When there isn’t a bar to your fancy in your hometown, you open one of your own. It’s how many “firsts” have started and that’s what Sunny did in Ipoh, Perak.
Sunny had been working abroad and would return to Ipoh frequently to visit his family and friends. Although Ipoh is popular for its fresh air and food offerings, there was not much to do at night other than more food and the night markets.
Therefore, when Sunny returned to his hometown for good and found that there were no bars serving good cocktails, he decided to open his own in 2019. Three is the smallest number to form a pack and hanging out in a bar is no fun without your pack, hence Tiga (“three” in Malay) was the name given to the bar.
Tiga was first opened in the old town. It could seat 20 people and as many standing as the floor space could accommodate on a busy night. The bar had to close during the country’s three lockdowns, and like most bars, Tiga resorted to selling bottled cocktails to keep the business going. Eventually Sunny had to give up the space and moved Tiga to Asip, his wine lounge nearby.
The solution is straightforward: reduce monthly commitment on rental and utilities and focus the energy and manpower in one space.
Tiga’s cocktails are available for order through their Instagram and delivery covers Klang Valley as well. Order any four drinks from their menu and get one experimental cocktail for free.
Wine lounge and diner
Asip Private Lounge is a project started not long after Tiga’s launch, providing a space to taste natural wines and food pairings. The sophisticated wine bar on the second floor of a shophouse features an open kitchen, attracting affluent consumers of the small town.
Their Paint Your Bread’s menu offers Artisan handmade sourdoughs and premium French butters to pair with jam and marmalade. Delivery within Ipoh only.
A dedicated bar station was part of the wine lounge’s feature for occasional experiential cocktails, now perfect as Tiga’s temporary anchor. With access to a kitchen, cocktails have been used in experimenting with food since the move. Tiga’s latest work is integrating cocktail flavours into dishes, such as the Old Fashioned Siew Yuk which we hope to see made it to their new menu soon.
The idea came from Sunny’s research that Thailand bartenders go around the restriction of selling alcohol in drinks by incorporating it into desserts, hence making it possible to express the craft and to stay afloat.
Sunny had wanted to go back to basics and introduce the classics to a market new to cocktails and this cocktail-food idea would certainly work better in the foodie town than say, making hand sanitisers with classic cocktail aromas.
Sharing the lot downstairs is Kiki-Lalat (kiki_lalat), a beer bar that completes Sunny’s bar portfolio now that they are all in one location. Currently, order craft beers, todi, soju, wine and beer cocktails through their Instagram account. Delivery within Ipoh only.
If all goes well, Tiga will be moved to a venue four times the size of the first location by the end of 2021. A café is also expected to be opened at the back of Kiki-Lalat’s space that will involve youngsters in developing their food and drinks experimental menu with coffee and kombucha.
Even though Perak has entered Phase 2 of Malaysia’s National Recovery Plan and dine-in is allowed, the bars will not be opened for dine-in just yet as the majority of the state’s population are senior citizens at high risk.
Follow Tiga, Asip and Kiki-Lalat for their latest updates.
- T -