PS150 isn’t shy about being part of the modern speakeasy trend. Hidden behind a toy store façade, the bar was once a former brothel, now remade into an intimate space for convivial drinking. Within its narrow space are three separate areas – the main lounge, smoking area, and private booths – with the main bar lounge decorated in paraphernalia of lanterns, porcelain spittoons, and red neon signs that serve to tell you that yes, you are in Chinatown.
Any lack of subtlety, however, is cast aside when it comes to the drinks. Head bartender and one of the founding partners of PS150, Angel Ng, mixes up drinks with much finesse and a keen sense of taste for local flavours. Well-heeled diners will recognize her as the bartender behind the now-closed Hit and Mrs in Bangsar, and here she has created a menu that builds upon the classic and vintage cocktails by highlighting local flavours and housemade syrups.
Case in point is its Jungle Bird: PS150 Edition, an update to the original 1978 KL Hilton cocktail that is made sweet spiced rum, Campari, and lime. In Angel’s version, Pandan rum, and Gula Melaka syrup are added to provide a subtle molasses sweetness and Pandan aroma that lingers long in the mouth.
Another contemporary concoction is the Dragon ‘Eye’ Fist, which had whiskey, red date and longan tea, longan syrup and bitters. Deemed the “Asian wake-up call” by Angel herself, this drink was quite layered, starting out sweet, but leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste – a bit like having a sweet cup of herbal tea.
If you’re not one for the eccentric, go for the Lychee no. 3. Made with London dry gin, lychee syrup, ginger flower and a dash of lime, the drink was engineered to be a crowd pleasing one of sweet, sour and strong. Delving into the classics, we have the The Hanky-Panky cocktail, a drink served as tribute to Ada Coleman, the woman who headed The Savoy bar in the early 20th century. There’s an obvious attachment and pride Angel has when making this concoction of gin, vermouth and Fernet Branca.
Outside its cocktail offerings, PS150 strives to be a regional bar, featuring liqueurs and liquor from all around the region. Proudly displayed on the shelves, for instance, are the Taiwan-made Kavalan Whiskey, and FiftySix Degrees Blended Whisky, which is blended in Malaysia. A wider selection is expected to arrive, as they’re looking into expanding their already massive gin collection with gin from Thailand, Oolong Tea Liqueur from Taiwan, San Miguel Beer from the Philippines, Tiger Beer from Singapore and more.
The aim is to cater to the curious backpackers and tourists who find themselves in Chinatown, giving them the flavours of Asia and the opportunity to taste all kinds of alcohol from around the region.
Prices for drinks range from RM33-RM38, with carafes going from RM50-RM100.
Address: PS150, 150, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.
Opening hours: 8pm to 2am (Mon – Sat)