I’m sitting on a bar stool thinking about who I dislike enough in my life to curse. Normally, propping up a bar contemplating ill on your fellow humans sounds like the result of a crappy day, but in this case, I’m on holiday and happy, but I’m drinking in The Deceased, Kuala Lumpur’s most spooky speakeasy and cursing is just part of the fun.
Cue spooky music and dimmed lights…
The Deceased is hidden behind an unobtrusive blue door on one of the main roads in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. Punch in the strangely appropriate password to get in and you’ll be greeted by a long, thin staircase stretching high into the building. Spooky music plays as you head up past the bloody handprints lining the wall to face your doom.
Oh alright, into the bar itself.
Here’s there’s spooks, there’s skeletons, there’s candelabras and gothic maroon everywhere – yep, it’s as kitsch as hell and I absolutely loved it!!
The Backstory of The Deceased, KL
The Deceased is the creation of mixologist Steven Wan who returned to his home in Malaysia after a stint bartending in Singapore. This man is just a bit creative. If the bar’s theme and design didn’t give that away, the drinks will.
Each one is based on a Malaysian ghost or legend – like
In fact, they might have been a bit over successful with the theming as their Facebook page has to explain to a local market who are very superstitious about ghosts that the building is not actually haunted, just ghost-themed.
Ironically, the history of The Deceased was more about saving people than killing them off. It’s built on the site of an old apothecary – and they now use the old dispensing drawers to hold all the cocktail ingredients.
Watching the bar staff reach into each tiny drawer to create your drink is as much as part of the theatrics at The Deceased as the cocktails themselves.
The cocktail I’ve chosen is known as the Petty Person Beating and it’s sitting in front of me in a bowl, with a plastic slipper and a straw doll – which erm, makes a change from an umbrella and a plastic flamingo.
But it does bring back a memory – and I suddenly twig why the barman has asked me who I dislike.
The blend of Malaysian rice wine, gin, lime and soda in front of me is based upon a group of old ladies known as the Curse Grannies who sit under a bridge in Hong Kong.
For a small fee, you can go and see them, mention someone who has done you wrong and they’ll bash an effigy of them violently with a slipper to change things… As such, the Petty Person Beater comes with its own slipper and
I’m having trouble thinking of anyone I dislike enough to curse but that’s okay as barman tells me, that the Curse Grannies aren’t really damning people. Instead, all that shoe bashing is actually releasing the negative hold someone has over a person and replacing it with a more positive vibe.
This makes me happier, and while the image of the neighbour who drives me nuts comes into my head, I push that aside just in case I have more evil powers than I thought. Instead, I conjure up an image of a whole lot of British politicians who frankly deserve to grow horns of something and frantically bash my little straw dolly with all the strength I can muster.
Meanwhile, next to me The Boyfriend is being presented with a Karma – this fruity mix of vodka, Prosecco and strawberry
I’m not going to spoil any surprises as to what goes on, but I screamed.
We had intended to only have one drink at The Deceased, KL is now full of hidden bars and speakeasy bars and we had planned to try many of them this fine evening, but the innovative menu and the legends behind every drink mean I had to try at least one more.
I was also rationalising that at 40MYR (£8 or AI$13 a cocktail) it’s not too pricey. Alcohol is relatively expensive in KL anyway, and we’re used to Sydney prices where 40MYR will only buy you a pint of Asahi.
This time, I choose a Hantau Air which reflects the legends of people-eating water sprites -and which comes in a bucket with a floating severed finger!
The Boyfriend can’t decide what he wants and so Wan makes him one of their personalised cocktails, a bit more expensive at 55MYR.
After a quick chat with him about what he likes, Wan whips out a bottle of Paul John, a whiskey that’s made in Goa and bottled in Singapore, and a heap of other things I missed to create the perfect drink for the bloke.
When he finds out I’m a gin fan he lets me try a
While we’re necking our way through the cocktail menu, a constant trail of backpackers in Singha singlets and flip flops wander into the bar, order a beer and wander out again. The Deceased shares a building with the nearby Mingle Hostel and it’s where those staying there come to grab a drink to take to the rooftop next door.
The fact that backpackers wander in and out reflects the chilled out vibe of the place.
I like nice bars, but I dislike pretentious ones. I don’t want to be looked down upon because I’m not dripping in designer duds, wearing a heel or 22 and a size eight.
The Deceased is
If you’re only in KL for a few days though, do message them via their Facebook page to book in just in case – trust me, you don’t want to miss this. I went to a lot of cool bars in KL and this was probably my favourite.
I admit it’s a close run thing though so if you want to see my other top choice of all the fun things to do in KL at night, click here.
Where is The Deceased Bar in KL
It’s in Chinatown at 55, Jalan Sultan. Look for the door below – but remember, you might not be able to get in without a password.
It’s open six nights a week (closed on a Tuesday) from 6.30pm to 2am.
There’s a number of cool bars in KL’s Chinatown, in
How do I get hold of Deceased’s Password?
You private message them via their Facebook page letting them know that you want to head down to the bar and they’ll send it over. I literally did this the day we wanted to go and got a reply around lunchtime confirming things. T
Go on, send them a message – the spirits are waiting… and I don’t just mean the 40% proof type.
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