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This bar Backdoor Bodega in Penang had forever been in my list since 2018. Not only till recently they have been crown at no.97 as Asia Best Cocktail Bar (a bar list which is reliable) then I rushed to book a place with them. Backdoor Bodega that also known as Best hidden Cocktail Bar in Penang.

asia top 50 bar

This is a bar where the founder not only form one of our well known best street wear – Lansi over the years now they have make another mark as one of the best cocktail bar not only in Penang but also in Malaysia too. 

This shop is operating right under your radar as they operates within their own street wear shop The Swaggar Saloon next to Hins Bus Depot. 

backdoor bodega

hidden cocktail bar in penang

hidden bar in penangbackdoor bodega menu

Their signature drinks that rank them over top 97 best bar is also a smart usage of local ingredients like nutmeg and others. 2 of their best signature seller drink that most of the people will start off with is :best cocktail bar in kl

nutmeg cocktail

There’s their signature Kelapa Hotak @ RM35 which is made of house-made coconut rum, pandan and a spoon of kaya.

One of their top best most ordered is Mango Martini @ RM38, which features strong gin flavoured with Pamplemousse Rose, mango and grapefruit, and sago.

asia top 100 bar
DSCF7142drinks to order in backdoor bodega

Tried  a few of their signature drinks. Turns out to be better than expected. 

Kawan Lama is an very interesting drink @ RM 50 – Makers Mark, Campari, Dolin Dry and Penang Pat Poh
best classic cocktail in penangold fashion

After trying out their basic drinks that pass in flying colors, next I move to my own classic again. I would always have Negroni and my palate was spoilt when I was in Bangkok 6 years ago. 

I must say they have serve me one of the Best Negroni that I have come across. Perfect, well balance and even it is punch with alcohol but it still balance out well.. Highly recommended.

Then I challenge the mixologist that I would love to have a Smokey Negroni that I had one of the best when I visited in Bangkok and told him to do it what he thinks he can. Fuh! the drinks come out, and I had 2 in a row. Customize is only at RM 50 which I think very reasonable and also the kick is up there. 

anything out from their menu is consider as Custom drink @ RM 50 (is my assumption)

negroni

old fashion @ RM 50DSCF7150All their classic drinks I must say I am certainly impress. This bar would be one of my frequent visit bar whenever my friend is looking for. 

classic cocktail 

best cocktail bar in penangIt is a small cocktail bar and do be prepare to cramp with humans. There is a strong support from local to international tourist and best advise to book thru their Insta/Fb as link below. Above 9pm is walk in and you will be seated in random ods places like stair case, talk to the wall, next to toilet door if you do not mind. One of a highly recommended cocktail bar for Penang.

So happy drinking for round 1. Next to their shop on the left is another hidden cocktail bar – Best Friend Bojio!

*NON-Halal

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 9/10, highly recommended, !!!~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Address: Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Opening hours: Thu – Mon 8PM-12AM (Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Telephone: 012-320 2218
Backdoor Bodega’s Facebook | Instagram

Operating hours: 8pm – 12pm (best advise to do bookings thru their FB/ Insta)

With over 500 entries across the globe, Hennessy has narrowed down their search for the world’s best sustainable cocktail. The world’s bestselling cognac has just announced the Global Top 40 winners in the #HennessyMyWay 2022 challenge. The cocktail challenge saw three Malaysians as among the Global Top 40 winning bartenders.

The global challenge is Hennessy’s third installment of the competition which encourages bartenders to be inspired by Hennessy to push their creativity to the limit. This year calls on bartenders across the world to create their version of a sustainable cocktail using Hennessy.

No-Waste Nucifera by Thanesh Joel_Backdoor BodegaNo-Waste Nucifera By Thanesh Joel (Backdoor Bodega – Penang)

“Every year the standard of the talent pool in Malaysia seems to be raised even higher. We are incredibly lucky to have such exceptional bartenders that can bring out the versatility of Hennessy by creating unique pairings to suit every taste,” says Nausicaa Charrier, Marketing Director of Moët Hennessy Diageo  Malaysia & Singapore.

Cassa(no)va Highball by Rolend Ten_Backdoor BodegaCasa-Nova Highball by Rolend Ten (Backdoor Bodega – Penang)

Beacons of the Malaysian bartending scene, Thanesh Joel (of Backdoor Bodega), Rolend Ten (also of Backdoor Bodega) and Chloe Tan (of Cabinet 8 by JWC) were commended for their strong understanding of ritual and role it plays in a great cocktail experience while demonstrating great ability to integrate sustainable practices in their expressive cocktails.

