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Best speakeasies in KL

Looking for a unique drinking experience? Check out these 'hidden' bars

Omakase + Appreciate

Hidden behind a door with a ‘No Entry’ sign in five languages, Omakase + Appreciate’s discreet location truly makes you feel like an insider. Pick the right door and you’ll be rewarded with exciting cocktails prepared by award-winning mixologists Shawn Cheong and Karl Too. True to its name, the intimate bar practises the omakase concept so you can leave it to the talented duo to decide a drink for you. If you and your posse are seeking a night of adventure, this is the place to be.

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KL City Centre

Hyde

Andrew and Caroline of The Good Batch are the duo behind this new joint. It’s hiding on the second floor behind a black sliding door, which makes it feel like an early ’20s speakeasy – it seems like something out of ‘The Great Gatsby’. The interior looks classy with its marble-topped bar and comfy cushioned seats, and there’s classic jazz playing on the speakers. It’s stylish, but not overly so; Andrew tells us you can just be yourself here. The cocktail menu changes regularly so you’ll get to taste something different every time.

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Damansara

Mr Brooks

Finding Mr Brooks is a bit of a treasure hunt – look out for a purple Sunbeam Alpine car on Bangsar Shopping Centre’s third floor. Primarily a gin and cocktail bar, this speakeasy sports the ambience of a conventional British gentlemen’s club in the 1920s, but the decor is sleek and modern, boasting a bicycle installation that functions as wall lights. If you should have one thing here, make it the Nan’s Carrot Cake – a desserty, lightly spiced cocktail tinged with Drambuie and vodka.

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Bangsar
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Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Tucked away above Medan Damansara’s row of stellar restaurants is the exclusive whisky and cigar lounge, WTF. The decor – a nod to the gentlemen’s club – screams masculinity, and you’ll also find quiet nooks that provide you with a bit of privacy. If you think the WTF outlet with a telephone booth in Avenue K exudes a cool vibe, expect a classier version at Medan Damansara where self-respecting whisky drinkers huddle over expensive cigars. Be warned: No cigarettes are allowed.

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Bukit Damansara

Tate

The best thing about this sinister and stoic-looking American-inspired bar is the list of sophisticated cocktails featuring ingredients such as chai-infused sweet vermouth, rosebuds and earl grey tea shaken over ice with lychee liqueur. At night, this modern day gentlemen’s den is swarming with a hip crowd schmoozing in a room that’s decked out with a life-sized knight’s armour, leather chairs and a large selection of fine cigars in the humidor room. How to locate Tate? Find the white wall with the hanging bowler hat.

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KL City Centre

Barlai

Nestled on the ground floor of Seksan’s Sekeping Sin Chew Kee retreat, Barlai is the epitome of old-meets-new. Occupying an 80-year-old building, the bar is surrounded by wooden picnic tables (to preserve the heritage allure of the eco-friendly retreat), exposed brick walls, narrow stairs and gangly trees outside. The nostalgic atmosphere easily makes you forget that you’re still in the city.

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Pudu
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