A little cocktail back and forth

  • Eating Out
  • Saturday, 14 Jan 2017

The Berry Explosion looks simple, but really does taste like an explosion of berries in your mouth.

Who is Chaze? He is a man – a hypothetical man. It is his persona, suave and enigmatic, that adorns the interior of Chaze, the lounge whisky/ cocktail bar that bears his name.

Chaze is a man who enjoys his drinks, whether a straight-up, no-nonsense glass of whisky or Cognac, or a refreshing, impeccably mixed cocktail. He is also, apparently, a man who enjoys playing ping-pong.

No, really. The first thing you notice when you walk into Chaze (the bar, not the man) is the table tennis table. You can’t miss it. And it’s not just for putting your drinks on either. It’s actually there for patrons to, well, play table tennis.

No, Chaze isn’t a sports bar. It’s a lounge bar that specialises in whiskies, but also happens to have some pretty decent cocktails as well.

The outlet is part of the Marquee group of F&B outlets at Menara Lien Hoe on Persiaran Tropicana in Petaling Jaya, which, when completed, will consist of six outlets with distinctively different F&B concepts. Currently, only Lavo and Chaze are up and running, but the others will include a wine bar, Japanese and Chinese restaurants, and a cafe. There’s even a separate, private “Play Room” that can fit about 30 people, where one can either host events or private parties.

The mezcal-based Chaze Concoction is one of the signature drinks here.
The mezcal-based Chaze Concoction is one of the signature drinks here.

The room, which you can only access via a keycode that is changed every day, has its own private bar, karaoke equipment, a darts machine, a pool table, and its own private restroom, so you don’t have to leave the room all night. No table tennis table here though, sorry.

While the main attraction of the bar is its collection of whiskies and Cognacs, I was quite impressed with the cocktails on the menu as well.

We started off with the Chaze Concoction, an addictively refreshing drink that mixes the herbal sweetness of mezcal with house-made honey pineapple syrup, Parfait d’Amour liqueur and a dash of lavender bitters. It’s topped with chilli flakes, vanilla and salted pistachios.

The mezcal’s strong herbal, grassy notes can be quite shocking to the palate at first, but the more you sip it, the more the flavours start to meld together. It actually turned out to be one of my favourites of the tasting, as the sweet and sour flavours of the syrup and liqueur went nicely with the herbal notes of the mezcal.

The Chaze Concoction is one of three signature drinks that have been on the menu since the very beginning, the other two being the Sean Maximus Cocktail (vodka, rum, framboise liqueur, sake, kaffir lime leaves, raspberry puree and salted cashews) and the Glasgow Jar (Scotch whisky, butterscotch liqueur, Southern Comfort, vermouth, The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters, lemon soda, apple and lime juices). They are pretty popular, and the bar introduces new cocktails every now and then to keep the flavours fresh.

The Berry Explosion looks simple, but really does taste like an explosion of berries in your mouth.
The Berry Explosion looks simple, but really does taste like an explosion of berries in your mouth.

One of the new cocktails I tasted was the Berry Explosion which, like the name suggests, was an explosion of berries in my mouth. Made with vodka, pineapple juice, raspberries and a smidgeon of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, this was a refreshing summer drink that had just the right balance to it. The raspberry notes definitely stood out at first, but the nuttiness of the Frangelico helped balance out the distinct, er, berriness of the drink, and added a bit of savouriness into it as well.

The Lemon Gin Fizz, made with sweetened lemon juice and gin, was equally refreshing, with just the right balance of sweet and sour, which helped to bring out the juniper flavours of the gin.

While Chaze did not seem like a typical cocktail bar at first, I did warm to it once I tried the drinks on the menu. What attracted me most to this place was the fact that, despite its swanky appearance, the atmosphere was quite laid-back and relaxed; at the same time, its spacious layout allows pockets of guests to engage in whatever form of revelry they choose to – including, yes, playing ping-pong.

Chaze is at Lot 1.2, 1st Floor, Menara Lien Hoe, No. 8, Persiaran Tropicana, Tropicana Golf Club & Resort, Petaling Jaya (Tel: 010-311 1888).

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