Bangsar area guide

Discover the best restaurants, shops, bars and cafés in Bangsar

Dr.Inc / Nala Designs
Photo: Hizwan HamidDr.Inc

Bangsar has gone through many phases – unobtrusive residential area, clubbing haven, arts and culture quarter, and now, café district. From the busy streets of Telawi to the more laidback Jalan Bangkung and Jalan Kemuja, we round up the best restaurants, bars, cafés and things to do in Bangsar.

Best restaurants in Bangsar

Proof Pizza + Wine
Restaurants

Proof Pizza + Wine

APW’s latest addition Proof Pizza + Wine serves up an artisanal array of pizzas and, well, wine. Although a two-storey space, the restaurant is fairly small, exuding an intimate atmosphere. The first floor is shared between the seating area and the kitchen, while the loft upstairs holds a few booths for small groups. The floor-to-ceiling wine shelf commands your view as you walk in, and there are piles of logs scattered around the restaurant – not just as mere props, but actually used to fuel their impressive wood-fire ovens. Proof’s menu is divided into the classic and gourmet sections. Classic flavours include the Margherita and Diavola (house-blend tomato sauce, chorizo, red onions, chilli flakes and mozzarella); while their gourmet list flaunts a more eclectic combination of ingredients and toppings like black truffle paste, nduja sausage (a spicy, spreadable salami) and Taleggio cheese. And helping the pizzas in Proof to stand out from the rest of the crowd is their crust; made with dough prepared two days in advance and baked in wood-fire ovens, the crusts are crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – the ideal crust, if you will. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their curated list and end the meal on a sweet note with a scoop of Inside Scoop’s ice cream – flavours are seasonal so be sure to ask what they have in store

Sri Nirwana Maju Bangsar
Restaurants

Sri Nirwana Maju Bangsar

On a suburban strip packed with fine dining options and swanky European eateries, Sir Nirwana Maju’s livelier Bangsar outlet stands out as Jalan Telawi’s go-to banana leaf rice haunt. Tables are hard to come by at this perpetually bustling mamak-style restaurant (forget about sitting indoors; you’ll likely have to make do with plastic chairs along the corridor), while prices have steadily increased and service has slowed over the years. But Nirwana’s winning combination of banana leaf rice with top notch condiments, well-prepared roti and refreshing lassi continues to ensure that locals and foreigners alike keep coming back for more. Sri Nirwana Maju has a separate outlet at Subang Jaya. Awards Food Awards 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013   Sri Nirwana Maju was shortlisted Best Indian in the Time Out KL Food Awards2010, 2011 and 2013. It was shortlisted Best Banana Leaf in 2012. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance are rewarded.

Ming Room
Restaurants

Ming Room

Opened in 2003, The Ming Room serves authentic Cantonese cuisine with a touch of creative liberty. Recently refurbished, be impressed with the historical and elegant renovations, complete with antique terracotta horses as well as six private dining rooms to cater to 300 pax. Highlights include the baked foie gras with stuffed sea clams and the steamed fresh water prawn with radish cakes. In addition to the obvious Hong Kong dim sum, standard Chinese fare with a twist is served. A popular dessert among their patrons is the chilled durian pudding. As featured in Time Out KL's 101 things to do in KL

Bocosan Izakaya
Restaurants

Bocosan Izakaya

Bangsar South’s latest Japanese restaurant carries much of the cool and casual vibe that made its elder sibling, Botanica & Co, a success in drawing diners to this part of KL. As far as the aesthetic details are concerned, Bocosan Izakaya ticks all the boxes: from the spacious, sun-lit environment to the Nordic-hued (read: shades of grey and natural wood) serving trays, chairs and bowls, everything works together to create a breezy and calm restaurant that isn’t always associated with a messy, bustling izakaya. Start with sashimi moriawase (RM49), which comprises three types of generously cut sashimi. The crispy kakiage udon best represents Bocosan’s balanced and fun approach to food: the chewy udon noodles are contrasted by a six-inch block of tempura-fried vegetables that sits atop, and the whole dish is brought together by a light, clean-tasting broth. As for desserts, go for the mizu shingen mochi – a raindrop jelly cake with roasted soy bean powder and Japanese black sugar.