See Trust by Chloe Tan_Cabinet 8 by JWC

See Trust by Chloe (Cabinat 8 by JWC – Johor)

In demonstrating such exceptional skill the trio have earned a place in the Global Top 40, joining other bartenders from countries including Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Other ASEAN winners included one each from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, putting Malaysia firmly ahead in this region.

“It’s exciting to see how our Malaysian bartenders compete on the global stage. To have not just one but three winners, the highest number of winners from a single country in South East Asia, is a testament to why we must continue to nurture the local talent to their full potential,” adds Charrier.

The Global Top 40 winners will each receive a cash prize of 1000 EURO and 1 bottle of Hennessy X.O. The cash prize is in addition to the 200 EURO received for winning the Malaysia Top 10 challenge round. The Global Top 40 winners will also move into the final challenge round to compete for a spot in the elusive Global Top 5. On this level, they will stand a chance to win another 2000 EURO each, and their choice of either a Hennessy Experience in Cognac or a VIP NBA Experience.

The winners are among Malaysia’s Top 10 whose entries were submitted for the global challenge with three cocktail creations out of the 10 being further selected as the Global Top 40. The judging was done by The Maison Hennessy in Cognac, France, by a panel including Hennessy Global Ambassador Jordan Bushell.

Cocktail lovers can also taste the Malaysia Top 10 winning cocktails at the respective bars as part of the Hennessy Cocktail Trail:

  1. Backdoor Bodega – “No-Waste Nucifera” by Thanesh Joel
  2. Backdoor Bodega – “Cassa(no)va Highball” by Rolend Ten
  3. Bartailor – “Elixir of the God” by Mike Fan
  4. Cabinet 8 by JWC – “See Trust” by Chloe Tan
  5. DC Restaurant – “Henny-Ways” by Sebastian Jeremy
  6. Gekko Dining – “Queen With Benefits” by Raz Ng
  7. [email protected] – “Monkey Business” by Joshen Chew
  8. Moon Bar – “Method in Madness” by Arsenio Mariano
  9. Wetdeck W KL – “Henne-City” by Avai Saravanan
  10. 61 Monarchy – “Teguk Wangi” by Loo Hoong Xiang

For more updates and information, follow Hennessy Malaysia’s official Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/HennessyMalaysia/

#HennessyMyWay #HennessyMY

 

One of the latest hidden speakeasy bar in KL is this The First Chapter in TTDI. Be prepare to let the mixologist blew away our mind on their special mix. I find it quite interesting as some of their signature is its an infusion with Indian heritage.

the first chapter speakeasy ttdiUpon your booking, get the pin code from your reservation and at the secret door, just press on the pin code to enter. Upon waking up the stairs, look for a hidden book shelf that is able to pull outwards. That’s the place to go in.
hidden bar in pjYou will be greeted by the peeps herehidden bar in ttdi (2)

A place that you can certainly chill with your friends. Cozy and dim.

hidden bar in ttdi (2)hidden bar in kl
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speakeasy bar in ttdithe first chapter speakeasy klStarting off with some of their signature cocktails:

THE FIRST CHAPTER SIGNATURE CHRYSANTHEMUM INFUSED GIN @ RM42 : first on the left
This medley of sweet, warm and tangy flavours adds a twist to the classic Gin & Tonic.
bar in pj

cocktail bar in pj

THE SCOTTISH NUT @ RM 35 : orange base
The peatiness from the Johnnie Walker Black Label combined with creaminess from our House Infused Hazelnut Tincture leads to a well balanced, citrusy sweet cocktail.

THE RUSS @ RM 38 : pink base on the far right
Perfect for Gin lovers,this naughty cocktail
is infused with Tuak to give it that added kick!

DSCF6484

BEN’S MARGARITA @ RM 38
Ben’s version of the classic Margarita. With a healthy double shot of Don Julio Tequila, this refreshing cocktail will leave you wanting more. Ask Ben to find out more!

PAYASAM @ RM 30
Our take on the classic Indian dessert we all know and love, this dessert cocktail is perfect for mint lovers with a sweet tooth.

DSCF6530

WAKE ME THE F*CK UP @ RM 35
One for the coffee lovers out there! A cocktail sure to Wake You The F*ck Up! (Pardon the French)

Gula Melaka Chicken Bites is one my recommended bites. Simply juicy and crispy. Gula Melaka sauce its kinda itneresteing that is not overpowering yet do pair well with the cocktail.

3 Beef Sliders is filled with Australian beef brisket, caramelized onions, homemade anchovy oil, Monterey Jack cheese sandwich within two toasted bun. 3 in a serving. Share share is caring as the bites to some of you might not be enough.

there are some other bites too like Deep Fried Mushroom & Onion Ring

Get your reservation to have a table with a special pin code. Have fun.

