Eat Drink KL: Scratch Cocktail Bar, Tun Perak Co-op

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Scratch Cocktail Bar, Tun Perak Co-op

KL's latest cocktail parlour is a Friday-to-Sunday pop-up concealed inside an events-and-exhibition space, housed in a heritage building that's a two-minute walk from the Masjid Jamek LRT station.

Bartender Lawson See relies largely on local ingredients sourced from his personal travels, often seeking out the work of small-scale producers - from Cameron Highlands mint to Malaccan mangoes, tuak from the east to samsu from the south.

Lawson and his collaborators have launched their new brand, Scratch, with this picturesque bar on a narrow alfresco lane within the Tun Perak Co-op, a refurbished two-storey venue that has recently become a hive for paintings and photography.

The compact list of cocktails evolves weekly. These concoctions are a labour of love, brimming with imagination and heart, mostly priced at between RM28 to RM35 each.

Lawson still needs a name for his girlfriend's favourite drink - a Bornean tuak-based beauty blended with sherry, made temptingly tart with young mango shrubs, sugar-cooked and vinegared over two days. You can also have the tuak on its own, available in flavours like roselle and nenas sawit.

Sugar, spice and everything nice are the hallmarks of a rum-based cocktail that hints of cinnamon, cardamon and star anise, mellowed out with Scratch's own vanilla extract - the beverage you'll most likely have at hand if you're spending hours here.

The bar is outdoors, so a constant chilled refreshment is essential. Scratch's take on the mojito does the trick, with a flavoursome base of Malaccan-made samsu rice wine, tinged with pandan and topped with soda and mint for a sparkling, sprightly cocktail with unmistakably Malaysian notes.

Scratch is a whimsical-looking bar, with blast-from-the-past knickknacks that convey character, colour and charm. But the rest of Tun Perak Co-op is worth exploring too, of course - a cafe operates for lunch, serving up laksa from Terengganu to Johor; you may still be able to snatch a slice of almond-aromatic sugee cake (RM8) from the friendly crew if you're around at teatime. 

Scratch at Tun Perak Co-op
62, Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur. Bar currently opens starting 5pm, Friday-Sunday.

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