Ashley's by Living Food
Restaurants

Ashley's by Living Food

Living Food bistro’s maiden offshoot stays true to its health food roots without sacrificing panache and élan. Spruced-up comfort food like the quinoa salad as well as baked brie with almonds and cranberries share the spotlight in this quirky, stylish spot on Jalan Telawi 3. Other dishes to try here include the scrumptious saffron-spiced paella with shrimp, scallop and pearl snapper as well as the Portobello mushroom and buckwheat polenta stack.

Botanica+Co
Restaurants

Botanica+Co

With a light-filled space dominated by two Ficus trees and with plants dotted around, Botanica + Co restaurant and bar can be best described as lush. It reminds us of a glass house in a botanical garden; it’s a beautiful space, one that’s made for a leisurely meal. And the diverse menu plays into that theme very well.Helmed by Sam Neoh, the chef behind the popular PS.Café in Singapore, the crowd-pleasing menu features a balanced mix of cuisines. The pizza list is long, and it’s complemented by Asian and Western comfort food the likes of rotisserie chicken, duck rendang, seafood bisque linguine, Hokkien mee, fish and chips, burgers and more. If you prefer something light, there are a few choices for salads and sandwiches as well.On the bar side, Botanica + Co serves cocktails featuring Asian ingredients – think yuzu, papaya and mango. Selected cocktails are available in carafes as well, perfect for sharing between two and four people.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Southern Rock Seafood
Restaurants

Southern Rock Seafood

With its beginnings as Shucked the oyster bar in Ben’s Independent Grocer’s and as a seafood supplier in Bangsar, it’s no surprise that the focus here is on seafood, and very fresh ones at that.

Bella by BIG
Restaurants

Bella by BIG

Set in the quiet enclave of restaurants on Lorong Kurau, this Italian eatery by the BIG Group is an intimate, fuss-free space that offers a more casual dining experience – great for nerve-wracking first-dates – while small details like table-top plants add to the romantic charm. Couple that with Bella's Italian fare and you've got yourself the ideal simple date night joint. 

Bakar
Restaurants

Bakar

Bakar’s affiliation with charcoal fire is far from opportunistic – spend one night here and it’s easy to see that boundaries are meddled with, for KL standards at least.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur
Restaurants

Breakfast Thieves Kuala Lumpur

After Pulp, APW adds another café to its premises, and it’s a very handsome one. Already attracting brunch hunters and Instagrammers in droves, Breakfast Thieves (yes, it’s the sister of the one based in an old chocolate factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne) is a stunner: a glasshouse-like space with lots of pale wood, white tiles, pastel railings and concrete, punctuated by the occasional plant and exposed light bulb. Founded by a team of Malaysians (Brandon Chin, Kevin Foo and Edwin Koh), KL’s Breakfast Thieves features a minimal brunch menu of modern Australian dishes with Asian influences – think berry compote yoghurt with granola, ginger apple crumble and soft-boiled eggs; spicy baked eggs with beef salami, onion jam and okra; and even eggs Benedict is given an upgrade with braised beef cheeks, honey apple compote and yuzu hollandaise. What you can look forward to: an upcoming lunch menu with more Malaysian-centric dishes such as polenta soft-shell crab burger with lemongrass-chilli sauce and a side of kaffir lime salted chips, a nasi kerabu dish named 1MBT, popiah stuffed with shredded crab and honey herbed ricotta, and more.  Rounding out the deal is a simple coffee menu (sorry, no filter coffee for now) with the usual latte, double espresso and cappuccino. But the Magic is the one you have to try: it’s a double ristretto topped with steamed milk.

Chef Low
Restaurants

Chef Low

November 2012 Sandwiched between oleaginous car workshops in a grimy back alley of grimy Lucky Gardens, against all odds Chef Low has managed to survive the curse of its predecessors. It’s the latest in a long list of doomed eateries to attempt a business in that specific address, but unlike the rest has garnered a following of regulars that attests to its status as one of the go-to destinations for reliably good, home-style Chinese food in KL. With all of its energy invested into the food and none whatsoever in the décor, Chef Low’s menu is – when you’ve taken in the pink tablecloths and plastic furniture – impressively ambitious. From seafood to poultry and medicinal foods to game, the plastic encased a la carte menu contains virtually every gastronomic staple that’s available in Chinese and seafood restaurants. Happily however, the jack-of-all-tradesmaster-of-none saying doesn’t apply here: At Chef Low’s, the food is consistently well prepared and infused with the confidence and verve of a cook who knows his trade well and isn’t afraid to show it. A signature dish is the Chinese-style fried bacon with marmite sauce, chilli padi and lime, which also happens to be a dangerous thing to order. Apart from the delightful dance it performs on the palate, the fried marmite bacon also proves two other things – the cooks at Chef Low a) love cooking with marmite and b) are very good at creating dishes that include marmite. To wit: marmite spare ribs which are crispy, chewy and rip

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Yeast
Restaurants

Yeast

Yeast makes it possible for you to indulge in French food without having to bust your savings. The dinner menu is as exciting as classic French food goes. Things like grilled tenderloin, boeuf bourguignon (braised short ribs in red wine), roasted chicken roulade with basil and confit of lamb shoulder make up the menu. Breads and pastries also act as main actors. Watch out for Chef Mathieu Rabau, a charming French import with Michelin star experience. For more, see feature. As featured in Time Out KL's 101 things to do in KL Awards Food Awards 2013   Yeast was shortlisted Best New Restaurant in the Time Out KL Food Awards 2013. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance are rewarded.

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Things to do in Bangsar

176 Avenue
Health and beauty

176 Avenue

Located in a spacious two-storey building opposite Bangsar Shopping Centre, 176 Avenue is Bangsar’s latest all-in-one beauty hall. On the second floor is an area where they offer eyelash extensions, waxing services and manicures. The nail studio uses vegan and non-toxic polishes from Australian cult favourites Kester Black and Sienna Byron Bay, making it perfect for expecting mothers and children (there’s a kid’s manicure area, complete with soft toys and kid-sized furnishings). On the ground floor, there’s also a retail area stocking local brands but we’re most excited about Hair Soho, a salon helmed by one of our favourite hair directors, Nick Siow.

I Love Snackfood
Shopping

I Love Snackfood

Snackfood specialises in fashion, home decor and general curiosities. They stock a small quantity of Kinfolk, Smith Journal and Uppercase magazines. For more of their homeware and collectibles, Snackfood has a warehouse in Bangsar South where they keep the best stuff.

Pink Tattoos
Shopping

Pink Tattoos

Think of getting inked, think Pink Tattoos. Lynda Chean’s Pink Tattoos, which turns six in September, is on (needle) point – with its boutique-y, hip location, the studio is clean and comfortable, festooned with framed artworks, owl figurines and everything else bright and beautiful.

Merchant & Sisters
Shopping

Merchant & Sisters

Those wandering into Merchant & Sisters might find it a bit hard to define what the store is all about: aside from its selection of casual outfits, denim wear, accessories and bags, the store also houses a small café, a branch of The Tattoo Parlor, and The Burrow barbershop – all within a cosy upstairs shoplot on the corner of Jalan Batai. Co-owner Sunitha Petrus describes M&S (an unintended acronym… we think) as a modern take on the old general store, where people can feel relaxed, meet other people and be a part of a community. This is a boutique store where people and personalities matter as much as the goods and services sold. While the store features a mélange of goods, they all share a casually cool vibe, which isn’t dissimilar from Sunitha’s own style; the clothes and accessories are personally sourced by Sunitha and her sisters from their travels, and aren’t too elaborate or fussy. Among the brands spotted here are Radio Fiji designer swimwear, basket bags from Australian brand 2 duck, and accessories from France-based Taratata Bijoux. Guys will be pleased to see a corner dedicated to Nama Denim, a Japanese brand that sources its raw selvedge denim from the Okayama Prefecture, which is considered the mecca for denim heads. There’s also a decent selection of men’s hair products from brands like Gonzo, Reuzel and Bona Fide that are selected by Al Siew, the resident barber in The Burrow. The cosy café is well-thought out, complementing the store’s easy-going atmosphere

Sebelas
Hotels

Sebelas

The byword here is ‘stay for less’ but, boy, the three-storey Sebelas (also a co-working space) has many more perks up its sleeve: a swimming pool for you to cool off; a cushy reading area bathed in natural sunlight; and a rooftop deck for stargazing. If these don’t already spell ‘dream staycation’, the hosts at Sebelas throw a brunch session for all the guests on occasional Sundays. Our advice, arm yourself with a good read, and a fully-charged phone because every nook and cranny – decked out with minimalist furniture and industrial decor – is an Instagram opportunity. Bonus: Sebelas’s neighbour is the very cool Mario & Luigi. Nightcap, sorted. Rates upon request.

