What are the best bars in Kuala Lumpur?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Emma Johnston

It’s indisputable that Skybar is the leader of the pack when it comes to drinking in KL. Perched on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel right in the city centre, the bar is dominated by the hotel’s swimming pool, though the number of swimmers lessens somewhat as the hours progress. But the pool, though pretty, is not the focal point – that would be the magnificent view of KL’s Petronas Twin Towers from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Settle down with a Selangor Sling (the bar’s cheeky take on the classic) in a windowside cabana and contemplate the city’s skyline.

Modelled after a 1920s speakeasy, Tate is entered by a cunningly disguised door (just ask the staff if you can’t see it) and decked out in leather, wood and a suit of armour, for no particular reason. Cocktails are both classic and inventive – the lemon meringue martini is especially impressive, served with a blow-torched meringue perching on top of the glass. The atmosphere is sophisticated but laidback, and the truffle fries are excellent.

Marini’s on 57
Marini’s on 57 is located on the 57th floor of the newly erected third tower abutting the famous Petronas Twin Towers. As you’d expect, it has a spectacular view of the city (though not great for viewing their next door neighbours) and a luxurious set up in which red velvet plays a big role. It’s not a huge venue, and prices can get a little steep, but for the view of sunset over KL, it’s worth it.

The Social
KL isn’t all about cocktails and rooftop bars. For a more relaxed evening, try any one of the many The Social outlets scattered across town. One of the oldest is the Bangsar branch, which houses flatscreen TVs in every corner, a clutch of pool tables and a very commendable wine list. They also have a great menu, including lots of local favourites (noodle and rice dishes feature heavily), a bar snack version of Peking duck rolls, and plenty of substantial beer accompaniments.

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