A Place to Lift Your Spirits: Omakase + Appreciate

Kuala Lumpur has one of Asia’s most exciting, burgeoning bar scenes. The 2017 KL Bar Awards celebrates the capital city’s cocktail creativity and bar luminaries with a host of honours.

Most Creative Cocktail Program

Tucked in the basement of the Ming Annexe building along Jalan Ampang, Omakase + Appreciate is the first speakeasy in the country. and its owners – Shawn Chong, a hospitality veteran and Karl Too, a former computer programmer are two of the most creative minds in the cocktail business. The duo craft cocktails with such precision, speed and focus, watching them at work is an entrancing experience. “We have classic cocktails but many order off the menu – they tell us how they are feeling and what they feel like drinking, and we’ll whip something up on the spot,” Chong shares.

Shawn Chong and Karl Too are co-owners of Omakase + Appreciate.

They opened the bar in 2013. “As a bartender in a hotel, your creativity is often stifled. You are told how to make drinks or what to make. Here, we are constantly experimenting.” Some of their most bewitching brews include Tamarino (Tanqueray No.10, tamarind juice, Aperol, rose and tonic), Tarik The Bird (Thai tea infused dark rum, Campari, pineapple essence and citrus syrup) and the light Tu Aku Mau Mu (Glenfiddich 18, Oouha Tuak, lime cordial and passion fruit).

Both these self-taught bartenders want to take up the challenge of reinventing perceptions when it comes to cocktails. As Young explains, “Omakase + Appreciate’s creativity is limitless – you can go there and have a different cocktail, 100 per cent of the time.”

The Bar Awards KL 2018 will take place on 25 November 2018. To find out how you can nominate your favourite bar, or to attend the events leading up to the awards finale, find The Bar Awards on

Look out for the last installation in our eight-part series of A Place To Lift Your Spirits next Friday when we bring you the Best Beer Bar.

What do you think?

Written by Kerry-Ann Augustin

Kerry-Ann is a journalist who has dabbled in all forms of writing across the board, from print and digital media to broadcasting. When she is not working (which is almost never) she can be found at home making prank calls or playing the air guitar. Because she can’t play a real one.

Where to Stay at Family-Friendly Destinations This School Holidays – Part 1

What to Eat in Hokkaido