Shoes Shoes Shoes
Shopping

Shoes Shoes Shoes

Seven years on and Shoes Shoes Shoes is still one of the best local shoe brands around. Owner Ung Yiu Lin is big news now – her shoes are worn by all the local celebrities and civilians, and her bag line KLutched is carried (literally and in stores) in Paris. (Plus she’s married to sports star heartthrob Azlan Iskandar.) Shoes Shoes Shoes now has outposts in BSC and Great Eastern Mall, but the best is still the original Telawi store with its long corridor of shoes, cabinets of funky accessories and atmosphere of a girly, gossipy dressing room.

Silverfish Books
Shopping

Silverfish Books

This neighbourhood book-boutique has been stocking more than a decade’s worth of rare titles. The independent store features a well-edited mix of literature, classics as well as an offbeat local lineup so it’s not unusual to see a copy of ‘Allah Controversy’ next to contemporary names like Tash Aw and M Bakri Musa. Silverfish is also one of the leading publishers of Malaysian writing in English, and they regularly hold discussions for writers to ruminate about literature and their respective works. If you can’t find that famous out-of-print ‘The Other Malaysia’ by Farish Noor in mainstream bookstores, you’ll have better luck here (or they’ll order it for you).

Urban Spring
Sport and fitness

Urban Spring

Not all Pilates leave you with burning thighs – Urban Spring is the first licensed gym in KL to introduce Xtend Barre, a new fitness regime that integrates principles of both Pilates and ballet. If you want to get toned but can’t lift weights, then dance!

Best places for dessert in Bangsar

Dew
Restaurants

Dew

Telawi’s new kid on the block is a promising one. Opened by Jaslyn Rangson right next to her namesake bakery/café, this new patisserie/florist marks how far Bangsar’s favourite baker has come since Jaslyn Cakes opened in 2014. While the neighbouring cake shop exudes a homely vibe with a counter packed with honest-to-goodness cakes and pastries, Dew is shiny, elegant and pretty in more ways than one. The charm starts at the entrance, which is dotted with vases in shades of robin egg blue housing pretty flowers and verdant plants for sale by O Flwr, a well-known florist among KL’s socialites. Stop and smell the roses, and maybe bring back a box of flowers for a loved one. Once you’re done admiring the crimson petals, step into the patisserie and you’ll see a glass-topped counter filled with rows of enticing, shiny tarts. Two distinctive speckle-tiled tables in the small space comfortably seat a group of three each, while an emerald-hued table in the corner (a popular spot that gets nabbed fast) accommodates slightly more. There’s no need to be crestfallen if you can’t spot empty tables inside – Dew’s florist section at the entrance also doubles as outdoor seating. Pretty tarts amidst pretty florals, what’s not to like? Tart-wise, it’s hard not to go for the whole lot and have a happy tart party, but we say go for the Basil-Lime Tart and 100% Chocolate Cake. Each pastry is lovely and is delicately plated with an obvious sense of craft by Jaslyn and co. Priced in the RM17-24 ra

Cocodash by Cocoraw
Restaurants

Cocodash by Cocoraw

Run by Michael Woo and Lee See Pin, Cocoraw is an online store that sells a variety of nama-style chocolates made with a Malaysian twist. At this pop-up store (which is expected to open until October 2018) you'll find a range are flavours that include salted gula Melaka, Ipoh White Coffee, teh tarik, Gin & Limau Nipis (chocolate made with gin and lime) and The Alcoholic Anon (chocolate made with sweet rum). Also worth trying is their hot or iced chocolate drink, which is made using chocolate sourced from different parts of the world. 

Joy St
Restaurants

Joy St

Owned by Brian Jeevan and Tan Kuan Lian, a former engineer and medical student respectively who churned their love of desserts into a full-time vocation, this quaint gelateria boasts cute interiors, which carry over onto the menu. With more than 18 intriguing flavours like sticky date, mango lime sorbet, Biscoff cookie and even red bean pandan, you’ll have a hard time deciding which one to choose. The menu changes every three weeks, so there’s never a dull ice cream moment. We suggest going for their best sellers – the lychee watermelon sorbet and Earl Grey are all-round crowd pleasers, while those looking for more esoteric flavours can try out the Avocado Mango and Berry Cheesecake. Want something a bit more substantial? Get the waffles with your gelato.

