The Flowerpecker (CLOSED)
Time Out says
Note: The Flowerpecker in Bangsar is now closed, and has shifted to Los Flowerpecker in Damansara Uptown.
The Flowerpecker is the bar KL needs right now. Occupying the breezy, sunlit space above Barat Mediterranean restaurant and serving wallet-friendly drinks, this bar stands in contrast to the dimly lit and pricey ‘speakeasy bars’ that were all the rage five years ago.
It’s also the city’s first vermouth-focused bar. It was conceived in consultation with Omakase + Appreciate’s Shawn Chong, and is vegan-friendly to complement the food served at The Ganga Café and Barat – meaning there’s minimal use of eggs and dairy. Plus, The Flowerpecker is one of the rare cocktail bars in KL that open during the day, encouraging you to indulge in a low-ABV cocktail before moving on to more important things.
The drinks served here reflect the bar’s casual and open feel; there’s little need for fancy bar-side theatrics or glassware – don’t expect to see Chinese teapots or smoked hay to arrive at your table – and most drinks are made by simply pouring, mixing and stirring. But that doesn’t mean that the drinks lack character or complexity: one favourite is the Pranic West Side (RM25), which is made with pranic juice, a shot of The Botanist gin and topped up with soda water. The combination of cardamom, pepper, cumin and mint in the pranic juice and the gin’s 22 botanicals results in a drink that has so much going on flavour-wise, while being light enough to be served as a refreshing apéritif or digestif.
As this is a vermouth-focused bar, a visit here wouldn’t be complete without trying out their vermouth, bottles of which are proudly displayed on the bar’s top shelf. Newcomers are encouraged to start off with a 30ml serving of Antica Formula Carpano (RM15), an Italian red vermouth that’s made according to the original recipe dating back to 1786. Carrying deep and rich flavours of dark chocolate, raisins, berries and thick-cut marmalade, the vermouth is best drunk in small, appreciative sips. When you’re ready for more, go for the flight of three (RM35), which typically comprise red, white and dry vermouths created by the houses of Dolin, Martini and Carpano. Not sure of what you’re getting into? Just ask the bartender, who’s well-briefed on the subject of these French and Italian vermouths. At the time of writing, however, there were only four brands available – a small selection for a bar that purports to be a vermouth bar – but more is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
From then on, you can work your way up to other vermouth-based drinks like the Carpano Bianco Highball (RM25), which is a shot of semi-sweet vermouth topped up with soda water or ginger ale; or go for a classic Negroni (RM35), which is made with Citadelle Réserve gin, Campari and a vermouth of your choice. We recommend you go with the Antica Formula in fashioning a well-rounded and big-flavoured Negroni that isn’t too far from the Claypot Negroni served in Jack Rose, one of the city’s standard bearers.
Play it right, and you could end up having three, even four drinks, for under RM100 – a steal in a time when RM40-45 cocktails are considered the norm. So what if the drinks here aren’t as Instagrammable as the ones served at Chinatown? As far as we’re concerned, a good bar should put you at ease, serve good drinks that are fairly priced, and have a knowledgeable bartender – and The Flowerpecker checks all those boxes.