When it comes to bar interior concepts, the traditional Chinese opium bar design is overdone and tired. Thankfully, Marimbar did not follow in those footsteps. Instead, we were surprised by a rather fresh design take, not yet seen in Klang Valley bars: a safari theme.

The Marini Group is known for selecting tippling spots that are set high above the ground, and Marimbar is no different. However, instead of overlooking the Kuala Lumpur (KL) skyline, this time the group brings us to the centre of the Petaling Jaya (PJ) financial district. Indeed, Marimbar is one of the very few PJ rooftop bars. That itself compelled us to pay the bar a visit.

Ambience

If you’re slightly confused on the whereabouts of Marimbar, it is located in the residential tower that’s connected to the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel. Take the lobby lift to the 33rd floor, and then it’s another private lift right up to the 35th floor of Pinnacle @ PJ.

Similar to its sister bars Marini’s On 57 and Cé La Vi Kuala Lumpur, Marimbar serves up strong party vibes. During the day, the bar takes on a fresh safari vibe with spherical rattan lights, tropical leaf-printed sofas, and leafy walls. The theme extends to its bar and seats, with felt tiger prints wrapped around its bar area, and leopard-printed fabric bar stools. Marimbar has definitely spared no expense in keeping true to this theme.

There is also an outdoor area keeping to the nature theme with synthetic grass and comfortable lounge sofas. The view, however, is the best part. Now, many may not think much of the PJ skyline. While it’s true that the KL city skyline provides a much better view thanks to the high-rise buildings, the PJ skyline steps up with a better view of the sunset without many high-rise buildings blocking it.

The Blue Moon cocktail being made.
Rattan spherical lights hang over the bar area.

The evening twilight is especially pretty with hues of pinks and purples amidst the twinkling lights of the buildings below—as well as the infamous traffic along the Federal Highway. Back indoors when the sun goes down, Marimbar amps up the party level with green strobe lights—sticking true to the theme here—and louder music.

Drinks

Marimbar has several signature cocktails that are definitely geared towards our shutter-friendly Instagrammers. Take the Blue Moon (RM45), for example, a bright blue cocktail made of gin, Blue Curaçao, and pineapple juice. Topped with a classic cocktail umbrella, this is an easy, sweet drink perfect to start your night off with.

(From left to right): Pisco Disco, Blue Moon, and The Red Rimba.

Don’t like it blue? Perhaps you’d prefer a red coloured cocktail instead. The Red Rimba (RM40) is made with lemongrass-infused gin, raspberry puree, ginger, homemade pandan syrup, and egg white. Topped with a single pandan leaf, this cocktail has all the familiar local flavours with the added kick of booze.

Another drink that will stir your memories is the Pisco Disco (RM38), a concoction of Chrysanthemum-infused Pisco, lychee liqueur, lime juice, and homemade pandan syrup. It’s sweet without being overly saccharine, thanks to the lime juice.

Verdict

While you’re better off looking for well-crafted cocktails elsewhere, Marimbar is definitely a better place to go with groups of friends who love living it up. The interior is trendy and the views are amazing, which make for a great night out without needing to head into the middle of the city centre. During the weekdays, you can even come by to wait out the horrendous peak-hour traffic with a drink in hand.

 

(Photography: NZP.)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.