Authentic inner-city speakeasy bar widely acclaimed for its quality cocktails and personalised service
August 17th, 2015
Consistently rated among the top cocktail bars in the Malaysian capital since its 2013 debut, Omakase & Appreciate offers discerning drinkers top quality cocktails in an unassuming and casual setting. Taking inspiration from American Prohibition-era speakeasy bars, Omakase & Appreciate occupies a compact basement space in an unfashionable section of central KL, discovered behind an unmarked entrance. Founded by two local bartenders passionate about their craft, Omakase offers thoughtfully curated selections of well-executed classic cocktails – frequently elevated with imaginative reinterpretations – and a bespoke, or Japanese “omakase” approach of engagement between bartender and customer to conjure up drinks to taste preferences. With their rigorous devotion to quality ingredients and service, the bar team at Omakase ensure a pleasurable cocktail experience for both their many regular guests, and first-time visitors.
Design True to its speakeasy ethos, the bar can be eventually found – located behind a nondescript doorway beneath an unremarkable building. The low-ceilinged space features an uncluttered, pared-back decor, with the centrepiece being the substantial “L” shaped, white marble-topped bar, replete with an impressive array of premium quality and small-producer craft spirits showcased on ceiling-high shelves behind the bar. Seating options within the snug proportions of the room include a series of small tables, plus the coveted stools facing the bar, accommodating comfortably around 25 guests at a time.
Drinks The contrasting bartending styles and influences of founding partners Shawn Chong and Karl Too are reflected in the cocktail menu – with separately attributed lists of classic and special creations. From Shawn (joint Diageo World Class SE Asian Bartender of the Year 2015) guests can expect a Japanese-inspired cocktail experience, with exemplary technique and attention to detail; while the more Western-influenced approach of Karl to his cocktails offers an equally enticing experience. Drinks that exemplify the Omakase cocktail experience include Shawn’s winning creation for the 2015 World Class challenge – Monk’s Refresher – a well-balanced combination of Ketel One, Tanqueray 10, green Chartreuse, Maraschino sour plum soda and lime; and from Karl, his classic Whisky Cobbler – with Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey 101, pineapple syrup, sugar and soda.
Omakase & Appreciate opens in the evenings Tuesday to Saturday, and with limited seats and strong popularity, reservations are recommended – particularly later in the week. Enjoying a high-profile among the international bar community, Omakase regularly host guest sessions conducted by award-winning bartenders representing their globally acclaimed bars – check the Omakase Facebook Page for details.