Monday, April 8, 2013

Omakase + Appreciate @ Ming Annexe, Jalan Ampang

The name conjures impressions of a Japanese restaurant, but Omakase + Appreciate is actually a cocktail establishment, piloted by two topflight Malaysian bartenders.

Omakase + Appreciate operates like a speakeasy, concealed in an office building basement behind this forbidding-looking, locked entrance, with no other signboard to guide customers here.

Patrons of this small, intimate space, which seats roughly two dozen, should nonetheless be perked up by the talents behind the bar: Karl Too, formerly of The Intermark's Tate, & Chong Yi Shawn, familiar to fans of KL Hilton's Vintage Bank & Taman Tun's Hoofed.

True to the bar's name, folks can trust Karl & Yi Shawn to whip up palate-pleasuring concoctions priced at wallet-placating prices starting from RM25 nett.

Beach Bum (bacardi, orange, coconut, bitters). Potent & complex, these beverages are a testament to the skilled dedication of both Karl & Yi Shawn, instantly making Omakase + Appreciate one of our Top 10 places to order a cocktail in KL.

Elderflower Martini (tanqueray, elderflower, white wine). The bar's business hours are now 5pm-1am, Wednesdays through Sundays, but that could still change. 

Breakfast Martini (beefeater, marmalade, triple sec, lemon juice). The music here is eclectic but easy on the ears in the early evening, spanning the entirety of Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox to what sounds like a Shanghai Divas tribute album.

Jalisco Espresso (Don Julio Reposado, Kahlua, sugar, espresso). How to get here? Unfortunately, Karl & Shawn have requested that the exact location be left unwritten for now.

 Sidecar (Hennessy VSOP, lemon, sugar). But here's something hopefully helpful: the bar isn't more than a 10-minute walk from Masjid Jamek, & since it's not centuries-sunken Ming Dynasty treasure, it won't be impossible to locate, even without a treasure-hunting guidebook annexe.

Vodka Collins (Smirnoff 21, lemon, sugar, soda). One of the enticements at Omakase + Appreciate is a cocktail menu that's constantly evolving; what's available tomorrow might not necessarily be found today, & so forth.

Our favorite of this bunch: Johnnie Nut Crusta (Johnnie Walker, hazelnut syrup, lime).

Food isn't served for now, with the exception of crackers to ensure tummies aren't totally empty.

All in all, this is one of 2013's most intriguing new watering holes, sure to spark some thrills. 

Omakase + Appreciate,
Somewhere near Masjid Jamek, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

38 comments:

  1. Very nice post, Sean. So the crackers are appetizers...nice. I like the lighting...not too bright and not to dim. Very cozy.

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    1. Linda: thanks. yeah, the crackers were addictive enough that we finished two bowls :D and yup, they adjusted the lighting a little during our visit, but it definitely was a nice place to linger comfortably for nearly a couple of hours :D

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  2. Good grief! I would never be able to find the entrance.

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    1. Suituapui: heheh, yeah, i guess the idea is for this to be a bit difficult to find =)

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  3. Hee hee! So the secret is out. I like the Johnnie Nut Crusta too. :-)

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    1. The Yum List: that's a really yummy one, isn't it! it's like dessert and a cocktail rolled into one :D

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  4. When I saw your FB link, I was thinking how come there are no japanese food pic, now I know why. :P

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    1. CK: heheh, ya, this is a very strange name for a cocktail bar! i was hoping they would serve some sushi also, heheh :D

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  5. I think u found ur paradise on earth! :p

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    1. Ulric: the cocktails here are indeed heavenly! :D

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  6. HAHA.. thanks for helping me guess the answer on Monica's blog!! Great place .. like the weird door.. makes me feel lk i might get electrocuted if i go inside :P

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    1. Ciki: heheh, yeah, nobody in their right mind would try to get past this door unless they knew there was a secret stash of booze hidden behind! :D

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    2. yeah.. and now we know!! thanks to uuuuuuu

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    3. Ciki: the secret should be safe with us ... and with all the other cocktail lovers in KL! :D

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  7. With such entrance, I'd have certainly miss it too. Wonder if there's a secret passcode to enter the premise. :P

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    1. Chong: yeah, i guess the weird entrance is part of the cool factor here, heh. and ooh, a secret password would be fun. like trying to enter aladdin's cave :D

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  8. Karl makes a great cocktail! Shd pay this place a visit. ;)

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    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, it's great that karl and shawn have combined forces! a dynamic duo, really two of the country's best mixologists =)

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    1. Bangsar Babe: it's a great place to be! :D

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  10. I might not last the whole course :/

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    1. KY: heheh, drink responsibly :D

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  11. Were there other patrons there that night too? Did you ask them how they found the place?

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    1. Foot fringe: nopes, we were the only customers, but we were really early, before most people come to drink, and we left by 7pm :D

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  12. Dear Sean,

    It was great to have you at our bar. It was a pleasure to serve you. However, we would have appreciated it you had run your article by us first. You have posted too much about our outlet which is not in line with our concept. I know you mean well, but we hope you understand where we are coming from. Could you please revise your post to remove the address and the video. The idea is to be as conspicuous as possible as we are a "speakeasy". Also, the pricing is inaccurate. That is our opening week price. Cocktails will range from RM25 up to RM45 in future. Plus point, all prices will be nett, that is assured.

    Do this for us and will gladly serve you again in future.

    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Shawn and Karl

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    1. Cyshawn: hey shawn and karl, thanks for the note. as requested, i've removed the exact address and the video link, and i've made the necessary amendments in other parts of the post. i hope that eventually, in the months to come, if and when the bar's location becomes well-known and published widely enough online, you won't mind if i restore the address, but i do want to respect your privacy and your plans for this bar right now. i do believe it's always great to have people like you who have unique visions for your businesses, and i hope that things work out very well for you guys =)

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    2. Hi Sean,

      Thank you very much for your kind cooperation. As our name says, we truly appreciate your gesture and look forward for more exciting things for our business. Hope you will be there to support us.

      See you soon.

      Cheers

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    3. Cyshawn: it sounds like it'll be a very interesting journey, and yep, i hope to find my way back here again =)

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  13. Sounds exciting with all the cocktails. Sounds like a cocktail heaven too! Certainly need to add this to my cocktail spots with the girls over our weekend.

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    1. Missyblurkit; oh yeah, I like how it's open on Sundays, especially since so many other bars are closed on that day. And yup, this could work as a secret rendezvous with the girlfriends! =)

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  14. why the secrecy? The bar looks like its ready to open to public anytime, besides there's no real secret in KL! But ooo! how very exciting, reminds me a bit of Der Raum in Melbourne where they offer degustation on cocktails.

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    1. AugustDiners: yeah, i think in a few weeks, it won't be a secret anymore, but i guess they want it to be word-of-mouth for now. i think this will be a good year for cocktail bars in KL! :D

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  15. Wow, talk about storming up the "Cool" list! What an awesome little place! And the prices are not half bad either...I can see Friday drinks being planned already

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: you're right, this place is definitely gonna stir up some buzz ... and it's gonna give its patrons a nice buzz too, heh! :D

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  16. do i need to be invited to go there?

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    1. Fairunisa: nope, it's open to the public =)

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  17. If the door is locked, how do we get in? Is there a bell or we knock?

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    1. Shirlyn: no bell last april, so we knocked hard =)

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