Named after the stingless trigona bee that’s indigenous to Southeast Asia, Bar Trigona is Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur‘s crowning jewel of the hotel’s dining portfolio with its philosophy of using locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients to create magnificent cocktails. Not only did they debut at No. 40 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019 — an achievement considering they’ve just celebrated their one-year anniversary – they also won the Ketel One Sustainable Award. Of course, we saw this coming as they snagged both the Best New Bar and Best Hotel Bar awards at The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur 2018.
After exiting the elevator on level six of the hotel, guests need to walk through the typical hotel set up of The Lounge before entering Bar Trigona, which feels like a totally separate setting – with the same Four Seasons hospitality, of course.
The first thing you’ll notice is the running theme of sparkles and reflective surfaces across the bar, from the pillars to the bar counter to furniture. That and a great view of the city through its large windows makes Bar Trigona a great place for sundowners; the high ceilings also affords a sense of spaciousness that helps when the crowds come in. Various seating options with high tables and lounge tables, but if you’re up for a good story, we highly recommend sitting at the bar.
Not only did Bar Trigona take its name from the bee, the honey produced by the particular species also features highly in many of the drinks. Sweet and slightly acidic with a light floral flavour, it probably makes a better and more beautiful addition to any cocktail than regular simple syrup.
Ranging from RM45 to RM50, the signature cocktail menu is divided into four sections based on different parts of a plant – fruit, leaf and flower, stem and seed, and root. If you’re the designated driver for the night, you’ll still be able to enjoy these flavours as each section has a mocktail at RM30.
Fans of pumpkin spiced latte, it’s fall season at Bar Trigona everyday with the Tok Wan. A twist on the whisky sour, the bourbon-based tipple is shaken with Campari, lime juice, egg white, and a special mix of pumpkin and spice. The last ingredient was put together by bartender Shadrach Shan, who developed it based on one of the curries his grandfather used to make.
In other cases of three-ingredient cocktails, the trigona bee honey is what gives the cocktail more complexity. Try the delectable Trigona Honeysuckle, a well-balanced concoction of rum, honey and lime. It’s so easy to drink that if you’re not careful, you’ll be ordering your second one within minutes. For something a little more spirit forward, the Trigona Old Fashioned won’t hurt either. Plus it comes garnished with a morsel of honeycomb – yum.
Feeling adventurous? Ask for a shot of Bar Trigona’s nasi lemak-infused vodka, which they make in-house. We’d suggest sipping it rather than shooting it so you can try to identify the flavours of banana leaf, coconut milk, nuts, and cucumber.
The bar snacks are delicious, as you’d expect from a five-star luxury hotel. And happy hour cocktails are incredibly affordable at RM35 each from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and 6pm to 9pm on weekends. At the moment, Bar Trigona stands out amongst the hotel bars in Kuala Lumpur with its innovation and creativity in developing the cocktail menu. We hope its success encourages other hotel bars to do the same for a more vibrant bar scene in the city!