The Deceased, Chinatown: 2019 Menu

March 17, 2019

Creepy cocktails, frightening food: Still alive and kicking, The Deceased celebrates its first full year with a newborn (re)incarnation of a menu that's more morbid and menacing than ever, seeking to send a thrill through your taste buds and a shiver down your spine.

Returning to this Chinatown cocktail bar for the first time since January 2018, we found The Deceased to now be increasingly, electrifyingly eerie, its counter full of skulls and its walls featuring a local artist's work that manifests a manga version of hell.

The Deceased's novelty cocktails summon the spirits, in every sense of the word: The gin-based Pontianak (RM45) unmasks a potion inspired by Malay horror folklore, specifically the pale-skinned, long-haired, blood-thirsty spectres of women that prey on the living.

Beyond the sinister visage that conceals the cocktail (which debuted this past Halloween), this concoction conveys more than meets the eye.

Its floral nuances (the result of Giffard floral liqueurs) represent how a pontianak's presence can be felt through a floral fragrance, while its sweetness (channelled through chilled apple juice) showcases how the pontianak takes on a beautiful appearance before attacking.

Also evoking Southeast Asian superstition is the Toyol (RM50), a nod to the mythical creature conjured through black magic to serve a human master, endowed with a child's countenance and sometimes fed with milk to keep it subservient.

The Deceased's Toyol takes cues from this region by relying on Thailand's Mekhong rum, infused with Cha Tra Mue green tea, blended with Patron mango tequila and Giffard coconut liqueur for further flavours of the tropics, plus - of course - milk. 

It's lightly creamy, subtly tangy and aromatically smooth, an adult's guilty pleasure served in a baby's bottle - a tasty testament to the imaginative prowess of The Deceased's head mixologist Steven Wan and his team.

All in all, The Deceased breathes life into more than a dozen cocktails that span the spectrum of Malaysian to Hong Kong's terrifying traditions, from the Santau (RM45; influenced by a venomous curse that invokes centipedes, seen beneath the lid of this rum-based beverage with house-made young ginger syrup) to the Petty Person Beating, one of The Deceased's most notorious cocktails (RM45; based on the ritual to dispel evil, blending Bombay Sapphire Gin with tuak, kumquat, lime juice and tonic water), Ouija to Hantu Air to Virgin Boy Pee - cocktails for the courageous of heart.

The Deceased's epitaph now extends to a nightmare's worth of warm meals too, including this unholy trinity of temptations - the Squid Ink Seafood Spaghetti, as black as the bleakest night (RM38), Kuboor, a hollowed-out bun buried with chicken and cheese, with a gravely cracker for its 'tombstone' (RM26) and the Lynas Toxic Waste, a reference to the longtime rare-earth refinery controversy, constructed with mac-and-cheese fired up with a glowing-green cili padi sauce (RM22). Devilishly delicious, for bar food.

If you prefer less ominous offerings, fear not: The Deceased's customers can also order a handful of non-sacrilegious specialities from Mingle Cafe downstairs - hearty, crowd-rousing creations like the Salted Egg Chicken Chop and the Hunky Englishman Pizza, blanketed in chicken ham, eggs and cheese for a brunch-meets-pizza experience.

Many thanks to The Deceased for having us back.

The Deceased

55, Jalan Sultan, 50000 Kuala Lumpur. Open 630pm-2am; closed Tuesdays. Tel: 03-2715-7492

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