Location:

The First Chapter TTDI 139a, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur (the row behind CIMB TTDI)

Operating Hours: 5pm – 12pm (temporary) Tel: 011-2319 2556

It has been a while since I last dine in an upscale restaurant where MCO just took our 2 years away. I have seen alot influencers in this casual dining resturant in KL known as Blackbyrd KL in Naza Tower which is just a stone throw away from KLCC Petronas Twin Tower or in this area Platinum Park KL.

Blackbyrd KL

It was special treat for me on my special day, was just brought here to enjoy the view, ambiance, food and drinks. Just head all the way up to 55th Floor if I remember correctly.

restaurant sky bar in kl

We are here for early bird as it is still so called “endemic” reservations are divided into 2 sessions. 6-8pm / 8pm till late.

  1. if you choose early session and if you are lucky, you get to see sunset
  2. night just enjoy night view and drink all the way

casual dining in kl

DSC01088

cocktail bar in kl

Dining area are divided into 2, as I was seated in both dining and bar area. I would say you enjoy early dinner then you move to the cocktail bar after 8pm to continue your chilling at the counter or high spender table with the perfect view.

sky bar with klcc view

 

restaurant with klcc view

The VIP table with the view where you get to see Petronas Twin Tower, KL Tower and Merdeka 118 Tower, KL.

Blackbyrd KL menu 2022

I guess to our sheer luck as this would be their new menu of 2022 and was told that what we previously wanted to order is no longer available and it seems that they have new head chef on board.

after looking at the menu, Blackbyrd food seems more like fusion with towards Asian, Indonesian local inspired cuisine. Of course there are a few items that caught my attention.

Blackbyrd signature dish

This is Blackbyrd all time signature: Crispy Nori Crunch @ RM 29 – tempura nori seaweed, spicy salmon, salmon roe and parmeson cheese.

20220218_185313

Nicely presented that have colour to it, however I find that it lacks of flavours. Cripsy inside out with a bit of saltiness from fish roe and hint of parmesan.

DSC01095

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Of course by name itself, I imagine it sounds simple that caught my attention. Truffle Tagliolini @ RM 59 – fresh truffle and truffle butter.

truffle spaghetti

Upon serving, the smell of truffle is already pretty strong. Topped with 4-5 thin slices of fresh  fresh truffle to make it look more solid. Taste is indeed spot on. Creamy to my liking with a punch of Pretty strong truffle taste. Felt that tagliolini is made fresh with cook to perfection. Slight chewy and al-dante – recommended

truffle

indonesian inspired food

After staring for a long while, nothing that caught my attention as I find the rest are quite normal. So I pick something familiar to me. Iga Bakar Sambal Idjo @ RM 145 – Black Angus Short Ribs MB 2, green chili, gurih Rice.

This is certainly one of a atas Indonesian or Balinese kind of food. Flavours are pretty spot on as I just find that the Sambal could be spicier like the one I had in both Jakarta and Bali. Black Angus ribs is marinated and cook well . Certainly do have the taste of atas Indonesian street food version.

bali food

risotto

Since I have heard Gordan Ramsey or some cooking show keep using saffron. Originally was suppose to go with King Prawn Saffron Risotto and it was not available. Changed to this Rendang Saffron Risotto (If i remember correctly  which is special of the day)

Risotto is spot on. I have not tasted Saffron before so do not know how to describe.  First time doing this Rendang and risotto apparently the taste seems to blends well.

cocktail in the sky

restaurant for birthday celebration

Was here for my Birthday celebration in Mid February 2022.

Blackbyrd night view

This is the night view of Blackbyrd Skybar KLCC view.

Overall, If we guess correct as since most of the dishes wanted to order on that day menu no longer available and assuming the chef just reported, with its cooking I am impress.

If you are in the mood for atas ambiance dining or for celebration with Asian inspired food flavour with KLCC view then can consider here as one of the options.

*Pork FREE

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, okay la good pun but expensive! Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk–

Location:
Blackbyrd KL
Platinum Park,
Naza Tower,
10, Persiaran KLCC,
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 012-689 8576

Operating Hours: 12pm–12am

A new hidden bar have surfaced up in KL. With your least expected area as The Curiousity Iron River 好奇鐵河  is operating at Chan Sow Lin, KL. Indeed a hidden gem for the area. If you are a person who loves to be in a second-hand kind of furniture shop, run-down ambience as I called it a rustic heritage building, then this place is a place that you would want to be.

We came here because of Petai Pizza and little did we discover further its a hidden bar. This place has great classic furniture pieces is also because the owner operates a second hand antique furniture shop.

bar in kl

Discovering this place would be a pain in the ass as waze will bring you to a location here you cant park your car. Best is to park your car at Jalan Satu and walk in this bright one-way street alley.

