44 Pop-Up Bar

Hidden among the large newspaper HQs in Jalan Riong, Bangsar, is 44. It lies in a former printing press beside NSTP, the place where i got my first job in journalism.

44 is a specialty bar focusing on American craft spirits, ranging from rum to gin. I had a taste of these drinks a few months back in Georgetown at a place also called 44 (the same owners).

The space

The space

There’s whisky, vodka, gin, rum, craft beer and specialty cocktails. As these are small batch producers, prices range from $380 to 400 for spirits. However prices are nett, and the range is definitely nothing you will find anyplace else.

The menu features 5 specialty cocktails, tho there are many others as well. The Darjeeling Jungle Bird mixes rum Ragged Mountain, which is a dark one, with Campari, lime and pineapple juice, and lots of mint garnish; a bitter-sour ‘refreshment’.

Lil birdie

Lil birdie. The JB is a Malaysian classic tiki cocktail from the 50s

There’s also a gin mixing station for customers to screw around at, called Gintoxicated. There’re a bunch of herbs, spices, botanicals and fruit for you to flavour your gin tonic with. The tonic is fancy as well, called Fentiman’s.

A good deal at $35 (1.5 shots of craft gin). If you’re confused, 44 barman Erik’s your man, who can recommend flavours as well as cocktails.

The featured gin right now is Bulfinch 83. I had a shot, and find it light and not over-ginny. Easy on the florals and herbs. I built mine with juniper berries, rose buds, cinnamon stick and lime. Turned out pretty nice, with floral and limey notes coming through.


Some colour to that


The Bulfinch


Special tonic

We also tried a few other drinks, notably the Coconut Gingerbread Daiquiri, which i thoroughly enjoyed, tho a lil sweetish. The aroma is awesome – like freshly-baked coconut cookies. Erik explained that this is due to his homemade gingerbread syrup.

Gosh. I can still smell it in my head.

Wild colour

Wild colour!

It’s made with Montanya rum (platino), coconut water, lime and dragonfruit juice.

I also had a Lynchburg Lemonade that was made with Bully Boy Straight Whiskey, a three-grain spirit. Unlike bourbon, it’s not too woody, and made for a perfect Lynchburg for me.

Specialty cocktails cost about 40.

The bar is set-up in a printing press, and some old presses decor the spot. Seats are basic and informal, and tunes are decent, with some funk goin on at times. Food? Haha. No such thing.



Basic but cool

There's also Bakon Vodka; unfortunately no real bacon were killed to make this

There’s also Bakon Vodka; unfortunately no real bacon were killed to make this

If you’re confused on which bottle to go for, there’s a flight – 3 samples for $35.

Being a pop-up bar in a temp location, 44 wont be there forever, with plans to end in March, unless plans change. It opens Wed-Sat from 6pm. Might hit it again this Friday!

Will try to drive this thing out after a few drinks


Brain damage: 8/10


Dining in Comida

Checked out Comida (6211-2662) recently, a joint with good Mediterranean & Western food in Publika.

The joint

It’s got an interesting menu, with a range of pastas, pizzas & burgers, among others, and it’s the home of what i call the BFP, Big F ‘in Pizza, a 24-inch monsta.

Good f 'in luck

Had some tapas to kick off. A kick-ass. The  Prawn Aubergine Tapas ($17.60, all prices NETT) rocks due to its gravy. Additional bread was ordered for some dunking.

Biggie hits d road

The Comida Burger ($23.10) is a beef patty (200gm), a good blend of meat, sauteed shrooms, beef bacon, bbq sauce, and some green stuff; and the patty is flamed just right to be still juicy.

Not a giant, but decent size

The highlight of d meal was the Creamy Pesto Prawn ($29.70) , a spaghetti-based dish, with prawns sauteed in olive oil & homemade pesto cream. Few pasta dishes can come close to this one. It’s all in d cream. So good that again bread was ordered to scoop d remnants of d pesto cream.

This dam ting has got me craving for it at random times.

Wont last long. Do not share

You could also try this (off-menu) – the Prawn Masala – a spicier, reddish version of d above. Enticing.

Another notable pasta is the super n simple Duck Confit Spaghetti ($28.60), which features duck slices in a pasta drenched with olive oil n peppered with sun-dried tomatoes. I assume the outlet’s strength is mainly in its pastas.

They’re also risottos & paellas. For a snack, the spicy anchovies, or the spicy chicken wings are a good bet.

Casual dining for sure

If ur a big-time eater, u cd go for d BFP challenge – if u can slaughter the 24-inch pizza in 20mins, its on da house. U also get a $50 voucher, and a Comida VIP Card. So far, 26 winners.

D outdoor sec is cool too

I hear the Comida De Postre puff is a mean hot-seller, with peanut butter on d inside, choco hazelnut sauce on d outside, topped with vanilla ice-cream. My preferred dessert however was more basic – Red Sangria ($19.80) as u’ll get loads of fruits in your face.

The Long Island Tea rocks, with none of dat cheap-shit liquors in it, but d good stuff. At $23.10, sweet deal.

Long Island being gang-raped


Chomp chomp

It’s a GAB outlet, so u get d three for $$ deal, in this case, it’s $55 nett  for three pints of Guinness/Tiger all night. Also the happy hours daily – 5-6pm, it’s $5.50 nett for a mug of Tiger or half Guinness Draft, then $6.60 (6-7pm), and $7.70 (7-8pm). Nice.

An event called 12 Strings happens every Sat nite from 9pm, featuring different musicians weekly. Worth hangin out. Been finding my ass there almost every week now.

Wall art

Comida’s reputation for good food means it has catered for, among others, Sum 41, Simple Plan, Deftones, Avril, as well as all artistes at the Future Music festival like Grandmaster Flash, FloRida, Chemical Bros, etc.

They’re also with FoodPanda, if u rather have d food delivered.

Mexican, or Mexican't?


El Meson

There’re still a coupla of gems in Bangsar Baru, KL. Checked out El Meson (2282-8290), a Spanish restaurant and bar on Telawi. (Warning – clicking on the link will instantly emit loud Spanish trumpets. Haha)

El Meson = "The Table"

Session began like it should, with a pitcher of sangria ($90.48. All prices nett). There are like 4 varieties here, and we went for the original. Fruity, refreshing and reasonably strong, how a sangria should be!


According to GM Mark Robert, each pitcher has half a bottle of Merlot and 2.5 shots of the house brandy, Remy Martin. And lots of fruit. Nice.

There’re also sangrias like White, Apple and Blueberry.

White. Good too

Sangria was enjoyed with a platter of meats. The Platter for Two ($62.64 nett) has pork ham samples of Iberico, Serrano, Parma, Speck, Salchicon and Chorizo. Sliced real thin, and a good intro to Spanish ham like Iberico.

Slice n dice

The pigs are (used to be) happy ones, especially the Iberian ones, who usually hop around freely & joyfully on green pastures and… eat green stuff. Thus, Jamon Iberico is highly-prized.

We hit some good ol siew yoke, aka Crispy Roast Pork Belly ($25.52). Tender inside, crispy, garlicy outside. So it went quick. Comes with apple sauce. Limited amounts daily, unless ordered in advance.


The pig onslaught continued with this little guy..

Still running?


A house special. The skin is perfectly done, not too crispy, and the meat and fat inside is like butter dammit. Sweet.

The Cochinillo requires 24 hours notice, and starts from $56.85  for a quarter.

There’s suckling lamb too! Damn, gotta nail that sometime.

Like that feast wasnt enough, we also had the Paella Mixta for two ($78.88), something unusual. Most people would go for the seafood version. This is a mix of seafood and Valenciana.

The chef is from Valencia too

The Valenciana is a provincial one, and is different. It has chicken, pork, spicy Chorizo sausages, green beans and chicken stock.

The Mixta is juicy, nice n sticky, with a unique mix of flavours, primarily tangy and a little sweet-sour. Very interesting. Cleaned-out.

Dessert was the clincher – something Lava. Well, it was real lava allright! Flowing, molten chocolate, around a scoop of home-made ice-cream. Killa!

(Fire in a shot of rum for more fun)


Other items that caught my eye include rabbit stew in red wine, slow-cooked Iberico rack of ribs, and a whole bunch of tapas.

Cozy n style

I hear their Sunday breakfast rocks. Opens at 8am, and near full-house.

There are events comin up at El Meson, including a Spanish Independence Day buffet party, which i definitely will attend. You can get updated about their stuff via their Facebook page here.


There are various cocktails by pitchers, a wine cellar, some awesome Spanish sherrys and liqueurs (try the red wine liqueur) and a whole bunch of bubbly cocktails.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch n dinner; Saturday and Sunday it’s from 8am. If u ever need an extra-early drink, u know where it’s at.