Inside Scoop
Restaurants

Inside Scoop

Bangsar’s unofficial ‘happy place’ churns out some of the best ice cream in the city. Owner and in-house ice cream churner Shiew Li uses gelato techniques to achieve full-bodied consistency and concentration of flavour, best sampled in a scoop of the Valrhona chocolate, durian or the naturally green pistachio. Whether you have your ice cream on a freshly baked waffle cone or slightly melted on a warm, buttery waffle, Inside Scoop provides momentary joy for the restless and the overworked.Inside Scoop has another outlet in Damansara Jaya. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Jaslyn Cakes
Restaurants

Jaslyn Cakes

You may have stumbled upon Instagram photos of the decadent sweet rolls, pastries, cookies, chocolate truffles and cakes by Jaslyn (@jaslynr), who used to supply to Wondermama Restaurant.

Morelli's Gelato
Restaurants

Morelli's Gelato

For a sundae that meets your childhood aspirations, Morelli’s Gelato fits the bill with gelatos that are made from scratch daily. Their sundaes are placed in the -15C blast freezer after every layer is added to ensure it retains its shape and temperature. The Berry Pavlova, a concoction of wildberry sorbet, raspberry yoghurt, soft vanilla gelato with raspberry coulis, meringues and seasonal berries, is one that stands out. Adults can go for Baileys, a satisfying sundae made from hazelnut gelato and chocolate sauce, served with a single shot of Bailey’s liqueur in a chocolate cup.

Om Shakti Chelo’s Appam Stall
Restaurants

Om Shakti Chelo’s Appam Stall

This modest 26-year-old stall in Bangsar churns out appam so good you’ll wonder why it hasn’t joined the ranks of Antipodean and Yeast at weekend brunch time. While you can opt for plain appam with coconut milk, we go weak for the brown sugar variety; coconut milk and brown sugar are liberally applied onto appam batter and swirled in a pan so the edges remain fluffy while the sides are brittle. The sugar is intentionally left in chunks, so every bite hits you with a burst of caramel-coconut goodness.

Best coffee shops in Bangsar

DR.Inc
Restaurants

DR.Inc

At DR.Inc, the coffee menu is devised by barista Neil Liew. A highlight on the menu is the Presso Bomb featuring a shot of espresso in Malacca-sourced ice cream soda.

VCR Bangsar
Restaurants

VCR Bangsar

One of KL's most good-looking cafés has branched out into Bangsar's Telawi area, bringing with it the familiar industrial-chic aesthetic that made the Pudu outlet such a hit. The single-origin coffee here is just as good, and the menu is a brunch-lover's dream that includes French toast, big breakfast sets, Turkish-style eggs and avocado toast. The cakes are another main draw, with the most indulgent being The King Cake, banana cake layered with peanut butter frosting, banana slices and chocolate.

Pulp
Restaurants

Pulp

Get serious in a cupping room where you learn from baristas who work their gear with topflight technique. Or marvel at the mementos of the warehouse over a Blue Batak brew.

Thirdwave
Restaurants

Thirdwave

The coffee enthusiasts at Thirdwave are so serious about their java they established a special coffee counter just to educate you about hand-brewed coffee. Think of it as a caffeinated bar: You can sit on the high stools and sip on a cold brew but minus the cheesy pick-up lines. Thirdwave gets beans from a variety of sources including Three Little Birds, and the resulting brew is a full-bodied coffee that pairs well with the upside-down starfruit cake, the root beer float cupcake, and – if you can handle it – the papaya cheesecake. Here’s a laidback café that manages to avoid the rustic wood/metal decor of its peers.

Café Atas 59
Restaurants

Café Atas 59

What was previously Lorem Ipsum is now Café Atas59. The name change comes with a change in management; but fret not, many of the things we loved about Lorem Ipsum is retained – like the good coffee, art jam sessions and chilled-out vibe. For those unaware of Lorem Ipsum’s existence previously, the space is hidden above Drs. Chai & Partners Dental Surgeons along Jalan Bangkung. Finding it can be tough as there’s no signboard pointing to the café; instead, just look for a canvas painting of a person’s arm holding a cup of coffee leaning against the entrance of the staircase. Café Atas59 ticks all the boxes when it comes to the typical hipster café design – high exposed ceilings, and bare concrete floor and walls. (Despite that, Café Atas59 manages to pull it off without coming across as pretentious or unoriginal.) Canvas paintings by art jam participants give the place pops of colours, and the airiness and spaciousness make the café an ideal place to work. Aside from the usual coffee options, Café Atas59 also offers a range of imported craft beers. At the time of writing craft beers such as Hawkers Pale Ale and Two Birds Golden Ale were available, but the guys behind the café plan to change the selection regularly. Food-wise, there are decent choices for pastries and cakes; go for the baked cheese cake or key lime tart if you’re in the mood for dessert. Apart from that, the menu also includes all-day breakfasts, sandwiches and dessert pancakes. If you want to explore your a

