In search of craft beers and cocktails

WITH a wide selection of drinking establishments in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Kuala Lumpur, visitors are spoilt for choice when selecting a place for a good night out enjoying delectable drinks, delicious food and great music.

While some pubs may have succumbed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, others have risen despite the hardship.

StarMetro explores some of the newer bars in TTDI.

The First Chapter is a hidden gem for book lovers and cocktail enthusiasts.The First Chapter is a hidden gem for book lovers and cocktail enthusiasts.

The First Chapter

A craft cocktail bar inspired by the speakeasies of the US Prohibition era, The First Chapter is a hidden gem for book lovers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.

The interior integrates industrial and contemporary design, with elements of wood, marble and concrete throughout.

Its cocktails are inspired not only by bar classics, but also pop culture references such as Regina George (a Mean Girls character), and local food like payasam.

One of the signature cocktails, Sacred, is a blend of Green Chartreuse, cream of coconut, lime and fresh pineapple juice that gives a strong flavour.

A popular choice is Ben’s Margarita, made with Don Julio Reposado Tequila, cointreau, fresh lime, organic agave and sea salt, a twist on the classic margarita.

Look out for in-house creations such as the Signature Rose-Infused Gin and Chrysanthemum-Infused Gin in the bar’s cocktails.

Located at No.139A, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, the bar opens from 5pm to midnight Tuesdays to Saturdays.

For reservations, WhatsApp 011-23192556.

Shorts, slippers and sleeveless shirts are not allowed.

Velvet Lounge plays electro jazz music.Velvet Lounge plays electro jazz music.

Velvet Lounge

Velvet Lounge is a spin-off from Vin’s Restaurant, and offers a private drinking setting with cigar, great food and upbeat electro jazz music.

Take note that the hidden lounge has no signage.

Visitors either ask for an access code from the restaurant staff or key in 55588# to be granted entrance to the lounge if they are able to locate the access door.

Among the lounge’s signature cocktails are the Basil Gin – which is gin infused with fresh basil, rock salt and the bar’s own signature sour mix – as well as the Orange Parfait Malbec RM.

The former brings the right balance of botanicals and aromatics while the latter is made of spiced ruby Malbec, citrus-peel Curacao and crushed Valencia oranges.

Visitors can also book a private room with a minimum spend and play their own music or choose from a pre-set list to make their drinking party more memorable.

There is a smoking zone which offers a wide selection of cigars.

Located at No.6A, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman 2, the lounge opens from 3pm to 1am.

The food, crafted to pair with the drinks, is available till 1am.

Paus offers a wide range of craft beers.Paus offers a wide range of craft beers.


Deriving its name from “Ikan Paus” (“whale” in Malay), this craft beer bar has hunted down the best from the ocean of craft beers available (pun intended).

The bar has lights fashioned out of water pipes, bowling lanes reimagined as bar counters, picnic tables and benches, and an assortment of pre-loved furniture forming a trio of cosy clusters.

One of its signature drinks includes the Kaiju! Beer Metamorphosis IPA (Indian Pale Ale) which has citrus and floral notes balanced by refreshing hop bitterness.

Visitors can ask the bartender for recommendations based on their preferred flavours such as caramel, smoky, biscuit, burnt cream, floral, bubble-gum, earthy or freshly baked bread.

Located at No.42A (1st Floor), Persiaraan Zaaba, the bar opens from 5pm to midnight daily except Sundays.

For reservations, call or WhatsApp 012-931 6196.

Shao Ye’s floral motif decor alludes to the setting of 1900s Shanghai.Shao Ye’s floral motif decor alludes to the setting of 1900s Shanghai.

Shao Ye

Walking into Shao Ye bar is akin to transporting oneself to the old Shanghai in the early 1900s as the bar’s decor closely mimics the era’s setting.

The bar took over from another bar called Young Master, and “Shao Ye” is a direct Mandarin translation of that name.

It offers a wide selection of red and white wines such as Chardonnay, Shiraz and Merlot from different regions besides whiskeys and soju.

One of its specialities is the “Sombucha”, which is a mix of soju and kombucha.

Visitors can also try cocktails such as Spring, an Osmanthus wine-based cocktail that is mixed with peach liqueur, grapefruit, cranberry and lime juice that delivers a balance of sourish sweetness.

There are live bands from Wednesdays to Saturdays, from 8.30pm to 11.30pm.

Its daily Ladies Night promotion until the end of June offers a complimentary bottle of wine to any group of four women.

Shao Ye will soon be introducing Grandfather’s Tea shots, a generous blend of Hendrick’s Gin and Earl Grey tea.

Located at No.100A, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, the bar opens from 5pm to 2am daily except Sundays.

For reservations, call 018-388 1555.

No slippers or flip-flops allowed in D by Dirty.No slippers or flip-flops allowed in D by Dirty.

D by Dirty

Opened in 2019, the name of this whisky bar was inspired by the owners’ favourite bar in Thailand called Dirty.

Surrounded by brick walls to give an industrial vibe, the bar’s design is a culmination of ideas from bars in Bali, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

It offers a wide variety of whiskies, including the hot favourite Monkey Shoulder blended malt whisky.

Visitors should try the bar’s signature shot called Cookie Ray, which is tequila mixed with Jägerbomb.

The bar also runs promotional nights, including Ladies Night on Thursdays and Mambo Jambo on Sundays.

Located at No.110B, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, the bar opens from 4pm to 2pm daily.

For reservations, call 016-6737114.

No entry for those wearing slippers or flip-flops.

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pubs , drinks , Covid-19 , pandemic


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