Taman Tun Dr Ismail, or TTDI, has a popular strip of bars. You’ll know the obvious choices when you see them. Busy, noisy and full of young, yuppie types threatening to spill out onto the street, we’ve picked a more obscure one from the lot as this month’s great small bar – 42East Restaurant & Bar.
Located a little further down Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, the first thing you’ll notice is the typo on their signboard outside (hate to break it to you, but it’s ‘forty’ not ‘fourty’, guys). But don’t let this deter you. In fact, embrace this as part of their charm and head inside, where you’ll find all the comforts of a bar. There’s footy on the telly, high tables and comfy long seats across one wall, where dining tables await hungry patrons. Coincidentally, their food isn’t bad, so tuck in while waiting for your pint.
And are there plenty of the latter, along with all-day happy hour rates. Well, kind of. Prices do rise slightly after 10pm, but at RM66 for three pints of Guinness, we say 42East still cuts a pretty good deal. There’s more. Can’t stomach three pints in one go? Keep the receipt and ‘park’ your drink here – you can enjoy whatever’s left the next time you’re in.
Then, there are the other things that drew us here. For one, they have an impressive wine list for a neighbourhood bar. Old and new world wines mingle on the menu, and whilst you won’t find labels from award-winning vineyards, their prices will soothe your purse and tease your palette. Not convinced? Their house wine is a mere RM80 per bottle, and you can even get a bottle of prosecco for a decent RM150.
Think suburban bars are only about these sort of tipples? You’re wrong. 42East’s bartenders have come up with some creative concoctions. We tried the Root Beer Float, which screamed at us from the cocktail list with its main ingredient. It arrived in a classic root beer pitcher, and a few sips revealed the other magic ingredients – Kahlua, Galliano and a big dollop of ice cream. Sickly sweet but oh-so-good and easy to drink. Next time – if diabetes hasn’t kicked in – we’re tasting the Ice Cream Sandwich (oreo cookies, white cacao, ice cream and more) or the East Cosmo (an upgraded cosmopolitan with fresh lime, cranberry, vodka and flamed orange peel). All cocktails start at a mere RM18.
Now, onto the folk that plant themselves here when the sun sets. It’s mostly regulars, who are a nice mix of working professionals. And though it was fairly quiet on the Saturday night we visited, we’re told that it does get busy. In fact, the bar recently had its first comedy night, which was a crowded affair. Set to be a regular occurrence, aim for these nights and book yourself a table. Rachel Jena