There are more bars, restaurants, and cafes in Bangsar than there are days of the week. Maybe you’re here having banana leaf (health standards caution to the wind: Devi’s for the win). Maybe you’ve finished shoe shopping, and decided that you need a cocktail, or that you want to stand in a crowd of dozens of sweaty, pretty young things, and listen to thumping techno.
Whatever it is that your bougie heart wants, Bangsar probably has it, and this is the Coconuts KL guide of how to stay lush, well-fed, and entertained, all week long.
We’re going to warn you in earnest: Once you’ve gone down the well-paved path of Telawi life, enjoyed an avocado toast, a massage, and convenient grocery shopping, you’ll ask yourself why you would ever go anywhere else. It’s OK, because you don’t actually need to go anywhere else.
Without further ado, here’s our definitive Monday to Sunday guide of Bangsar, aka how to keep yourself inebriated, with the occasional meal, all week long.
Monday: It’s the start of the week and you’ve barely recovered from the weekend. It’s probably too early to start drinking (is it, though?). Relax, we know exactly where you want to go: Hong Kong Hot Pot. Yes, hello! That’s us at the next table, because we’re always here. Nothing is more comforting than half a boiling cauldron of pork bone broth, and another half of the spicy variety. Order the HK tofu skin. Sure, they look like a skinned shar pei once they hit that soup, but after a few minutes soaking in broth, they’re just delicious. Also, you can get beer, but we recommend the house-made herbal tea.
Hong Kong Hot Pot
39 Lot 10a & Level 2 Telawi Square
3 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tuesday: A more respectable day to start the slow, downward spiral that ends with a hazy ride home in an Uber on Saturday night. However, on Tuesday, you’re still fresh as a daisy, wide-eyed about the possibilities that the week could hold. Or you’re trying to forget that it’s nowhere near the weekend yet. Who are we to judge?! Do yourself a favor, keep things respectable, and head over to Ril’s, one of the best steakhouses you can find in Kuala Lumpur. Their mac ‘n cheese is top-notch, creamed spinach a must, and it’s a well-known crime to not order the fried leeks. Ril’s opened five years ago and immediately set the standard for cocktails. So before you order your steak, get a cocktail. We have never been disappointed letting the bartender concoct us a surprise, but for the less adventurous who want a little kick… get a Sazerac or Negroni. Extra points if you call it a Sazerac Jacq. Upstairs has incredible live music, so make a night of it.
30 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Wednesday: Oh … you’re halfway there. Oh … livin’ on bus fare. If you’re a lady, then you are in luck. It’s Wednesday, it’s ladies’ night at Shelley Yu’s, and that means that les filles drink free from 9pm to midnight from their dedicated cocktail menu (we like the ginger one). It’s also a dance party, and if you haven’t fallen victim to DJ JonnyVicious’s house-disco-techno mid-week boogie, then you’re not really living life, now are you? No. You’re not. BONUS: We mean this from the bottom of our incorrigible, perpetually hungry hearts: The food at Shelley’s is absolutely delicious. It’s a Nyonya restaurant, which is a cuisine specific to this part of the world, mixing together Chinese cooking styles with local flavors via years of intermarriage between Chinese migrants and local Malays. It’s mainly found in Penang, Melaka, Singapore, and parts of Indonesia. The chef, Peter, is so dedicated to keeping his Melaka-born flavors legit that he will only buy onions that were grown in that state. That is the kind of authenticity we appreciate. Get the slow-cooked beef. Get the laksa. Get black squid.
49 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Thursday: Goodness, the week went right by. It’s practically the weekend, and the best way to enjoy the weekend is to start it on Thursday. We’re delighted/terribly sorry to announce that there is often a drink special like buy one, get one free lurking just down the road at Jiro, a second-floor club that has hosted some of the most memorable Thursday night gigs of the last year. We didn’t even mind waking up Friday with aching feet, and the occasional sore head. Local DJs, as well as international superstars like Tiga, and most recently, Bill Brewster, will have you dancing like a maniac and drinking 2-for-1 vodka sodas. Also, they’ve got a dope sound system, and a secret side room for those in the know. Wink.
61 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Friday: We probably don’t have to tell you, but there’s really only one place to be on Friday in Bangsar, and that is at Bait. It is an institution, and the place to go if you want to become drunken best friends with the arty hipster kids, or the table of uncles that just rolled up. Their menu changes seasonally, and the last time we were there we thoroughly enjoyed the Caesar salad, a dozen oysters, and the fish ‘n chips. There was also a bottle of prosecco that somehow made its way to the table. Their Bloody Mary, incidentally, is one of the few in the city we will order. After you’ve finished eating, your table will be politely pushed to the side, as the music takes center stage. Friday nights have long been under the musical stewardship of our personal favorite Malaysian DJ, Slutski. He can read the crowd like a book, and seems to play exactly what you want to dance to, but hadn’t yet realized. It is one of the best nights to be had in Kuala Lumpur, and one of the few certainties in life is having a good time at Bait on Friday. Pro tip: just buy the bottle, and park it behind the bar. There’s often some kind of special, and it works out to be far cheaper than buying per drink. You’ll be back.
65 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Saturday: Oh hey! We’re practically at the end of our week-long bender, and it’s time to get out of our comfort zone. No – we don’t mean leaving Bangsar – we mean it’s time to eat, drink… and sing at Koikeshoten, commonly refered to by those in the know simply as “yakitori karaoke.” Think about it: grilled skewers of Japanese yakitori, endless crisp beer, sake, whatever you like and the off-key wailings of your nearest and dearest. What better way to spend a night other than discovering that all of the people you love also know every word to No Scrubs by TLC? Trick question: Second only to knowing that the same people ALSO know all of the words to All the Small Things. There is one thing you need to know: It’s not the private room-style karaoke, but that ’90s kind where you also have to listen to an uncle sing a heartfelt rendition of With or Without You before your turn comes up. Just go with it.
8, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Sunday: If it’s Sunday and you’re STILL thirsty for a drink … is everything OK, buddy? Look, you can go to Social. It’s the kind of place that has people drinking beer at 11am, so you won’t feel weird. May we suggest something else? Go get a foot massage at Chow Yang Foot Reflexology. Oh, sweet heaven on earth. It’s really the best way to ease into Monday. One hour, 90 minutes – go with whatever you fancy. If you can, ask for Jason, Yao or Lee, in that order. Don’t forget to tip!
Chow Yang Foot Reflexology
3 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
BONUS: Football fans (yes, even you tragic Liverpool supporters) — head to Ronnie Q for some old-school, pub vibes and their match screenings. You might end up getting into a long-winded discussion with a table full of people on why we so desperately need #WengerOut, but that’s all part of the fun, innit? So much love for the fact that they’re willing to screen international sports events at ungodly hours, along with as many beers as 6am can handle.
32 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
See you guys on the flipside!