“I’m going to take you to the best cocktail bar in Kuala Lumpur,” says my friend. She even has her favourite bartender’s number on hand and promptly calls him to make reservations for a table. ????
The destination: Hyde at 53M. Located near The Good Batch café, which happens to be owned by the same duo behind the All Tasty Ideas brand alongside their two other spots, Nara and 61 Monarchy, just a few doors down.
As we are climbing the stairs to Hyde at 53M, I notice how deteriorated the railings and surrounding walls look. It doesn’t look entirely promising… That is, until we arrive at a sturdy, ironclad door. Oh — my friend forgot to mention that this is a speakeasy bar!
We’re coolly ushered in by a doorman who gives everyone a quick glance over. Right next to the door is a sign that enforces a “no sandals, no flip-flops, no shorts” dress code, which I believe is more heavily enforced for men.
There is an outdoor patio for smokers, but the real deal is inside. Once inside, you’re greeted with crispy cool air, soft jazzy tunes, and sombre, sophisticated decor that manages to encapsulate a chic and cozy vibe at the same time. Black leather Chesterfields abound, there are only about 3 separate sitting areas available for reservations apart from their secret room that can host up to 10 people. Even without making reservations, you could easily plop yourself into one of their plush bar stools and watch their dynamic team of bartenders whip up their cocktail-making magic. ????✨✨
Our first drink came in an inviting copper mug with a delectable bite of candied ginger — the Moscow Mule (picture at the top of the post). One bite into the candied ginger and my friend immediately remarked that this wasn’t their homemade ginger which was way better. She went on to ask Kazi (her go-to bartender at Hyde) why we weren’t given the homemade candied ginger instead. We found out that their homemade candied ginger is available upon request 4 days in advance. In spite of that, our Moscow Mules were superbly refreshing and I really appreciated the skewered candied ginger. I can only imagine what their homemade version tastes like!
Another friend took it upon herself to order New Horizon shots for all six of us. They were basically tropical desserts in a shot! Our bartender infused Dewars 12 whisky with pandan leaves in a nifty siphon, added a splash of Kahlúa and then topped our shooters with freshly whipped coconut cream! Personally, I’m not one to go crazy for dessert cocktails, but this one is a true local “delicacy”. ????????
While I was debating about what to have for my next drink, our bartender kindly asked me what my poison was and then whipped up a surprise cocktail based on my preferences. Tart, smooth, and sweet, I was introduced to the Pisco Sour. This Chilean brandy – El Gobernador Pisco Miguel Torres – was particularly fruity and full bodied.
While I enjoyed my Pisco Sour, my friend ordered what seemingly looked like tea…? ???? Cold chrysanthemum tea, blended whisky, chrysanthemum syrup, and ginger ale to be exact! At my first sip, I was not a fan. But my second sip actually went down pretty well!
Some other drinks that were shared: the Malaccan daiquiri that consisted of white rum, fresh lemon juice, and Malaccan syrup and the Hanami which was a concoction of Nikka Coffee Grain whisky, rose vanilla tea, peach puree, lemon juice, and egg whites. My brother had the Hanami and wasn’t a fan, I had a taste and was pretty impartial to it too.
While all this drinking ensued, we made sure to order some finger food. Because this girl gets the munchies after a few drinks haha! Our first round of snacks were the mushroom, cheese, truffle popiahs (spring rolls) and the truffle fries with garlic aioli sauce. Before I even had a chance to photograph the spring rolls, they were all gone because they were gooood. The truffle fries and garlic aioli sauce? Whoa. That sauce. Put it on anything, I’ll eat it! We loved it so much, we made a second order for the fries.
Creative and delicious cocktails? Check. Super friendly bartenders? Check. Good vibes? Check. Pinchable-worthy finger food? Check, check, check.
This was my first speakeasy bar experience in Kuala Lumpur and definitely not my last! Hyde at 53M is not to be missed if you’re ever in Kuala Lumpur and a lover of quality cocktails. ????
Till our next drink together,
Location: 53M, Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday // 5pm – 2am
***Closed on Mondays
- Call to reserve a section in the air-conditioned area or their secret room.
- Dress code: No sandals, flip flops or shorts.
- Located near The Good Batch cafe, look for the TY & Associates (Akauntan Bertauliah) signage.