OJO Coffee
Restaurants

OJO Coffee

Featuring a creative blend of drinks, OJO (pronounced ‘Oh Joe’) is definitely not for the coffee purist. From café Horchata, java chip latte to an intriguing Pina Colada Bubble Gum coffee, OJO also has the usual mix of juices, lattes and ice blended drinks. Go for the jackfruit cream cake or a slice of peanut butter Valrhona chocolate. We like the abundance of electrical sockets in OJO, no doubt designed for the hordes of laptop-toting freelancers around town.

Best bars in Bangsar

Shelley Yu's
Restaurants

Shelley Yu's

Shelley Yu’s has its design down pat, keeping to the restaurant and bar’s Nyonya theme but updated with modern aesthetics. It’s cool and vibrant, and superbly photogenic, something Instagrammers will love. Food wise, Shelley Yu’s decides to stick with classic Malaccan Nyonya cuisine instead. There’s the ayam sioh (chicken with tamarind), sotong masak hitam, deep fried whole fish with sambal, and cincaluk fried egg. There are some lunch deals too, where you can get nasi goreng, nyonya laksa or mee siam, along with pai tee and a drink, for RM20. The cocktail menu, on the other hand, takes more risk by exploring Nyonya-inspired cocktails with homemade syrups, mixers and edible garnishes. Expect ingredients like turmeric brine, salted pineapple and the likes in your drinks. There’s a considerable selection of gin and tonics as well. Come weekend, Shelley Yu’s also features the occasional DJ nights, making it a place you can stay on long after dinner is over.

Biru San
Bars and pubs

Biru San

APW along Jalan Riong has become one of KL’s hippest spots with cafés like Breakfast Thieves and Pulp supplying endless Instagram opportunities. Its latest addition, Biru San provides a change of scenery to the usual spots with an almost-aloof approach to its furnishings and vibe. Opened by the same people who run Kaiju next door, Biru San takes the Japanese-inspired decorations of its sibling restaurant to a dystopian extreme – the space is lit up with dark blue neon lights, and an industrial-looking metallic bar counter acts as the centerpiece. In contrast to the clean and minimal decor of Breakfast Thieves, Proof and Agak Agak, Biru San’s neon-infused outlet looks like a scene right out of a science fiction movie. All this of course, makes drinking there a much more interesting experience – or at the very least, supplies a different kind of Instagram post. For ’90s kids who grew up with arcade games, there are two old school arcade machines where you can play ‘Street Fighter 2’ and ‘Metal Slug’. When it comes to drinks, beer lovers will rejoice at their menu that’s littered with various options of craft beer, most of them being from Japan. Among the labels available are Hitachino and Yoho Brewing from Japan, Siren from England and Hawkers from Australia. We recommend going for the Red Rice Hitachino beer – this craft ale is brewed with red rice and has a sweet, fruity and crisp flavour. Biru San tries to keep its menu fresh and exciting by changing the list of labels ava

La Cave
Bars and pubs

La Cave

Opened by fourth-generation winemaker Florian Paul Raymond, La Cave is a small but welcoming enclave where wine enthusiasts can find a range of labels that are relatively uncommon to KL. La Cave – which also means ‘cellar’ in French – makes the most of its half-lot space by having an abundance of light-coloured wood panels, four-tier wine racks along the walls from front to back, and polished wall mirrors that give off the illusion of space. And it works – never once did we feel crowded in, and it helps that the bar has a strict no-smoking policy.                                                                        While there’s a wide range of French wines, Florian, of course, recommends his family’s artisanal Fiesta label from Madiran, France. Plus, there are also plenty of New and Old World wines that make up the 250-odd labels available here. The prices range from an affordable RM75 to over RM500 a bottle (Fiesta retails at RM90), although spending RM130-RM180 a bottle will promise you a very fine night out. And because Florian is also a wine importer, he’s able to keep prices at reasonable levels; very worth it considering the quality that you get here. Don’t worry if most of the labels are unfamiliar – chances are they will be – the owner is on hand to act as sommelier, recommending the right wines according to what you’ve had before. To keep things interesting, the house pours change each time a bottle is emptied out – the rule here is that the last person to empty

