No Black Tie is KL’s leading jazz bar and where some of the region's most established musicians have performed. The unpretentious bar has been around for over 14 years now and is considered an institution in the city. It is very laidback and casual, and local and visiting jazz performers play to a sophisticated, respectful crowd.
Entertainment-wise, besides the jazz performances, it features live bands that play lively Brazilian beats to classic Chopin, as well as quirky poetry acts and readings by local authors on special nights. The favourable acoustics make the place seem like a mini version of the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Petronas Philharmonic Concert Hall) in KLCC.
Walking up the nondescript pathway to No Black Tie’s heavy wooden front doors you will feel like you are joining a secret society: inside, the stylish, intimate room has got the look of a speakeasy.
Looking to classic 1920 Americana as their inspiration, the walls have black and white photos of jazz legends like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis: orange-tinted bare bulbs and candlelight give the place a warm glow. The furniture is mostly cosy tables for two or four – all in all, it looks pretty simple but that is its charm. At the back of the bar, separated by heavy, velvet curtains is the performance area with a wooden stage and lots of wooden trimmings (polished, honey-hued teakwood floors, tables and chairs).
A good place for dinner and a show, the menu leans towards Japanese-themed starters like soft-shell crab agemaki. We tried No Black Tie’s 14th anniversary set menu – yakitori (a delicious, charcoal-grilled teriyaki chicken that came on a skewer) and Japanese-style fried chicken rice. Both were very tasty and the set came with a scoop of black sesame ice-cream. No Black Tie has a good variety of wine and cigars but there is a limited variety of cocktails. The lychee martini, a fruity and sweet drink, guaranteed that we ended the night on a high note.
Food and drinks here, compared to other bars in the same stretch, are a little expensive but the quality entertainment makes it all worthwhile.
Once a month the bar hosts an event where an eclectic line-up of up-and-coming local artists and bands can get up on stage and perform their own material – you’ll see some pretty good musical performances and even hilarious stand-up comedy routines.
The nearest train stop is the Raja Chulan monorail and you can walk (a 10-minute journey) to the bar from here. From the station, simply head northwest and turn left onto Jalan Nagasari: take the second right onto Jalan Mesui and No Black Tie will be on your left.
No Black Tie
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – late Monday – Sunday (closed on random Sundays)
- Address: 17 Jalan Mesui, Off Jalan Nagasari, KL (a few streets away from Changkat Bukit Bintang)
- Tel: +603 2142 3737