With the long-awaited Bond film, No Time To Die, just on the horizon of premiering in Malaysia, why not pay homage to the world’s most renowned spy with a good drink or two? Flashy cars that drive you straight up to the location are optional, but channelling your inner Bond, Bond villain, or Bond girl is a must.
So, get your most stylish outfit on, because while we can’t jump into a time travel machine (or plane) to mosey over to the sets of Pinewood Studios or many of the on-location bars around London, we have a veritable list of Bond-worthy bars around Kuala Lumpur (KL) to indulge at that would impress the 007 agent himself.
Astor Bar, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
Known for its modern-day glamour mixed with Old World elegance, Astor Bar‘s brass-trimmed panelled entrance and custom-made hammered brass door knobs will have you feeling all kinds of spy chic.
Equipped with an inviting bar area set against luxurious black-and-gold marble and stocked with more than 650 labels from multiple regions and producers, guests are practically promised a good time. From tastings in the secret wine cellar, which houses a spectacular gold-tiled domed ceiling along with its featured Cigar Lounge, just remember to order your Martini shaken, not stirred.
Address: No 6, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Daily, 5pm to 12am
MariGin, One KL
This one is for the gin-ophiles! To complement their whiskey lounge, Marini’s on 57 launched MariGin. Inside, expect to feel transported in time with its 1930s decor to its 1980s music.
The setting isn’t the only thing that’s licensed to kill, though, as the created and conceptualised in-house cocktails smartly play on words to draw your attention. From Ginius, Archaelogin, to Jungle Gin, amidst its plump leather sofas, chandeliers, and wine library, here’s where you might find yourself speaking in iconic Bond quotes,”Well, I do like some things the old-fashioned way.”
Address: Ground Floor, ONE KL, No 6, Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Daily, 1pm to 12am.
Frank’s Bar KL, Avenue K
In the short time since its opening, this New York City-style speakeasy — inspired by legendary crooner Frank Sinatra — Frank’s has gained rave reviews. Almost an homage to the golden Hollywood era, it’s the most meta inclusion on the list. Channel the Bonds of yesteryear and explore the bespoke menu of this hidden bar in Avenue K, and expect sweeping views of KL along with occasional guest collaborations with some of KL’s best bars.
Address: Unit 06 Level 03, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Daily, 3pm to 12am
Vogue Lounge, Menara SuezCap
Situated on the 38th floor of Menara SuezCap, the Vogue Lounge is as chic as it is fashion-forward with its gorgeous rooftop bar and an extensive wine collection. So, put on your fanciest, glitziest dress and feel like royalty a la Kate Middleton on the red carpet of the latest Bond film.
Address: Level 38, Menara SuezCap 1, Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5:30pm to 12am
Sin Chew Kee Cold Drink Store, Bukit Bintang
A cosy little spot perfect for clandestine meetings or just a bit of low-key merriment, Sin Chew Kee Cold Drink Store is the kind of spot that Dame Judi Dench’s iconic, no-nonsense M would approve of. Named after the historic neighbourhood it calls home, the hidden bar features a rustic setting that preserves the colonial architecture of the heritage row with a modern twist. Its cocktail menu comes tea-infused, and if you’d like, paired impeccably with a food menu.
Address: 8 (upper floor), Jalan Sin Chew Kee, Bukit Bintang 50150 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Wednesday to Monday, 5pm to 12am
Skullduggery, Bukit Damansara
The nefarious-sounding Skullduggery and it’s equally ominous setting is a bar that is to-die-for. With its tastefully eclectic wall of skulls and an exquisite collection of drinks, you’re bound to be feeling all kinds of villainous here, especially with their inventive concoctions such as the jackfruit-infused rum and truffle-infused vodka.
Address: 2M Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 6pm to 1am; Friday to Saturday, 8pm to 3am
The Curious Gardener, The Sphere Bangsar South
When news of one of KL’s most well-loved bars, Omakase + Appreciate, announced that it would close down for good, fans and regulars were left dispirited. But award-winning mixologist Shawn Chong, one of its co-founders, had other plans up his sleeves.
Enter Mizukami Garden, a collaboration with speakeasy bar, The Curious Gardener, that lives up to the garden theme with a menu inspired by its lush surroundings. Highlighting a garden-to-glass concept, expect zero-proof, low-ABV (low alcoholic strength), and cocktails crafted with fresh botanicals (including herbs grown on-site in its garden). It’s a 21st century green-fingered Bond we’d like to see.
The Curious Gardener (inside The Farm), G-01, Level Ground,
The Sphere Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tuesday to Friday, 2pm to 11pm. Weekend, 12pm to 11pm