When it comes to drinking in the greater Kuala Lumpur area, watering holes like the Changkat Bukit Bintang area attracts short-term tourists and a merry bunch that’s just looking to have a good time with affordable alcohol. Expect it to be crowded with the masses on Fridays and weekends. A few kilometres away, you will find equally as many places to have a drink in Bangsar but with a less rowdy crowd.
It could be that Bangsar is more of an upscale residential area compared to being in the heart of the Golden Triangle, but the crowd is certainly a more matured one with infinitely better taste in music. After toiling away in the CBD, these people return to Bangsar to have a nightcap before heading back to their homes in the neighbourhood.
The best part is that there is also no shortage of restaurants in addition to places to drink in Bangsar. If you’re feeling peckish, have some good old banana leaf rice or traditional nyonya food at Shelley Yu’s, which incidentally also serves up some great cocktails. One of KL’s best wood fired pizzas can also be found in Bangsar, when you want a fancy take on the humble pizza.
However, one does not need to live in Bangsar to fully appreciate the bar scene there. Chances are, you already frequent the area. Now, let’s just point you in the right direction on where to drink in Bangsar.
Tucked behind DR.Inc in Jalan Kemuja is Coley, known for their twists on classic cocktails and use of local ingredients in their drinks. One such example is the popular Gin & Coconut, a refreshing taste of the tropics but with a dash of alcoholic fun. Coley also won three awards in The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur 2017: best hospitality team, best cocktail bar, and its main man CK Kho won bartender of the year.
Coley, 6- G, Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar Park, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, +6019-270 9179.
Looking to have a good time out with friends and dance the night away? Head to Mantra Rooftop Bar & Lounge, located at the highest point of Bangsar Village II. It also happens to be the area’s only rooftop bar, so expect this to be a happening spot with revellers on Friday nights and weekends.
Mantra Rooftop Bar & Lounge, Bangsar Village II, Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, +60 17 344 8299.
Longtime patrons to Bangsar will recognise Mercat — it is one of the more enduring bars of the area, serving up a great selection of gin and tonic, as well as bar grub including mussels, baby squid, and Spanish omelette. If wine is your jam, then this gastrobar is also a must-visit.
Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar, 51, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2201 5288.
Get a dose of nyonya cuisine with a side of locally-inspired cocktails at Shelley Yu’s. Gin-based cocktails are a specialty here, which go well with the pongteh and nyonya curry. The restobar’s interior is also delightful and Instagrammable. Pro tip for the ladies: on Wednesdays, all ladies get a free cocktail for ladies’ night.
Shelley Yu’s, 49, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, +603-2201 4139.
Taking over the former Mr. Brooks hidden bar, Three X Co now operates behind the facade of barbershop Othrs. Pull on the wall panel with a Muhammad Ali poster and you will find the dimly lit Three X Co. The bar’s specialty cocktails are designed by David Hans, winner of Giffard West Cup 2017. Our cocktail recommendation? The Chocolat Fashioned — an Old Fashioned twist with chocolate bitters.
Three X Co, Bangsar Shopping Centre Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur.