At 45 Kamunting, time stands still. Or so it seems.
Taking after the address, 45 Speak Vezy Bar is a casual laidback joint in Jalan Kamunting in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Amidst taller, newer buildings in the area, this 1928 pre-war house at the corner of an alley stands its ground. Framed with potted leafy plants, the porch holds some rickety-looking tables and chairs, so reminiscent of the olden days. Stepping into the cool interior, I feel as if I have stepped back into my childhood days. Back then, I spent a few formative years in a typical wooden village house on the outskirts of Ipoh town and I get a sense of déjà vu here. Alan Yun, the owner, has a great fondness of the retro era and he has amassed a good collection of furniture and deco items here to give you that unmistakable sense of nostalgia. Mandarin songs from the 1950’s/60’s era play in the background enhances the wistful and sentimental mood.
The structure of this pre-war house has been preserved nicely – the various rooms and hallway have not changed. Patrons get to chill-out in the various rooms and I love the spiral staircase towards the back of the house. Ventilation and natural light are aplenty, thanks to the airwell – a feature that’s very much old-world. And it’s definitely a very Instagram-worthy premise.
The stairwell & the spiral staircase
Cold beer and Lok-lok Hotpot may sound like a peculiar combination, but strangely, it works. From 6pm onwards, after the sun has set, the nostalgic ambience in 45 Speak Vezy Bar goes up several notches. With soft warm lighting casting romantic shadows everywhere, it’s time to sit back and sip some cocktails, beer or wine or some home-boiled barley!
Instead of the usual bar snacks, 45 Speak Vezy serves a delightful Lok-Lok Hotpot. Using the delicious fish broth from Woo Pin Fish Head Noodles (they serve this here from 7.30am till 2.30pm), the skewers of various types of balls, fried beancurd, vegetables, pork and prawns are slowly boiled. It’s a pleasurable activity – this dipping and munching, in between sips of alcohol while chilling out with buddies.
Skewers are priced at RM4 each and there are also some Lok-Lok Hotpot Sets if you are there in a group:
Set A @ RM88: 10 skewers + 1 bucket beer
Set B @ RM118: 10 skewers + 1 bottle wine
Set C @ RM168: 20 skewers + 2 buckets beer
If you must have some fried tidbits, additional bites in the forms of Popcorn Chicken, Fried Fucuk (beancurd skin wrapped with fish paste) and Fried Fish Skin are available.
Popcorn Chicken (RM15)
The hard metal and wooden chairs here may not be the most comfortable but the ambience and set-up plus the efforts to maintain this preserved heritage makes it a worthwhile visit. Do be warned though – parking may be a bit of a challenge around here, so consider taking the LRT to the Dang Wangi Station and then a short walk over.
45 SPEAK VEZY BAR
45 Jalan Kamunting
50300 Kuala Lumpur
For reservations, contact Vsun @ +6017-236-1119
Open from 6.00pm till late