There are a couple of things that are unusual about Tate: the first is that its entrance has been purposely designed to be a little hard to find and the second is the suit of armour waiting to greet you the instant you step through said front door. But it is all pretty understandable once you get the concept behind this Intermark KL bar: the place has actually been done up in the style of a secret 1920s prohibition-era bar, so expect dim lighting, intimate seating areas and mismatched but masculine furnishings.
The ambiance is muted and the clientele sophisticated. Like an exclusive gentleman’s club (worry not, as the place is open to anyone and everyone), do not expect a rowdy night out here – this is more of a place for a refined drink.
First, how to get there: located in Intermark KL, the bar is set on the ground floor, at the south side of the property – look for an inconspicuous glossy white ‘wall’ with a ‘floating’ top hat. It is a doorway that whispers rather than shouts, so as not to draw ‘unwanted attention’ to the venue. Once past the secret front doors, you walk through a short dimly-lit hall towards an intimidating-looking suit of armor lit by spotlights.
There is a vague Alice in Wonderland theme at Tate: a mishmash of decorative styles from orange-filament bulbs, gilded mirrors, to Art Deco paintings on the wall and trunks with the Union Jack emblazoned on them. Our verdict – all in all, Tate is a handsome bar (with a few quirky touches) that skilfully utilize its space.
The elegant bar follows the style of an expensive speakeasy so well that you almost feel like it is really illegal to have a cocktail – it’s almost like you are on a naughty night out. In fact when our drinks arrive (served by a waiter dressed in a retro-inspired outfit complete with suspenders and slicked back hair) we almost expect teacups filled with whiskey.
Fortunately our cocktails arrive in crystal cut glasses; this level of exclusivity and elegance comes at a price though, with a pomegranate margarita priced at close to RM40. Straight pours (gin, whiskey, vodka etc) are dispensed over a sphere-shaped ice ball in a glass – the better to keep your drink chilled for a longer time.
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Tate Bar @ Intermark
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – late (Monday – Saturday)
- Address: Ground floor, The Intermark, 182 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2161 2368