We were fortunate enough to have plenty of places to eat and drink right near our hotel. Just a short walk down the road and we came across a stretch of road filled with lots of Spanish tapas, Italian restaurants and Irish pubs. Something we didn’t expect from Kuala Lumpur. Dotted along this strip was the odd cocktail bar or two. As we had eaten Italian and Spanish the last few nights, we were looking for a change and this little cocktail bar and restaurant called “Twenty-One” took our eye. We have had a busy day, doing all the typical touristy things that there is to do in KL, so we were looking for just a nice quiet meal over a glass of wine and give the cocktails a rest for one day. The food at ‘Twenty-one’ was some of the best food we have had on our journey so far. Cara ordered the duck that seem to be so juicy and tender it fell apart on her plate and I went for the pasta (I know I said I was looking for a change after already eating Italian this week, but the creamy pasta dish sounded amazing). We utterly enjoyed the night, and happened to get chatting to the restaurant manager. The manager invited us to watch a cocktail competition that was happening the following day. It was the first cocktail competition that “Twenty-One” had ever hosted. The contestants were local bartenders from around the area. Of course we could not decline this invitation.
The next day, we went back to “Twenty-one” to check out this local cocktail comp. The manager recognized us straight away and made sure we got a good seat. The competition was sponsored by Jose Cuervo tequila and was called the Kuala Lumpur “Re-match Beyatch”. It consisted of around 12 local bartenders, battling it out one-on-one in a knockout style competition to see who could make 7 drinks the fastest. The bartenders were asked to make 1 classic Daiquiri, 1 classic Margarita, 1 Singapore sling, 1 Pina Colada, 1 El Diablo, 1 long island iced tea and pour a pint of Tiger beer. This would usually be not a difficult task for a bartender at his/her own pace, but when you competing for a prize of 1000 ringgit, you have the pressure of the crowd yelling at you, the mind can go blank and suddenly your forgetting how to pour a beer. All of the bartenders did an amazing job. They all handled the pressure extremely well, but most of all though, everyone had fun and a great night.
Cara and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the contestants and some of the other bartenders from ‘twenty-one’. It was a great chance to talk ‘shop’ with the locals and get a little incite into life living in KL. We both staggered home after having and amazing night, one that we’ll never forget.