Food & Drink

KL Bars with Attitude at Elevated Altitudes

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The concept of eating and drinking at altitude is not a new one. An increasing number of outlets throughout Asia have gone to great heights to develop bars with attitude at elevated altitudes. David Bowden explores some of these sky high venues in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur now has a few outlets that have risen above the rest to be at the pinnacle of the city’s hospitality.

It seems these days that just food and beverages aren’t enough to keep the punters happy and coming back. Now, ambiance and that ever confusing word “lifestyle” are just as important as to how good the tacos, martinis and “chill” music are.

Luna Bar got things rolling on the high altitude bar scene, SkyBar cottoned onto the idea and took it to a new plane and others have followed. Now partygoers can select VIEW or Flight Deck at the top of Menara KH as well as dine in The 39 Restaurant.

SkyBar on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel is an open-sided bar with impressive and uninterrupted views of the Twin Towers so plan to arrive around 6.45pm just before the tower lights are turned on against the purple sky of dusk. If the towers aren’t impressive enough during the day they certainly will be as they light up like Christmas trees before your eyes. SkyBar is one of the city’s coolest bars not only because of the breeze whistling through the space but also because of the ambiance and music. The management set out to deliver KL’s coolest drinks and most intoxicating views but after my last visit, I’m not sure if it should be the other way around. The beautiful people don’t arrive here until late in the evening so no one will really notice you admiring, photographing and generally looking like a gawky tourist early in the evening. Unless you want to do that old party trick of walking on water, it’s a good idea to watch where you wander here as the pool is the focal point of the bar. A poolside loungewith front row seats to the Twin Towers is best reserved by making an early booking. The visual appreciation of the skyline is always enhanced by one or more of SkyBar’s signature lemongrass martinis.

Changes are afoot and the SkyBar is reaching ever skyward with changes planned for early 2012, so it may be best to see if they are open before anticipating those martinis.

KL’s other contender for the bar with attitude at altitude is Luna Bar. Perched on top of the Pacific Regency Hotel Suites, the bar is another outlet perched high with a pool as a feature. The illuminated Twin Towers soar above the protective wall and it becomes party central late in the evening especially at the weekends when it stays opens early into the morning on both Fridays and Saturdays. Check out [email protected] and listen to some cool music while sipping signature drinks such as lychee martinis. There is normally a cover charge of RM50 (including first drink) after 9.30pm.

Check out the Flight Deck which is a facility for private functions and events located on the 34th floor of Menara KH (it used to be called Menara Promet). It’s ideally located at the Raja Chulan Monorail Station opposite the Crowne Plaza Hotel but as it’s currently a private venue, you’ll have to book it out and throw your own event. There are panoramic views of the Petronas Twin Towers with one of the highlights being the open-air helipad which thankfully has security nets to avoid mishaps. The helipad is perfect for a small event such as an exclusive dinner up in the clouds. Let your creativity run wild, ring the good people running this, chill a bottle of Cronier Wine and enjoy one of KL’s most innovative event spaces.

The new kid on the block is VIEW Rooftop Bar on the 30th floor of GTower Hotel on Jalan Tun Razak. There are several options here with private spaces for those in the know and public spaces for others. The Club and Bridge Bar are located on the hotel’s 28th floor and are the exclusive domain of those staying on the hotel’s club floors and their lucky guests. Tanzini Restaurant is also located on the same level and it aims to bring food from the field to the plate in offering cuisine of Asian flavours and Western styling. It’s VIEW, however, where the hotel rises to the occasion and scales new heights in nocturnal distractions. Book a rattan lounge by the glass railings to ensure uninterrupted views of the city skyline and especially the Twin Towers. If drinking is more important, pull up a stool at the Absolut Bar or in the Mumm Champagne Room. Either way, you can savour cocktails such as pineapple-cardamom and apple-rosemary martinis which are on offer.

The 39 Restaurant is, not surprisingly, located on the 39th floor of PNB Darby Park Hotel. It’s one of KL’s best-kept secrets but one worth seeking out despite the hotel being entirely halal which means it’s sticky rose syrup with dinner rather than a Rosé or a sticky wine with your dessert. There is an open verandah with great views of the city skyline and a restaurant on the interior where some very creative Malay cuisine.
Flight Deck, Jalan Sultan Ismail
(opposite Crowne Plaza Hotel),
T: +6012.202 1201+6012.202 1201.


Luna Bar, Pacific Regency Hotel
Suites, KH Tower, Jalan Punchak, off Jalan P. Ramlee,
T: +603.2332 7777+603.2332 7777,

SkyBar, Hotel Traders Kuala Lumpur, KLCC,
T: +603.2332 9888+603.2332 9888,

The 39 Restaurant, PNB Darby Park, 10 Jalan Binjai,
T: +603.7490 3333+603.7490 3333,

VIEW, G Tower Hotel, 199 Jalan Tun Razak,
T: +603.2168 1919+603.2168 1919,

This article was written by David Bowden for Senses of Malaysia.
Source: Senses of Malaysia July-August 2012
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