Three X Co
Bars and pubs

Three X Co

Taking over the space Mr Brooks used to occupy in Bangsar Shopping Centre is another 'speakeasy'-style cocktail bar opened by three friends, Daniel, Eugene and Wai Hung. To find the place, look for the pop-up barbershop by Othrs. Barbers on the third floor, and pull on the wall panel that's plastered with a Muhammad Ali poster. Once inside, you'll find a dimly lit and cosy space that draws inspiration from 'The Great Gatsby' – deep emerald green walls, gold accents, leather sofas and impeccable glassware all work to create a modern and romanticised version of a speakeasy joint.  At the bar, you'll find a range of house cocktails created by David Hans, who won the Giffard West Cup 2017 – so it's no surprise to find that several of their signature drinks feature Giffard's liqueurs. 

Gridiron
Bars and pubs

Gridiron

This bar is pretty much the ultimate sports bar because they cater to as many sports fans as they can. The story basically started when three guys were at a bar watching a football match and had a light bulb moment: That they should open a sports bar in Bangsar because that’s what was lacking back then. Gridiron can refer to the American football field or a type of grill to cook meat on, which is probably why they found it the perfect name for their bar, and we definitely agree as it has a very manly ring to it. The walls are dotted with flat-screen TVs, allowing you to watch sports from literally any seat at the bar. This is not only a place to watch live sports matches but to dine as well. Ladies are given the royal treatment during Ladies Nights on Wednesdays and come Friday evening, it’s Beer-o-clock and that’s the best time to enjoy beers at a cheaper price.

The Social Bangsar
Restaurants

The Social Bangsar

The Social is a great spot brim full of buzzing atmosphere. It features a fine selection of Bacardi and sky infusions are available. All in all, a nice place to wine and catch up with friends or just to watch sports over beers. 

Ronnie Q

Ronnie Q

What constitutes a great small bar? Longevity is one criterion, and Ronnie Q has managed to outlast many a tenant in the Bangsar precinct. Like another neighbourhood oldie on Jalan Telawi (Dinty’s), this watering hole hasn’t tried too hard to refashion itself according to current modes. Instead, it has kept many of its original features firmly in place. Don’t knock what works, as they say. At Ronnie Q, the décor hasn’t altered too drastically since its early days, and the general look is masculine, woody and everything that a pub should be. Fashionable? Not so much. Reliable and comforting? Plenty. The pub has been in the neighbourhood since November 1992, making it one of the longest-standing spots in the area. Its name comes from the original pub landlord, a Ronald Quay, who remains one of Ronnie Q’s four presentday owners. Fridays and Saturdays see the place at its peak, and entertainment here comes by way of a pool table around the back. 

The X
Restaurants

The X

Situated on the busy street of Jalan Telawi 3 in Bangsar, The X is a bar and restaurant with a Japanese flare. These Japanese influences can also be seen in its food menu. Signatures include the Spicy Uramaki Roll, but if you’re coming in groups, we say order starters, maki rolls and yakitori, which is all great for sharing. Let’s not forget the drinks. Craft beer, classic cocktails, wine (both red and white), whisky and, of course, saké, are available. If you’re looking for a new hang-out spot to add to your list, The X draws in a fun crowd over the weekends with DJs spinning throughout the night.

IPPUDO Bar
Bars and pubs

IPPUDO Bar

When IPPUDO Malaysia opened its third outlet early last year to bring a taste of the acclaimed Japanese ramen to the folks at Bangsar Shopping Centre, this connected bar was unveiled at the same time and has since been in operation alongside the restaurant. However, the drinks options were generic and limited until a recent revamp led to the official launch of the IPPUDO Bar. Accessible from the air-conditioned dining area via a glass door beside a giant saké chiller, the space is semi-outdoor, where you can choose to either sit at one of the high benches or lounge in cushioned seats by the huge windows. Here you’ll find an encyclopaedic collection of sakés as well as an assortment of whiskies, beers and Japanese-inspired cocktails and snacks – an oriental alternative to the Western bars and pubs within the Bangsar area.

