The weekend starts early in Bangsar. By the time the hour hand strikes six, the street is already alive with laughter and slender twenty-somethings, fingers wrapped around a beer, a cocktail, a wine glass, as the bars pump their music into the streets. Next to Changkat Bukit Bintang, trendy Bangsar is the place to go drinking in Kuala Lumpur. The crowd there is constantly on the lookout for something quirky and exciting, and the bars in Bangsar strive to deliver. Here is our list of bars you should definitely check out.
W1 Dining & Cocktails, Bangsar
W1 stands out from the Bangsar scene with its ‘cool Britannia’ vibes, promising to bring the best of London’s food and drinks to Kuala Lumpur. In addition to the scotch eggs and fish and chips, customers can order a jug of Pimm’s to chase away the hot, balmy weather, or peruse the long list of specialty cocktails with themed entries like the Soho Sour, Primrose Hill, and Paddington Bear (which includes marshmallow syrup!). Perfect for those who are bored with the classics.
Pahit Manis cocktail | Image courtesy of Shelley Yu's
The cocktail menu at Shelley Yu’s is perfect is you’re looking for drinks with a Malaysian twist. Each concoction features bold ingredients from the Malaysian kitchen like coconut milk and gula melaka. Try Tangan Raja (‘Hand of the King’) if you’re bold enough to have durian with your rum, or Laksa Colada, which tosses out coconut for laksa milk. With its brightly painted interiors and menu of delicious Nonya places, Shelley Yu’s is a great place to impress any date with.
Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar serves one of the best G&Ts in Kuala Lumpur. This bustling gastrobar aims to emulate the convivial mood of the Barcelona city markets. Chef David Caral delivers memorable tapas like iberico croquettes and mussels cooked with white wine and leek. Pair this bit of casual fine dining with a recommended bottle of wine from the Mercat cellars, and you’ll see why Mercat is one of the quickest to fill up on Friday night.
Coley is a narrow little bar tucked into the back of the same shoplot as the Dr. Inc restaurant cafe. The decor is contemporary and the bar only sits 20. Helmed by Malaysian bartender CK Kho, Coley delivers classic cocktails with a contemporary twist. Instead of a Gin and Tonic, why not try the Gin and Coconut, a refreshing mix of London dry gin and fresh coconut water? If you prefer something a bit harder, there is always the Kopi Old Fashioned, which has a base of dark rum and will wake you right up. Coley opens at five and is not flushed with seats, so it’s generally a good idea to head down there straight after work and get your first round in quick.