What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
Hello! My Name is Jonathan Quek. I’m 28 years old and I’m originally from Singapore. I am the Head Bartender & Manager for Botak Liquor bar located inside Cho Cha food store.
Before I started managing this bar, in Singapore I was part of the pioneer team for 28 Hong Kong Street, La Maison du Whisky and also Culinaryon Singapore working along with master chefs to teach cocktail masterclasses. I’d like to give a shout out to all these wonderful companies for teaching me and getting me where I am today especially to Micheal Callahan from 28 Hongkong Street and Julien Nicolay, previously GM of La Maison Du Whisky.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best of the job is probably watching all my guests having fun. I love people watching! The worst part is having to tell my guests to leave during closing.
What’s your favourite drink at the Botak Liquor?
Here at Botak, my favourite drink is Nangka Grapefruit. It’s a well-balanced drink with the sweetness of jackfruit, citrus from grapefruit, smokiness from tequila and a touch of charcoal salt for balance.
The perfect day off would be…
Of course, would more off days so I could do the things I love doing most as I don’t get a lot of alone time.
A day in the life of a bartender is…
… tiring but all good.
What do you do for fun?
I was a professional BMX rider for eight years so I guess hanging out in a skatepark or dirt jumps is the most fun to me. Luckily in Malaysia, I have found a couple of skate and bike parks in Shah Alam and Putra Jaya that gives me the chance to have some fun during my free time. I love doing macro photography too.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Botak Liquor Bar?
In Chiang Mai, I was part of a team that started Thailand’s first quinoa farms. From that two years experience of farming in Thailand I fell in love with the farm to plate concept, and at Botak Liquor, the owners have entrusted with me to experiment with the farm to glass concept into the bar’s new cocktail menu.
What’s your view on the cocktail industry in KL?
I feel that the cocktail industry here in Malaysia can definitely grow bigger, more sophisticated and I would love to be part of that growth.