If your ideal night out includes a Scottish dram or cocktail in hand, our list of ritzy whisky bars — mostly within the inner-city sanctum — are the perfect venues to make that happen, be it for a solo after-work unwind or hanging out with friends.
A softly sparkling gem in the display case of bars and eateries in Damansara Uptown, 61 Monarchy is the place to go for true whisky connoisseurs. Owned by restaurateur and mixologist Andrew Tan, whose other F&B projects include Hyde at 53M and The Good Batch, 61 Monarchy is anchored by its impressive selection of Scotch whiskies alongside a decent selection of Japanese, Taiwanese and Canadian bottles. The food menu is limited but there is enough to fuel a postprandial drinks session — the Truffle French Fries, for example, are delicious and large enough to share. If you feel like a cocktail, try the Lady Sinesis — Dewar’s 12 Years Old and Cointreau with cranberry juice, lemon juice and soda.
61 Monarchy, 61M Jalan SS 21/1A, Damansara Utama, PJ. Mon-Sat, 5pm till late. For reservations, call 018 213 9291.
The Whisky Bar KL
Right in the middle of the bustle of Changkat Bukit Bintang, The Whisky Bar is a haven of peace and solitude with soft lighting, leather chairs and an elegantly cosy atmosphere. Apart from its generous selection of whiskies and cigars, The Whisky Bar also offers a range of food and snack options for you to pair with your drinks — from cheese platters, simple Angus steaks and seafood hors d’oeuvres to chocolate fondue. Its signature cocktail is Smokey Chimney, which combines the peaty flavours of Laphroaig, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua and Malibu.
The Whisky Bar KL, 46 Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL. Sun-Thurs, 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-2am. For reservations, call 03 2143 2268.
Saro Lounge KL
In Italian, Saro means “I will”, which is the bar’s commitment to provide fantastic service and quality refreshments. Tucked away in Pavilion Elite, this speakeasy has all the comforts of a retro lounge with its leather seating and dark façade, and a touch of the modern in the high-tech ceiling feature that transports you from romantic lighting to a flashy party at the press of a button. Sample a dram from its extensive menu or if you are looking for something different, try the Saro Sour — a whisky sour with torched herbs that add a beautiful fragrance and richness to the drink.
Saro Lounge KL, Level 8, Pavilion Elite, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Sun-Mon, 5pm-1am; Tues-Sat, 5pm-3am. For reservations, call 016 266 3627.
This article first appeared on Feb 3, 2020 in The Edge Malaysia.