Finding a great nightlife haunt in Penang is not difficult – after all, there are so many quirky cafés, bars and even a few thriving nightclubs spread across the island. However, when you are in the mood for a decent tasting cocktail, things get a little trickier, with only a handful of Penang’s bars employing bartenders able to produce genuinely inventive and tasty concoctions.
Traveling in Malaysia is quite convenient since it has some major bus terminals and express buses are the preferred mode of transport here. Tickets for which can be booked online from http://www.redbus.my
Canteen at China House
The Canteen at Chinahouse is a hipster bar known for its cocktails but it also offers a thoughtful wine list, well-chosen craft beers and inventive, non-alcoholic fruit juices and smoothies. It is a quiet, inviting industrial space with 70’s era décor in the form of white canvas sketch oil paintings, metal pendant ceiling lamps and furniture in bright yellow, rust orange and olive green shades. The Canteen is divided into several sections including an art gallery, open air courtyard (fitted out with fairy lights to create a thoroughly romantic ambiance), a dining room and cantina-style lounge. Cocktails are geared towards ladies with sweet, fruity concoctions designed to tempt the fairer sex – think, the RM30 strawberry Bellini (sparkling Prosecco with crushed strawberries), and the RM28 strawberry daiquiri (rum, Cointreau and strawberry ice cream).
G Lounge at G Hotel
A stylish bar set in the ever fashionable G Hotel on Gurney Drive, G Lounge’s claim-to-fame in Penang is its 46 meter-long bar, the longest hotel bar on the island. Its decor of polished wooden floors, chocolate-hued furniture and steel and chrome fixtures lends the space a thoroughly posh ambiance, and coupled together with its rather comfortable seating, ticks all the right boxes for a great cocktail bar. What really cinches its place on our list of top cocktail bars in Penang is the supreme skill of its mixologists. The cocktails available (priced between RM21 and RM40) are extensive and inventive with creations such as the Malaysian Dream, a blend of vodka, coconut cream, sweet pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine, and the Jamaican Martini (spiced rum, gin, red wine and orange Curacao).