Mantra Rooftop Bar @ Bangsar Village
March 17, 2016
Perched on the fourth-level rooftop of Bangsar Village, Mantra's calling card is its exclusive bird's-eye perspective of the neighbourhood, viewed from a sleek, starry setting; this is the sort of watering hole that socialites will throng to see & be seen - but thankfully, beyond the superficial glitz, there are shimmering glimpses of potential in both the food & the cocktails.
Mantra's menu exudes a contemporary sense of worldly confidence - commence with warm, golden Chinese mantou sliders, packed with Indonesian-inflected pulled beef, richly succulent & subtly spiced to evoke dendeng belado, with caramelised chillies & kaffir lime - a sumptuous snack that goes down real easy (RM8+ per piece). Also addictive: Crispy whitebait, smeared with a textured Malaysian sambal & Japanese onsen egg for a unique combo (RM18+). Other items may be an acquired taste; it's rare to spot Brussels sprouts on a bar menu, but Mantra serves them, char-grilled with soy vinaigrette, smothered with shallots, baby anchovies & peanuts (RM30+). Another vegetable that receives the guilty-indulgence treatment is broccoli, thickly battered & strapped with Korean flavours, testing your tolerance for deep-fried calorie bombs (RM15+).
Cocktails are of the smooth, easy-drinking variety - classics revitatlised with Eastern twists, constructed with quality liquor & engaging flourishes. The Dynasty (RM35+) is presented in an Oriental teapot & cup, a mellow medley of Tanqueray No. 10 gin, grapefruit juice, jasmine tea & demerara sugar - a cocktail a grandmother could love. Tonique No. 10 (RM32+) boasts a house-brewed tonic infusion of cinchona bark, allspice berries, lemongrass, citrus zest, lavender & seltzer, topped with Broker's gin; the Bloody Mary (RM32+) relies on the bar's own BBQ mix, with Russian Standard vodka & a striking skewered garnish of beef bacon & cherry tomatoes. Also notable: the Bentong Buck (RM28+), aka Moscow Mule, but with spicy notes of Pahang's Bentong Ginger, plus the Pulau Panjang (RM38+), a wise & witty variation of the Long Island, masquerading as a kopitiam beverage, harbouring an intoxicating blend of Russian Standard, Bacardi, Don Julio Reposado & Tanqueray.
Mantra Rooftop Bar
Rooftop Level, Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur. Use the elevator at the centre of Bangsar Village II.
Open Tues-Sun, 4pm through late. Tel: 0173448299
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