Blue Elephant @ Plaza Damansara

November 9, 2014

It's no white elephant or black sheep for sure - this new silver-screen-themed, speakeasy-style hangout has surfaced out of the blue in Bukit Damansara, instantly becoming a dark horse for future Best Bar awards. Patrons hoping to paint the town red here are likely to be tickled pink & emerge rosy-cheeked for all the right reasons.

First off, here's how to find Blue Elephant: It's farther up the road from Sam's at Plaza Damansara's shop-houses (pass Sam's on your left & go on for a bit); there's no signboard, so look for this staircase lined with Hollywood posters & walk up one flight, past Keanu, Hugh & Drew (wasn't gonna fall in love again, but then, pop goes my heart!).

When you see this (& hear the music from behind the walls), you know you're at the right place. But why the movie motif? Legend (OK, OK, gossip) has it that one of the partners behind Blue Elephant is a significant stakeholder in Village Cinemas.

Walk through the door, Neo - the shelves conceal the secret entrance into Blue Elephant, open 5pm-late everyday.

Breeze past the paparazzi & let Oscar guide you to a table. Or take a Director's Chair by the bar & order a cocktail (or six). Bonus note: Service sparkles here.

Blue Elephant (RM27; Smirnoff vodka, Chardonnay, passion fruit syrup, apple juice, grapefruit juice) & Meh-He-Kan Coffee (RM28; Jose Cuervo Gold, Patron XO, espresso, agave nectar).

Ginberry Juniper (RM25; Gordon's Gin, blueberry jam, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, sugar syrup, for sweet-toothed patrons) & Take Me (RM27; special fig-infused rum, sugar syrup, lime juice).

Asiantini (RM25; Smirnoff vodka, mango juice, lime juice, lemon grass & ginger flower). Raunchy reds & other kinds of poison are available too (we'll have to try Amin's rosemary-infused gin next time).

Ask for the food menu: Blue Elephant is an offshoot of A Li Yaa (which explains the elephant), so there's a light & lovely menu of Sri Lankan specialities, from the beloved chicken string hopper kothu (RM22) ...

... to creamy-meaty lamb roti rolls (RM16), a spicy snack to fire up the appetite even further ...

... plus pol roti (coconut flat bread) with a touch of sambal (RM8; a nice change from Western pub grub).

And of course, there's popcorn (RM4, cheaper than the cinema's), infused with peanut butter, curry or caramel.

Wait, there's more: Blue Elephant is part of a master plan that includes a new street-level Italian restaurant, expected to open next month, also founded by a KL restaurant institution. One word: Neroteca.

For now, explore the many corners of Blue Elephant - rumour has it there are private rooms & a karaoke section somewhere.

The parting words for this post belong to Abbi, A Li Yaa's founder: "Human beings have identified a wide spectrum of colors (and catalog copywriters are constantly inventing new ones), but when it comes to popular figures of speech, “blueâ€� takes the prize for both number and variety of senses.  We speak, for example, of sadness or depression as “the blues,â€� although no one has ever come up with a convincing explanation why.  â€œBluesâ€� music does often center on depressing “blueâ€� subjects (lover left, dog died, etc.), but that “blueâ€� may actually be a reference to the genre's use of “blue notes,â€� halfway between proper scale notes.  Elsewhere, “blue bloodâ€� is said to signify royalty or high social class, but was originally just a reference to very light skin, which made the oxygen-rich blood in one's veins visible under the skin.  The opposite of the blue-blooded idle rich are, of course, “blue-collarâ€� workers, so-called for the denim shirts that once were standard factory wear. The blue elephant, my friend, is confusingly blue."

Blue Elephant Lounge Bar @ Plaza Damansara
15M & 17M, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

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