Kapitan Haus, Petaling Street

August 4, 2023

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On a street with nearly 150 years of history, where legendary chieftains like Yap Ah Loy paved the foundation for KL's commerce, Kapitan Haus pays homage to the communal heritage of Malayan Chinese miners and traders in the city's ever-bustling Chinatown.

Kapitan Haus is one of Petaling Street's most atmospheric bars, a casual and comfortable hangout with cool, creative cocktails, tucked on the first floor of a weathered shop-house, gorgeous in its neon-lit grunginess.

The bar takes patrons on a voyage through the past with its modern potions - this is a thoughtful menu that tells a story: From the landing of the kapitans and their communities on Malayan shores to their bittersweet struggles and rise to power, their destinies are documented in Kapitan Haus' delightful drinks.

If you're thirsty for some of Chinatown's tastiest cocktails, Kapitan Haus - with its wordplay-loving name - hits the spot for a home away from home, complemented by contemporary takes on Chinese cuisine by its sister restaurant Da Bao downstairs.

Sip on the Petaling Street Sour, smoky-smooth with lapsang souchong-infused whisky, while snacking on sesame-marinated edamame with citrus-laced rice vinegar, only at Kapitan Haus.

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Kapitan Haus shares its address with Petaling Street's popular Da Bao handmade bar specialist. Simply enter the restaurant, then head up the stairs for Kapitan Haus, where the street's happiest hours begin at 4pm weekdays and 3pm weekends.

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With a cavernously spacious setting with soaring ceilings, Kapitan Haus is relaxed enough for customers to linger for hours. Find your favourite corner, perhaps on one of the plush couches, then kick back for an evening to enjoy while the friendly team here explains their specialities.

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Kapitan Haus' cocktail menu features three categories.

Arrival Of The Kapitan showcases refreshing, uplifting beverages, true to the excitement of the kapitans as they finally reached British Malaya after their long travels.

This section showcases lightly fizzy carbonated drinks with tropical accents like mango-infused rum, asam boi-infused tequila and jasmine-infused fino sherry.

The Kapitan's Pursuit Of Happiness reflects the sweet and sour times that the kapitans persevered through, illustrated in ingredients like toasted coconut-infused rum with pineapple or jackfruit-infused pisco with grapefruit and lemon.

The Kapitan's Ascension heralds triumph through strength and spirit, marking the boldest beverages with elements like coffee-infused Rosso vermouth and pork fat-washed whiskey.

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Our trek through Kapitan Haus' repertoire was jumpstarted via the Fresh Release (RM38) - honeydew-infused gin furnishes a fragrantly fruity base, layered with dry vermouth for a herbaceous edge, buoyed by cucumber, chrysanthemum and CO2 for floral sparks of joy. It's the ideal well-balanced cocktail to rejuvenate the weary mind after an arduous week at work.

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Tong Sui (RM40) is a playful tribute to one of Petaling Street's most beloved treats - jujube-infused gin lends apple-like notes to the juniper berry liquor, buoyed by pear, longan and lemon for a reviving citrus boost, garnished in a classic Chinese bowl with snow fungus for a fun flourish, transforming a nostalgic childhood temptation into an alluring adult attraction.

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Pork Bao (RM44) is a nod to Da Bao downstairs - an umami-laden cocktail that harmoniously fuses nutty and herbal nuances, weaving together pork fat-washed whiskey with peanut-infused Rosso vermouth, Peychaud’s and orange bitters. Strikingly crowned with a crispy rice cake, this cocktail is fantastic with food.

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Bubur Cha Cha (RM44) is another twist on a familiar favourite, transforming a delightful dessert into a delectable drink - silky with earthy, nectarous notes of cachaca fermented sugarcane liquor, peach, purple sweet potato and clarified coconut milk, charmingly finished with a skewer of green-hued sago, sending us out into the night on a heady high.

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Customers can order sustenance from Da Bao or a special Kapitan Haus snack selection.

The Big Fat Chicken (RM15) is our best bet for a crackling good time, a tantalising take on Taiwanese fried chicken, crunchy-battered and succulent-fleshed, enlivened with tangy sauerkraut, aromatically creamy with spicy garlic aioli. We'd happily polish off several plates.

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Salivating Chicken (RM17) is mouthwatering with Szechuan influences - steamed herbal chicken, tender and wholesome, punched up with the unmistakably fiery, flavourful kick of mala oil, soothed with coriander leaves.

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Fried Mantou (RM13) is delicious for decadent dipping and dunking, a deep-fried indulgence with 'stir-fried' butter sauce, helping to soak up all our cocktails.

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Also addictive are the Tapioca Chips (RM13), puffy with hints of a secret five-spice seasoning, sensational with a unique pineapple sour cream, thick with a gently vibrant tartness.

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Kapitan Haus
First Floor, 145, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur. 
Open Tuesday-Thursday, 4pm-12am; Friday-Sunday, 3pm-12am. 
Tel: 012-602-2680