The Bar Kinugawa @ Empire Damansara


If the sound of another themed speakeasy is enough to induce a 360-degree eye-roll from you, you’re not alone. Well, we’re not saying that we’re bar hoppers but the mushrooming of bars have became almost a trend.
Nonetheless, what’s your criteria for drinking?
What’s your expectation out of a speakeasy bar?


The only bar with 2 Japanese bartenders and done in an authentic Tokyo style speakeasy
What say you?

I love anything Japanese, and thus was thrilled to check out this bar.


The Bar Kinugawa is a stylish yet classically executed and authentic Japanese-style bar, manned by the Japanese mixologist owner himself, the master bartender Sam Kinugawa.




He has years of experience in bartending from first class bars in Tokyo, Japan. Sam still heads his own bar located in Tokyo but spends most of his time here in KL now.
This bar is well-known among cocktail enthusiasts & is known for its creative hand-crafted cocktails meticulously made by its Japanese bartender. Sam & his colleague are smartly dressed up in tuxedo vests and ties expertly whip up handcrafted, Japanese-inspired cocktails.

Consisting of a wooden bar with downlight projected from above resembling center stage for cocktails, the place feels romantic, unfussy and utterly transportive. It’s a den of quality with posh touches, great quality ice and beautiful glassware.






Pairing the tall glass of Gin Tonic & short Moscow Mule with Smoked Edamame (RM18).



Gin Tonic – RM33
Gin & Homemade tonic

Moscow Mule – RM38
Vodka, Homemade Ginger Ale & Lime



Grasshopper – RM38
Mint Liqueur, White Cacao, Cream
Aside from the classics, Sam’s skillful hands are also capable of making creative cocktails too, like this Tiffany-coloured Grasshopper.




Passion Fruit, Sake & Orange
All cocktails with fruits on the menu are served with real fruits in it. No artificial syrups used. No joke.



Haru no Yuki – RM38
This is their seasonal Spring cocktail. Consisting sake, gin, matcha , lemon juice & sugar.
This is the closest we’ve had to perfection in a long time – smooth, strong and exquisitely balanced




The bar’s canape’s are all prepared in house, smoked in cherrywood. Bothe scallops and octopus were delicious but we personally favoured octopus more – chewy, fragrant and packed with its natural flavours from the sea. Yum.



Smoked Scallops – RM18



Smoked Octopus – RM18


There’s no turning back after checking out Sam’s cocktail and we find most typical bars serving cocktail not so on par anymore. What does Sam Kinugawa do that makes his drinks taste so good? It must be in the hands. The drinks are fantastic, and the whole experience (especially sitting right at the counter) is fun.

The Bar Kinugawa
112, Empire Damansara,
Heritage Lane,
No.2, Jalan PJU 8/8A,
Damansara Perdana,
47820 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel: +603 7611 0153
Mon-Sun: 7pm – 2am
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2 Replies to “The Bar Kinugawa @ Empire Damansara”

  1. What an experience! Would personally switch the Beefeater gin to something more delicate, otherwise, it looks like an amazing spot to hang out in KL. Thanks for the recommendation, Chris & Christine. Been enjoying your blog for a while!

    Michelle from

    1. Thanks for your support! 🙂

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