The city's annual creative arts festival is back with a city-wide experience at 2 Hang Kasturi, KL Live and The Bee Publika over three weekends. Confirmed international acts include British electronic music outfit Clean Bandits, Danish prog-rock trio Mew, English math rockers TTNG, one-man band Mylets from Indiana, and Indonesian folk-pop dup Stars and Rabbit. On the local lineup is The Venopian Solitude, with more acts to be announced. Also expect an immersive audiovisual multimedia ecosystem, a photo project showcasing KL's diverse community of photographers, a market offering vintage clothing, leather works and vinyl goods, and more.
Club nights and parties in KL this week
New bars in KL
Crime Cocktail Bar
Crime Cocktail Bar is inspired by the speakeasies of the American prohibition era when alcohol was illegal. And being a speakeasy itself, Crime’s location along TREC’s Electric Boulevard isn’t easy to find. You actually have to head to Crave Oysters and Seafood first, and then the staff there will give you a code to key in at the hidden doors at the side of the restaurant in order to gain access to Crime. The interior at Crime stays true to the prohibition era bars. With exposed brick and cement walls, leather couches, portraits of famous crime bosses on the walls, and swing music blasting from the speakers, the surrounds feel like something straight out of a 1920s mob movie set. The bartenders (or ‘soul makers’ as they’re called here) at Crime are well trained in the art of mixing drinks. In the menu, you’ll find that each bartender has their own signature cocktails alongside Crime’s signatures. While the cocktails here can border on experimental, there are enough choices to suit any preference. If you’re new to cocktails, try the Grand Bloom – gin, crème de cassis, rosella jam and fresh lemon juice. The taste of alcohol isn’t too strong in this one, so it’s easy and sweet. For something unique, the best-selling Silk Road is the go-to drink. The concoction of bacon fat-infused whisky with fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar definitely tastes better than it sounds.
Apart from the slew of cocktail bars we see mushrooming all around KL, winebars have been quietly making a namefor themselves among the city’s wineconnoisseurs.Adding to that growingnumber, internationalwine retailer Wine Connection has opened their flagship store in TREC. Located a bit further away from the bustling area of bars and clubs along TREC’s Electric Boulevard, Wine Connection provides a quiet respite from the party crowds. It’s a clean, sleek space – marble floors, and wood shelves filled with countless bottles of wine. Huge windows fill the space with lots of natural light during the day; and at night the space is lit up by dangling light bulbs. The alfresco space is where the tables and chairs are at. Wine Connection is especially proud of their incredible selection of over 200 labels, and they should be. You can find a huge array of wines from countries all around the world – think whites, reds, champagne and sparkling from France, Argentina, New Zealand and more – all specially curated by their team of experts, who taste over 2,000 wines annually before selecting the top five percent to be a part of their collection. Doubling as a retailer and wine bar, Wine Connection also allows guests to enjoy a bottle or a glass on the premises. Other additional benefits offered include wine delivery around the country (but check with them first before placing an order) as well as free tasting sessions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. There is no food served at
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
Latest music interviews
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.