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Jack Rose (CLOSED)

  • Bars and pubs
  • Bukit Damansara
  • price 3 of 4
Photo: Bryan Ong
Photo: Bryan Ong

Time Out says

The past year has seen a flurry of cocktail bars opening around KL, each of them trying to outdo the last in terms of bar design uniqueness or their drinks menu. The latest cocktail bar to open in the city, Jack Rose, is a worthy competitor.

Run by Callan Green and James Estes – who both have a combined 30 years of experience in the bar and service industry – Jack Rose is Bukit Damansara’s newest secret. While it isn’t exactly a speakeasy, it may as well be considering how hidden the place is. Located on the basement floor of Wisma E&C, Jack Rose is a safe space from the rushing MRT commuters and hordes of HELP students above.

The interior is kept simple. There’s no need for any over-the-top designs or gimmicks here, just a wooden bar counter, wooden tables and checkerboard floors. Also, there might not be a DJ at the bar but the music you’ll hear is good enough. Jack Rose keeps it old school by playing records on a record player. They come from Callan’s personal collection and range from old school hip hop to disco tunes. Customers are welcome to bring their own records to play here too.

Jack Rose (the cocktail) has had a long history. It was invented in the early 20th century and started becoming popular in the 1920s and 1930s – so much so that it was mentioned in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 classic, ‘The Sun Also Rises’. The literary allusion in naming the bar wasn’t an accident; in fact, a skim through their menu and you’d notice that the names of the cocktails here make various references to literature and pop culture. Plus with every cocktail entry in the menu is an accompanying comic (wonderfully drawn by Australian comic artist Bernard Caleo) that is dripping in satire and cultural nods.

One of the highlights of the menu is (obviously) the Jack Rose. The version here sticks to the original recipe of just Applejack, lemon and homemade grenadine, resulting in flavours that are very well balanced with a mix of sweet, sour and a dash of citrus. Apart from the Jack Rose, the cocktail called The Devil’s in the Drink is also hard to say no to. An homage to Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel ‘The Master and Margarita’, the cocktail is a concoction of Cimarron Tequila, suze, pickled pear, lemon, lime and bitters – there’s a slight bitterness but the tequila adds some edge. We recommend pairing the drinks with their buffalo chicken wings. Be careful though, once you order a plate of those wings you won’t be able to refuse another.


Wisma E&C
2, B1 Lorong Dungun Kiri
Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours:
Tue-Thu, 5pm-1am; Fri, 5pm-3am; Sat, 8pm-3am
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