In 1920s America, the concept of speakeasies mushroomed up around the country and became synonymous with the mob. Speakeasies were underground bars that served alcohol in secret, because alcohol in any form had been banned. This ban was called the prohibition and it was meant to curb vice in the country. Before long however, the prohibition came to an end.
The concept of speakeasies isn’t new, but what about a non-alcoholic one? Jibril in SS15, Subang Jaya, prides itself on being (arguably) the only Halal speakeasy in Malaysia. This means that it doesn’t serve a drop of alcohol! However, everything else about Jibril makes you think you’ve been transported back to the prohibition era.
For starters, it doesn’t have a sign board and the entrance is hidden behind an ice cream counter. You’ll have to look out for the Sangkaya ice cream shop and then look for the nondescript door on the wall. Once you push this door and enter, you’ll enter a completely different world.
The speakeasy is lit with dim lights, and filled with plenty of comfortable plush chairs surrounding low tables. The entire atmosphere is relaxing and peaceful, perfect for some intimate conversations with friends. The walls are filled with black and white pictures of famous personalities from Tesla to Einstein.
Once you open their menu however, you’ll find that creativity abounds. The highlight of the evening is their mocktails, with names like Potter, Monroe, Tesla, Bond and Gandhi. There’s also plenty of coffee, dessert and main meals.
One of the best selling drinks here has to be the Potter, a non-alcoholic butter beer inspired by the famous fictional wizard. It’s a caramel based drink that is slightly creamy but not too rich. For a refreshing take, try the Tesla which is a combination of Carambola and passion fruit. It’s citrusy zing is what you will need if you're feeling lethargic.
Many who come here swear by their Salted Egg Butter Chicken, which is served with rice. Although Jibril doesn’t strike you as a place to have dinner, it actually offers quite an extensive dinner menu. Apart from the salted egg butter chicken with rice, patrons can choose to have it pasta or nasi lemak instead.
For those wanting a more western menu, there is Swedish Meatballs and Fish & Chips. Indonesian dishes like Ayam Penyet are also up for grabs.
Apart from the food and drinks, the sheer novelty of Jibril makes it worth a visit. The place is an experience in itself, and not just a bar or restaurant. It’s opened from noon to midnight, which means that you can even have lunch here if you are in the area.
Instagram fans will be delighted to see the many picture perfect corners available to patrons for a wefie, selfie or even just and interior shot. Plus, they’ve got cigars on their menu for those who fancy a puff or two.
In multicultural Malaysia, Jibril is the perfect hangout where anyone and everyone can chill without worrying that someone might be left out and not able to eat or drink. In short, Jibril is a truly Malaysian speakeasy.
Mocktails from RM4.90 (net)
Fish & Chips RM15.90 (net)
Deserts from RM3.90 (net)
25, Jalan SS 15/4b, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
Opening Hours: Daily, 12pm to 12am.