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Chinatown Cool
First things first (we’re the realest), this is not a speakeasy bar. Sorry folks, no brownie or bragging points for being able to find the entrance here because the signage — or rather, directions to the entrance — is in your face. It’s easy to mistake it as a ‘hidden’ bar because its main entrance isn’t opened yet, so patrons have to stroll to the back of the shoplots to enter the premises through the backdoor. Make no mistake though, the sign will be up soon. During this time of writing, PS150 is less than a month old but it’s already attracted hundreds of customers and Instagram posts, which were what piqued our curiosity to visit the Chinatown-inspired space.

Having learnt that PS150 had only just recently opened its shutters for business, we managed our expectations of its service because no newly formed operation team is going to work perfectly during the first few months. And we were right — not that they don’t work in an organised manner, just that the team isn’t complete yet. There are currently only three individuals who share the responsibility of servicing customers, making drinks, and keying in orders — so give them a break if they take a little longer to get drinks out to all 90 customers in under 10 minutes. A full-house isn’t something strange here; in fact, it’s happened often enough for them to write a disclaimer asking interested guests to book a table in advance to avoid not being able to find a seat and to manage their own crowd.

What makes this cocktail bar different than the ones available before — and ‘Ye knows, we have too many — is its concept. Its layout is broken down into three parts; first is an opium-inspired den for a more intimate setting — this area seats 10 people at best, plus each booth only accommodates two people. An ideal place to get cheeky while sippin’ on PS150’s Hanky Panky but we would not recommend it — the getting naughty bit that is, we always encourage drinking. The next room is its ‘Courtyard’, which is the more relaxed room for groups bigger than four to chill in. And lastly is the main room named ‘Contemporary Bar’ where, well, the bar is.

Conceptualising and following a theme don’t just end at floor plans and interior designs, they have applied it in the menu as well. It’s split by eras; ‘Vintage’ for drinks popular from 1850 to 1910, ‘Classic’ for those more preferred from 1920 to 1930, ‘Tiki’ from 1940 to 1960, ‘Disco’ — because everyone needs to relive Saturday Night Fever — from 1970 to the ‘00s, and finally ‘Contemporary’ – present day favourites. Recommended cocktails to try are Salty Chinaman, Asamboi Margarita (also available in a shot), Dragon ‘Eye’ Fist, and Lychee #3. There’s also an option entitled ‘Punch’ which serves drinks catered to groups of two to five people — sharing is caring, as the bartender with the British-but-not-really accent said to us. We’re still not sharing our favourite word, Ali. No matter how many drinks you make us!

The names of each drink emphasises PS150’s objective of bringing Asian fever to a bar. The team is on a mission to source for liquor that’s produced regionally but as expected, it’s not as readily available as their Western counterparts – though they did manage to find a Malaysian-made whisky. Another note to take down is that cocktails here are not fancy or heavily garnished. However, despite the relatively simple-looking drinks, the experience is multi-layered as they’re packed with different flavours to test your palate with. After all, the more garnished a drink is, the more gimmicky it becomes.

If having a blurry vision by the end of the night isn’t appealing, there are also non-alcoholic options like mocktails, coffee, tea, and sodas but who goes to a bar for a cup of coffee? Don’t be that person. Drinks are priced from RM7 to RM230 (inclusive of the ‘Punch’ menu), which means the average cocktail price as everywhere else, so don’t start groaning about everything being expensive (even if it is).

If the last time you visited Petaling Street was to buy a knockoff product to impress your peers with — it’s changed a fair bit. We’d suggest having dinner at Merchant’s Lane (located above the bar — ah, conveniences!) to have its Hongkee Beef Stew before proceeding to PS150 for drinks. Perfect.

More photos below:

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T: 010 260 6013