into a whole new world where elegance meets chic.
Address: Lot 2, Lorong Panggong, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 5pm-1am on Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; 5pm-3am on Friday and Saturday
Have you ever heard of a cave-themed bar, much less pictured one? Well, the Tap Tap cocktail bar will quench your curiosity. Veiled behind a simple wooden door amid the hustle and bustle of Desa Sri Hartamas, this picture-perfect bar flaunts subdued contoured walls in an off-white look. This design marvel was conceived by EMPT Studio and houses monolithic furniture that would surely take your drinking experience up a notch. The captivating starry galaxy projection hovering above merely enhances the aesthetics. Of course, Tap Tap stays true to its name – serving quality cocktails on tap, the bar ensures your drinks reach you quicker whilst retaining its fancy flavours. The tantalising range goes from floral to smoky, featuring an elderflower-infused sake as well as a vodka that sates the local palate.
Address: 76, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 3pm-2am on Monday-Thursday and Sunday; 5pm-3am on Friday and Saturday
The Rebel Penguin of Funky Town
Step in for an instant time travel adventure back to the 80s – reinventing the whimsical disco era’s cocktails in present times, The Rebel Penguin just knows what fun is! Neatly under-the-radar and imbued with an ambience that is both cosy yet enlivening, this intimate speakeasy is an eccentric gem. The first self-founded bar of renowned cocktail creators Alvin AuYong, the cocktails served here are concoctions of your guiltiest pleasures recreated into beverages of stunning flavours. Must we also add that these dessert cocktails are served in the quirkiest mugs? A favourite is Par-Tea Starter which combines a fruity gin and apricot brandy, served in Princess Belle’s teacup. All in all, Rebel Penguin’s sure to spellbind you through the night.
Address: Wisma Cosway, Lot 1.24, 88 Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 7pm-12am on Wednesday and Thursday; 7pm-1am on Friday and Saturday
Priding itself as an elevated cocktail bar, this Asia’s 50 Best Bar awardee ornaments KL’s ever-expanding drinks tapestry. Beyond its geometric metal-sheeted entrance lies a dimmed minimalist space. With an organised seating fixed for just 25 people and multiple sleek bars along the wall, the bar is a quiet wonder. Penrose’s limited yet functional palette of blacks, granites and greys makes the drinking experience as absorbing as one can dream. As for the beverages, the intricate menu follows the 5-compound structure of cocktails: Alcohol, Taste, Body, Dilution and Flavour – refashioning classics like Martinis and Negronis, Penrose is a must-visit spot with immaculate drinks to relish.
Address: 149, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 7pm-1am, Wednesday-Sunday
The Iron Fairies
A wonderland within the normal realm, The Iron Fairies is where your imagination runs free. One of KL’s most luxurious bars built till date, the space is designed like an ironsmith’s workshop embellished with artistic motifs. Paying homage to the renowned Iron Fairies books by Ashley Sutton, the interior design breathes life to his mythical world – you simply cannot escape the allure of this place! More than simply satisfying your sight, The Iron Fairies effortlessly slakes your taste and smell as well. A vast selection of beverages await you, including remarkable wine, champagne and their iconic cocktails. Tip: try the bar’s classic, Labyrinth, a gin-based cocktail with osmanthus, apple juice, citrus and Indian spices for a refreshing flavour on a memorable affair.
Address: H-G-06, 438, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 5pm-2am, Monday and Tuesday; 5pm-5am, Wednesday-Sunday
Feature image by iiiimad on Instagram.