Do you want to have a good time? Then go pay a visit to the Concubine. No, we’re not suggesting for you to go out on a promiscuous escapade. But, should you ever find yourself in Malaysia, and you want to experience Kuala Lumpur’s exciting night life, you might want to check out one of the city’s best bars, as well as one of its best kept secrets.
Concubine KL is a back-alley bar in Chinatown area Jalan Petaling’s (Petaling Street) Kwai Chai Hong laneway. The district itself has a history that dates back more than 50 years, and perhaps even longer. But with the passage of time, this settlement for migrant Chinese had deteriorated into a slum. That is until the Bai Chuan Management Sdn. Bhd. reclaimed and rehabilitated the area.
Concubine KL is fronted by a vibrant yellow brick wall and a bright blue door, leading you to the warm red interiors of the ground floor bar. The wooden furniture and tiled floors give off a distinctly oriental atmosphere, while time-worn walls adorned with nostalgic murals paint a picture of bygone days.
While the bar takes its name from the mistresses of Chinese royalty, its proprietors wish to emphasize their roles as imperial consorts who helped shape the course of China’s dynasties. Hence, rather than the negative connotation the name usually suggests, Concubine KL promotes an image of female empowerment more suited for modern times.
Neon lights along the staircase point you upstairs to the main bar area. Lighted by traditional and modern hanging lanterns, and decorated with murals in styles both classic and contemporary, it is a truly colorful clash of cultures. If you prefer to be in a more laid-back environment, you can always hang out at the bar’s balcony area, where you can wine and dine in the open air, overlooking an opulent view of the stunning street art murals displayed on the surrounding buildings of Kwai Chai Hong.
In accordance with its exotic Asian ambiance, Concubine KL offers food and drinks that likewise possess a distinctive Asian flavor. Their Keropok Nachos is a contemporary take on the traditional Malay fish cracker snack keropok lekor.
Other dishes combine Eastern and Western cuisine, such as the Cheeseburger Gyoza and the Tuna Tostada. For drinks, the bar serves an array of Asian-inspired cocktails blended with local fruits and ingredients. There is also a selection of beers and spirits available, as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as lattes, fresh pineapple juice, and Black Bootch Kombucha.
How To Get There
Concubine KL is located at Lot 2 Lorong Panggung, Kwai Chai Hong Chinatown, 50000 Kuala Lumpur. Opening hours are 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM on Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, and 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM on Fridays to Saturdays. Only a 5-minute walk from the Pasar Seni Station, you can get to the bar from there by walking towards MRT Exit – Pintu A to the row of shophouses along Jalan Panggung, behind which Kwai Chai Hong is located.
If going by monorail, the bar is a 10-minute walk from the Maharajalela Station. If traveling by car, taxi, or Grab, you can search for Kwai Chai Hong on Google Maps or Waze.