Looking at some blog posting, they have definitely light up the whole place to a new level. More vibrant and captivating. A neon blue sign board and a deck up Avatar kind lighting garden.

classic bar

curiousity

This is one of my favourite walkway. I felt that would be a nice instagramable spot.

hidden bar in kl

little did we know that it is actually a nice bar place. We were here quite early, as bout 7.30pm for dinner. Love the ambience of this place as it is like a modern touch up of a Chinese 60’s herbs medicine shop.

the curiousity iron river (4)

the curiousity iron river (5)

We sat in this little room that is filled with unique furniture pieces.

the curiousity iron river (7)

the curiousity iron river (6)

Since we are here, trying out one of my favourite Negroni Cocktail @ RM 33. For this, I think it is more on the sweeter side. Not really my kind of taste or compare to the usuals that I usually have.

the curiousity iron river (8)

the curiousity iron river (10)

Smoked Duck Spaghetti – a better dish for the night compared to the rest.

the curiousity iron river (9)

Sarawak Laksa

the curiousity iron river (11)

petai pizza

Petai Pizza is indeed done nicely and the taste of petai is a bit prominent. Just that the dough need some improvement.

pizza

Nothing to shout out for the mushroom truffle pizza.

the curiousity iron river (13)

roast pork

Roast Pork

the curiousity iron river (16)

the curiousity iron river (20)

Burnt cheese cake

the curiousity iron river (19)

I would suggest to come here for drinks and enjoy the ambiance.

the curiousity iron river

Indeed a perfect place to hang out as after 9pm, the disco ball is turn on. Totally switched the ambience. They also turn on classic Shangainese songs and also the 60’s and 70’s English songs. Indeed perfect music to be in. Do not mind to come back for round of gathering with friends here.

the curiousity iron river (21)

As they are a newly operated bar, food-wise they still have room for improvement. they need time to adjust and will go back again.

*NON-Halal

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, love the ambiance !!!~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:
The Curiousity Iron River 好奇鐵河
138, Jalan Sungai Besi,
Chan Sow Lin,
57100 Kuala Lumpur

Operating Hours:
Mon: 5pm – 11pm
Tues – Sun: 10am – 11pm

Tel: 012-638 6660

FB: www.facebook.com/thecuriousityironriver/

One of my favorite private hidden wine bar Private Room at TTDI had now change to Collins Sake and wine bar. A slight chance of concept to iron out their new route towards Japanese. Some good selection of Japanese Gin and Sake you can find in here with many of the Japanese Gin I have not seen before. Of course, you can still pick your selection of wine at the rack.

cocktaill

Still the same as you need to find this blue door, to head up to their secret hideout.

Collins (2)

Collins (3)

Ding dong and there will be some one to lead you in.

Collins (4)

Collins (4.1)

Collins (5.1)

Menu is pretty direct.

Collins (5.2)

Collins (7)

Jeng jeng jeng, here are some of the Japanese Gin that you can pick for your order.

Collins (8)

for a start, we start off with Sake mix.

Collins (18)

If you are hunry, they got local infusion of bar snacks and their pricing is very reasonable. For snacks I would be recommending:

  1. any of their Roast Pork Series as it is pretty good.
  2. Squid
  3. Signature Mezasoba for mains

Penang Lor Bak @ RM 15

Collins (19)

Collins (24)

Baby Octopus with Thai chili Sauce @ RM 12

Collins (19 (6)

Collins Beef Burger  @ RM 15

Collins (19 (8)

Chicken Karage @ RM 14

Collins (20)

Garlicky Spicy Siew Yuk @ RM 18

Collins (21)

Collins (28)

Grill Saba fish @ RM 20

roast pork

Deep Fried Nam Yu Fried Pork Belly @ RM 14

siew yuk

Japanese Fried Gyoza (6pcs) @ RM 16

Collins (22.1)

Collins Signature Mezasoba @ RM 25

Collins (23)

Collins (26)

Siew Yuk Ramen @ RM 18

Collins (27)

ttdi

Grilled Lamb Chop @ RM 30

gin bar in kl

 

gin bar in pj

They classic Japanese Gin is quite awesome. IF you love variety of Japanese Gin in PJ area, they options are pretty alright. For ladies, you would definitely love the Sakurao Japanse Dry Gin or Yuzu Gin. These two are so easy to drink that the effect will knock you off direct. Both have its own fragrant.

gin bar

japanese gin

My personal favourite is this among the 3 we have tried. Okinawa Gin is in deed a classic yet unique. A flavour that not many will enjoy as it is quite strong and pungent after taste. A bit woody end. This is like drinking Isle whisky which is on the oaky side.

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