An editorial team of three goes to a Spexy bar and.
Okay, I’m not sure where I was going with that joke, but it’s a fact. A while ago, we were invited to a talk show called The First Chapter of TTDI.
The name was already enticing, and their email pitch that described the place as “the perfect escape for bookworm and partying” immediately caught my eye. (Guess which team we fall under?)
Upon arrival at the location, in a truly spicy style, the entrance was concealed by a large black door with zero signboards. To our right was a keypad for the passcode of the day, given by the team when you make a reservation. For now, it’s still working on a booking basis for crowd control.
Go up some stairs, and you’ll be met with a huge bookcase that stretches from floor to ceiling. A variety of titles can be borrowed here, including self-help, business skills, romance novels and more.
These are grab-and-go, which means that as a customer, you can grab one to read at the bar, or check it out to bring home after a night out, just like you would in a library. Customers can later return the borrowed book, or replace it with the donated title.
As the team said, it hopefully encourages customers to return for cocktails as well.
Once you’ve made your way through the camouflage front door, the place is designed in such a way that you’ll go straight to the Misejahtera registration area.
Ceiling-to-floor, dark wood partitions on either side of you provide guests with a little more privacy in the VIP Lounge (on your left) and the Bar Lounge (on your right). It also serves the purpose of exposing you to the place when you walk.
It is an element among others that has been applied by the team to create a premium and exclusive atmosphere in Spixie, with the help of mood and sensual lighting.
We arrived around 5PM, just in time for the opening of the bar and just before the usual crowd which comes around 8-8.30PM, so the place was quiet, suitable for sipping a few rounds of cocktails and chatting.
And so, we did
Talking to co-founders Shawn Luke and Ben Nair about some light bites and a new compilation of them, an unnamed red drink that combines in-house raspberry puree and syrup with Proseco, we learned that they are targeting workers. Class
Chapter 1 Speaky wants to be a place where you can do business meetings or do something when you are happy. At the same time, it can turn into a party spot after work hours, open from Tuesday to Saturday at 12 noon.
Why this location? Shawn tells us that while growing up and working on his TTDI’s home turf, he noticed that there weren’t too many specks around.
“There are lots of bars, sports bars, restaurant bars, but there was no opportunity to talk to the right cocktails. We wanted to launch the whole SpecCC concept with a hidden door, nice lounge environment, just to highlight this kind of assortment within TTDI. “
To do this, Shawn draws from his 11 years of experience in F&B, including managing the Circa Bar, while Ben receives his training at Omakase + Appreciate, where his passion for cocktail making was ignited.
The two friends finally bite the bullet and shake hands after several discussions about cocktails at their home and the rest is history.
Today, Shawn manages the full-time job as the First Chapter’s operations manager, and Ben works at the bar every night as a financial contracts manager after his day job.
Books, drinks, and bites
“The First Chapter” is a name that marks the first venture of the two together, playing nicely with the bookshelf theme they carry on the outside.
Speaking of bookshelf, they shared that a small portion of the books came from their personal collection and the remaining about 1,300 books came from the Big Bad Wolf after Shawn and Ben arrived.
As we talked, we admitted that we initially assumed that the first chapter would be a bar shaped like a library and would serve drinks inspired by fictional book characters.
While they have yet to make a drink inspired by such characters, they have not ruled out the possibility of doing so one day, as they change their cocktail menu every six months.
For movie lovers, the current menu already has a Regina George 7 Their signature drinks are Rose Infused Gene and Chrysanthemum Infused Gene (both RM42), and Ben’s Margarita (RM38) are probably a must try for those who like the classic.
We tried Wake Me The F * ck Up (RM35) with Houseful Infused Vanilla Vodka and Cold Brew, Johnny Walker Black, The Scottish Nut (RM35), House Infused Hazelnut Tincture, and Fresh Lime. (RM38), which includes banned whiskeys, Cointreau, yuzu, oranges, aquafaba and lemons.
A more unique and dessert-like choice was Payasam (RM30), an adoption of the first chapter of a classic Indian dessert. It brings mint freshness and a deep creaminess with Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, House Infused Coconut Cream and Farnet Branca.
The light bite samples we took were chicken and beef sausage rolls, freshly made at the back of their kitchen. While cocktails are the star of the show here, the food is also a contender.
Taking their next shot
After 6 months of running The First Chapter and seeing a good reception, Shawn and Ben are now ready to open a new Specksy that doubles in size and is located in Damansara Heights.
It will have a different name and design theme and is set to open in early June this year
Although the first chapter may seem a little too new considering how new it is, Shawn and Ben make it clear that they are not the type to sit around and take advantage of opportunities.
The first chapter was made from pure passion from the ground up, the cocktails were shaken from the self-planned space and served at the bar.
If Shawn is not interacting with the crowd on the floor, he is in the kitchen preparing food, and even though three of them are already serving bartender drinks, you are forced to find Ben involved himself behind the bar.
The couple’s passion and creativity have been bubbling for some time now, and the first chapter only introduces what they are capable of doing.
- Learn more about the first chapter here.
- Read more F&B content here.
All Image Credits: Vulcan Post