Malacca & Surrounds
Malacca has some excellent hotel bars like The Balcony and Bar Rio, which exude colonial elegance, and the Hard Rock Café, that global stalwart of night-time revelry, as well as a selection of clubs for those who like their music faster and louder.
12-A, Jalan Syed Abdul Aziz (016 675 2000). One of the biggest clubs in Malacca, Arena is where the party revellers get their clubbing fix at weekends. At the foot of the jetty, look for Arena’s huge glass walls with its impressive LCD screens, advanced lighting and sound system. If you are wondering where the good bands in Malacca are, Arena’s the place to go.
NEW The Balcony 43 Jalan Temenggong, The Sterling (06 283 1128/www.gloriahotels.com). The Balcony is located on the second floor of The Sterling, a relatively new hotel built in an elegant vaguely Victorian façade. After a full day traipsing around the humid Malaccan streets, The Balcony offers a welcome respite in the breezy evenings. Select from the extensive drinks list or just go with a simple ice cold beer, and watch the sun slowly set over the rooftops.
Bar Rio Casa del Rio, 88 Jalan Kota Laksamana (06 289 6888/www. casadelrio-melaka.com/the-river-grill). Bar Rio offers a solid drinks menu for you to end your day with – be it wine, beer, spirits, sake or cocktails. Adorned with lounge-like, wooden armchairs by the river, Bar Rio sports a casual vibe ideal for those seeking a relaxing setting where they can sit and watch the world go by. Try their addictive thin-crust pizzas and nachos. Later in the evening, the background is filled with the softcrooning of an old-school live band.
Far East Café 19 Jalan Hang Lekir (06 286 3853). The hole-in-the-wall café spills out into the sidewalk, where patrons can be seen enjoying their drinks and the good selection of jazz. Quiet and laidback, Far East is for travellers who prefer to have conversations where one can hear the other.
Flo Hotel Equatorial Malacca, Jalan Bandar Hilir (06 282 8333/www. equatorial.com). Inside the renowned Hotel Equatorial, Flo is their sophisticated lounge with a wide range of cocktails, wines and cigars, all served in a laid-back, classy atmosphere.
Geographer Café 83 Jalan Hang Jebat (06 281 6813/ www.geographer.com.my). Housed in a pre-war building, this café/pub oozes heritage charm all around. Often thronged by tourists and locals alike, the vibe here is a little laidback, soundtracked by a live band performing jazzy numbers. Drinks are myriad and people are genuinely friendly. It is a decent spot to make some new friends too.
NEW Hard Rock Café Melaka 28 Lorong Hang Jebat (06 298 5188/ www.hardrock.com). The Hard Rock chain established itself on the streets of Malacca in 2011, giving patrons yet another choice for a venue with good live music and tex mex fare. Its location by the river is pretty obvious too, so join the queues early for an evening of assured fun. Remember to pick up some Hard Rock Melaka memorabilia.
Honky Tonk Haven Café 68 Lorong Hang Jebat (012 605 0446/ www.honkytonk.weebly.com). This is a nostalgic, live music venue with old records on the walls and a view of the Malacca River. Opened by a Kiwi couple some years ago, the funky bar is now run by musicians. Make some friends, grab some of arguably the cheapest beer in town, and enjoy the live music.
Libar Cocktail House 15 Jalan Hang Lekir (012 222 7718/016 617 1777). This tiny cocktail house along Jonker Street is a good chill-out spot. Needless to say, cocktails are the gist here. Crowd is a mix of curious tourists and upmarket locals all looking to have a good time.
The Library 926 & 927 Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya (06 334 4155/www. thelibrary.my). Stay put, you are not going to be buried in massive bookshelves or face the wrath of cranky librarians. The Library is essentially a yuppie spot to be reckoned with. Unwind in the cosy living room interior decked with Chesterfield sofas, as well as the alfresco balcony space with drink choices ranging from beers and malt whiskeys to cocktails.
MiXX Second Floor, Mahkota Parade, 1 Jalan Merdeka (016 247 6627). A massive club that is widely popular amongst young’uns in Malacca, MiXX is probably the best place to party, dance and drink. The club is divided into two rooms: Paradox and Arris. The former flaunts a cutting edge interior where DJs churn out big tunes on the weekends; the latter is a garden café where live bands perform. The club gets so crowded that cover charges apply.
Movida Restaurant & Lounge Bar Unit G-012, G-013 & G-013A, Hatten Square, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya (06 292 1282/www. movida.my). It’s a solid space – dark and womb-like; the club is well-sized and square-ish. It spills out onto the outside patio where you can have a meal before continuing the night inside. Their food is a bit hit and miss for us, so go for the drinks. The upstairs area has two VIP sections – red, chintzy chambers designed for groups.
NEW Ringo’s Classic & Antiques Café 11 Jalan Hang Lekir (016 354 2223). Ringo’s packs a large crowd of regulars on the weekends because it’s only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The one man music show belts out tunes in an uncanny likeness to their original singers all night long and the enthusiastic crowd can’t seem to get enough of it. Pretty good service too, we suggest that you just go earlier to nab a seat amongst the dusty antiques.
Ringo's Classic & Antiques Cafe