The Art of Ingenuity at Ril’s Bangsar

Words by Han Sen Hau
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
Speakeasy is a term that has been thrown around a lot lately when describing taphouses with bartenders who dress like characters straight out of a Fitzgerald novel, but there’s nothing prohibitive when it comes to the wondrous den on the second floor of Ril’s Bangsar. The entire room is an anachronistic pastiche of some of history’s most intoxicating exhilarating artistic movements as seen through its décor. From florid Rococo mirrors, to Privat-Livemont’s Absinthe Robette and Gil Elvgren’s cheeky pin-up illustrations, it isn’t too difficult to imagine Bohemian artists occupying fauteuils in one corner devouring green fairies while American G.I.s sidle up to Betty Grable by the bar. Disparate motifs, yes, but they all work together to create this heady illusion that the room on the second floor of Ril’s Bangsar is unravaged by time, and exists beyond its grasp.