Although the idea of a speakeasy bar is typically very ‘American', there is an abundance of these hideaways in Malaysia. If you have a thing for the classic sultry vibes, some of which are definitely worth checking out. Whether you're exploring the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur or the quieter parts of the country, we have put together a list of some of the sexiest speakeasy bars in Malaysia.
Filled with classic American memorabilia and a wide-ranging drink menu, Mr. Brooks, is a Speakeasy Bar that calls itself a Cocktail bar. With a classic pool table and plenty of cozy quiet seating, Mr. Brook is a place where visitors can find an escape. For them, ‘privacy and discretion are paramount.’ Per the speakeasy tradition, there is a long list of premium cigars, wine, cocktails, as well as a full kitchen with selections that range from Belgian Fries to Fried Calamari. Mr. Brook is open from Monday to Sunday from 5 pm to 2 am and is closed on Sundays.
Black bar top, vintage lighting, and wooden undertones, when visitors first enter Private Room, they will instantly realize why this is one of the most luxurious wine bars on the west side of Kuala Lumpur. Private Room is, in fact, the city’s first speakeasy bar, and hosts a long list of luxury wines. Keep in mind though, the wine listing at Private room leans heavy on the red side. While Private Room allows for walk-ins, we recommend you make a reservation so you can get the weekly passcode and enter the bar in the classic speakeasy way. Private Room is closed on Mondays, but from Tuesday to Sunday, this spot opens at 5 pm and closes at 2 am.
P&C Cocktail Bar
Small but charming, the P&C cocktail bar definitely lives up to the classic speakeasy theme being accessible via a secret door behind a Balinese rib house called Naughty Nuri’s. P&C is a small space, designed with classic Prohibition Era pieces. The drink menu at P&C is peculiar in that visitors who come here order from a two-columned placard and tick one box from each category. In the first column is a list of flavors, while the other column is filled with hard liquors ranging from absinthe to tequila. This creates a wide range of cocktails that may shock or satisfy the palette. The P&C Bar is open from Monday through Saturday from 6 pm to 2 am.
Tate Bar is a true Prohibition Era hideaway, filled with dim vintage lighting, leather seating, a mounted elk head and a secret entrance behind a glossy white ‘wall’ labeled only with a top hat. Don’t head to Tate if you’re looking for a wild night out. Tate Bar is made for someone looking for sophistication and epitomizes the meaning of true luxury. Tate Bar is like a secret gentlemen’s club, which prides itself on having a quiet atmosphere and a unique drink listing. One such cocktail, the Matahari, is a lavender concoction made with Hennessy and topped with actual rosebuds. The Tate is closed on Sundays but is open from Monday to Saturday 5 pm to 2 am.
Not a fan of wine, brandy, or cigars? Try Nomi Tomo, a quiet blend of classic speakeasy bar and sake bar. The phrase ‘Nomi Tomo’ translates to ‘Drinking Buddies’ as a way to play homage to the four people who started the space. With light wood paneling and minimalist décor, Nomi Tomo offers a cozy energy that attracts visitors from all over Kuala Lumpur. Nomi Tomo also has a full kitchen and plenty of seating, so you can come in for dinner and enjoy the wide selection of sake. Nomi Tomo Sake Bar is open from Monday to Saturday 6:30 pm to 2 am.
PS150 is what would happen if the Prohibition Era ever came to China. Nestled in Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, this former brothel and warehouse made cocktail bar is definitely a unique character in the Malaysian nightlife. Unlike most speakeasy's, there is no secret entrance to PS150. However, that is not to say the entrance to PS150 is easy to find. There is no defining sign for the bar, and the entrance itself is dimly lit and hidden behind a series of wooden doors. PS150 is also unique in that space is divided to represent the three eras of Indochina and liquor. The bar’s first section is called the Opium Den and it definitely has that feel with the neon red lighting and vintage look. The second section is the Post-War space, which is an open-air courtyard that gives visitors a little room to breathe. Lastly is the main bar, which is a romantic mix of both modern and vintage Chinese décor. The menu is divided by the history of China as well. There are five sections, Vintage, Classic, Tiki, Disco, and Contemporary and they start from the 1850s and end in the 2000s. Keep in mind though, the PS150 tends to change the cocktail menu every three months to keep visitors and bartenders on their toes. The PS150 is closed on Mondays but is open from Tuesday to Saturday 6pm-2am, and on Sunday from 3pm-10pm.
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot
Black leather seating, dim sultry lighting, fancy cigars, and high-class drinks, the first Speakeasy Bar on our list is Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, a classic Speakeasy with classy English undertones. Located in the territory of Medan Damansara, near the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this underground lounge is the perfect spot to enjoy a Cuban cigar or a fine drink that feels far removed from the bustle of Malaysia’s lively capital. Keep in mind that this spot isn’t very big, so on busy nights, it might be difficult to snag a table. We recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation if you find yourself headed that way on a Saturday night.
While in the area, be sure to check out Chiang Mai's Hug Elephant Sanctuary.