Hidden Bars in KL
Half the fun of a hidden bar is dragging your friend down a dark alley and saying, “trust me,” as you confidently dodge unknown dangers and pull your mate to safety through a concealed door, later to be rewarded with liquid trophies on the other side. You get to be the person “in the know” and can after be for thanked (with a cocktail, of course), for letting your mate in on the secret – which, means that she gets to be the “informed” one with a new bunch of friends for the next visit. The popularity of hidden bars in KL has not yet waned and while the earlier concepts are still going strong, there are a bunch of new bars in Kuala Lumpur continuing to pop up and surprise guests with their offerings. Below find ten of the city’s best and, more importantly, how to find them.
Hidden Bars in KL & How To Find Them!
One of 2019’s additions to the hidden bar scene in Kuala Lumpur, Potions, sees guests walking through a restaurant, up some stairs and entering the hidden bar via a closet, complete with hangers and clothes. The Chronicles of Narnia anyone?
Possibly the swankiest hidden bar in KL is also a rooftop bar. To find this one you must first reach the 51st floor of the EQ. Look to the left of the glowing Sky51 reception and find the elevator with a martini glass on it.
Bravely venture into the back alley of Jalan Batai. Never mind the darkness and the bins; find the golden archway. Climb up the spiral staircase, punch the secret code (found on their Instagram page) into the phone, and the door swings open behind you.
To reach Suzie Wong you walk down what looks like a driveway to the parking of the back entrance to Wisma Lim Foo Yong. Note, unless you’re a VIP member, the entrance is not on the Jalan Raja Chulan side as suggested by Google Maps but rather just off Jalan Tengah. You’ll see a hawker selling noodles – grab a bite to eat to line your tummy before a big night out and push through the large wooden doors just past the stall.
Look for the old-school ticket booth in Republik. Pick up a “programme” at the entrance and get ready for the “show.”
Beer Bank comes in rather handy when the chore of doing grocery shopping becomes a bit too much. It is, in fact, located at the back of a supermarket. Walk past the aisles of sugar and cereal, all the way to the back, where you pull apart dark curtains and find a boutique-beer-lover’s dream world inside.
This fairy-tale inspired bar has you entering via a little wooden Hobbits’ doorway. Guests are greeted by a smoky wishing well, that also happens to dispense beer. Moving portraits and holographic fairies emanate a sense of mystery and intrigue.
This one takes quite a bit of navigation to get to. Look for the entrance to the Travel Hub, a single door that takes you up a flight of stairs to the lobby of a popular guesthouse. Ask the ‘concierge’ where to go, and you’ll be directed to more stairs; this time a very tall spiral staircase. Two more floors of climbing and you’re there!
Not dressed the part for a fancy cocktail bar? Here you can get a tailor-made suit before you enter! Go behind the tailor’s curtain and down the stairs to uncover this Kingsmen-inspired hidden bar in KL’s city centre.
Nestled between two shop fronts in TTDI you find an unassuming, grey staircase, leading to an unremarkable door, with a simple sign ‘Soma’. Go in!
This bar is so secretive you need to scan your thumbprint to get in!
Head up the escalators to level 2 in Platinum Park, go past the sushi restaurant and push through the panelled wooden wall on the left to discover this Japanese-themed hidden bar in Kuala Lumpur.
Here’s another bar where you have to “feel the wall” to get in. Go through the main lobby of The Intermark mall on the ground floor with Dome cafe on your right. Stick to the left and walk towards Hanare, but before you reach the end, try out some of the panels on the wall on the left, and “voila!” there you find a little escape hatch from the world in Kenshin.
Located in Pavilion Elite, this is another bar hidden within the walls of a shopping centre. A sliding wooden door behind the lifts hides this bar on the 8th floor of the mall.
This Chinatown bar is not for the faint of heart. In fact, here you might find spirits not only of the drinking kind. Reserve ahead to get the code for the blue door and enter at your own risk…
If you found The Deceased, then you are in good standing to also find 1.45am. Located just a few doors down, in the direction of REXKL, look for the Hoolai hair salon sign.
Look for the barbershop on the third floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre. Enter and take the door to the left to find Three X Co.
If you know Naughty Nuri’s in Desa Sri Hartamas, then you are pretty close to finding P&C. Walk through to the back of the restaurant, turn right, and go through the door that looks like the entrance to a tool shed.
Get to Botak Liquor by entering Chocha Foodstore and heading up the staircase you find about mid-way into the restaurant.
Head to the basement of Ampang Bangunan Ming Annexe and enter where it says No Admittance.
Look for the toy store and the burly bouncer.
And let’s throw in a couple from Malacca and Penang for good measure.
Look for the old Goldsmith’s shop front. Enter the partially opened metal sliding door.
Good luck finding this one!
This hidden bar in Penang is a humble coffee shop by day and a hot cocktail bar at night. Look out for the orange refrigerator!
Find Norm Cafe and you’ll find Noct Penang.
Click on title links of each bar for more detailed instructions on how to find these hidden bars in KL as well as info on their menu, drinks and prices too.