The Social Bar in KL
A Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur
The Social bar is an independent, well-run establishment that attracts a corporate crowd and has developed a loyal following of nine-to-fivers. The flagship outlet in Bangsar was opened in 2001, but these days The Social has a second venue at The Square in Publika Mall, Sri Hartamas.
Mention The Social to any Bangsar-ite and they will tell you it is the place to go for dining and drinks. With plenty to offer, things really get going at The Social after sunset. The restaurant’s selection of happy hour deals is hard to pass up on: from Tiger, Guinness and Kilkenny to Heineken, Strongbow and Paulaner, prices are pretty decent.
While there are many nightlife spots along the Bangsar stretch (as well as the Publika strip), The Social stands out because it caters to a corporate crowd of young urbanites. The bar is at its best at weekends, with the most coveted seats being outdoors.
Inside the Bangsar outlet, a bar dominates the space with some tables spaced out around it; meanwhile the Publika branch has a bar set up to the right of the restaurant’s interior and tables take up the rest of the space. Both venues feature warm lighting, rough wooden floors and minimalist decor with black plastic chairs and wooden tables, wine racks, snooker tables and mirrors.
A top contender for the best nightspot in KL, service at The Social is consistently good and with a popular selection of draft beers, there is always a cold one available from the taps. Jugs are priced rather decently, inexpensive enough to get you relaxed after a hard week at the office.
Plus if you are craving an evening cocktail, the bar has an extensive array of choices, all of which are pretty decently priced considering the location – ladies especially like the sangrias, frozen margaritas, mojitos and long island ice tea.
The bar’s clientele is usually all shirted up, elegantly dressed and well mannered, although as the night wears on a holiday vibe develops and patrons let their hair down as they enjoy a sultry evening out in the city.
The Social has a menu of fusion cuisine but its offerings lean particularly towards more English-style pub grub: think bangers and mash, fish and chips and burgers. That is not to say it does not have local specialties – the kitchen can also whip up some pretty good Asian favourites.
White collars and expatriates (who are The Social’s dominant clientele) commend The Social’s all-time signature dish – the aromatic crispy Peking duck, a not-to-be-missed dish served with homemade pancakes, sweet plum sauce, chilli oil, spring onions and cucumber.
If you are in a big group and want to sample a little bit of everything, then go with The Social’s mezze platter 36, portions of minced lamb koftas, lamb shish kebabs and chicken chorizo sausage, served with pita bread and accompanied by hummus and moutabel dips.
The kitchen’s a la carte options are extensive – favourites include the boeuf bourguignon 36, a dish of classic French beef stew with new potatoes and baby carrots, served with crusty baguette, and the lamb rogan josh 22 (north Indian style lamb curry with pilau rice, papadam and cucumber raita).
Before you leave be sure to sample The Social’s array of desserts – highly recommended is the chocolate torte, a pure chocolate truffle cake, which is a must-try for chocolate lovers.
If you prefer a more local-style dessert, give the banana fritters a try – The Social has put in a little western zeal to the hot dish by lacing it with honey and serving it with ice cream.
The Social Bangsar
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 02:00 Tuesday – Sunday
- Address: 57–59 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur (Bangsar); 31 & 32, Level G2, The Square, Publika, Solaris Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur (Publika)
- Tel: +603 2822 2260 (Bangsar) or +603 6207 9225 (Publika)