Mercat
Bars and pubs

Mercat

This Catalan gastrobar in Bangsar is one of the area’s more stylish for a quick dash to Europe. Chef David Caral, formerly of Circus, has concocted a menu rarely seen in the city – Iberico ham croquettes, salmorejo (chilled tomato puree), rice cooked with squid ink and a fun take on patatas bravas are only a few of the tapas-sized plates on offer. When in doubt, definitely try the cold eggplant puree with pine nuts and honey; but when in a crisis, the Iberico pork ribs with roasted peppers are a must.

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Bangsar
Things to do

Bangsar

Bangsar has gone through many phases – unobtrusive residential area, clubbing haven, arts and culture quarter, and now, café district. From the busy streets of Telawi to the more laidback Jalan Bangkung and Jalan Kemuja, we round up the best restaurants, bars, cafés and things to do in Bangsar.

Hartamas
Things to do

Hartamas

Populated by expatriates and upper middle class families, Hartamas is fancy – even its name says so (‘harta’, treasure; ‘mas’, gold). This isn’t saying that the area is inaccessible for us 'mere mortals' – in fact, it’s quite the opposite now. With many cafés and eateries opening up around the 'hood, plenty of non-Hartamas residents flock here, and not just for the lineup of Japanese restaurants. By the way, we're also including the best places to eat and visit in neighbouring areas Mont Kiara and Solaris Dutamas.  Fun fact: The area was the premise of a local TV show titled (surprise, surprise) ‘Hartamas’ starring Ida Nerina and Rashidi Ishak.

Damansara
Things to do

Damansara

The wide land that is Damansara has the privilege of being both KL and Selangor. It can be confusing – Bukit Damansara for example, is not exactly near the main Damansaras while Ara Damansara is somewhat Subang (and sometimes even Shah Alam). To make things easier for you, we've picked some of the best restaurants, cafés, bars and things to do in each Damansara area.

KL City
Things to do

KL City

Your cheat sheet to all the best restaurants, shops and things to do in the main areas of the city centre including Bukit Bintang, Petaling Street and Pudu.

Damansara Utama
Things to do

Damansara Utama

Damansara Utama is home to Damansara Uptown, the land of hard-to-find parking spots and more cafés than you can shake a stick at. We say park in the new Starling Mall and walk about the area before you eventually step in to an eatery. Here are our picks of restaurants, cafés, shops and things to do in the area. PS: If your favourite spot isn't featured here, let us know in the comments.

Sunway
Things to do

Sunway

Let’s not mask the fact that Sunway is an area dominated by students, which isn’t saying that it’s a bad thing. If you need help getting around the area, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is making things better. It’s fast – not a concept Malaysians are accustomed to hearing and practising. Let’s not also forget about Sunway Pyramid and Sunway Lagoon, where there are plenty of things to do. If you don’t have plans in Sunway, you do now.

Sri Petaling
Things to do

Sri Petaling

Sri Petaling is a mixed bag of old eating establishments, massage parlours and cafés. You can get around most of the Jalan Radins by foot, although ideally a bicycle would be nice. The 'hood is quiet but by no means dead. Here are our picks of restaurants, cafés, shops and things to do in the area. PS: If your favourite spot isn't featured here, let us know in the comments.

Petaling Jaya
Things to do

Petaling Jaya

To say that Petaling Jaya (aka PJ) is huge is an understatement. Divided into several areas and neighbourhoods (better known as 'seksyen'), there are your oldies like Jalan Gasing and PJ Old Town to newer, flashier areas like Damansara and Aman Suria. For non-PJ folks, wrapping your head around the many sections can be a bit of a nightmare, so to help you out, we explored the area to come up with this cheat sheet to some of the best restaurants, cafés, shops, bars and things to do in PJ. Got a favourite PJ spot not listed here? Let us know in the comments.

Subang
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Subang

If you cringe at the thought of Subang and the number of students swarming the area (by area, we mean SS15), just know that the small town offers more than its share of gimmicky dining establishments. Here’s a cheat sheet on what to do and places to eat. RECOMMENDED: Sunway area guide

Old KL
Things to do

Old KL

Rediscover the birthplace of KL, a bustling community of shops, stalls and restaurants. KL was conceived here, the place that harbours the very essence of our city, where cultures, colours and creeds coexist. This guide includes places from around the areas of Petaling Street, Jalan Tun HS Lee, Jalan Sultan, Masjid Jamek, Lebuh Ampang and Jalan Masjid India.