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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.