Sunday, November 20, 2016

Case Study Bar @ APW Bangsar

I could drink a case of you, darling, & I would still be on my feet: Joni's lyrics express our feelings about Bangsar's latest watering hole, a true study in the art of compelling mixology - we downed seven cocktails here within an hour, & were still eager for more. Dapper bartenders Alvin AuYong & Joel Poon have made a meaningful return to Malaysia after years away in Singapore, Bali & Melbourne, offering KL's drinkers an experience that's fresh, relevant & reinvigorating at APW, the former printing factory that's increasingly become a thrilling hive for F&B buzz. Case Study is one of 2016's most enjoyable new bars.

 Case Study's oeuvre (sketched out on a menu made of APW's recycled paper) reflects a brazen sense of creativity run wild, blending the familiar with the peculiar to pleasurable effect - case in point, the Mexican Cantarito partners shiitake mushroom-infused tequila with red bell pepper water, salted wildflower honey & aperitivo rinomato for a creation that'll surprise with its citrusy earthiness. The purple-hued Terrarium (practically every cocktail is named for the vessel that bears it, served on a printing conveyor belt bartop) is also a delight, showcasing lotus root gin with sweet potato, Indian borage tincture, butterfly pea & apricot infusion - Alvin & Joel believe in casting their net as wide as possible for their influences, going beyond purely Asian inspirations in their ingredients. But their nod to homegrown muses remains palpable - Case Study's many potted herbs, flowers & other plants are harvested for its beverages, with pickling, dehydrating & jam-making all also performed on-site.

It's impossible to resist ordering potions that sound as exhilaratingly imaginative as the Coconut Coupe (Pedro Ximenez, ghee fat-washed rum, curry yoghurt, pineapple, lime) & the Watering Can (Pisco with burdock root, broccoli & plum wine infusions), particularly since each costs a reasonable RM34 nett. Another of Case Study's charms is its focus on affable hospitality, fusing professionalism with playfulness - Alvin & Joel are a terrific tag team for making both cocktails & friends. If the bar's not too busy, see if Alvin can talk to you about his tapestry of tattoos, which tell a story about the man & his life, his hometown in Ipoh & the friends he lost, his philosophies of carpe diem & rolling the dice (but just don't ask him to bite that tattoo on his shoulder).

There's a cocktail for everyone here, whether you prefer easy-going flavours that are instantly & gently gratifying (Penguin Jar is a fantastic beast of Islay Whisky, aquavit-inspired infusion, cream cheese, dill tincture, beetroot & pomelo shrub, while Ceramic Cup combines water chestnut rum with a pumpkin pie infusion, pickled pumpkins, Amaro Montenegro & black sesame orgent) or experimentally challenging (Gourd, with seaweed gin, jujube brandy, cocoa & thyme falernum, bentianna & haricot bean escabeche, is an acquired taste that not everyone will love). Case Study is poised to be a deservedly major hit, with a semi-alfresco setting that exudes laid-back, backyard-garden vibes - expect to hear heaps about this quirky little bar.

Case Study
Paper Plates, APW Bangsar, Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur. Wed-Sun, 6pm-1am. Tel: 011-3639-0695

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13 comments:

  1. Those potted plants? Herbs? I bought a few - mint, lemon balm, rosemary...they all died. Sobssss!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Suituapui: we'll have to take tips from case study about how to keep these cultivated herbs alive!

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  2. APW getting more and more happening now, hehe.

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    Replies
    1. CK: yeah, and the good thing is, all the outlets at APW are pretty interesting ;)

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  3. All those drinks look incredible!

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    Replies
    1. Phong Hong: i could have happily drunk seven more cocktails :D

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  4. I saw interesting cocktails decoration of mushroom, lotus root & rice cracker? O.O

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    Replies
    1. Choi Yen: yeah, the garnishes are really fun - and they're meant to also help balance out the cocktails! ;)

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  5. Replies
    1. Zeera: heheh, that's fair enough :D

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  6. HAhah I can read frm this post the enthusiasm - u obviously enjoyed yourself! :D

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    Replies
    1. Rebecca: yep, cannot resist good and interesting cocktails! :D

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  7. I'm here now and they don't serve food. When you are hungry you order from the other restaurant and bring it over because you are with friends. Would you know the owner coz I'm sick of one of the waiters here who is not accommodative.

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