KL's best sport bars

Updated: 3 Apr 2009
KL's best sport bars

By Ian Johnson and Matt Bellotti

In a moment of overwhelming delight, you’ve just emptied your pint down the front of your shirt. Normally you’d be furious. But not in this moment. Because in this moment you’re surrounded by at least two or three dozen others who have just done the same. (And an equal number who’d happily empty their own drinks over your shirt as well.) Your team just scored and you’re completely encompassed by the lofty screen directly ahead. In this moment, all you can do is jump and scream as if you yourself had a hand in the action. But where are you? Bangsar for the Premier League? Sri Hartamas for the Heineken Cup? And where will you be next weekend? To point you in the right direction, here’s our pick of the top bars in town to catch the sporting action.

Best for atmosphere
Souled Out
Jalan 29/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL (03 2300 1929/www.souledout.com.my).
Together with Finnegan’s, Souled Out seems to have been on the discerning live sports fan’s radar for years. And for good reason. The choice of beverages is limited compared to rivals. Food service can be slow, unordered and erratic. The food itself is unpredictable at best. But none of that matters once the projectors are fired up and the crowd starts chanting. Three big screens, five plasmas and a Booze Cruiser taxi service to Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara make Souled Out a great authentic sports bar to catch the weekly action.

Best for supporters
Sid’s Pub
34 Lorong Rahim Kaju 14, Tamun Tun Dr Ismail, KL (03 7727 7437/www.sidspubs.com).
The home of Celtic FC supporters in Malaysia. Need we say more? Sid’s Pub though boasts a more family-friendly atmosphere than that would suggest. Even come Glasgow derby time. But fear not, spectators are still undoubtedly lively and the cosy, British pub interior is certainly conducive to a pint and cheering on your favourite side. Serving some of the city’s best British food, the small Taman Tun bar is a great place for football fans before, during and after the weekend’s popular live screenings. Sid’s Pub is also dog-friendly for those that can’t leave home without their four-legged companion.

Best for variety
51 Jalan Sultan Ismail (03 2145 1930); 70 Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL (03 2300 0538); 6 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, KL (03 2284 0476); Lot G(E)–003 The Boulevard, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL (03 2284 8157).
The stalwart KL Irish pub chain has survived as one of the best places in the city to catch live sports. With each branch known for a different game, enthusiasts will have their own favourite venue, but for sheer variety, the four Finnegan’s locations are tough to beat. The Jalan Sultan Ismail branch is a must visit for fans of Australian Rules Football (games usually screened on Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings) while Sri Hartamas’ bar should tick the rugby boxes. A good selection of beers on tap also help the action flow and for many are reason alone to drop by.

Best for food and drink
The Social
57-59 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, KL (03 2282 2260); 22 Changkat Bukit Bintang (03 2412 8260).
A favourite among post-match football teams, The Social’s excellent food, ample choice on the drinks front and popular British and American pool tables make it a top spot to relax for a game or race on the overhead screens. Crowds often converge for a variety of live feeds at the original Bangsar branch of a weekend, while the newer Changkat Bukit Bintang location has a similar – if not quite as zealous yet – atmosphere. However, it’s the food served in both outlets that really draws the spectators. So leave plenty of time before the action starts to sample the menu.

Best for upmarket
Club Bar, Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL
Lobby Level, Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL, Jalan Sultan Ismail (03 2148 2322/www.crowneplazakl.com).
For the fan who is more comfortable sitting in an executive box than standing on the terrace, Crowne Plaza’s Club Bar is not to be sniffed at. Mind you, you’d hope not given that a single pint of Carlsberg (it’s only this or Beamish on draught) sets you back RM38++. Yes. Over 40 bucks for one beer. Obviously it’s only really suitable for a certain standard of clientele, which is reflected in the rich mahogany panelled walls and the leather upholstery, as well as the prices. But it doesn’t get busy (can’t think why) and the lunchtime carvery is beautiful. The crowning glory of Club Bar though is their bar-billiards table; the only one in the whole of KL. But is it worth 40 buck beers?

Best for alternative sport
It’s a hit!
Rooftop, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, PJ (03 7727 2576/www.hit.com.my).
The open-air baseball and softball batting cages atop 1 Utama Shopping Centre are an underrated facility for aspiring home run hitters. However, it’s the rooftop dome and beer garden that really caught our attention. The only place we’ve found in KL regularly screening baseball games, the 42-inch plasma television and happy hour beer rates until late on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays make It’s a hit! a superb choice for the swingers and the chuggers.

Three more options
Legends All Sports Bar & Restaurant
Ground Floor, The Life Centre, 20 Jalan Sultan Ismail (03 2166 6603).

Rainforest Sports Café
Lot C4.07, Level 4 Connection, Pavilion KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang (03 2163 0163).

City Golf
Level 4, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, KL (03 2282 0011/www.citygolf.com.my).