I had my doubts about a school-themed bar. I hated school with a passion, so what would convince me to go Back to Skool? For one, they didn’t take the theme as seriously as I expected, so this place should, by no means, be judged by that approach. It’s all very tongue-incheek. Back to Skool is laid back, friendly and dare I say accepting. I have no complaints for a school that allows smoking.
When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the open plan. Back to Skool is spacious, with a high ceiling and furniture sprawled out on the wooden floor. It’s almost hall-like. Privacy doesn’t seem to be their main concern. Okay there are blackboards with scribbles from regulars, a giant ‘Back to Skool’ school logo, a world map and a projector screen, but there are no shadowy corners or partitions. This open plan decor looks excellent for inclusive gatherings. I spoke to the bar manager and indeed, large groups of old school friends get together here for reunions. ‘We’ll just move the tables around to make one big table for everyone,’ he said. Apparently, the place can accommodate up to 100 patrons.
There are all sorts of mocktails, margaritas, martinis, shooters and classic cocktails on the menu, plus the usual draft, bottled and flavoured beers (RM15 for a pint of Kilkenny), house and premium liquors. I ordered one of their signature cocktails, Illusion (RM26) – a mix of Malibu, Midori, Absolut, blue curacao and pineapple juice garnished with maraschino cherry and slice of lemon. Fragrant but sharp, it’s almost like a piña colada.
I proceeded to receive my third strike from the school for gluttony in the classroom. The menu has a section dedicated to spicy snacks in addition to platters, full meals, pies and burgers. I ordered three spicy plates – the ikan bilis sambal (RM16.90), mutton varuval (RM17.90) and spicy dynamite sausages (RM18.90). The food will be attractive to, well, everyone; it’s pork and beef free.
Cheerful locals clinked glasses and cracked jokes, some in office attire and everyone having a good time. I would have beamed that way in school too if lab was about drinkable ethanol and juices (they actually have a sign that says ‘LAB’ behind the bar). Owing to Back to Skool’s delicious drinks, tasty snacks and relaxed atmosphere, I left exultant, with doubts dismissed. Jay Chooi
|Venue name:||Back to Skool|
1 Jalan Dutamas 1
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat, 12noon-1am|