Being high quality in food ingredients as well as being in Bangsar, prices are as expected above average to high.

However, re drink promos, u can enjoy three pints of Kilkenny or Guinness at $55 nett all day and night, everyday.


Grafitti, Bangsar alley


Brain damage: 8/10


Best beer happy hours & promos

Yea, there’re some good promos on these days, as 2011 matures. Competition is stiff among bars. In the last one year alone, the number of new bars has been amazing.

Strapped for cash? Most bars can afford to give away what seem like ridiculous deals. I sure aint complaining. Almost all bars have these deals daily, and that includes weekends!

Best part is, the line between happy hours and sad hours are blurry. While HH used to be for a few hours in the evenings and on weekdays, in some bars it’s not restricted to that anymore.

Here’s a snapshot of the best spots that i know for good thirst-quenching deals. (Strictly not for those who only have one glass.)

I think ALL promo outlets happen to be Guinness Anchor Bhd ones. Wattup. Isnt Carlsberg Malaysia doing anything?

If ur a consumer, or outlet owner, pls feel free to add on, if its a good deal.

S’more’s (2240-0069)

Guinness lovers, heads-up bitchis. Located in The Sphere, Bangsar South, S’mores Restaurant and Bar has been goin nuts. For an undetermined period (at least a coupla months still!), a pint of Guinness is goin for only 12 bucks NETT for certain days of the week. And no, its not Monday & Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm or some crap like that. It’s every Thu, Fri & Sat, from NOON till 11pm. Beat that!

A veryy long Saturday brunch anyone?

The catch? Minor. All u gotta do is order one food item per person, and then your drink orders are unlimited. Smore’s gotta nice outdoor lounge.

Now go drown in black juice.

Prefer cider? Sorry, am all out of Baad Apples hooch for now. But at S’mores every Wednesday (all day, till 10pm), u’ll get a pint of Strongbow for only $15 NETT. Also with purchase of one food item.

Movida (6141-8022)

I’ve only checked this outlet out very recently, in Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara, so i can vouch that it’s an authentic deal. Already i been there thrice. Good for pre-partying. Or weekend afternoons.

Here’s the insane deal: Get your first pint of Kilkenny or Guinness at $34++. Then your next two are A BUCK EACH. Comes up to $13.93 NETT/pint, all day, everday, until 8pm.

After 8pm, the deals are sweet too. Call for details. There’s a new Movida in Malacca now.

The Beer Factory (012 366-5505)

A short dance away from Movida, with similar deals. Only better.

Before 8pm – buy one pint Kill/Guinn at $38.30 nett, get TWO free. Haha. Dats $12.76 NETT / pint.

8pm-10pm – one for one.

After 10pm – get six pints for $115 ($19.15 each).

Overtime (017 243-7907)

Also a crawl away, Overtime has some Malaysian-brewed German beer called Starker, and before 7pm, it’s one-for-one, so works out to $17.40 per 500ml NETT. Some say it tastes better than Hoegaarden. And better value. There are nine outlets all over the place.

As an added bonus, the Village Grocer supermarket here stocks Night Train…. . Goddam.

Spaghetti Grill (2287-2220)

U losers in MidValley might get screwed by the traffic, but this American-diner-style joint balances shit out.The last time i was there, a pint of real cold Guinness in FROZEN mugs was below $15 NETT all day & night.

It’s so good n smooth, u could finish it in four gulps, easy. The liquors are only about 8 bucks, and no, it aint moonshine. Whisky is Famous Grouse.

The snacks are good too.

The 50-bucks-for-three-pints gig

That’s $50 NETT, for either Kilkenny, Guinness, or both. There are many bars doin this, like Royal Oak (all outlets, all hours, daily), D’Legends (all hours, daily), and S’mores (all hours, daily). Works out to $16.66 nett/pint. And most joints allow you to not just park, but come back another day if u cant finish your quota! How nice.

There’s some crazy 33 bucks for three pints (Kilkenny/Guinness) deal at The Curve, at Sanctuary, but its only until 7pm (daily). Malone’s at the same mall has two pints for these prices everyday:

That sure saved me a lot of fucking typing. I hate typing.

There’re also regular deals downtown at Celsius.

I’ve added links for all the outlets, so give ’em a call if ur going if u wanna verify the deals.

After all this effort, I hope i dont get asked anymore “Eh, where to get cheaper beers??”. But i guess i will. Haha!

Enjoy, salud, and better buy me one someday!

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