Malacca city has changed a lot since the lockdown and the next time you find yourself in this historical town, be sure to check out some of the best, most interesting bars, including a 100-year-old one.
Malacca is known for many things, especially being home to a rich and culturally diverse environment. With travel back in full swing now, a short trip to Melaka is always a good idea. There are plenty to discover, from heritage hotels to cafes. And since the historic city is also known as one of the best places to visit to eat to your heart’s content, you might forget the fact that it also has plenty of great bars to offer.
The bar scene in Malacca has recently upped its ante, with names like BUDI that offer more than just potent cocktails. Others, like the 100-year-old Sin Hiap Hin, lets history do the talking.
There are also plenty of old school bars readily available, featuring the background of the rich history in one of Malaysia’s oldest states. Checking out these best bars in Malacca may be the perfect reason to plan a trip down South.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
(Hero image: Tipsy Bridge / Featured image: Lepak Panda)
8 best bars in Malacca you should bookmark
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Jonker Street is one of the more livelier places within the city of Malacca and rightfully so, as there is always something going on. However, Jonker Street is also popular mainly due to the Geographer Café, which cannot be missed as it’s one of the biggest bars around the area. It embodies the term ‘east meets west’ while maintaining its warm ambience and old charm. The Geographer Café also serves up a wide array of dishes, which ranges from your classic Western dishes as well as local delicacies. It also has plenty of beer choices on tap as well as wine and other liquors.
Hatten Hotel is considered to be one of the more luxurious stays you can find when in Malacca. The hotel is set against a picturesque vista of Malacca’s most famous historical landmarks and on the 22nd floor lies Alto Sky Lounge. It brings a whole new definition to the term “a new height of luxury” with a breathtaking view of the cityscape right before your eyes. Alto Sky Lounge also offers a wide variety of drinks, from cocktails to fine wines. Be sure to dress appropriately as Alto Sky Lounge does have a strict ‘smart casual’ dress code.
It appears Malacca has also caught up with the times with its very own speakeasy bar known as The Old Merchant. From a first glance, The Old Merchant carries a heavy oriental vibe to its atmosphere as it was evolved from an ancient private bank that dates back to the 1920s. The speakeasy is also located along Jalan Kampung Pantai, which was the original Chinatown back in 15th century Malacca. The Old Merchant also sticks true to the heritage of being a speakeasy as it will be a bit of a task to locate.
If you’re looking to liven up your evening, the Hard Rock Café in Malacca is the place to be. The franchise has been around since the 1970s with its rock & roll themed memorabilia that adorn its walls. Fans of old school rock and roll are in for a treat as Hard Rock Café has plenty of that and more. It also offers a wide spread of dishes and drinks for one to pick from while you go back through the golden years of rock & roll. You can also walk away with Hard Rock Café souvenirs from its gift shop, located within the premises.
Inspired by the golden days of Dondang Sayangs clubs, BUDI Melaka is a hidden bar that offers more than just a good ol’ Old Fashioned. Sin See Tai cafe by day, and BUDI Melaka by night, the bar serves a bevy of unique cocktails made using local produce including a vegetable-forward menu that incorporates homegrown ingredients like bittergourd, eggplant, corn and sweet pea into its concoction. The multi-level bar is eccentrically designed, giving a sense of mystery and cosiness at the same time. We recommend that you make a reservation before heading over because seats are pretty limited.
If you’re looking for something authentic and old-school, your visit to Melaka will not be complete without a drink at the 100-year-old vintage bar at Java Lane. This drinking hole is a living heritage, and is managed by Aunty Doris, the bartender in charge of serving and pouring you some of the most unconventional spirits in the market. She’s been with the bar for over 40 years, and the bar is raved for its rustic saloon-style bar that’s unpretentious yet charming. When visiting the oldest bar in historic Melaka, you’ll get more than cocktails and shots, but anecdotes of good ol’ Malacca from the owner herself.
They say the best way to explore Malacca city is by foot. If you happen to be around the heritage zone, Tipsy Bridge is a must-go for a tipple. It’s tucked in an alleyway off the main road, along Jalan Kampung Pantai across Kampung Jawa Bridge (where Sin See Tai or BUDI Melaka is). Its neon-lit signage is quite hard to miss. The little street quite happening here at night, with upbeat music and neighbouring cafes like Tuju Café and The Bridge Café.
Located adjacent from the famous Jonker Street, Reggae on the River is a riverside bar that allows you to chill al-fresco style while having a pint of beer or tequila shots. It’s a popular drinking place among the locals, and offers a nice view of the vibrant Melaka River.