The best gigs in KL this week
Gaslight Café presents Tom Currao & Ariff AB
Catch Berlin-based artist Tom Currao flaunt his interpretation of world pop, with elements of ska and folk. Experience his acoustic stylings with songs in German, Italian and French. Also performing is KL and London-based artist Ariff AB, watch him perform songs of his self-proclaimed genre of alternative-indie-freak-folk. If you want your own share of the stage, sign up at the venue to participate in their open mic sessions and belt your heart out.
Club nights and parties in KL this week
Vibes Club presents Vision at KL Live
Vibes Club have collaborated with KL live to present Vision. With a jam packed electro and trance lineup, it’s bound to be a long night on the dance...
New bars in KL
Case Study at APW Bangsar is one of the most exciting and inventive cocktail bars to open in KL lately. For one, the space looks like a greenhouse, and as an extension of that, the cocktails are botanical. Much of the potted herbs you see as decorations at the bar become the actual ingredients in your drink, either pickled, dehydrated, muddled or used in syrups, preserves and infusions. This does seem like a promising evolution from the Asian-inspired cocktail trend that’s prevalent last year. The cocktails are bold and playful in their choice of ingredients, and hence resulting in fascinating flavours. Some of the cocktails even border on experimental, which we love. Each cocktail is named after the type of cup or receptacle that it’s served in. And to help you choose, the menu (hand-drawn to resemble a botanist’s sketch pad, naturally) offers taste profiles such as sweet, sour, tropical, viscous, smokey, savoury, nutty, earthy, peppery and more – bet you didn’t know cocktails can be this complex. It is ultimately a very fun place to drink and at the same time explore new and unusual ingredients and flavours. One of the standouts include the fruity and purple-hued Terrarium cocktail (served in a glass globe), which is made with sweet potato, egg white, lotus root gin, lemon, butterfly pea and apricot infusion, and Indian borage (or Mexican mint).
H. by Hoppers
Hoppers is still the in-thing in town; think atas appams topped with sweet and savoury treats such as cauliflower fritters, chicken rendang and mango – definitely a serious upgrade from regular appams. H. by Hoppers on the other hand is another venture by the team; it’s a bar that’s situated just above the café. H. by Hoppers may be located in a former lawyer’s office, but you won’t see mundane furnishings here. Instead, the team (with the help of creative agency pow ideas) has brightened up the space with vibrant pinks and blues – they tell us this is a nod to the peacock, which is the bar and café’s logo as well. In keeping with the laidback vibe, pots of leafy tropical greens have been placed around the bar. Cocktails here are simple yet tasty, but their names have mothing to do with the drinks. Before H. by Hoppers took over, the shelves were labelled with the names of the law firm’s secretaries, and that’s who the cocktails are named after. Mr Ahmad is a sweet and smooth cocktail with pandan vodka, gula Melaka, egg white and lemon; it leaves a very soft pandan note after every sip. Another cocktail to try is the Malaya Rickey, made up of gin, mint and kalamansi. Think of it as an adult version of your regular limau ais. Though the cocktail menu is relatively small, the bar makes up for it with other alcoholic beverages. You’ll find beers, ciders, wines (including local artisan wine),as well as whisky, rum, gin, vodka and more. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order a
Doubling as a wine retail shop and a wine bar, Corks Out offers boutique wines from both Old and New Worlds. What sets Corks Out apart from other wine shops is that everything here is sold at retail price, whether you’re taking away or drinking in at the wine bar at the back. The team here personally handpicks the wines, and to date, they stock over 250 labels, some of which are from small wineries. Don’t forget to pair your wine with the kitchen’s tapas-style dishes. Though the menu will change often, staples such as Quesos (Ibérico cheeses), lobak and Chinese gyozas will stay on. If you’re keen on trying out new wines, look out for the highlight of the month, which is available at a discounted price. You’ll also find unusual wines in the chiller; of particular note is the small selection of Lebanese wines, a rare variant here in KL.
The M Group kicked off earlier this year with CHAZE, a modern lounge that offers tasty cocktails, good music and a homey space. Lavo, however, is the opposite of its older sibling. This resto-lounge is your go-to spot for a quiet night to wine and dine. The main focus here is wine, and the lounge is outfitted with shelves filled with bottles of wine from both new and old worlds, but more on that later. The look is clean and simple with big windows framing the space, allowing plenty of natural light to come through in the day time. There are two seating options to choose from, both offering distinctive vibes. The main dining area is where you can tuck into dishes from the fusion menu of Western and Italian favourites; while the sofas are tucked towards the back of Lavo, offering a cool chill-out spot perfect for enjoying a glass of wine. Now, back to that wine bar. Here is where you can take your pick from over 600 different labels of wine from all corners of the globe including Argentina, France, Germany, Spain and more. If that isn’t enough, the bar plans to add to the stock every quarter of the year.
Latest music interviews
Taking Back Sunday
Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday – yes, that seminal emo band – doesn’t care about your early-to-mid aughts pop punk nostalgia. After all, it’s been more than a decade under the influence of Taking Back Sunday, but make damn sure they’ve never stopped making new music, as evident by this year’s release, ‘Tidal Wave’. When Adam sings ‘I don't know how you did it other than you did / Cut your wrist and said come get you some’ on ‘You Can’t Look Back’ from the band’s seventh and latest record, it could be a line from one of their earlier releases. We speak to the frontman via email ahead of the band’s debut set in Malaysia for Rockaway Festival on Nov 19. There’s a whole generation of people who think of you as spearheading the emo movement, as the source of current emo nostalgia, as the soundtrack to their teenagehood and high school years. It’s hard to imagine we spearheaded any kind of movement. We've just been lucky enough to do our thing and though I appreciate that people have let our music into their lives, nostalgia is a tricky thing. Over the years, we have been able to grow with a lot of people and that is something I am very proud of, almost as if we've been going through life together. Still, I've never considered our band an emo band. You’re a bit of a wordy band – people have tattoos of your lyrics – and your songs have helped a whole generation of people through a ton of tough times. Do you ever think about how your songs affect your fans and listeners? One o
KL's best music and nightlife
The best karaoke joints in KL
KL is a karaoke paradise (geddit?), but how good is their sound system, the food, and most importantly, the variety of Queen songs we can sing endlessly to? We rank the city’s best in our list. If you need ideas on the best karaoke-friendly songs to sing, see our list of the 50 best karaoke songs.
The best clubs for dancing in KL
Looking for a fun night out dancing? Check out the best clubs, rooftop party decks and underground DJ dens to bust out those slick moves without shame. If you prefer to sing and dance in a private room (with only your friends as an audience), see our list of the best karaoke joints in town, and be sure to sing along to our 50 best karaoke songs.