There’s a story to this one. In our first week in KL we set our minds on visiting this speakeasy in Bangsar. Even though it was 35 degrees we dressed up – me with a tidy pair of shorts and a shirt. We got off at the Bangsar MRT and walked towards the area that had the bar. We had been walking everywhere since we had arrived – clocking in an average of 14km each day.
But this was different. No longer was it shorts and a singlet and the evening wasn’t as cool as expected. Then there was the hill with our destination at the very top. We got there. We found the place. Then we were told “we can’t let you in with shorts”. We had quite the sweat on too so I’m sure that didn’t help either. It was the option of buying a pair of shorts or throwing the towel in and trying again another time. We chose the latter.
So our second attempt – we dressed appropriately and took a taxi. I suggest you do too. We located the entrance with the Sunbeam Alto car in the garage. You have to agree that this is an impressive place to turn up to inside a shopping centre. Your next job is then to push against the walls to find the secret entrance. Enter Mr Brooks, speakeasy.
You are then secreted into an nicely lit bar with cigar cellar, pool table and DJ playing some classics from the corner of the room. The air con was right up due to the smoking allowed inside which was an issue for many of the drinkers. This speakeasy is owned by The Big Group and having visited a number of their venues throughout KL I have to say they feel like each restaurant and bar is more stye over substance. My Brooks would be a hit in Melbourne with it’s cool London influenced design but being able to sit alongside the group’s other venues, it all becomes a little ‘samey’.
Cocktail prices are at the very top end of the KL scale and since we moved here we have frequented a number of other amazing cocktail bars that price their drinks around $13. My Brooks goes in big with cocktails starting at around $18 to $35 and for that to work you must have the holy trinity of amazing drinks, atmosphere and service. We had an Old Fashioned and a cucumber and pepper Martini. Both were good but we can get the same elsewhere for a a much better price. The atmosphere wasn’t helped with the dark room being filled with light from smartphones from a group that turned up to drink expensive cocktails and ignore each other.
I have heard there are rumours that Mr Brooks will turn into a members-only bar, with the possibility that customers will need to spend RM3,000 on a single receipt for a six-month membership.
Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Ph. 03-2282-0241. Website.