IKKI Bar, Kuala Lumpur, TREC KL

Interview with Osmund Bernard, IKKI Bar Manager

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a professional bartender. I started to work as a part time bartender in Kota Kinabalu while I was studying Mechanical Engineering. Back when I first graduated, I couldn’t find a job. So I decided to pursue a bartending career and haven’t turned back. When working part time I loved to meet people, share my stories, ideas and cocktails so it seemed like a good choice.

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
Since moving over to bartending full time, I’ve competed in lots of local cocktail competitions and have even won many of them. Along the way I was doing a lot of bartending service for events. To open my wings, I decided to join the Diageo Worldclass Program in 2015 and was chosen to be a regional finalist in Bangkok. I won a 2nd place for Malaysia. For me, the Worldclass Program is platform for bartenders to promote themselves and push their boundaries. I hope to continue to do this.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
You will never get to the best part if you never face the worst part of your job. I just can’t describe it. You have to live with both.

What’s your favorite meal/ drink?
To be honest, I don’t have any favorite drinks or meal. I always change my mood for what I’m going to eat or drink. I think I’m still young to choose what is my favorite meal/drink because there are still a lot of things I have yet to taste in this world.

What’s one of the most interesting things you do behind the scenes?
To flirt with every girl at the bar when I’m working behind the bar on a Friday night. At the end of the day, I want everyone to feel happy and have a good night when they are at my bar.

The perfect day off would be…
… a bartender’s gathering and having Angostura Bitter shots. It’s a moment that I can enjoy my time, to share stories, my plan, and my thoughts with like minded people

The best day in the life of a bartender is…
… Bar Awards Night. The day that people recognize your hard work and efforts in the industry.

What do you do for fun?
Singing with my guitar. I have a collection of acoustic guitars, from a valuable priced to a premium priced guitar. Besides that, I always love to read a cocktail book to improve my bartending knowledge and my bartending philosophy.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about IKKI?
IKKI is a hidden cocktail lounge that serves up a fine drinking experience, with cocktails from the classic to more cotemporary, a good collection of whiskies, and other spirits. It’s inspired by the Prohibition-era social clubs and as such IKKI Kuala Lumpur is fit with vintage decor, mirrored walls, quirky oil paintings, a fully-stocked bar as its centrepiece, and plenty of leather sofas and low tables. There’s also an open balcony that overlooks the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL Tower. If you prefer more privacy, the lounge has two enclosed rooms that can accommodate up to 15 and 30 people respectively.

What’s your favourite (s) food and wine pairing?
Thai Fish Steamed with Chili and Lime (Plah Neung Manao) with Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a flavorful wine, but tends to be low in alcohol content and tannins, making it a good choice to stand up to some Thai dishes. Normally I make this at home and enjoying it with family.

What’s your view on the bar scene in Kuala Lumpur?
There are a lot of changes and the bar scene is rising up so fast. A lot of cocktail bars have opened in the past two years. Consumers are becoming more educated with cocktails and spirits. The bartenders too are becoming more knowledgeable. I can’t wait to see its continued growth.

Find some of Osmund’s cocktails via this link.


  1. I really like Osmund’s philosophy and outlook on life and he has a brilliant smile! I think he has found his niche and obviously enjoys his job and it is very well suited for him, as he is a real people person.

  2. Great how he made a success out of his life when he couldn’t get a job. Many would just moan and groan and curse and swear at the establishment. 2nd place in the Diageo Worldclass Program in 2015 is an achievement indeed, congrats!

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